By Dave LeClair, MakeUseOf – September 12, 2012 at 09:31PM
Everyone knows that losing weight is difficult. It requires a certain level of commitment that not everyone is prepared for. However, when you meet those weight loss goals, it is one of the most satisfying things in the world. I am currently on a diet, as I need to drop about 20 pounds. It is not fun, but seeing the results helps me stay motivated.
Of course, losing weight is easier with help. That is where the weight loss app Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal comes into play. It allows you to keep track of everything you eat and all the exercise you do. It also has some awesome social features that help you lose weight with the help of your friends who may be suffering through the same thing. It has everything a dieter needs to lose weight as quickly as possible. Best of all, it is available on the App Store for the low cost of free.
To get started you will have to create a free account. This is how you will communicate with your friends and keep track of your data across multiple devices. Setting up your account will allow you to set your goals and enter all the important information about your current physique. The whole process should not take more than a few minutes.
Once you enter everything, the weight loss app will tell you how many calories you should consume per day to meet your weight loss goal. You can edit this number with recommendations from a doctor, which I highly recommend doing. The app is not a doctor, and it does not know your body. To find out the optimal amount of calories, a doctor is the best option.
The main purpose of this app is keeping track of how much you eat and making sure to stay under a certain amount of calories. Thankfully, MyFitnessPal has the largest food database of any similar app, so finding your food should not be an issue.
You can manually type in what you ate or use the built in barcode scanner. Once you find the food, you simply enter in how much you ate, and the app will log it for you.
As you eat, the app will tell you how many more calories you have left for the day. You need to make good food choices to stay under your limit. I find it helpful to treat it like a game. It helps keep me motivated and helps me stay under the limit so the pounds keep coming off.
Keeping track of your exercise is just as important as keeping track of your food. The method for entering exercise is the same as food, except there is no barcode scanner. The database has a general idea of how many calories you will burn during a specific exercise, but for best results, you should look into a heart-rate monitor. This will give you a more accurate representation of how many calories you’ve burned.
When you exercise, you gain that many calories back in food. So for example, let’s say you are allowed 1,600 calories a day. If you go for a run and burn off 400 calories, you would be able to eat 2,000 calories that day and still meet your goal.
MyFitnessPal is literally packed with features designed to help you lose weight. It has great social integration designed to help you meet goals with friends no matter where they are. You can also share important events on your Facebook for your other friends to see. Knowing that you can tell the world when you meet an important weight loss milestone is a great motivator for some people.
You can also store custom foods and meals. If there is a certain meal you tend to eat often, you can save the parts of that meal and add it with a single click. For example, if you eat a chicken breast, brown rice and broccoli all the time, you can save those as a meal and add them to your diary instantly instead of adding each part every time you have it. If a food is not in their database, which is unlikely, you can add it manually using the nutritional information on the package.
MyFitnessPal also synchronizes with their website, so you can always log new entries to your diary from a computer if you are not near your phone. The data will synchronize automatically as long as your iPhone has a data signal. If you do not have Internet, all the data will store locally until the next time you connect.
One last cool feature is the reminders. You can tell MyFitnessPal to remind you to log your meals if you have not done so by a certain time each day.
MyFitnessPal is the best weight loss app I have ever used on the iPhone, and I have no problem recommending it to anyone who is trying to lose weight. It is easy to use, and has all the features you could ever want for dieting. Seriously, give it a shot if you need to drop a few pounds.
Have you tried Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal? How did you like it? Let us know in the comments!