With the holidays just around the corner, you have to be proactive about your health and build good habits now, before you’re surrounded by platters of temptation and eggnog. But committing to a workout routine will only get you so far because exercise is only half of the equation.
When it comes to food, garbage in equals garbage out. Keeping a food diary can greatly help to hold yourself accountable. Luckily, the following devices, apps and programs are making this easier than ever before.
While Jawbone built its reputation on tracking steps and sleep, their latest version is packed full of other features. One of the UP3’s most notable features is a food log in its companion app. With a clean and crisp display that makes this process as simple as possible, it features a bar code scanner and a photo function, so you can take a picture of your meal as well as manually input nutritional information. Once you enter your meal, the app provides a Food Score, so you know how healthy of a choice it was in terms of your overall health goals.
Nutrino takes the guesswork out of what you need to eat to reach your health goals. Simply enter your goal and the program works its magic to create a completely personalized meal plan. It also features a highly detailed food diary, so you can track your meals over time. Nutrino is especially useful if you have food allergies or dietary restrictions, as the meal plans can be custom-tailored to meet those needs.
In an age where you can track everything from your steps to your sleep patterns using a variety of apps and devices, Apple’s native iOS Health app is a welcome simplification if you’re an iPhone user. While the app is capable of tracking everything from your nutrition intake to your reproductive health stats to your heart rate, daily steps and sleep, the real value in Health lies in being able to aggregate data from all of your other health and fitness apps and devices into one place. You can quickly link your favorite tracking apps to Health, where everything syncs seamlessly and displays in a cohesive, easy-to-understand format. The latest Health app features are optimized to perform best on the new iPhone 6s, so you’ll want to upgrade your device to get the most out of this app.
Weight Watchers Online Plus
While hearing “Weight Watchers” may give you flashbacks of cheesy ’90s commercials promoting the brand, this evidence-based method for teaching healthy eating habits has gotten a face-lift in recent years, and now even Oprah is using it. Although the company’s previous model required attending in-person meetings, you can now participate entirely online using their OnlinePlus program. It includes access to an eight-week video series to learn healthy habits, 24/7 chat with its experts, customized meal plans, recipes and an online community of other participants for added support. This web-based interface also features integration with many popular fitness wearables, so you can get credit for your activity in Weight Watcher’s signature PointsPlus values.
Price: From $4.91 a week for a three-month plan
If you are looking for a comprehensive food diary companion to your activity logs and you like to think in terms of calories, MyFitnessPal is for you. Available for iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry, its accessible for a broader audience, which has partly attributed to its widespread success. MyFitnessPal boasts the world’s largest calorie and nutrition database with over five million foods. This massive database makes it easy to log everything you eat and drink, so you can get back to your workout.