Author Topic: Favorite diet/fitness app  (Read 1463 times)

Zette

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Favorite diet/fitness app
« on: June 02, 2019, 07:38:34 AM »
Anyone have a favorite iPhone app for tracking their diet and fitness?  Iím looking for something user friendly that makes entering what Iíve eaten really easy and quick.  Not having to scroll through a zillion entries for simple things like fruit. Something that remembers or bookmarks things Iíve eaten before and makes them quick to enter again. Maybe a barcode scanner feature. Something compatible with low carb but not locked into a particular diet program would be ideal.

FreelanceToFreedom

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2019, 01:14:50 PM »
I haven't used it in a few years but MyFitnessPal did all this. It lets you set custom macro goals and makes entering food fairly easy.

For what it's worth, I didn't find calorie counting effectivE for weight loss. However, it was definitely worthwhile to do for a couple weeks just to get a feel for the macros and calories in the foods you eat.

Ch@d

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2019, 02:36:36 PM »
2nd for my fitness pal.  It works when I use it .  I just need to start using it again...

NotJen

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2019, 04:11:13 PM »
I've used LoseIt (at the basic/free level) for many years.

Unfortunately, counting calories is the only thing that keeps me from gaining weight.  You'd think that maintaining a 50-60 lb weight loss after 10 years would get easier, but it doesn't for me.

dodojojo

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2019, 07:33:35 PM »
I'm going into my 3rd week of Lose It.  I find the exercise calculator to be very suspect.  I'm not entirely sold on its accuracy but I find it useful as a way to check my eating and inertia.  Having to see the calorie total for a bag of gummy bears is enough of a deterrent against over-eating.  In the two weeks, I did have one blow out day--I was a bit down and was in IDGAF mode.

I started using it when I found my work clothes no longer fit.  I work from home most of the time so it did take a while for me to accept my clothes weren't fitting and that it wasn't a one-off.  I donated 2 bags of tops and bottoms to my local thrift store (most of the clothes were from there anyway).  There's probably another bag for jackets and sweaters on the way.

mrs sideways

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2019, 11:59:17 PM »
For calorie counters, I've used MyFitnessPal first and then moved to LoseIt because the ads on MFP seemed really intrusive. I think LoseIt has a slightly better interface, and I like the emphasis on week-long goals to even out good days with bad ones. I was willing to pay for a LoseIt subscription, but I realize that's against the spirit of the forum.

Both of those programs suuuuuckked as fitness calculators. They both *way* over-estimate calories burned in exercise compared to anything else I looked up. I eventually gave up on entering exercise and just used them as calorie journals.

Also, shameless plug for the loseit subreddit.

habaneroNorway

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 01:49:57 AM »
Garmin Connect for activity tracking. I don't count calories - never have, never will. IMO its non-sustainable and miserable way of living and not very accurate or representative anyway.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 04:38:25 AM »
I think LoseIt is much better than MFP

brute

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2019, 05:51:22 AM »
Excel for me. I manually ran the numbers for 6 months, and now I can easily and accurately do it on the fly in my head. I re-check myself every couple of weeks, but I'm always within 50-75 calories and a couple grams of macros.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2019, 08:11:15 AM »
My plate or my fitness pal are good for the diet portion.  I do weight training for exercise and love Fitnotes.  I'm on Android so YMMV.

mrs sideways

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2019, 08:18:35 AM »
I don't count calories - never have, never will. IMO its non-sustainable and miserable way of living and not very accurate or representative anyway.

Good for you, but for me? I'm constantly hungry and I always want to eat something. If I don't count calories, I gain weight.

NotJen

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2019, 08:27:51 AM »
I don't count calories - never have, never will. IMO its non-sustainable and miserable way of living and not very accurate or representative anyway.

Good for you, but for me? I'm constantly hungry and I always want to eat something. If I don't count calories, I gain weight.

Same!  My brain is constantly telling me Iím hungry.  Itís a lifelong struggle, and calorie counting helps immensely.

It is as accurate as you make it.  And itís not miserable, though I do get tired of taking the action to log things sometimes.  And it is very sustainable.

Agree with other posters though  - I donít believe the LoseIt calorie counts for exercise.  I make up my own values, based on guessing and some heart rate monitor data.  I also try to verify any food calorie counts that look suspicious.

OliveFI

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2019, 08:43:08 AM »
For calorie counters, I've used MyFitnessPal first and then moved to LoseIt because the ads on MFP seemed really intrusive. I think LoseIt has a slightly better interface, and I like the emphasis on week-long goals to even out good days with bad ones. I was willing to pay for a LoseIt subscription, but I realize that's against the spirit of the forum.

Both of those programs suuuuuckked as fitness calculators. They both *way* over-estimate calories burned in exercise compared to anything else I looked up. I eventually gave up on entering exercise and just used them as calorie journals.

Also, shameless plug for the loseit subreddit.

I use MyFitnessPal with some success. I don't obsess if I have one day I am over, but try to be good each day with a moderate goal.

BUT in order to track calories from exercise ... I have MFP import my workouts from the second hand Apple Watch that I got for practically nothing. So if you have a fitbit or apple watch that can address the exercise inaccuracies.

Cool Friend

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2019, 08:54:56 AM »
Garmin Connect for activity tracking. I don't count calories - never have, never will. IMO its non-sustainable and miserable way of living and not very accurate or representative anyway.

Totally different experience for me.  It's not precise, but if you're conservative when you have to guess (e.g. overestimating your quantities by a little) and consistent it works.  I lost 30 pounds using just MFP.  But for me it was sort of a game where I had to make sure my "points" didn't pass my allotment for the day.  Sort of like tracking your spending, which I used to consider horrifically dull and depressing, but now is also a "game" for me.

cats

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2019, 09:06:19 AM »
I use MyFitnessPal for tracking calories/food intake.  I tried LoseIt for a while when it was fairly new but didn't like it as much, but I keep seeing people recommend it so maybe I will give it another try.  I've stopped using MFP for an exercise tracker b/c as others have noted, it can definitely overestimate calories burned and result in just a bit too much food consumed. I like that it lets you just use the same breakfast/lunch/dinner as yesterday or several days ago, so if you tend to rotate between the same 3-4 things for a particular meal, you can enter your food in pretty quickly.

I find it is most helpful to enter my planned food for the day in the morning or even the night before.  I take a look at calories but also the macro distribution and fiber content.  I don't have strict macro goals but I do find that if carbs go over a certain level too often the scale starts to go up, likewise they need to stay under a certain level for me to lose weight and not be miserably hungry.

ketchup

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2019, 10:07:30 AM »
Calculator.
MS Excel.
Google Sheets.

mm1970

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2019, 10:54:39 AM »
I don't count calories - never have, never will. IMO its non-sustainable and miserable way of living and not very accurate or representative anyway.

Good for you, but for me? I'm constantly hungry and I always want to eat something. If I don't count calories, I gain weight.
I definitely had a long stretch of many years like this.  The only way to lose or maintain weight loss was counting calories.  I hated it.

I eventually got to a point where I found 21 day fix, which was counting containers of food types (which was easier - less counting).  Then I slowly adjusted my diet here and there until I didn't have to count anything.

The downsides?
- my diet is pretty boring.  I generally eat the same things every day.
- I cannot eat that many carbs.  So mostly, I have a carb or two for breakfast and dinner, and that's it.
- When I'm under stress I hit the carbs, and will then gain weight.  Then I have to dig out the old better habits to lose it again. 

Right now I'm up about 7 lbs, but I've been lifting a lot.  When I look in the mirror, I feel like I look fine.  Pants a little tight, but I carry weight and muscle on my hips/thighs/butt.  So again, I don't look "fluffy" as far as I can tell, so I figure, meh.  It's ok.

mrs sideways

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2019, 02:19:06 PM »
I also try to verify any food calorie counts that look suspicious.

This is a very good point to make. Both MFP and LoseIt have user-entered data, which can be WAY off. It's a good idea to look at the options when searching for food and ignoring anything that looks too good to be true.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2019, 10:48:39 AM »
Rules allow for a pretty wide margin of error with calorie counts:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/margin-of-error-on-food-labels-20-2013-11-07
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Calorie counts on food labels, for example, can be off by 20% in some cases and still be in compliance with FDA regulations. With naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, and potassium, the FDA requires that the item ďmust be present at 80% or more of the value declared on the label.Ē

and then your fitness tracker introduces more headaches:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ritarubin/2017/05/24/when-counting-calories-you-cant-depend-on-that-fitness-tracker-on-your-wrist/
Quote
The Fitbit Surge had the lowest error margin for energy expenditure of the seven devices tested, although it was still off by an average of 27%

---

I didn't really start losing weight until I began biking to work. In two years I went from 177lb to 153lb (I'm 5'9" if that matters) and my doctor highly approves of my blood test #s. I introduced the cycling habit slowly like 2x per week, then 3x and now I'm up to 5x rain or shine. You could probably get an indoor trainer and spend 45min on it sweating to see similar results.

Strava is a cool free app for tracking outdoor rides.
Zwift is a neat paid app for making indoor training more interesting.

Changing a habit is difficult, especially in the beginning... also in the middle... and there's really no end, so that's super hard. Take care.

habaneroNorway

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2019, 11:10:11 AM »
Rules allow for a pretty wide margin of error with calorie counts:


And calorie counting doesn't account at all for how the body makes use of the energy.

cats

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2019, 11:55:26 AM »
For all the "calorie counting doesn't work because it's imprecise", sure it's imprecise.  For me, the act of keeping a food log helps me to avoid foods that promote weight gain or to be more mindful about reasonable portion sizes (b/c even if inaccurate, most calorie counts will agree that things like chips, fries, and ice cream are not good for weight loss).

I first counted calories as a teenager and MFP did not even exist.  I wrote things down in a notebook and used a little booklet or nutrition label info to determine the calories.  I often just estimated (but I was not trying to fool myself into being "allowed" more food with my estimates...even today I often find that if I estimate the calorie count in something unhealthy and unknown and then go look up similar items in MFP, my estimate is never less than MFPs value. My calorie counts were probably inaccurate, but they still helped me to maintain an energy deficit and lose about 20 lbs.

King35

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2019, 12:59:44 AM »
My best diet is nutrition and sport. I train 3-4 times a week and eat right.

Loren Ver

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2019, 06:42:34 AM »
I like sparkpeople.  Started with the website and am now using the app.  It has a lot of things in it.  There is even a recipe calculator so you can track what recipes you used, or find recipes.  There is also a very good social component if you are interested.

LV

dodojojo

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Re: Favorite diet/fitness app
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2019, 10:29:52 AM »
For all the "calorie counting doesn't work because it's imprecise", sure it's imprecise.  For me, the act of keeping a food log helps me to avoid foods that promote weight gain or to be more mindful about reasonable portion sizes (b/c even if inaccurate, most calorie counts will agree that things like chips, fries, and ice cream are not good for weight loss).

I first counted calories as a teenager and MFP did not even exist.  I wrote things down in a notebook and used a little booklet or nutrition label info to determine the calories.  I often just estimated (but I was not trying to fool myself into being "allowed" more food with my estimates...even today I often find that if I estimate the calorie count in something unhealthy and unknown and then go look up similar items in MFP, my estimate is never less than MFPs value. My calorie counts were probably inaccurate, but they still helped me to maintain an energy deficit and lose about 20 lbs.

Echoing this.  Do I believe I ate 1584 calories and exercised 208 exactly yesterday?  No, but the ritual of keeping an eye on my food re-calibrates my portion control.  Also reminds me of what I should eat more or less of. I first did this about 15 years ago and every few years, I need some reminding.