10 Tech Tools for the Total Body Diet - dummies

10 Tech Tools for the Total Body Diet

By Victoria Shanta Retelny, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

This list highlights some helpful tech tools for total body wellness. This is, by no means, a complete list — new ones are coming out every day!

SuperTracker

SuperTracker is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) interactive website that helps you plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity. It offers accountability through journaling and virtual coaching. You can set personalized goals, and find out what and how much you’re eating by tracking foods, physical activities, and weight. You can register on the site for free, and save your personal records so you can come back and access it any time.

This online diet and physical activity tracking website is offered as one of the interactive tools on the MyPlate website, which offers professional and consumer nutrition education. SuperTracker is a fun, eye-catching, broad-based way for folks of all ages to make lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of chronic disease and maintain or achieve a healthy weight.

MyDietitian

Designed for smartphones, MyDietitian educates users on the nutritional aspects of their diet through working closely with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). Through food photos and personal accounts, users record on this mobile app (available for download on Apple and Android devices) what they eat and drink, as well as their physical activity, which is passed along within a 24-hour timeline to their assigned RDN for feedback.

This mobile food and fitness tracker allows for real-time tracking with downloadable images of meals and snacks, which creates a connection between the mind and body in every food choice. This tool will become a powerful player for mindful eating, wherever you are!

The app itself is free, but there is a fee associated with the online membership.

Lose It!

Based on the principles of calorie tracking and peer support, Lose It! (Apple, Android, Kindle, Nook) is a multifaceted system for tracking, connecting, and staying motivated. It allows you to track what you’re eating and drinking simply by scanning a bar code, as well as fitness support by connecting with mobile fitness trackers. It offers friend support, but not professional support from an RDN (although you can take the initiative to invite an RDN you’re working with to view your logs and send feedback via email).

There are two plans: basic and premium. The basic plan is free; the premium plan costs $39.99 per year.

Emeals

As the name implies, Emeals (Apple, Android) is a mobile meal planning system designed to assist you in your weekly meal planning with recipes and master shopping lists. The meal plans run the gamut and include Diabetic, Heart Healthy, Low-Calorie, Mediterranean, and more. There are also grocery store–based plans to highlight sale items for that week, as well as family-friendly and quick meal ideas.

Here’s how Emeals works, according to the website: You pick your meals, get the recipes correlated to your chosen meal plan, get a detailed shopping list (with sale items if you choose the store-based plan), and prepare the meals.

It costs $69 for one year, $59 for six months, or $39 for three months. You can try it out for free for 14 days, too.

Lark

A virtual personal coach, Lark is a mobile app (Apple, Android) that tracks your activity, eating, and sleep data from sensors in your smartphone. The purpose of the app is to drive you to make healthy lifestyle changes (or continue to do so!) by creating the feeling of a true coach on the other side of your mobile device. It has an upbeat, positive voice encouraging you to get more sleep or make healthier food choices. You can compare how you’re doing with other Lark community members, too!

If you have your mobile device with you, this app offers two-way motivation with automated conversations and text messages. It adapts to your schedule with a unique quality to show you how to manage travel and jet lag, offers tips to get more sleep, and sets up charts and graphs of your activity and sleep patterns. You can tell this app what you’re eating — and it will respond with instant feedback.

MyFitnessPal

This free website and app (Apple, Android) is all about tracking what you eat to help you lose weight. With more than 5 million foods in its database, MyFitnessPal offers you a simple and easy way to be mindful of what you’re putting in your mouth every day. You set your own personal weight loss goals and keep track of your food and beverage intake in order to stay within your nutrition and calorie goals for the day.

Tracking what you eat and drink is ideal, and MyFitnessPal allows you do just that. It creates mindfulness and can help keep you from overeating (and listening to hunger and fullness), if you know that you’re going to write it down. Plus, tuning into your physical activity and making sure it happens is essential to weight management.

Whether you are logging your food and activity on your home computer or want to do it on the go with your mobile device, MyFitnessPal allows you the opportunity to see the nutritional value of what was on your plate, according to the portion that was consumed.

Sleep Genius

Having trouble falling or staying asleep? Sleep Genius may be the app for you — it offers a scientific approach to creating a restful sleep environment and healthy bedtime behaviors (also called sleep hygiene), and pinpoints your perfect bedtime. The sleep technology in this app (available for Apple and Android devices) uses elements to engage the brain’s sleep centers by combining expertise from neuroscientists, as well as sleep and music experts.

Because sleep health is such a vital part of your overall total body wellness, Sleep Genius is an important tool to help you get much needed rest.

Through a specialized sleep sound system, which includes special beats, brain-relaxing music, as well pink noise (sounds that block out distracting noises), Sleep Genius is set up to encourage the brain to fall asleep faster, deeper, and longer. In addition, it targets the right bedtime for you — this sleep technology trains you (and your brain) to go to bed within 15 minutes of your targeted bedtime.

The app is $4.99 plus add-ons for Sleep Genius Audio Programs.

Before I Eat, Moment in the Zone

Getting into the zone before eating can be a powerful player in making healthy food choices — and not overeating. This app with a long name (available for $0.99 for Apple devices) is geared toward managing food cravings and stopping urges in their tracks, as they occur. Through a collection of audio sessions and other resources, Before I Eat, Moment in the Zone, offers you mindful eating strategies.

To start off, there’s a tutorial teaching you how to navigate the app. You can create your own plan. This app introduces a concept called HALT-B, which stands for the following and offers the simple solutions:

  • Hungry? Think mindfully.

  • Angry/Anxious? Try to relax.

  • Lonely/Sad? Food is not comfort.

  • Tired? Get some rest.

  • Bored? Busy yourself.

With an option to journal, set goals, and take notes, this app is designed to work with eating urges. It offers guidance and progress rating with a star system (on a scale of one to five stars).

HAPIfork

Want to eat more mindfully and slowly? HAPIfork may be for you. HAPIfork (Apple, Android) is an actual fork with an electronic device in it that counts the number of bites that goes from your plate to your mouth. If you’re having more than one bite every 10 seconds, a light indicator goes on to help you realize that you need to slow down your eating. Plus, you can link this tool to your computer and track the speed at which you’re eating or time between fork servings, as well as overall eating for the day.

If you’re craving mindful eating, this is the mobile device for you. In a world where mindless eating abounds, HAPIfork can offer you a solution to slowing down your eating. There’s a coaching program that goes along with HAPIfork, in which you can connect with professionals — an RDN would be a great adjunct here — to motivate you along your path to mindful, healthier eating and living.

The HAPIfork isn’t cheap — it costs $79 with a case and micro-USB cable for charging and data upload.

Meallogger

Meallogger is an app (Apple, Android) where you journal with food photos and connect with your friends to exchange thoughts, ideas, and motivation. You can record eating and physical activity goals, share links, and build awareness and accountability for your eating choices.

The app creates real-time accountability and mindful eating. Images are such a powerful tool, and Meallogger makes use of the fun nature of snapping food photos, while at the same time managing your waistline and food choices — but tracking the food and beverage amounts is important.

Plus, it may help reduce mindless snacking if you’re snapping photos every time you eat or drink! It’s all about community support, too — Meallogger can connect you with a professional, too.