Published on May 16, 2014 | by Anuschka Ross

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Waistline watchers: apps that manage your weight

With summer approaching (even though it’s hard to remember that what with all this rain) there’s one thing on everyone’s mind – the perfect beach body!

Apps can help in weight loss by keeping track of your daily food intake [Diva Dishes]

Gyms are already packed with eager fitness-lovers, but it’s not only sports but also nutrition that plays a vital role in losing those last few pounds. Eager to fill gap in the market, dozens of calorie-counter apps have popped up. But what are the differences and how useful are they?

We looked at two of these apps: My Fitness Pal and My Fat Secret (worst app name ever?) which allow you to track your daily calorie intake as well as the calories burned by exercise.

Before getting started both apps ask you questions about your age, gender, height, weight and how many pounds you want to lose in how much time. Based on that info the apps then calculate your maximum daily calorie intake.

Surprisingly, the two apps gave me different daily calorie limits despite entering the same information.

Once you have established your maximum calorie limit you can start logging your food intake and exercise routine. With My Fitness Pal you can do that by scanning the items’ barcode, which is great because it gives you the exact calorie amount and how it is divided into fats, proteins etc., or you can “add a food” or just “enter calories”.

This is where My Fat Secret really stands out, because lot of what we eat doesn’t always come with a barcode making it difficult to predict how many calories we’re consuming. My Fat Secret allows you to search their online databank and even peruse menus from popular restaurants like Wagamama and Zizzi’s.

Both apps do what they’re designed to, but could be improved. My Fitness Pal has a streamlined design but not the same food search options as My Fat Secret. Most importantly, apps are only a tool but not a rulebook for healthy eating.

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