I’ve been using the Lose It! App to track my food for the last several weeks. Studies show that keeping a food diary can help you to double your weight loss. I’ve found it helps me be mindful of what I eat, because I have a tendency to snack a lot, especially at night. When I first started my weight loss journey, I used the Livestrong MyPlate App. It was really one of the best tools I used as it helped me see clearly how many calories I was really eating each day. I attribute this tool to having helped me shed the weight to begin with.
Similar to the My Plate app, Lose It! is a food and exercise tracking app. You can manually search for foods, scan bar codes of packaged food, and enter different exercises.
But lately, I’ve been using Lose It because it is easy to use, and has a much better experience on mobile devices verses My Plate app. Lose It does a nice job of storing your foods that you enter for easy searching, since we all tend to eat the same foods over and over. Lose It also seems to have a much more extensive food database, which is handy for the barcode scan feature. Pretty much all of the Trader Joe’s foods I scanned pulled right up, whereas none of them did in the My Plate app.
One of the interesting differences is around how the two apps calculate their calorie consumption and how much you burn in exercise. My Plate used the Harris Benedict Formula, while Lose It uses the Mifflin equation. Based on this article, the Mifflin equations is the better way to judge your resting metabolic rate and is more useful for tracking weight loss.
Generally it looks like the budgeted in take of calories based on height, weight and goals are about the same. The big difference is around how many calories are credited as burned for exercise. For example, My Plate shows me burning 325 calories for one hour of Pilates, whereas Lose It only shows 191 calories burned for that same time.
The Lose it app lets you add friends who are also using the app so that you can encourage each other, which seems like a better approach than just different strangers you don’t know. It probably would also be more motivating for your friends to give you grief when you eat garbage or praise for eating well.
While the app itself is free, you can pay $39.99 for an annual premium version that gives other metrics for tracking body measurements, and will syncs with other fitness apps and devices like the Nike+ App and FitBit. There is even a Bluetooth scale you can purchase that will sync with the Lose It app for tracking your progress.