How much sodium is in your favorite fast food fries? Does that name-brand bran muffin pack a lot of fiber or just a lot of fat? If you power-walk a couple of miles during lunch, how many calories will you burn?
Have a nutrition question on the go? The following tips can help you use your smart phone, tablet computer, or laptop for more than just playing games and reading the latest news. Digital devices can also making eating right on the go not only easier, but fun, too.
Diet and Weight Loss: Smart Phones
Because they're essentially a mini-computer in your purse or pocket, smart phones let you browse the Internet, answer email, and use hundreds of applications to track everything from your daily calorie consumption to how far you've walked.
Are you following the Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, South Beach, or Weight Watchers weight loss plans? They all have smart phone applications, so you can check points or plans while you're on the road or at home.
Want to know the calories in your favorite fast foods, restaurant meals, drinks, and prepared supermarket foods? What about the fat, sugar, sodium, carbs, vitamins, and glycemic rating for those foods, too? There's an application for that.
Need menu inspiration? Recipe applications offer hundreds of breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snack, and drink ideas for everyday and special event foods. Most of these apps include shopping list options, so your smart phone doubles as your grocery list, too.
Of course, these digital helpers don't stop at menus and calorie counts. To help you eat right when eating out, lose weight, and get fit, you can download smart phone applications that make it easier for you to:
- Squeeze in mini-workouts if you're in the park with the kids, grabbing a quick break at work, or doing housework
- Locate in-season, local, or organic foods, as well as area farmers markets
- Track your workouts
- Monitor your weight loss
- Find a restaurant near you that serves healthy meals
- Stay motivated with inspiring weight loss affirmations
- Keep up on the latest health news with digital subscriptions to your favorite weight loss magazines
Diet and Nutrition: Tablet Computers
Do you prefer the bigger display screen of a tablet computer? There are tens of thousands of applications for these devices, too.
Want to track down healthy meals when eating out? There's an application for that. Need a food diary? Looking for a few thousand chicken recipes? How about fast facts on which has more B vitamins -- the shrimp or the clams? There are apps for these questions, too.
Fitness apps can help you sneak in a workout at home or while traveling. You can train for a triathlon, choose from hundreds of yoga poses, get a weight training workout, or bring a belly dancing routine with you the next time you're on the road.
Do you need a little motivation to get going on all of these? Why not download your favorite fitness magazine with some expert nutrition, exercise and motivation tips to get started? If your interests center on diet and weight loss, eating out or working out, chances are good that there's a tablet application out there to help you do it.
Healthy Eating on the Go: Web Sites, Blogs, Podcasts and More
Getting digital help with your diet is not just all about the apps. The Internet offers a variety of ways you can help yourself eat right on-the-go or at home. Including:
Web sites. Many restaurant and fast food chains provide extensive nutrition guides on their web sites. These guides break down the calorie, fat, sugar, carb, and cholesterol counts in your favorite dishes, combo meals, or to-go items.
Government web sites such as the USDA feature calorie calculators and food safety information such as food recalls, safe food handling, and other useful information.
Blogs. Pick a city from Cincinnati to San Francisco, and you can find a food blog covering topics ranging from eating out gluten-free or finding a great vegetarian spot, to tips on making farm field trips or keeping locally grown produce fresh.
Podcasts. These audio or video files that can be downloaded to your smart phone, tablet, or music player can be anywhere from a few minutes to hours long. You can find podcasts that cover health topics as varied as strategies for healthy eating on-the-go, tips to adopt healthy habits, how to manage stress and overcome exercise barriers, and hints on eating right when you have diabetes.
4 Tips for Finding the Healthy Eating App You Want
It's great that there's so much diet and nutrition help online, but it won't do you any good if you don't know where to find it. To help you locate useful smart phone and tablet apps, expert blogs, and software, try these simple tips:
- Check with the manufacturer of your device. Some companies have their own standalone software for helping you locate eating out, diet, nutrition, and weight loss apps, while others let you search for applications via their web site.
- Use your favorite search engine. In your search terms, be sure to include the type of device you're using. For example: you could search using the phrases "nutrition application, Android" or "calorie counter application, iPhone."
- Check out customer and professional review web sites. Lots of weight loss, diet, and fitness applications are free, but some can cost, so reviewing web sites can help you narrow down which apps may be worth the price.
- Talk to friends. Even if friends don't use the same hardware you do, they can make recommendations. Some apps work on multiple platforms, so if your best buddy has a cool calorie counter application on his Windows 8 phone, that same company might also make a calorie counter for your iPhone.