Solving weight loss? We give food tracking applications a try.

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Solving weight loss? We give food tracking applications a try.

Exercise is very good for your health. But if you want to lose weight in the New Year, you should know this: how much you end up eating the most important is your workload.

Like many americans, I lose some extra weight. So about two months ago, I started tracking everything I ate with an app called Lose It! This is one of several applications – such as MyFitnessPal and MyPlate – to help you watch your diet. When I eat, I can see how many calories it contains in the application. If my food is not listed, I add it myself.

Research shows that documenting what you eat can be a powerful strategy for weight loss, says Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, Ph.D., an assistant professor of clinical medicine and family medicine at the university of Ottawa, Canada. Basically, logging becomes a food budget – he says it’s no different than creating a real financial budget.

“How many people do this exercise from the point of view of money and realize, ‘holy crap! I spent so much at starbucks! I think we can also say that we’re consuming calories at starbucks, “Freedhoff said.

Knowing how many calories you burn “may help your decision about what you can or can’t afford or want to eat,” he says. “But it’s also good for behavior change, each time you use a food diary, remind yourself you are all that you want to change the behavior – and this in turn is to encourage and maintain effective way” of behavior change.

Freedhoff asked his patients to keep food diaries. Patients who use the app are more likely to track records than those who rely on pen and paper, he said. That makes sense: most of us will stick to our smartphones anyway.

I use my app to track my weight and exercise. After a 30-minute cross-training with my fitness instructor, the app added an extra 340 calories to my daily food allowance. That sounds good in theory, but as a registered dietitian Abby Langer, points out, we through physical activity the real cost of energy is limited, only as much as 30% of our food (unless you are a professional athletes or have similar intense physical needs work). According to some studies, some people burn far less than that, perhaps only 10 percent.

“So people who think they can spend a whole day at the gym deny all the calories they eat – which is different from how your body works,” Langer points out. With that in mind, I try not to eat most of the “reward” calories, and my app gives me every solution.

On the other hand, he says, some people may become dangerously calculating calories.

“Some people tend to be obsessed with tracking calories, just all digital and digital stamp,” she added, “if you have a tendency to eating disorders or history, I would suggest stay far away from these applications, because it can trigger people. ”

That is, as long as you eat a grain of salt, it is really helpful for some people to follow your diet. Freedhoff noted that a 2008 study found that dieters who kept food records doubled their chances of success.

So far, data on food tracking applications have been mixed. In 2015, for example, a study found that using the smartphone application tracking calories, weight loss and exercise of young people (aged 18 to 35) than people distribution of material just to obtain a healthy diet and exercise to lose weight.

Another 2014 study found that simply introducing weight loss apps to obese patients did not help them lose weight. But in the study, the people who used the most apps lost their heaviest weight –29 pounds. The researchers concluded: “in the hands of patients who are really ready to self-monitor calories… [apps] may be a useful tool for weight loss.

This is, of course, my experience. I have been using my application very strictly since November. While americans ate about a pound of cookies and cake during the winter holiday, I actually lost 6 pounds.

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