As we’re working toward our Go for the Gold goals, many people are trying to drink more water, eat healthier or increase their fitness. One such smart phone app that aids in these goals is My Plate at Livestrong.com. Luckily for P1 Nation, Lynn Kilfeather (our Central Station Manager in Manasquan) volunteered to review this app for us.
- Protection1: How did you find out about this app?
Lynn Kilfeather: I found it while researching materials for our Smoking Cessation Support Group!
P1: How do you personally use the app (iPhone, droid, iPad, personal computer, etc)?
Lynn: I use it both on my computer and on my cell phone.
P1: What is the general concept of the app/how do you use it?
Lynn: When you initially set the tracker up, you enter your height, weight and activity level. You then indicate whether you wish to lose weight, gain weight or maintain your current weight. The tracker then calculates a customized plan for you which outlines how many calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, fiber, protein and sugar you should have each day.
At each meal/snack, you type in what you ate and the tracker identifies the calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, fiber, protein and sugar for that item. It recognizes nearly all brands and even recognizes standard recipes that involve these brands. You indicate how much you ate and it adjusts the numbers accordingly. The tracker gives you a variety of ways to measure too which makes it very convenient. You can specify in ounces, cups, servings, etc….whatever measurement works best with you for the item in question. You can even look up items in advance and plan your meals for the day very swiftly.
The tracker gives you a diary of what you have eaten for the day, broken down by meals and snacks. It tells you when you are over or under in a particular category. By planning ahead, you are able to adjust your selections accordingly to assure that you meet goal in each area.
The tracker also tracks your weight. It charts your progress so you can see any improvement you are making.
P1: How often do you use the app?
Lynn: I use the app every day at various points throughout the day. I usually plan my meals in advance and schedule it so I can enjoy what I would like to eat without going over in any category.
P1: What are your favorite features about the app? List as many as you want.
- The app remembers your favorite foods so it takes no time at all to log the information in.
- The app charts your weight loss, which is a great motivator.
- I don’t think I have looked for a brand yet that wasn’t included in the app…even an obscure brand of Oat Bran was listed along with the recipe for Oat Bran muffins that I was going to make with it!
- I love that I can pre-plan my day and assure that I keep all categories in line. I am able to plan a day that I am satisfied with while still meeting my goal each time!
- You can put your own recipe in and it will break down the recipe for you by serving!
- You can log your physical fitness into the app as well, and it will credit your day accordingly.
P1: What are some things you don’t like about the app that could be improved?
Lynn: There seems to occasionally be an issue when using both the app on the phone and the website. Sometimes they don’t sync up right away. I try to stick with one or the other to avoid this issue.
P1: Who would you recommend this app to?
Lynn: This is a fantastic app for everyone who wants to watch their nutritional intake and for those who wish to lose/gain/maintain their weight. It is great for anyone who is watching their cholesterol, monitoring their sodium for heart health, watching their sugar for diabetes, etc. In short, it is a great tool for monitoring any and all aspects of your nutritional health.
P1: Anything else you’d like to say about the app?
Lynn:This app teaches us to eat exactly the way we are supposed to. It seems that many diets out there focus on carbs, protein, calories and/or fat, etc. When you focus on all of it and stay within the parameters specified, you can lose weight at the pace you are supposed to. It really does work. I have lost 6 pounds in 4 weeks. It may not be a lot, but I have already moved below that plateau that would not move on my scale forever. I am encouraged about not only losing weight but also keeping all other aspects of my health in line as well.
Lynn – thank you so much for this helpful information!
Has anyone else used this app? What do you think? Let us know in the comments?