4 great apps for healthy living

By | June 20, 2013

Eat healthy food

Our intensive everyday life often prevents us from living and eating healthy. We usually do not have much time to do sports because of long to-do lists and tight schedules. A great number of people have adopted really harmful habits such as smoking and at the same have no consistent nutritious diet. Let’s take a look at several smartphone apps that can be of help in making our lifestyle a little bit healthier and us, a little more health conscious.

Even though eating healthy is of paramount importance to a healthy life, maintaining a balanced diet has become almost a luxury these days, in terms of the time and resources it requires. A croissant with a double espresso in the morning; a salty, greasy sandwich or no-time-for-lunch-between-meetings during the day; a bar of chocolate in the afternoon. We all have such days.

Let’s see what mobile apps can offer as tips and advice. There are loads of applications which pretend to be calorie counters, food trackers or fat burners but few of them are worth using. Noom Weight Loss Coach (by Noom, Inc.) and Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner (by Allthecooks.com, Inc.) are two good examples, as they offer a new approach to tracking and improving your diet and, as a consequence, a chance for changing your eating habits.

The simple logging (they’ve made it really simple) in Noom Weight Loss Coach helps you become consistent, which gets you in the habit of maintaining a healthy diet over time. Once you set your profile, you know your daily calorie budget and can control the calories on a daily basis. Plus it offers a weight loss plan and exercise tracker for those of you who want to burn a few extra kilos in addition to switching to a healthy diet. I have tested this app myself and simple as it is, it delivered the desired results.

Noom Weight Loss for iOS
Noom Weight Loss Coach for Android

Once we adopt or regain these healthy habits, we are likely to start cooking more so finding the most delicious healthy recipes for us and our loved ones becomes equally important. That’s why Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner comes in handy with its interface simplicity offering access to more than 40,000 recipes. However, the reason why it stands out among other similar apps are its cook-friendly features such as ingredient scanning (find a recipe by scanning a product you have), nutrition information and a free shopping list. Who says dinner prep can’t be fun?

One thing that you should always beware, though, is the quality of your ingredients. If you use ready sauces, spice mixes or other more complex ingredients, make sure you check what’s really inside them. Food additives are functional ingredients added to food and drinks to improve safety, nutritional value, taste and appearance. Some of them have been used for many centuries, but with the processed foods boom in the second half of last century, many more additives have been introduced (of both natural and artificial origin). Without them, many foods would look less pleasant, taste worse, go bad more quickly, or cost more. Most additives are considered safe but some are known to cause side effects such as allergic reactions and even to be carcinogenic and toxic. That’s why we should be aware of the food additives in non-homemade foods.

In this quest for better health, I rely on our own E Food Additives for iOS which helps me quickly decide what to buy and eat. I do prefer this app among the others because of the comprehensive list of 595 additives including informative descriptions for each.

Apart from the lack of a well-balanced diet, we very often get entangled in a sedentary life between the home and the office. If you are among those always pressed by time, you can try getting your own “personal coach” with the VirtuaGym Fitness Home & Gym app. It provides access to over 400 exercises and 100 workouts and will motivate you to work by offering fun badges. Its varied training programs with 3D animations make it one of the most extensive and fun health and fitness application available.

VirtuaGym Fitness Home & Gym for Android
VirtuaGym Fitness Home & Gym for iOS

– Gergana

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