Apps for Better Health in 2014

While the holiday season stems from values of gratitude, giving, and generosity, preparing for parties and celebrations often follows with guilt. Between gift shopping and party planning, it is easy to neglect our best gift of all: our bodies. Fortunately, we have the power to stay on track with our health even during the busiest time of the year. Read on to determine which app can help you survive the holidays and reach your goals for 2014!

Diet Assistant – Weight Loss Diet assistant - weight loss

Looking to lose weight but don’t have time to plan out new meals? Diet Assistant – Weight Loss is your solution. Plug in your desired weight and the purpose of your new diet and let the app do all the work. It generates meal options and shopping lists based on the diet plan you entered, ranging from high protein to vegetarian. You can create multiple diet plans, which creates new shopping lists accordingly. The weight loss manager and tracker ensures you reach your target weight by providing simple weight reminders and tracking your progression.

Cost: This application is free for both iPhone and Android, however $0.99 will upgrade you to the premium version which allows you to add your own diet plans, create meals, and have no limitations on weight reminders and shopping list features.

Moves Moves

If you prefer a more visually appealing app, Moves is a great tool that can help keep track of your physical activity and set personal goals. The timeline format displays daily activities and tracks calories burned from the amount of activity you do using your phone’s GPS. Viewing the simple storyline of your daily and weekly progress is sure to keep you motivated.

Because of the strong usage of GPS, the app may drain battery life. However, Moves 2.0, the latest version, is programmed with a battery saving mode to save 40% of battery life (for iOS 7 only).

Cost: The convenience of “setting and forgetting” will cost $2.99 for iPhone and Android users.

iDratediDrated – Hydration monitor

Indulging in holiday sweets and treats may leave you thirsty. Monitor the amount of water you are drinking with iDrated. With male and female modes, you can reach levels of achievements or create your own target levels. You can choose to receive notifications that prompt you when to drink, even when the app isn’t running. The history feature allows you to go back seven days to adjust forgotten consumptions or simply track your progress.

Cost: This application is $0.99 and only available through iTunes.

FooducateFooducate

Fooducate serves as your all-in-one assistant to aid in losing weight, tracking progress, and learning to eat real food. This application grades the food you eat and explains what exactly is in each product- both good and bad. If the item you chose isn’t the best option, the app will offer healthier alternatives. Simply enter foods by scanning barcodes, searching the product lists, or browsing categories. Can’t find an item on the app? Don’t worry- you can submit new products for analysis. Not only will this app help you make better food choices, but also you learn why it is more beneficial. The information is reliable, as the application was developed with dietitians and has received several national recognitions, including “best of the iPhone Health & Fitness category.”

Cost: Available for both iPhone and Android users, the application is free. Upgrade to Fooducate Plus to receive personalized ratings for carbohydrate control, pregnancy, heart health, vegetarian, and more all without advertising.

ArgusArgus

The app that encompasses a multitude of health aspects into one, Argus serves as the ultimate weight loss and healthy lifestyle tool. This application monitors your food intake, exercise, sleep, hydration, weight, and vital signs and provides helpful information to aid in reaching your health goals. Some of the unique features include: GPS mapping of running/cycling, pedometer, daily goals for activity and hydration, “Instant Fitness” to guide home workouts, a sleep timer to monitor sleep cycles, and a heart rate monitor. The honeycomb-like home screen layout displays all features and collected data for smooth navigation.

Reviews reveal some glitches in the operation, such as counting steps while driving and draining battery life, but overall users are satisfied with the app. Additionally, the heart rate and sleep monitor features require two separate (free) apps: Sleep Time and Heart Rate, both from the same company Azumio Apps.

Cost: The application is $1.99 and only for iPhone users.

About the Author:

HeadshotLiz DeJulius is a senior nutrition student at Miami University. She is applying for dietetic internships this spring in hopes of fulfilling her career goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, she has been surrounded by food from early age and enjoys visiting Cleveland’s own West Side Market. Contact her at dejuliea@miamioh.edu.

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