Use Your Phone as a Calorie Counter

These days it seems like you can do everything on your phone. Want to make sure your seafood isn't too high in mercury? There's an app for that. Want to do some yoga and have a Droid? There's an app for that, too. Want to take SHAPE magazine with you everywhere you go (of course you do!)? Yep, again, an app for that! But a new iPhone app is making waves in the healthy eating world: a calorie counter that promises to calculate nutritionals just from a photo.

Just released earlier this week, Meal Snap works like this: First you take a photo of your meal with your cell phone. Then, if you want, you can add a descriptive caption. Next, the system somehow calculates the nutritional breakdown of what's in your meal, sending you a message back with the facts on your food. The app also keeps track of your meals and calorie counts over time, can share your eats on social media sites like Facebook, and allows you to view estimated calories for each meal and for entire days. All of these tools, according to the manufacturer Daily Burn, help you to better manage your weight and help you hit your nutritional goals for the day.

While the site claims that "magic" is behind the calorie counts you get back, I'm guessing that there's actually a team of people who work behind the scenes for the app, looking at user's food photos and sending back their guesstimates. For just a $2.99 download, it's not a huge investment for your healthy lifestyle by any means, but the makers do emphasize that the calorie counts are an "estimate."

With the calorie-counter app just being days old, there aren't enough reviews on the iTunes site to determine if this app is download worthy (the ones that are up there are mixed), but one thing is true: As technology grows and changes, it sure is exciting to see how it can not only improve the efficiency in our lives but also help us to be more empowered about our food and therefore our health!


Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites and A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.

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