I could probably guess what you’re top New Year’s resolution is: lose weight/eat healthier. If you thought that involved mind-reading or some Copperfield-esque magic trick, you couldn’t be more wrong. That’s just the facts: statistically speaking, weight loss and healthy eating top the New Year’s resolution charts year after year after year. While that just goes to show that nobody follows through with their new year’s resolutions, which also speaks volumes about peoples’ diet choices during the holidays.
Simply put, people eat unhealthful foods, and they know they’re eating unhealthy. That reflects in their resolutions, and voila! You have 62 million searches on Google in early January of last year just like that. Lucky for you, iPhone user, you don’t have to go the way of so many people during the holidays. You can try these fantastic, time-saving, and health-improving apps that you could download for free or for cheap.
The holidays wouldn't be what they are without friends and family, and that means guests and the tedious meal-prepping that comes with it. And since you probably have better things to do than just plan healthy and delicious meals all day every day, you should probably download Mealime.
Mealime helps you streamline the whole meal planning process by offering customisable meal plans and recipes that are both healthy and delicious. It has tons of dishes that take no more than 30 mins to prepare and even allows you to create shopping lists from the recipes you choose. The app lets you set the serving size depending on how many people you're cooking for, note the allergies you're trying to avoid or even set meals for particular diets or lifestyles if you're cooking for vegans. Simply put, it's an app you want to have around for the holidays
A wise man once said, “Knowing is half the battle.” Well, okay, that was from Transformers. Still, it’s true for most things, including healthy eating this holiday season. If you knew with precision which foods will go straight to your thighs, I’m pretty sure you’d try to avoid them (unless, of course, you’re a nihilist). And that’s what MyFitnessPal is all about.
MyFitnessPal is one of the best and most-recommended calorie diaries out there, with good reason. This app allows you to eat healthy by helping you keep track of your calorie intake. It helps you monitor how many calories you're ingesting by giving information on how much calories a particular food item has. It sports an intuitive interface and simple calorie-counting features, as well as the most extensive food database with up to 6 million food entries. It even has a feature that gives a full nutritional breakdown of the home-cooked recipes you import. It’s incredibly useful if you don’t want to grow love handles this season.
Eat This Much
The holidays are all about bonding with kith and kin, and – unfortunately for those of us trying to stay fit – quality time is often either spent on the dinner table or the couch over some finger food during the holidays. Face it: eating is as inevitable as the New Year itself. And if there's no way to avoid it, you might as well just focus your efforts on mitigating its effects on your diet.
Eat This Much is a helpful tool for that end. This app encourages healthy eating by suggesting recipes according to your diet goals and preferences. You simply have to type in how many calories you want on your intake for a particular meal, how many meals you plan on having (you can have up to nine per day), and specific food preferences you might want to add (e.g. vegan, low-fat, etc.). It will then automatically generate a list of potential recipes that suit your calorie goals for the day. Controlling your calorie intake has never been easier!
For some of us, the average calorie diary just won’t cut it. It might tell you how many calories are in a particular meal, but not how healthy it actually is. What’s more, most intake-monitoring apps virtually give no consequences whatsoever if you choose to eat healthy or no, which leads many to develop unhealthy eating habits, and sometimes even eating disorders. You don’t want to be too calorie-conscious that you’d compromise your health.
That’s why IEatWell is a must-have app this holiday season and beyond. This app rewards you for eating healthy. Unlike other calorie-monitoring apps, IEatWell doesn’t measure how much you eat, but rather how well you eat. It rates your meals according to how healthy they are, then awards you with virtual achievement trophies for meeting your intake goals for the day, a la Xbox. It tells you whether the food you eat falls short, matches, or exceeds your nutritional needs for the day, without all the pesky calorie math that comes with the usual calorie diary apps. If you want to know how much eggnog is too much this season, make sure to give IEatWell a try.
Healthy eating doesn’t begin on the dinner table; it starts at the grocery. Your imbalanced diet did not begin when you found out you had way too many Cheetos in-stock in your pantry that were near expiration; it started when you bought a surplus amount of junk food. Likewise, monitoring your eating habits this holiday season begins by making sure that you're buying healthful food that you won’t regret consuming after you find out your belt size has increased by one notch.
Mealboard is an app that helps you make sure that doesn’t happen. This app enables you to create meal plans and grocery lists that fit your dietary preferences, as well as keep track of your pantry inventory. It also stores your favourite recipes for future reference and makes for easy shopping by allowing you to scan barcodes mid-grocery shopping to add them to your list. The app also shows the expiration dates of scanned items, so you don't have to keep track of when your stock is going to spoil. While you have to pay a minimal amount to use this app, it pays off in a lot of ways, especially if you want to sustain your diet throughout the holidays.
Bonus App: HealthyOut
It’s the holidays. For most people, that means either you're sharing a meal with friends and family at home, or you're sharing a meal with them at a restaurant nearby. The tricky part about this is that granted restaurants often have unique recipes for the food items on their menus, it’s hard to tell how many calories are found in a particular serving per order. That means A) you might type in incorrect figures on your calorie diary, and B) you're going to get flabby in no time fast if you just let things be. That’s where HealthyOut comes in.
HealthyOut makes restaurant recommendations according to diet filters that you set per your preferences. It features establishments that are local to your area and specifies particular food items that fit your diet and your palette. It’s also useful for finding the most nutritious items on your favourite restaurant hole-in-the-walls. Unfortunately, the app is only available in the US. So if you’re living there or visiting soon for the holidays, you might want to give this app a try. It might just save your diet.
Break the mould; don't settle for New Year’s resolutions to lose weight after the festivities are over. Nobody with that frame of mind ever loses weight. Prevention is better than cure. And because there’s no known cure for love handles, it’s in your best interests to try these apps and prevent that from happening!