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Use technology to make health resolutions stick
If losing weight is at the top of your New Year’s resolutions list, consider using technology to make it easier. Before beginning any new diet, consult with your medical professional or nutritionist.
According to a Mississippi State University Extension Service publication, a good weight-loss diet includes fewer calories than you normally eat, foods that appeal to you, food that is available locally, a variety of foods from the various food groups, your favorite foods on occasion, and foods that you can afford. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how technology can factor into your dieting resolution.
Keeping up with the number of calories you consume can be difficult, but some websites, such as http://www.everydayhealth.com, allow you count those pesky calories for free. This site gives you the number of calories you need to consume per day to lose a pound a week. It also has a fitness journal that helps you keep up with what you have eaten, amount of water consumed and exercise. Other sites, such as http://www.fitday.com and http://www.myfitnesspal.com, offer similar services.
Most sites are free unless you add on specialized services. Do not offer any personal information other than your e-mail address. Simply look for an online fitness journal with an interface that is easy for you to use.
Meal planning can derail even dieters with the best of intentions. Some sites, such as http://www.mealsmatter.org, give you the opportunity to create a customized meal plan for the week or month and then add those items to a grocery list. Many websites offer free templates that can be printed off to write down your meal plan for the week or month.
Unfortunately, if you are like me, if you have to take the time to write it out, you are probably not going to do it. Websites such as http://www.makedinnereasy.com/ offer slackers like us a weekly menu and grocery list so we don’t have to decide what to fix for dinner. Other sites, such as http://www.momswhothink.com, offer recipes as well as seven weeks of meals complete with recipes. Many meal-planning sites require a monthly subscription fee, but these two are free.
Other sites, such as http://www.kraftrecipes.com/home.aspx and http://www.supercook.com/, allow you to enter what you have on hand in the kitchen and return recipes that use those ingredients. You can enter health issues (diabetes, gluten intolerance and high cholesterol) at http://reciperx.com/ for recipes that are suitable for each medical condition.
Be sure to get your smart phone in on the action, as there are numerous apps for both iPhone and Android devices. The Arawella Corp. has a free iPhone app that turns your cell phone into a pedometer. There are many other apps available for the iPhone, such as the iTreadmill, Calorie Track from Live Strong, and Restaurant Nutrition, that can help you stay on track. Android phones also have healthy apps such, as the Calorie Counter from FatSecret, My Diet Coach from Inspired Apps, and the Diet Points Calculator from esMobile.
As you ring in the New Year, plan on using technology to keep you focused on your goal of a healthier 2012.