It’s essential that you monitor what you eat and how much exercise you do in order to be healthy. For some this means making sure you fit in your five-a-day (or however many it’s meant to be now) and walk the dog after work, whereas others take it much more seriously, counting every calorie and exercising for precisely the amount of time they feel they need to. It’s no surprise, then, that with this obsession a market has boomed over the last decade, complete with exercise regimes, diet plans, and calorie counters. Calorie Mama is one of the latest apps to combine everything a health-conscious person needs in one place, but with a unique twist that separates it from its competitors.
After taking your personal details, your goals, and willingness to reach them, Calorie Mama gives you a date at which you should be able to reach your ideal weight. With your profile set up, it’s your responsibility to continually update the app with your daily food intake and exercise. Doing the former is when Calorie Mama shows its full-house, as, given access to your camera, it allows you to take a photo of every meal you eat, telling you the nutritional value of everything. For example, say you cook yourself some falafel and take a photo of it through the app, it will recognise the food type it is, guess how much of it you have, and then tell you the amount of calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein consumed. If it wrongly guesses the food type or quantity, it offers different options for you to choose instead. It isn’t limited to main meals either; it encourages you to take pictures of drinks and snacks – as long as you’re honest with yourself.
Once the pictures have been uploaded, all of the nutritional information is posted to the home screen. Here, you can view how many more calories your diet will allow you to have that day, how much of each food group you’ve consumed such as protein and fat, and a look back your meals of the day, including the pictures. If you’ve performed any exercise that day, the home page is also the location to store the details. Whether you’ve cycled, run, or had a weights workout, you can log every detail, letting Calorie Mama know what you’ve done and how many calories you’ve burned. The app even has a GPS tracker, so can monitor you itself during a cardio session. Once the amount of calories you burned during each session has been added up, this will be included in your overall profile, letting you know how many calories you still need to lose or gain over the day.
Calorie Mama allows you to take a photo of every meal you eat, telling you the nutritional value of everything
Calorie Mama is as much a social app as it is a personal one. You have the option to upload information of everything you do to either the app’s own social media or another one, whether it be a photo you’ve taken of food, a workout you’ve been on, or a status you want to post. With this, people have the opportunity to share your diet and regime, get feedback from others, and, most importantly, learn tips about what other people are doing with their health. This isn’t a necessity, of course, and the app is just as useful to keep track of your personal goals, but it offers the chance to explore to everyone.
More is offered in the Premium version of Calorie Mama, including workout programmes and diets, but as a nutrition and exercise diary alone, the app is one of the most complete of its kind. It allows you to monitor everything you do and eat, gives you a precise measurement on calories lost or gained for both, and then puts it into the perspective of your goals. For the amount of information stored in one app it’s incredibly simple to use and navigate around, and the camera calorie counter means knowing the nutritional value of your food is just a photo away. For those on any diet, Calorie Mama is one of the most useful tools available for keeping track of everything you do towards your health.