Starting a food journal? There's an app for that!

Using a food journal used to mean remembering to carry around a clunky notebook. But now, tracking your...

Using a food journal used to mean remembering to carry around a clunky notebook. But now, tracking your diet is as easy as turning on your phone. With literally hundreds of different smartphone food apps available, keeping a record of your eating habits has never been more convenient.

Easy to use
A journal app makes tracking your diet simple, not only because you always have your phone with you, but also because most apps contain large food databases that give you detailed nutritional information for each item of food you input. Most apps also allow you to input additional information, such as your weight-loss goals, daily exercise and calorie budget, making your weight-loss easy to maintain at the swipe of a screen.

Support system
Another great feature of many food journal apps is the social community. Most apps link to larger websites, which also provide a social network aspect where other app users can connect and discuss their diet progress. Sharing your progress and following others can help keep you accountable and motivated. With your social network, you can swap recipes, share exercise tips or simply commiserate over that donut you had to stop yourself from eating. The other great aspect is that if you don't have a smartphone, you can simply create an account on the app's website that you can access from any computer.

Finding the best app
There is an app to meet every need. Some are very basic that simply track calorie intake while others are more complex. These apps record not only your diet but your exercise, hours of sleep and even blood pressure. Here are some of the top-rated, free food tracking apps available:

  • LoseIt
  • MyFitnessPal
  • SparkPeople Diet and Food Tracker
  • Calorie Counter by FatSecret

If you are starting a journal at your doctor's suggestion, be sure to ask exactly what information you need to make note of, whether it's just the food items or if you will need more nutritional information and exercise progress as well. Before you pick an app, make sure to do some research on the various features offered, read reviews and even ask friends for recommendations.

If you have any questions about diet or starting a food journal, be sure to consult with an Atlanta-area doctor.

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