Health and Nutrition Apps

By Patrick Baker ~

Developing sound health and nutrition habits requires some degree of self-discipline for almost anyone. Using apps on smartphones, watches, and tablets, we can collect and interpret data about what we eat and how often we exercise. The data helps us gain additional insights about what and how we’re doing and reinforces those habits. We can also track other aspects of ourselves for more insights – thoughts, feelings, symptoms, or chronic health conditions. These things all affect our health and well-being.

In this and upcoming posts, I’ll focus on wellness apps in essential areas of health and well-being: health and nutrition, guided workouts, mindfulness and meditation, and mental health. While not comprehensive, I will highlight apps reinforcing positive habits for living your best life.

Nourishly Nutrition and Diet

Nourishly Nutrition and Diet is a comprehensive, HIPAA-compliant app that tracks several health indicators such as meals, mood, activities, and symptoms. The initial setup asks you to identify specific Focus Areas, ranging from general wellness, meal planning, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and pre-diabetes, celiac disease, and sports nutrition.

You can log and track several health indicators, including meals, thoughts, feelings, exercise, medication, alcohol consumption, blood glucose, and sleep. Product features called Skills and Missions use your focus areas to help build habits for tracking health indicators and changing your behavior around health and nutrition. Tap the + button and choose what you want to record.

Nourishly for Clinicians is a companion provider app used by doctors, nurse practitioners, dieticians, nutritionists, diabetes or health coaches, social workers, and personal trainers. Link with members of your treatment team and allow them to see your logs, comment, send messages, set meal plans, set missions, and more to help you achieve your health and wellness goals. Your data is encrypted and shared only with the healthcare providers you specify.

You can also join online communities with other Nourishly users for encouragement and support. Other apps in the Nourisly family include Nourishly for Diabetes and Nourishly for Diabetes Educators. The Nourishly family of apps is free to use.

MyFitnessPal

A similar app worth considering, MyFitnessPal combines tracking for meals, activities, and fasting with workout planning, goal setting, goal-driven recipes, and a customizable dashboard to view your progress. MyFitnessPal has a social dimension like other health and nutrition apps so you can add friends and share your progress on Facebook. 

The free version of MyFitnessPal has nutrition, weight, and exercise tracking only. The ad-free MyFitnessPal Premium is $19.99 per month and has many additional features, including fast and efficient meal logging using search, your meal history, quick-add calories, and barcode scanning for store-bought foods and prepared meals. 

The premium version includes several additional trackers such as calorie, fasting, macro (keto), nutrition (with insights), carbs, and protein. MyFitnessPal Premium also includes guided meal and workout plans to help meet your health and nutrition goals.

MapMyWalk

MapMyWalk is a personal favorite because walking is what I like and care about tracking most.

At its simplest, MapMyWalk uses your phone’s location to track your walks, including distance, duration, average pace, steps, calories, and elevation gain. It can sync with other fitness apps you might be using, including Google Fit and Fitbit. To log your walks, open the app, tap the Start Workout button, and start walking. Be sure to end your workout when you finish walking for accurate logging.

Other features in the free version of MapMyWalk include manual working logging, workout routines, saved routes, goals, training plans, and a dashboard for measuring your performance. The social dimension of the app enables you to add friends and share your workouts on social media.

Monthly MapMyWalk MVP plans start at $5.99 and include advanced features like live tracking, personalized training plans, heart rate metrics (with a compatible wearable), and audio coaching.

Other apps in the MapMy family include MapMyRun, MapMyRide, and MapMyFitness.

Plant Nanny

Drinking enough water and staying hydrated are challenging at any age, especially for older adults. Plant Nanny is a gamified water tracker and hydration reminder app where you tend cute animated plants in your quest to stay hydrated. 

Use Plant Nanny to track your water consumption and get daily hydration reminders. Set your hydration goals. Review your progress on a colorful dashboard. Set a schedule for notifications. Plant Nanny makes logging water consumption easy and fun.

Plant Nanny has a subscription version with more plants, customized daily goals, and hydration-tracking widgets for your device’s home screen.

The next post in this series will discuss guided workout apps.

Patrick Baker is an IT consultant and founder of Prime of Life Tech. Learn more about his services at PrimeOfLifeTech.com, email info@PrimeOfLifeTech.com, or call (720) 319-7145.

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