Author: Cecilia Snyder, MS, RD
Calorie tracker apps are a common approach to weight loss in the modern age. The concept of the “calorie” itself was first introduced in the early 1800’s by scientists like Nicholas Clément. But it wasn’t until the late 1800’s when professor Wilbur Atwater began assigning calorie counts to common foods that the concept of calorie counting really made its way into the public eye.
Calorie counting has been a staple of weight loss and nutrition science ever since, and calorie tracker apps are the latest and greatest trend to deliver calorie counting tools straight to the palm of your hand. Since app-based food tracking is still a relatively new application of technology, there’s a lot left to be learned about what type of calorie tracker apps work best and which ones result in the best health outcomes.
Here’s the scoop on food tracking:
One of the things we already know is great about calorie tracker apps is that they allow us to self-monitor our diets. Or in other words, they allow us to measure and evaluate our food-related choices throughout the day.
Research suggests that, even when only used sporadically, tracking food as a dietary self-monitoring tool is significantly associated with weight loss. And that being able to see the total calorie amount of a given meal has potential to influence future food-related decisions.
It’s easy to understand how these could be powerful tools for someone that is trying to adhere to a daily calorie budget and lose weight. But the thing about food tracker apps is that they don’t allow us to self-monitor much more than our food choices and our calorie intake.
It’s helpful to know what we eat and drink… but if we don’t know the why behind those choices then it’s going to be difficult to ever change those behaviors for good. This is why the Noom app can do everything that the best calorie tracker app can do and more. The Noom app not only provides calorie tracking and a substantial color-coded food database, but it will also provide these 5 tools (and more) to help you understand all of those “whys” behind your choices so that you can reach your health goals once and for all…
Even the best calorie tracker app can’t do this:
1. Help you envision your big picture goals.
One of the very first things you’ll do after signing up for the Noom app is to identify the super goal that you want to achieve by the end of your subscription, and to reflect on why that super goal is so important to you. This type of digging deep into your innermost thoughts is not always easy, but it’s just about always worth it!
Whether it’s losing 30 pounds, establishing a consistent food tracking routine, or running your first half marathon… having that vision in mind of how your life will be different once you’ve reached those big picture goals is one thing that will help to keep you feeling motivated, excited, and inspired even on the toughest days.
2. Deliver daily articles on psychology, behavior change, nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress, and more.
Noom is home to its very own in-app curriculum that is designed to help you build self-awareness around your behaviors and understand the psychology behind your choices. You’ll receive daily articles that will introduce you to how the program works, show you how to use the in-app calorie tracker, and present a variety of health information.
But it doesn’t stop there… the articles are packed full of psych tricks, practical tips, coping methods, strategies, research, tools, and more! By the end of your course, you’ll have learned more than you could’ve ever imagined about hunger, emotions, feelings, your intuition and how each of these things impact your daily decision-making.
3. Assign you to a personal health coach that specializes in goal setting.
I mentioned that the Noom app will start by helping you identify your big picture goals. But you might also be wondering how exactly you’ll reach those goals once they’re set. This is where your goal specialist coach comes into the picture. Your goal specialist is a coach that will help guide you through the process of setting a SMART goal (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) each week.
Each SMART goal is designed to help put you one step closer towards those ultimate big picture goals. But the best part is, it helps break those goals down into smaller actionable steps that feel realistic. For example, maybe you decide that you want to set a goal to log all of your meals in the app’s calorie tracker for an entire month. Your goal specialist can help you set a small goal each week as you build up to your monthly goal. Although your coach is there to help guide you, ultimately, you get to be the one calling the shots about exactly what each goal entails!
4. Provide a group coach and a support group of peers.
Community, inspiration, motivation, guidance, accountability… these are just a few of the many perks that you can expect to feel from your peer support group and your group coach. Once you’ve had a few weeks to get acquanited with the Noom app, we’ll pair you up with a group of peers that are at a similar place on their own health journey. Your group’s coach will lead your group through discussions related to the information in your daily articles, pose challenges to work on throughout the week, and drop in regularly to provide feedback and support.
5. Teach you how to lose weight and keep it off for good.
In the end, no calorie tracker app alone can help you learn how to make positive behavior changes for your health and develop sustainable lifestyle habits. Counting calories can help, but it’s unlikely that a food tracking app alone will be enough to encourage long lasting change. So why not find an app that can provide almost everything you need in one place?
Noom: Everything you need in a calorie tracker app and more
With the Noom app, you’ll still be able to take full advantage of all the benefits that calorie trackers offer. But it won’t stop there! Want to find out for yourself? Start your free trial today!