By Holly Burrichter, Gundersen Lutheran registered dietitian
Did you set a New Year's resolution this year? If so, are you following through or have you given up? Approximately 35 percent of people who set a New Year's resolution have already fallen off track by the end of the first month. If you're finding it difficult to stay motivated, technology may give you that boost you need to keep going. Whether you're trying to lose weight, improve your cholesterol, control your blood sugar, exercise more or simply live a healthier life, mobile applications (apps) and online tools can help you reach your health and nutritional goals.
Because technology is at our fingertips every day, using your smartphone or computer to meet your goals may prove to be beneficial. There are a number of websites and apps available that offer easy and convenient ways to track your food intake and physical activity. Many of these apps and websites also offer personalized plans, help with meal planning, goal setting, and even provide support and encouragement to help you stay on track with your short- and long-term goals.
Research has shown that those who track their progress, whether written with pen and paper or documented using technology, are much more likely to meet their goals and maintain their new healthy lifestyle choices. So why not give it a try! Here are a few of the popular websites and apps recommended by the registered dietitians at Gundersen Lutheran:
MyFitnessPal: Available free online or as an app. MyFitnessPal offers food and exercise trackers, as well as a discussion forum for support and motivation from other users. (myfitnesspal.com)
USDA MyPlate - SuperTracker: Available free online. SuperTracker provides personalized recommendations and has food and exercise trackers. It also features goal setting and virtual coaching. (choosemyplate.gov)
411Fit: Available free online. 411Fit offers food and exercise trackers, in addition to information, support and feedback that can assist in achieving your health and wellness goals. (411fit.com)
SparkPeople: Available free online and for $3.99 as an app. SparkPeople offers food and exercise trackers, as well as customized meal plans and goal setting. (sparkpeople.com)
GoMeals: Available online or as an app. GoMeals is designed specifically for people with diabetes. It offers food, exercise and blood glucose trackers. (gomeals.com)
If you would like more information about nutrition and healthy eating, please call the Gundersen Lutheran Nutrition Clinic at (608) 775-3447 or go to gundluth.org/nutrition.