The WeightSnap iPhone app was created in response to a rapidly growing movement in weight loss: the Photo Food Diary. Sure, most dieters have heard of calorie counting and logging foods in order to keep track of the amount of food they consume, but a photo diary is a newer twist on this concept. have been released over the last several years promoting the physical and psychological benefits of keeping a food diary, yet the introduction and prevalence of smart phones has revolutionized this approach to weight loss.
“For individuals who are trying to lose weight, the No. 1 piece of advice…would be to keep a food journal to help meet daily calorie goals. It is difficult to make changes to your diet when you are to what you are eating.” –Anne McTiernan, M.D., Director of the Hutchinson Center’s Prevention Center. Dr. McTiernan and her colleagues believe that a food diary needs to be simple and easily accessible if it’s to be effective. And while carrying around a notebook and pen might feel a bit archaic, relying on a smart phone or tablet often proves to be the dieter’s best resource.
There are many iPhone food journal apps on the market and they all offer a variety of functionalities, from tracking calories, logging exercises and tallying water consumption to calculating nutritional values of meals. But the challenges many users face with these apps is the amount of options they have, or rather, too much functionality leads to misuse. Photo diaries are superior because of the quickness and ease of taking a photo for each entry, versus recording data by typing out ingredients, portion size and other important details of the meal. When used correctly, photo food diaries:
- Require self awareness before the user even picks up the fork
- Allow the user to review their meals and compare this data with changes in their weight/measurements
- Help users stick to their specific diet plan
- Enable users to track the foods/meals that work best for their body and avoid the ones that don’t
It’s clear that photo food diaries play an integral role in successful dieting plans. The key to a successful food journal is simplicity, accessibility and ease of use, making photo journals an excellent alternative to traditional pen and paper diaries while allowing the user to reap the rewards of keeping a food journal.