I’m back after an unintentional hiatus with a quick app review (and request!) A new semester started here this week, and the hustle and bustle was enough to get me to finally go see my doctor about a problem I’ve been having for a while now with fairly intense fatigue. I am pretty good about getting enough sleep, and usually wake up okay, but in the afternoons and on weekends I have a problem staying awake if I’m doing anything sedentary – reading, watching a movie, as a passenger in a car. The doctor didn’t find anything immediately wrong, which is probably good but just begins a long process of elimination, in which the next step is a sleep study. 

Both with the doctor and in preparation for the sleep study, I’ve been fielding a lot of questions lately about my sleep habits, exercise, eating/drinking, smoking/drugs, etc. (Don’t worry, nothing at all to report on the latter. Calm down, Mom!) I’m pretty confident with my tracking of my sleeping and activity, but not so much on the food front. I’ve been playing around with two different website-and-app combinations, both of which I read about online, but I’m not 100% satisfied with either.

Lose It! – Free app and website, with a paid “premium” option. The pros include an easy to use setup and interface, and the ability to add favorite foods, meals, and frequently used recipes to the database. I find both the website and the app very quick and intuitive, and I appreciate that the app allows you to set up reminders to enter information.

MyFitnessPal – Free app and website, as well. The pros include the ability to track nutrients (or sodium or fat) more easily, as well as water consumption. It shows the information you want to track right on the main interface page, as well as weekly goals for exercise. I find that entering food is a little more time consuming.

Both apps offer social options I haven’t explored yet, and the option to sync with a variety of other devices (activity trackers, wireless scales, etc).

One of my main struggles is that both these apps want pretty specific amounts to calculate calories and other nutritional content, and I’m just not great at measuring things out as I cook. If I’m eating, say, a packet of store-brand instant oatmeal, that information is likely to be in the database, but entering a homemade meal takes much more time and effort, and I still feel like I’m guessing much of the time.

Anybody out there have any tips or tricks for using these sites, or a favorite site I’m not aware of?