Nutrition-wise blog

Can technology help you lose weight?

By Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. May 11, 2011

Are you trying to lose weight? Nearly 70 percent of Americans put themselves in that group. Yet only 9 percent can accurately estimate the number of calories they need each day based on their age, height, weight and activity level. Most people don't even monitor their daily calories, saying it's too difficult or takes too much time.

But calorie tracking doesn't have to be so difficult. Technology can help. Many online tools and mobile applications (apps) are available to help you figure out your daily calorie needs. You just have to provide your height, weight and age information. Some tools will also ask about your goals — do you want to lose weight or maintain your present weight — and your activity level.

What about the other half of the equation? Do you know how many calories you're burning each day? Technology can help there too. Numerous websites and apps provide estimates of calories burned during daily activities, such as mowing the lawn, and all varieties of exercise.

So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of technology to give your weight-loss efforts a boost. If you already use weight-loss apps or tools, what advice and tips can you offer?

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May 11, 2011