The Andover Townsman
---- — NUTRITION QUESTION: What tools do you recommend for tracking food: Iphone apps, journals, meal plans, something else?
Expert: Cara Green
Member Advancement Director
Andover/ North Andover YMCA
Answer: My personal favorite is the My Fitness Pal app. I can track my calories and physical activity on my phone or computer and research the nutritional content of most foods.
However, I recommend using whatever it takes to get you to track.
It’s amazing how once you start tracking your food you realize that you are consuming way over or under your recommended calorie intake.
Track honestly, use a thousand sticky notes if that works for you, and just be aware of what, and how much, you are putting into your body.
Expert: Tony Ferrao
Manager of Get in Shape for Women
Former director of Andover/North Andover Y
Answer: For nutrition tracking, I go with what works best for the individual; however I’m not a calorie counter. I like to see the choices people are making, not the math. Weight regulation has more to do with quality than quantity; how do foods affect hormones and enzymes.
Expert: Jamey Lachiana
Yang’s Fitness Center
ACSM certified, local exercise physiologist since 1996
Answer: When tracking your calorie intake, I find that writing in a daily food journal, or typing it into a phone app, can be an enlightening experience. Most often, many people don’t realize how many calories they are consuming. This is one of the main reasons people track food to begin with. Another reason to track your food might be to discover a food allergy.
Utilizing one of the many internet nutrition sources such as nutritiondata.self.com can be very useful when discovering what your meals consist of on a caloric level.
I suggest meeting with a professional, to find out how many calories you are supposed to be ingesting, before you add or cut calories from your diet. If you decide to meet with a professional, I suggest you write in a food journal for a week or more, so they can give you helpful suggestions or alternatives based on what you are currently eating.
Always remember, the main reason for weight gain is over-indulgence of calories. However resistance training and cardiovascular intervals help every other aspect of life: strengthening muscles, supporting bone density, warding off or preventing major and minor illnesses, and helping to prevent cancers, cardiovascular disease and circulation problems. I’d say there are plenty of good reasons to exercise as well as monitor the quality and amounts of calories.
Expert: Art McDermott
Owner of Matrix
Answer: There are plenty of apps out there now for fitness and nutrition. The one I hear about most often is myfitnesspal.com. It is a free program available for any device. What I like about it is the tie in to the website so you can run reports and track things on-line as well as through your smart device.