Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


February 7, 2013

Fitness column: Nutrition question and answers

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 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.

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