Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The Meal Snap App
I was reading on of my many magazines when I was drawn to a recommendation for a new app called Meal Snap. The premise sounded interesting ... take a picture of your meal, and get a calorie estimate from the picture itself. It does sound a little too good to be true. The app was only $3, so I decided it was worth looking into.
So I've had the app for several weeks now ... I mentioned it originally in my Photos of Food post last month. I must admit, I haven't used it as much as I should have. Not that I regret the purchase (all three dollars of it). I really like the organization, having all your meals saved chronologically in a calendar form. The estimates are off, I would not recommend trusting them, but I don't plan on stopping my food diary in My Fitness Pal anytime soon. Sometimes it's nice (especially when out and about) to just quickly snap a picture of my plate, then fill in the food on MFP at home ... it's nice to have the photo for reference as it is so easy to forget.
What I love about apps, is that one purchase can be used by multiple family members. I mentioned that hubby recently signed up for MFP (The Hubs is on Board) and I encouraged him too add the app to his iphone as well. #1 son decided MFP sounded interesting and set himself up as well. He asked me "what was the picture taking calorie counter app you had?" ... so I think we'll be having some additional experimentation with our family.
Here's three "meals" from the past few weeks. I didn't go in and adjust the calorie count, although that is an option. This way you can see the Meal Snap estimates (wouldn't it be nice if my chicken and rice was that low? I did have trouble estimating it on MFP, because I don't eat the sauce that comes with it, which is included in the online counts. I estimated about 600 calories based just on white rice and battered chicken). I do need to go in and calculate the final picture... that was my boy's lunch today.
Capturing the pictures of food is also a fun way to lock a no-cal version in your memory (mmmm, Tepanyaki). You can see there are social media sharing options in the app as well. Sharing what you eat seems to be a popular trend (look around for all the "What I Ate Wednesday" posts).
I do find it funny that I try to get an attractive staging for my food when taking a picture, even if it's just a little snapshot only for myself. But that extra moment you take to grab your phone and snap a picture does give you a moment to pause and think "Is this something I should be eating?" ... "Is this something I want picture proof that I consumed?" ... on the days I try to commit to taking pictures, I find myself a little more in control. Less mindless eating because I can't just snack ... I need to take a picture first! Ok, I do admit to forgetting to take a picture and pulling out an identical item to photograph after the fact.
I even took a picture of just the wrappers once ... (ok, maybe more than once).
With Thanksgiving coming, this little app could be a helpful item in controlling and counting your calories. Providing you with a picture record, an estimate (however inaccurate), and a moment's pause before eating your holiday meal. Linking Up with Tips and Tricks Tuesday. Check out the link for more tips and share some of your own!