Count up those as calories as you consume and burn

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 June, 2011, 12:00am


Spark People Food and Fitness Tracker - Free
Rating 10/10

Absolutely shocking: who would've thought that my favourite tipple, a glass of whisky, would cost a massive 270 calories? But the damage was already done as I was updating this iPhone app the following morning.

A spin-off from, the No1 diet and fitness site in the United States, this app is essentially a handy food and exercise diary. When you first install it, you're asked to key in your weight-loss goal and by when you hope to achieve it. From there, the app calculates how many calories you can consume and how many you would have to burn each day.

On the home screen, you'll get a summary of how you're getting on, depicted by two bar charts - one counts down for calories eaten, and another counts up for calories burned.

Whisky is just one of more than a million items in Spark People's extensive food calorie database, many of which are uploaded by users. Every time you eat something, simply search for the food in the database, and its calories are logged into your daily count. Having something unusual? Enter it into the database once and you won't have to type it again - my rather complex breakfast staple, a green smoothie, is there.

Meanwhile, the exercise tracker keeps an eye on working those calories off. Just select your activity from the exercise library, enter your workout duration, and the app will calculate how many calories you've burned.

To balance the whisky, for example, I knew I needed to cycle at about 20km/h for about 40 minutes.

The app packs a few other extras, including an option for customised daily meal plans, fitness programmes, feedback reports (with graphs, no less) and a hydration tracker. Explore them on your own - they're all free.

If you're looking for motivation to eat better and work out more, this app is for you. There is nothing like seeing that hard-earned 500-calorie deficit wiped out in an instant by a couple of glasses of whisky.

That tipple will be for only very special occasions for me henceforth.