Best diet apps for fitness coaches
As a fitness coach, it is important to make it as easy as possible for your clients to keep track of their intake. Same goes for coaches of sports teams who want to improve their athlete's performance. If you can not afford to hire a full-time nutritionist here are some apps that can help. This post has been originally published on BookCulinaryVacations. Please go to their site and have a look at their team is sound and approachable. Always work with a GP to be sure your clients are safe when you track their diet.
Calorie counting works as it provides a great deal of control over your diet. Whenever I did it I reached the goals I wanted to achieve. Keeping track of your intake can easily turn into an ordeal. Especially when you force it upon someone who did not have the discipline in the first place.
Apps are a lot more convenient than excel spreadsheets for most people. It depends on your client. Be knowledgeable around tech and also have paper and pen ready. You never know what is the best medium for your client. The main thing is that there is control. It is secondary where the tracking takes place.
Keep in mind that counting calories does not only work for losing weight. It is as important for athletes who want to gain muscle and get stronger.
With that being said, here are some apps that might give you the edge for your clients.
LoseIt (basic free)
The free version offers enough features to keep anyone happy. The community is a great way to hold yourself accountable. You can link your fitness tracker to the account. The activity data is pulled automatically. If you don’t have a tracker, you can record manually. Unfortunately, there is no way to record the water intake easily.
On the plus side, they introduced a feature which allows you to take a photo of the food. This can be of advantage to create more of a team spirit by sharing what has been eaten. Just be prepared that it is a bit buggy and might lead to frustration.
Aside from adding up the calories by meals, you can also see the nutrients breakdown. And it gives you an estimated date when you’d reach your goal weight. Finally, you can set reminders to log your intake so that your clients do not forget.
MyFitnessPal (basic free)
It is one of the most popular food and exercise tracking apps. It is also easy to use. You can scan barcodes easily to add them to your database. This is especially good for athletes with very special tastes.
Their blog section includes a lot of useful articles. You can anything from recipes to advice on planning for better road trips. The community offers an excellent place to find support and ask questions.
The app allows you to connect a fitness tracker to your account. And of course, it will nag you with reminders to log your food.
This is the app which I and my wife used the most when preparing for our wedding. We both hit our weight goals and looked fabulous. The long-term insights from myfitnesspal are especially helpful. You can use them to determine which weekdays you usually go overboard. It also gives you a lot of perspectives what it actually to have a McDonald's meal including a milkshake. It is hard to reach your goals that way even if you do it only once a week.
The ease of use and food database are among the best in the business when it comes to myfitnesspal. Especially good for clients and athletes who are open to technology but do not want to spend a lot of time on it.
MyPlate (basic free)
Livestrong.com’s is behind the MyPlate app. You can use the barcode scanner to add packaged foods. There is a way to easily track water intake. And it offers support for a lot of fitness trackers.
One nice extra is that it directly provides daily calorie intake. With other apps, you have to calculate these goals somewhere else. This helps clients and athletes to understand the big picture better,
The detailed reports and community support are also available. Plus, there are a lot of articles to read, whether you are interested in fitness, health, or food.
SparkPeople (basic free)
SparkPeople is one of the Apps which has been around the longest. I personally like them a lot for their well-written articles. If your team or client roster needs to be educated on nutrition SparkPeople is a good choice. Especially when individuals express interest in self-study and optimizing this is a go-to for me.
Tracking is easy and the reports are detailed. It offers an easy way to track water intake. Syncing to a variety of fitness trackers is possible.
They cater for special dietary requests. When you set up the account you can tell it to show you meal ideas for diabetics. Same goes for vegetarian and vegan diets.
The community is an excellent way to make friends and be part of challenges. Or just ask questions on the boards.
And if you like a bit of social media touch, the pages allow you to add a description, photos, and add friends.
MyNetDiary ($60 a year)
MyNetDiary is a paid option in the market. It reports being simpler, quicker and nicer” in comparison with other trackers.
As it is paid it will be hard for you as a coach to position it with your clients and I would not recommend it. If you cater to VIP clients they might like the fact, that they are using a tool which is fancier than that of their peers. This is for you when you go the premium and "The best of everything" packaging approach.
If you coach a high school team you can do this. Just be prepared that the moms and dads of your teenagers will jump down your throats asking for yet another fee.
This app is a single point solution as it only tracks your water intake. This is especially useful for clients who are out in the sun a lot and work outside. Use this app for clients who you want to gradually introduce to the idea of tracking their intake. If they already came to you with health issues water intake is a good place to start.
A little twist on this can be to log the beer intake and try to minimize it.
Food Intolerances ($4.99)
If you have any clients or athletes with a lot of food intolerances this is the place to go. As the name suggests this app pays particular attention to what food groups your meals falls under. If you have dietary restrictions you might want to specialize in this app. This provides focus and distinguishes you from other coaches.
Carbs Control ($2.99)
This app pays special attention to your carbohydrate intake. Use it If you coach your clients to be in ketosis and use the bulletproof diet. This can sometimes be the determining factor of being perceived as an expert or not. Know the advantages of being an expert. This usually pays premium prices.
I have considerable experience using the Fitbit App as I am a long-term user of their products. The database for food intake is not as good or as easy to use as Myfitnesspal. The bonus is that it also tracks weight, body fat, water intake, sleep, heart rate, steps and other Key Performance Indicators. It is a very good option for general well-being coaches.
If you are a coach for sports teams stick with Myfitnesspal. It is easy to use, males seem to like it and the food tracking is seamless. Women might find LoseIt more appealing while still having a similar user experience to myFitnesspal. The Fitbit App is a good alternative when you take a more holistic approach. This only makes sense if your client also gets a Fitbit Alta. If you specialize in specific diets it can be beneficial to accompany that with specialized tools. This might come in at a higher price tag.
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