Total Score: 29.5
The key to eating a balanced diet is to eat unprocessed foods, lots of vegetables and a good balance of protein and carbohydrates. I know this. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always eat unprocessed food and certainly not enough vegetables. And, I haven’t the faintest idea whether I am balancing my proteins and carbohydrates. In order to maintain a healthy diet I need help. That isn’t so hard to say. You probably need help as well. There are a number of good apps available to help you with this process. I’ve tried a number of them successfully. After testing MyNetDiary on the iPhone and iPad, I’m ready to say this is my favorite app. It is full featured, and best of all, incredibly easy to use.
Price Rating = 5 Free, $3.99 (Pro for iPhone) and $9.99 (HD for iPad and Diabetes Tracker). The free version is basic, and good. However, the Pro and HD versions bring in a lot more functionality and I think they are worth the money. You can use the Pro version on the iPad, but it wouldn’t have the functionality of the HD version. Ads do not appear in any versions, but I found a note that the ad-free mode for the free version was for a limited time. The cost may seem steep to some people, but it is a bargain when you consider how much can be spent on weight loss. Some plans are $20+ a month to log food and get advice.
Ease of Use Rating = 5 The food search works quickly. There are many options and they are easy to use.
Readability Rating = 5 The fonts are a nice size and very readable. They are easier to read on the iPad, but being able to look up foods on the go makes the iPhone version a must.
Will You Use It Rating = 5 If you are serious about weight loss or a getting a balanced diet, I think you will use at least one of these apps daily. I use both the iPad and iPhone versions at least once a day.
Downsides Rating = 0 I have not found any. Not all foods are included, but there are a number of options to add new foods. I recommend you read the reviews. Many people shared their success stories.
Consumer Review Rating = 4.5 With over 10,000 reviews, this app has 4.5 stars. The latest version is actually five stars.
Why Do You Need This App Rating = 5 Most of us cannot accurately estimate our food intake. Keeping track of what you eat allows you to determine what you need to do to stay within your calorie target.
How does it work?
This app has a lot of features. I will cover the basic ones and note the ones I did not cover. The features I describe below are included in either the iPad HD or iPhone Pro. I did not review the free version. I will note when I know that a feature is not included in the free version.
- The first steps after downloading the app are to add information about you personally. You will add your current height, weight, sex, date of birth, activity level and your plan. Your plan is the amount of weight you want to lose and how quickly you want to lose it. You can also add various measurements. I expected them to roll over to the next day, but they are just what you capture on any given day. There are a lot of things you can capture daily other than your measurements, like your blood pressure, sleep, work hours and daily steps.
- Entering your daily foods is as simple as typing in a food and choosing a selection that is exactly what you want – or as close as you can get. The process is fast. The database has over 455,000 items. There are small differences between how you enter foods on the iPhone and how you enter them on the iPad. Both have all the same features, just different ways to do them. For the iPad, you tap on the place you want to enter food (breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks) and a pop up window appears for you to start typing. Once you find your item it is entered on that line – usually with small photo of the product. Then the item is broken out by nutrients (up to 45). You can search for foods by name, pick from favorites, create custom foods, create recipes (and with the pro version) copy from another day. The “copy from another day” feature is not included on the free version.
- On the iPad these choices are represented by a star (favorites), down arrow (previous food), paper and pen (create a custom food) and something that looks like a cell phone (to add a recipe.) On the iPhone you find these options by hitting the plus icon at the top right.
- For both the iPhone and iPad create custom food selection you can take a picture of your food and MyNetDiary staff will verify and enter the food. They strive to respond within 24 hours. You would do this after thoroughly checking through their database.
- You can scan bar codes on your iPhone. It is included in the iPad app, but I could not find it. I’m still exploring all the options. I would be more likely to scan with my phone, so that did not bother me.
- Now that you have your food entered for the day, you can add your exercise. It works just like the food entry. You tap on the screen, start typing and select the exercise that fits your needs. You can add custom exercises and there is a favorites button to select exercises you have loaded before.
- On the iPhone, once you have completed adding foods for the day, you can see your daily nutrition summary below the main meal screen. For the iPad it is nicely displayed on the daily food screen by food and in total.
- You can see your daily or weekly analysis by selecting the Analysis screen on the iPhone or Daily Details on the iPad. From the Daily Details screen on the iPad you can select Weekly analysis. This screen sums up your food intake and gives you thumbs up or down for exercise, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and fiber. It also gives you suggestions on what to do to improve your score. For instance, I am taking in too much sodium and not enough calcium. The recommendation for sodium is to avoid some of the foods I am eating and for calcium, it provided me with some options to take in calcium. The free version does not have a weekly chart.
- Both the iPhone and iPad version offer an analysis of your weight loss. For the iPhone it is called Analysis and for the iPad, Progress. You can switch the chart from weight to nutrients, calories, BMI, Steps, or any of the various sizes that you put into the app.
- Both apps have a library of articles to provide information about dieting and nutrition.
- The apps work both offline and online. If you are offline, you can enter your information and sync when you reconnect.
- I almost forgot to mention the option to take before and after photos. What a great idea! It’s a real motivational tool.
- There is a MyNetDiary Maximum available through the web. It connects to Fitbit and Withings. It has an additional cost, and I did not test it.
- On the other hand, a supporting website is completely free. It allows you to find and network with people of similar interest. There is a community option for iPhone, and again, I cannot find it for iPad, but bet it is there somewhere.
- Things I didn’t include – Food Score – a simple way to evaluate nutrition facts. A daily notes feature. Optional food time tracking – you can choose to enter foods by meal or actual time of day. Optional PIN feature to protect your privacy on a shared device (not available on free version). The app supports English and metric units. The info is backed up on the website.
I did not review the MyNetDiary Diabetes Tracker. It does everything the iPhone version does and keeps track of your glucose, insulin and medications. One of the customer reviews in iTunes, called this app, “The complete package.” Several people commented on how much they appreciated combining their glucose tracking and food tracking in one app.
The developers of these apps really offer the complete package. As important as tracking is, support is equally important. They have several different options for apps, a website, Facebook and a blog.
I am very happy I found this app. I am very impressed with the number of features available. It meets all of my needs and I am newly excited to keep track of my food and exercise. I have done this in the past with great success and I look forward to doing it again with MyNetDiary. I did a lot of testing in a week, but I may have missed some functionality or not fully understood the functionality. If you see that I have made a mistake, please et me know.
Note: There is another app with a similar icon. May sure you get the one created by MyNetDiary.
Devices: The MyNetDiary Pro app can be used on for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. It Requires iOS 3.0 or later. The MyNetDiary Diabetes Tracker is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. It requires iOS 4.3 or later. The MyNetDiary HD version requires iOS 3.2 or later. Both were developed by MyNetDiary Inc.