Eat This, Not That!, by Rodale [iPhone]
Eat this, not that!, by Rodale
• Goes beyond just calorie counting
• Eye-opening information regarding fast food restaurants
• Easy to use calorie counter
• Ran into some problems entering my own food
• Game is “limited”
Eat This, Not That! is a book series put out to help you make healthy eating choices. It started off my looking at fast food restaurants, and suggesting healthy choices for you to make. This information now comes in a hand iPhone app, which serves to help you make healthy choices, keep track of the food you eat, and hopefully provide some entertainment along the way.
The basis of the “Eat This, Not That!” app is a guide to help you make better food choices at restaurants. When you go to a restaurant, you can look at the best “food swaps” – that is, the foods to avoid and exchange with other menu items that might be healthier (or at least not as unhealthy). Healthy is primarily measured by calories, and some of the information is eye opening. For example, if you look at the “top swaps”, you are given a list of restaurants, and the best suggested alternatives. When possible, the app tries to keep alternatives as similar to the original as possible.
So for example, it isn’t going to suggest that you swap a big mac out with a salad. In fact, the Big Mac turns out to be one of the better options at McDonalds – the app suggested that instead of getting the Angus Deluxe (with 750 calories), get a Big Mac instead (with 540 calories). I like this aspect of the app – of course eating a salad would be better, but if you really want a burger, you probably are going to ignore any advice to eat a salad instead!
In addition to the top swaps, you can also browse the menu items. Each restaurant is given a rating for the overall menu, and the kids menu. Chik-fil-A gets a surprising A- for the overall menu, and an A for the kids menu. You can read a brief description of why the restaurant was rated as such in each menu guide.
In addition to providing menu information and swap information, this app also acts as a calorie counter. You can input basic data (height, weight, weight goal, diet goal, etc) and start tracking you calories. Of course all the restaurants that are listed in the app can have food items added, but you can also search through individual food items to add your own entries (after all, who goes out to eat EVERY meal?). You can also add exercise, although I found the exercise choices limited.
I didn’t really find an easy method of entering your own food item. If you do a food search, you are given a long list of matching foods. You can do a “quick add” you can input individual calorie amounts, but there doesn’t appear to be a way you can easily edit the database to add you own food items.
There is a “game” included in the app – the game simply consists of being presented with two food items, and you try to choose the one that is healthier. The game breaks down foods into different categories (I was trying the holiday category) and you have a time limit to submit your answer. While it is a fun initially, and it is certainly interesting to see what kind of food items are better, the game is somewhat limited overall.
All in all, this is a reasonably useful calorie tracking app overall, and can provide some good information about food choices in many restaurants. I had some problems with some of the data entry, but if you are someone that goes out to eat a lot, the food entry is very easy. Throw is a quick little game, and you have a well-designed food tracking app that excels in providing you with healthier choice options. For $4.99, the app is reasonably priced and delivers on most of it’s promised. Four out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.