Review: Eat This, Not That!, by Rodale Inc.
Eat this, not that!, by Rodale, Inc.
• Great for people who go out to eat AND want to watch what they eat.
• Game is an interesting diversion
• Calorie tracker leaves a little bit to be desired
Eat This, Not That! replaced an app that was in the app store a while back (no idea what happened to it!). The premise of the app (and of the book on which it is based) is that there are smart choices for what to eat when going out, so that going out to eat doesn’t have to completely ruin a diet or healthy eating. With this app, you have suggested “swaps” right in your pocket.
There are a few different ways to use this app. You can use the “Top Swaps” option, to view what some of the better exchanges are going to be. The app tries to keep these swaps similar to each other (so you won’t be told to swap a cheeseburger for a salad). For example, in In Au Bon Pain, they say to order a Bacon and Egg melt on ciabatta (470 calories, 23g fat) instead of sausage, egg, and cheddar on asiago bagel (810 calories, 46g fat). The top swaps are limited between one and five per restaurant, so if you were planning on ordering something else, you have best simply browse the menu.
The browse menu option lets you choose a restaurant, and get nutritional information for each item. It also gives you an overall grade for how healthy the menu is, along with the kids menu (Au Bon Pain gets an A-, but the kids menu is a C). There is also a “survival strategy guide” that tells you some general tips and practices for choosing a healthier fare, which is specific to each restaurant. The food items can be listed by grade, calories, sodium, or alphabetically).
There is also a calorie counter, but compared to dedicated dieting apps, this comes up a little lacking. Yes, you can add food, design a diet plan, add exercise, but it is a little difficult to browse food items, and I found the food database to be a little bit smaller than other apps. If you just want something simple, however, this could do the trick.
Lastly, there is a game included. The game is pretty straight forward – the app gives you two food items, and you have to guess which is the better one to eat. The longer you take, you get more hints (about nutrition) but you get fewer points. It’s not an incredibly complex game, but it can be eye opening.
And that is the point of this app. Open your eyes about what it out there to eat. Many of the options that are given may still satisfy your “junk food” desire, but will end up being a little more healthy. The perfect example of that is McDonalds. If you go there planning to have one of their Angus Burgers, the apps suggests swapping it out with a Big Mac. You will save about 200 calories, 10 grams of fat, and almost 700mg of sodium!! So you still get your burger, but it isn’t quite as bad for you.
All in all, this app is a good import of the book, designed to give you slightly healthier alternatives to some of the more common items eaten at restaurants. While it isn’t going to turn you into a healthy eater, it may help save you a few calories or fat grams here and there. The diet tracking portion isn’t very robust, but it can be useful if you are just keeping count of what you are eating. For $4.99, this app is a good option for people who may go out to eat a lot but may also want to eat a little healthier when going out. 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.