Sep 09 AT 3:51 AM Angie Wimberly 22 Comments

Calorific — Fast, simple meal tracking that’s a cinch to stick with

Last Wednesday, the Android market welcomed Calorific, a calorie-tracking app by WorkSmart Labs, Inc.. We remembered them from CardioTrainer (a successful weight-loss app) so we were excited to give it a try.

For the past week I have been diligently using Calorific, and it is exactly what it promises to be. The types of food you eat throughout the day fall into one of three categories (Green, Yellow, or Red), and one of three portions (Small, Medium, or Large). The colors stand for how healthy the item being eaten is, and in case you aren’t sure, there are “?” blocks for each category that explain what types of food qualify. As you enter in items, a bar graph is populated at the bottom of the screen to display how much of each type of food you’ve had, and at what time of day. Time periods include breakfast, lunch and dinner with three snacks in between.

We believe that most people want to eat well, and just need a little extra push to think twice about their food decisions. Having a way to record your food makes you more accountable, and if it’s only three categories, it’s easy to stick with it. Traditional calorie trackers require lots of work to search for the correct food item, making it hard to stick with it…there are always dozens of versions of ketchup in these lists of food – how complicated should it be to select ketchup?Charlie SneathWorkSmart Labs, Inc.

As you enter in items, you receive a star rating for the day. Touch “History” to view each day that you’ve logged, and see the pie charts of your meal breakdown and compare its rating to the ideal food ratio chart at the bottom. This really makes it obvious as to where your food choices stand.

I’ve also liked how Calorific uses your clock to highlight the time of day you will most likely be logging in food once you bring the app up on your phone. This is small, but I find it is an effective way to show you a good schedule of eating too. I usually end up getting distracted by what I’m doing to where I lose track and probably don’t eat at a good pace, so it’s nice to have a sort of suggestion.

I haven’t used that many other calorie tracking apps or been on anything like Weight Watchers, so I don’t have the best frame of reference. What do others out there think in comparison to other methods you have tried before? As for my personal experience with this, I really like the simple groupings of food, and have wanted to track my food on a regular basis. I have been able to maintain practically my normal eating habits, but with the awareness of when and how much is really necessary to create a good balance. I was able to improve my pie chart slowly, despite a few slip-ups here and there. Overall, I have definitely been eating smaller portions more frequently, and I’ve been eating better quality food. I know the true test will be months later, but I don’t feel intimidated by trying to stick with this app.

Has anyone else been looking for something like this, or a better version of what you’ve already been using? Let us know if this could be an app for you.

 

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Angie is a designer and illustrator living in Austin, Texas. She's a graduate of the Communication Design program at Texas State and joined us full-time after a two-year run at a design firm here in Austin.

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