Tag Archives: eating well

MyFitnessPal: Surprising Data Spurs Behavioral Change

As part of Lift’s Quantified Diet Project, I’ve been tracking my calories since January 1st using the free MyFitnessPal app. I’ve previously disliked the thought of tracking every meal and snack, unconvinced that tracking only calories was helpful in a diet plan. After using the app for a month, I’m very appreciative to have a sense of what types of foods I eat, how much I snack (a lot) and just how little consistent exercise I do. And of course my lifestyle is slowly changing for the better.

While calorie tracking seems tedious and the manual entry outdated, the task of consciously knowing what you eat everyday and how much you burn off gives, at the very least, a sense of awareness. Who knew that on average my snacking added an extra 500 calories a day, or that I overeat the most when the food choices are Mexican or Italian? There are over 3 million foods in the MFP database so what you are eating is most likely in there – or you can add it. The barcode scanner takes out a lot of typing and you can create pre-set meals for your favorite/most often cooked items.

During this month, I’ve started to eat healthier, eat less, and actually lost a couple of pounds. For those concerned more about the breakout of nutrition, MFP differentiates carbs, fats and protein along with vitamins. There is no food that is ‘bad,’ but there are amounts that can be. So for now I can still eat chocolate covered almonds and peanut butter filled pretzels (thanks, Costco!) but I’m aware of the extra exercise I need with every bite.

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HAPIfork: Technology That Urges You to Eat Slower, Be Happier

HAPILABS wants to make your life happier and healthier not just in amount of exercise, but also in speed of eating. The HAPIfork is an electronic fork that measures how fast you eat and vibrates in real-time when you are eating too fast. The fork sends that information via Bluetooth to your smartphone app and your HAPILABS online portal. Eating meals too quickly has been connected to weight gain, digestive problems and gastric reflux. Even after a few uses with HAPIfork, I’ve consciously made my eating pace slower and more consistent.


The fork comes pre-set to allow bites in 10 second intervals or longer. Each time you take an extra bite within those 10 seconds, the handle of the fork vibrates to let you know and the timer resets. One of the metrics the fork tracks is “overspeeding,” which is the number of bites where you bring the fork to your mouth too quickly. The HAPIfork sensor is fairly acute so it won’t accidentally buzz if you are pushing food around your plate.

The body takes about twenty minutes to feel full, regardless of how fast you eat – taking more deliberate and slower bites means eating less but feeling the same amount of fullness. In addition to creating healthy eating habits, HAPIfork is also great for preventing postoperative complications where eating more slowly can lessen the stress on tissues recently operated on.

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Ness: Tailored Restaurant Recommendations For You

Part of being healthy is about acknowledging what you eat and battling the boredom of salads five nights a week with new choices of foods you like, customized to suit you.

Ness is a personal restaurant search platform that recommends restaurants tailored to your preferences and tastes. This smart app asks a few questions to gauge your likes (i.e. what type of cuisine do you like / dislike) and asks you to star rank a handful of restaurants you’ve been to. The more feedback you give to Ness regarding your preferences, the more tailored your results will be. Ness will then introduce new places within your cuisine preference and give each restaurant a percentage prediction of how much you’ll like it — and from what I’ve seen so far, these predictions are pretty spot on.

My favorite part of Ness is the usability – you can easily see other people’s reviews, all pertinent information about the restaurant, and the full menu. Additionally, you can book reservations directly on OpenTable.

It will be interesting to see which other industries Ness will introduce to their platform – I’m hoping gyms and fitness events are next!

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