Do calorie-tracking apps or meal subscriptions for weight loss really work? How to make

Or create your own customised entries; this is especially doable if you cook. “You can manually input the ingredients and their quantities for more accurate tracking,” said Tay. A helpful tool to have for this purpose is a kitchen scale. “This can enhance the precision of your homemade dish entries and improve the accuracy of your tracking.”

But don’t fret if you are unable to find an exact match to your dish. Make educated estimations based on the ingredients used and their typical proportions in the dish, suggested Tay. “This may require a bit of research into the standard recipes or you could seek the support of a dietitian to help guide you.”

Another complaint about food-tracking apps is their sustainability or how long you can stick to the programme. “Clients have shared that logging every meal can be time-consuming and some individuals may find it challenging to sustain this practice consistently,” said Tay.

“Some clients find these apps helpful for long-term behaviour change and weight maintenance, while others may use them more intensively for a shorter period to gain insights into their eating habits,” she said.

Another downside is, when you place too much emphasis on tracking every calorie, fat, sugar and salt you consume, it could lead to an unhealthy obsession with certain foods, cautioned Tay. For instance, you may be so convinced that a grain bowl is the most nutritionally balanced dish that you don’t eat anything else for lunch and dinner. Even stir-fried kailan can cause nutritional damage if that is all you eat.

There is also the pitfall of “letting quantitative data overshadow the qualitative aspects of eating, such as hunger cues, satisfaction and the enjoyment of food”, said Tay.

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