Custom made diets: 5 apps to help you stay in shape

It’s diet season! After the excesses of Easter, people are now starting to think about summer and how to feel ready to slip on their bikinis. Last year’s trend, on Instagram at least, was to follow Kayla Itsines and her #bbg (Bikini Body Guide) while this year there’s a move toward personalized diet apps you can consult at any time. Here are some of the most popular, largely because they cater to more niche requirements like gluten intolerances or a mediterranean diet.

Melarossa: your personal diet plan

Melarossa is an app developed in partnership with the Italian Society of Food Science. It’s the most downloaded app of its kind in Italy. After registering, the app asks a series of questions — the basics like your height and weight, daily activity (on working days as well as days off), and your typical diet. The software then uses the information provided to provide a detailed nutritional profile, letting you choose from a balanced or vegetarian diet. Melarossa also takes your personal food preferences into account, as well as intolerances and allergies. One you’ve completed all the steps, the app supplies a personalized, day-by-day meal plan. It includes a Shopping section (which lists all the products you’ll need to buy for the week), and a Check section (to keep an eye on how the diet is progressing).

Nuna, the app for a gluten free mediterranean diet

Nuna was created through a collaboration between Alessandro Casini, professor of gastroenterology and human nutrition at the University of Florence’s department of experimental medicine; and Alessandro Tozzi, medical director of gastroenterology. This app is really useful in that fundamental moment that occurs before any diet begins — grocery shopping. It is essentially a shopping guide: a user can scan the barcode or search for a food product in the app to check it against the database. Nuna’s algorithm will give a traffic-light signal to the user – green indicates an item is suitable for the user’s nutritional needs, yellow means it’s ok in moderation, and red means it’s not recommended. Nuna is also a guide to preparing food. It rigorously follows a mediterranean diet, but also offers gluten free alternatives  for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerances.

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LifeSum and MyFitnessPal: so much more than calorie counters

The secret to losing weight is becoming more digital. Keeping track of calories and getting a personalized meal plan that accounts for your own dining preferences is easier when you’ve got an app for your smartphone or tablet always close to hand.

That’s why apps like LifeSum and MyFitnessPal are so useful: they’re tools for counting calories consumed throughout the day. They’re equipped with barcode scanners that can show users the nutritional value of their daily meals. LifeSum is available for Android as well as iOS, and is equipped with a Progress section to keep an eye on fluctuations in weight, and a section for your Goals. MyFitnessPal also offers a premium version where you can further personalize your goals.

Mdiet, the mediterranean diet app

Mdiet is an app available on Google Play and the App Store. Stemming from research by Ancel Benjamin Keys, American doctor and physiologist, the name Mdiet refers to the  Mediterranean diet. Studies done by Keys recognized the positive influence of mediterranean food on prevention of cardiovascular disease. Now Mdiet applies the same principles to combat other conditions like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, celiac disease and obesity. The app offers over 400 images that help the user identify typical elements of the mediterranean diet, and recipes from countries that helped to create the “Mediterranean lifestyle.”


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