iPhone: The Eatery is a free iPhone app that aims to improve your eating habits. It starts with an approach we’ve seen several times: Every time you eat something, you snap a picture of it. From there, The Eatery takes a novel approach that may actually help you eat better without pulling out your scale and calculator, hunting for a calorie counter, or dealing with other tedious food logging tools.
After you snap your food, you give it a rating somewhere on the scale of very healthy to very unhealthy. Your friends who use The Eatery will see your meal in their feed, and they can rate (and comment on) your meal. The net result is that you get a crowd-sourced view of just how healthily you’ve been eating, a little peer pressure to help you stay on course, and a fairly realistic picture of your overall eating habits, including where you tend to go off the rails.
I’ve used a lot of technology intended to help me stay in shape, and after using The Eatery for a couple of days, it seems like it could be very effective. The app is streamlined so that taking the pic of your food and rating it takes as few interactions as possible, and if you get in the habit of taking those pics (and with the help of your friends), it does offer a more realistic view of your eating habits than you might have developed on your own. (It’s like how keeping a diary helps you identify patterns, food-pic edition.)
The Eatery comes from former Firefox interface designer Aza Raskin’s Massive Health startup, and you can see his (attractive) fingerprints all over the streamlined and intuitive interactions. If you’ve tried similar calorie-counting or meal tracking apps and didn’t have much luck, give The Eatery a try. It’s a free download, currently for iOS only.