Diet and exercise are both important parts of a weight loss plan, but kilojoule or calorie counting apps are only good at tracking half of the equation: diet. Logging your activities can skew your sense of how many kilojoules you should be eating.
Monica Reinagel, the Nutrition Diva at Quick and Dirty Tips, writes that diet trackers are bad at logging the kilojoules you burn for three reasons:
- It’s hard to pick the right baseline activity level. Are you “active” or “lightly active”? A wrong answer there could change the app’s estimate by a few hundred calories.
- The standard calories-per-hour for an activity might not exactly reflect what you did. Your body might be more or less efficient than they’re assuming, or you might just have taken more water breaks.
- Apps may “double dip”, adding the calories burned in an activity to the daily calories that represent you sitting around. They should really just count the difference between the two.
Instead, she says, you should pay careful attention to how you set your baseline, and then don’t log any extra activities. Visit the link for her full take on how to use a diet tracker without letting it sabotage your weight loss.
Nutrition Diva: How Diet Trackers Sabotage Weight Loss [Quick and Dirty Tips]