For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/
I recently came across a great App, that many of you may know already – Nutracheck.
I calorie count a lot of my recipes for clients and for my website and I was searching for something more reliable. I wanted an App that used UK supermarket produce, that described them in ways I understood; courgette and not zucchini and in measurements that were meaningful i.e. grams not cups. So I met Rachel Hartley one of the founders of this great local company. I was so impressed I asked if she’d write a piece for my blog
This is the result!
The background to Nutracheck
The Nutracheck App was the brainchild of Tim Vryenhoef. The story goes back to the late 1990’s. While working for a food retailer, Tim had the idea of linking a food product’s nutritional information with its barcode. He developed a programme on a Psion Organiser and showed it to a colleague Rachel Hartley, who was the Product Manager for a calorie counted sandwich range. For lifelong dieter Rachel, an electronic way to calorie count was genius!
The first Nutracheck App was launched on 21st February 2005 – two years before the App Store came along. The first Nutracheck App was a Java program. Back then, the camera functionality in mobile phones wasn’t good enough to read a barcode, but it still used the concept of linking a barcode to nutrition data and created unique ‘Barcode QuickSearch’. A user could type in the last 4 digits of a barcode to bring back a shortlist of products.
At the time of launch, the food database contained calorie data for 30,000 products. The information was physically collected from products. 10 years on, the Nutracheck database contains over 180,000 UK foods. – together with photos of products for ease of recognition.
What is Nutracheck?
Nutracheck is a calorie counter and food diary service available via an App and website (www.nutracheck.co.uk). The App is available for iOS and Android phones and tablets.
It is possible to use the App on its own, but the website has been designed to complement it, offering more tools and features than the App. To get the full benefit from the service, we recommend using the website and App together.
When you register, you are asked to enter a few personal details and set your goal – to lose, maintain or gain weight. The system then calculates personal daily calorie targets for food and exercise to achieve this.
Have you tried this App, or similar calorie counting, food diary Apps? Do you think they have helped you to make better food choices?
How it works
The Nutracheck message is; eat, track, lose. The simple act of tracking what you eat can actually make you eat less. Being self aware of how many calories you are consuming helps focus your attention on the food choices you are making and portion sizes.
When you keep a food diary, it’s easy to see which foods use up your daily calorie allowance. Over time, it teaches you how to make healthier choices to get the most volume of food and nutritional benefit from your calories. The approach is not about eating less, it’s about eating smarter!
No foods are banned. A healthy diet should include foods from all food groups. Plus as soon as you completely cut something out, it suddenly becomes the only thing you can think about! The Nutracheck mantra is all about balance. If you eat healthily 80% of the time, you can enjoy a few treats 20% of the time.
A client of mine has started using the App and this is what she thought of it
I’ve never paid any attention to calories as I’ve always been quite slim but as I entered into my forties I found it easier to gain weight but harder to lose. What bothered me most was the weight I was gaining around my middle. It was altering my self perception and confidence and dictating my wardrobe choices. I did a water fast for 3 days and I wanted to be more aware of what I was feeding my body as I reintroduced foods. I researched online and came across Nutracheck. It’s opened my eyes!
Seeing the calories I was taking in encouraged me to make healthier choices. It also caused me to be more experimental and creative. I love how you can set yourself a weight loss or gain target and log your nutrition and exercise. You can see how many calories you have left available to consume in your day and that is such a help! Another handy tip is looking to see how much exercise you need to do in order to burn off calories. A tin of mackerel fillets would take an hour of star jumps! It makes you think about seconds! It’s absolutely encouraged me to make better choices and I’m over the moon with my steady fat and weight loss. I’ll certainly be joining up when my free trial runs out. (M.S Nov 15)
What does the service include?
- Food diary – customise the view to suit you
- UK’s largest calorie directory for over 180,000 UK food with photos
- Recipe calculator – calorie count home cooked meals
- Food Triggers – tips to help with emotional eating
- Exercise diary – with database for over 1,000 different activities
- Personal reports and stats – track your progress
- Community forums – get help and encouragement
- Personal support from qualified nutrition and fitness experts
- Huge library of articles on nutrition, fitness and weight loss
- Links with Fitbit activity trackers and Apple’s HealthKit.
What makes the Nutracheck App and website different?
Of course there are other calorie counter Apps out there – and many are free, so what makes Nutracheck different and worth paying for?
- Nutracheck is for UK users – so it contains only UK products and serving sizes.
- It has the UK’s largest food database with photos to make it really easy to use.
- The barcode scanner in the App lets you scan and add a food in just 2 clicks.
- The food database is managed by Nutracheck to ensure the quality. The data is checked and added to daily – it doesn’t rely on users to add information.
- It is free of any advertising that interferes with the user experience. Instead we have chosen to charge a subscription fee – this enables us to keep investing in the development and improvement of the service, and also provide a UK support team.
- Nutracheck is more than ‘just an App’ – it is a weight management service. There is a UK Customer Care Team and nutritionists to help members 7 days a week.
5 day free trial – no obligation. Save 20% if you join during your free trial.
- 30 Day App-Only £3.99 (only available to buy in-App)
- 30 Days Website & App £9.99 (only available to buy in-App)
- 2 months Website & App £16.99
- 3 months Website & App £24.99
- 6 months Website & App £41.99
To sign up, go to www.nutracheck.co.uk or search for ‘Nutracheck’ in the app store and download it.