What is it?
Lifesum is a really good app to use if you want to shed some post-crimbo timber, or just track your basic food habits and exercise day-to-day even if you're in tip top shape. Add in the basics such as your gender, age, weight and you're good to get started on the free version of the app. You can input your meals and activities (the food options are endless so it's unlikely you'll need to make custom options for many things) and the app tells you what you need to eat to stay on track according to your goals.
We've been pleasantly surprised how extensive the app is in the free mode. You can only choose a very gradual weight loss plan (probably sensible anyway) unless you upgrade, but you can of course change your weight manually if you've lost more than was predicted. The food stats just give you carbs, fat and protein and calories in and out, but you can break it down into more specific macros in premium. For most of us who just want to maintain general health and get in or around a goal weight the basic version should be fine, although the exercise options aren't as detailed - you can mark a cycling workout as easy, medium or high intensity for example, which might not tell the whole story of how many watts you've churned out and calories burnt.
The premium version is where you'll find a three week kickstarter fast weight loss programme, keto diet plans, recipe ideas and more detailed macronutrient breakdowns of your meals amongst other things. You can also sync to fitness apps and wearables like Fitbit, Endomondo and Moves for a more immersive experience.
How can it help me?
It's amazing how much more conscious you are of what's going in and out when you're tracking it all, and Lifesum has a number of strategic ways to make you stay on track. You get notifications reminding you to stay hydrated at various points in the day, and the homepage tells you how many calories for the day to maintain your specific goals. Updating the app doesn't take much time at all. Providing you're not in not in total denial about how many hobnobs you ate in the office after lunch, it should be fairly easy to remember what you've eaten over the day and then you can update it when you've got a spare 10 minutes when the day is done. Or better still, while you're on the turbo!
What makes it unique?
The food database is massively extensive and very easy to use, and the features list in the free mode is impressive. You can even scan the barcodes of what you've just eaten to make life easier, then customise the amount in grams or servings. It had no problems finding all of the items I devoured in a day, of which you can see a couple below...
Where can I get it?
Lifesum is available on Android or iTunes for free initially - as mentioned before you'll need to upgrade if you want access to more specific macros, diet plans and recipe ideas. It's a very reasonable £2.99 a month for a year, or if you want to try it out for a month it's just a £6.99 one-off payment. Check out Lifesum's website for more details.
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.