WorkSmart Labs' new food tracking app aims to simplify eating healthy. The company has more than 7 million users on Android, but just launched its first iOS App, Calorific Lite [iTunes].

calorific
Unlike other tracking apps, like Lose It! (which I have been using for the past few weeks), Calorific Lite doesn't focus as much on the number of calories, as on the types of food you're eating. It classifies food into a Green/Yellow/Red system to encourage users to eat better, not just to eat less.

For example, vegetables and fruit are green, while french fries and ice cream are red. Lean beef is yellow, as are things like seafood, low-fat yogurt and avocados. Once you choose your color, assign a serving size (tiny, small, medium, large) and you're done. Adding a meal takes just a couple quick clicks.

Lose It! requires you to pick exact products and serving sizes to get a more detailed assessment of what you've eaten, down to individual calories. WorkSmart Labs co-founder Artem Petakov compared Calorific Lite to Twitter, as a quick-and-easy way to track eating. Lose It! is more like full-length blogging, requiring quite a bit more work, but is a totally different style of tracking food:

One funny thing about that "exactly how many calories you had" -- even if you track it really precisely, there is no real way to know how many calories you had. This is because people digest food differently, have different metabolisms from one day to another, and don't weigh their food exactly.

So it's a lot of work that's only giving you an illusion that you are doing things precisely. That's why we wanted to get away from this. The biggest benefit is from the act of logging itself. Even if you just keep a little journal of what you eat with no calories, you will benefit hugely according to research.

Now that I've gotten into the habit of using Lose It!, I don't necessarily need to use an app like Calorific Lite -- but for someone who isn't used to tracking calories its traffic-light system is super-easy to use.

Calorific Lite is a 'light' application -- it doesn't support accessories like the WiThings body scale or posting to Twitter to encourage weight loss through public humiliation -- but it's a strong start for WorkSmart's first iOS application. They have a more full-featured app, Noom, available on Android, but Petakov said they were starting slow on iOS and are working to bring more functionality to the platform.

Get it free from the App Store.

Top Rated Comments

DirtySocks85 Avatar
166 months ago
Meh, I lost 50 lbs w/ Lose It! and RunKeeper in 5 months. I didn't think the logging was that "hard" for the health benefits. I'm not sure I'd estimate well w/ this system. I'll be interested to see how this works for people. My opinion is that if you don't care enough to put in the time and effort, then you don't really care about your health that much.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
holmesf Avatar
166 months ago
It should be kilocalories not calories!

In the US at least we refer to them as calories even though they are in fact kilocalories. So yeah, for much of the world it should be labeled kilocalories but at least for US audiences calling them calories is acceptable.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mitchelino Avatar
166 months ago
The screenshot shows Beef as red or "bad". Since when is protein bad for you?
Counting calories misses the point completely and makes dieting so difficult. Cut out the white stuff and sugars and you won't need an app to help you micromanage your hunger. I lost thirty pounds doing that eating proteins like beef, fish and chicken, lots of beans and lots of vegetables. Simple. No tracking required.
Protein is great, and beef is a great source of protein (as well as vitamin b12 and iron), but there are other things in it, like fat, that are bad. Whereas lean beef is better, therefore yellow in the app. Other sources of protein, such as tofu or beans, should show as green or yellow, as they have the benefits of beef without the high fat and that stuff.

I'm not saying eating beef is bad for you. If you balance your diet, beef can be good. Just explaining why the app sets it as red.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brian82788 Avatar
166 months ago
I wonder how long it will take for someone to accuse Macrumors of taking a sponsorship for this article.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iPhysicist Avatar
166 months ago
It should be kilocalories not calories!
Score: 0 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WorkSmartLabs Avatar
166 months ago
Hey all,

WorkSmart Labs here. We're really excited about the release of Calorific Lite, and we're pumped to be cross platform!

Just to answer a few of the comments, you guys are totally right that protein is not bad for you. We want people to eat protein! We do think, though, that really fatty beef isn't the healthiest way to do so. That's what lead to us categorizing fatty beef as Red and lean beef as Yellow.

Also, our "recommended food ratio" includes 15% red foods, 35% yellow foods and 50% green foods. We're not saying "never eat red", we're just trying to encourage people to put down the doughnuts and very calorie dense foods, and pick up something that keeps them feeling full for longer.

A lot of our users on Android have found they really like the method. We know it's a bit different, and that some folks don't need apps to help them lose weight. That's OK! The Android users we have really like the philosophy, and we're excited to share that with the iOS market.
Score: 0 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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