A new, and free, iPhone app called Shop to Lose just launched, and it looks to me like a really useful tool for people who want to lose weight and eat more healthfully. I took a test drive with the company's CEO, Charlie Koo, last week, and I was impressed; "it's like having a dietitian in your pocket," he says. As we've noted before, calorie counting has its limits. What differentiates Shop to Lose is that it helps you find the foods -- fresh, packaged, or restaurant -- that best suit to your goals, based on holistic nutritional information and backed up with expert input from their cadre of nutritionists, doctors, and other health professionals (as well as extensive scientific research).
Here's how it works: You create a profile for yourself, as well as any family members you shop for, that includes wellness goals or health issues, such as diabetes or prediabetes, weight loss, high blood pressure, or simply wanting to eat healthier. It includes categories like low sodium, low calorie, high fiber, how much weight you'd like to lose per week, etc. Then you choose from a list of possible foods; let's say you're looking for a frozen pizza. Shop to Lose searches its enormous database and suggests the best choices, by brand. The app also creates a handy shopping list (for you and your other profiles, as applicable) in the process. It bridges that confusing and tedious gap of navigating nutrition and marketing labels that sometimes make things appear more healthy than they are.
And did I mention it's free? Try it and let me know what you think!