My son’s fitness trainer had a little chat with him last week about his nutritional needs and how best to meet them. My son is growing taller but is still lacking in the “cushioning” category – i.e. he’s all lean body mass with very few physical reserves or extra fat on his frame. His tennis coach (and his mother!) thinks he needs to bulk up a bit in order to have enough stamina to withstand the physical demands of competing in the Boys 18s.
The trainer told him, based on his height and weight, he needs to be consuming 115 grams of protein EVERY DAY. Since neither he nor I had any idea how that translated to real-world eating, we turned to the Apple iTunes Store, figuring there HAD to be an app for that.
We found a free app called Calorie Counter that does everything my son needs – he enters all meal and snack items with amounts eaten, and the app tracks and totals his fat, carbohydrate, protein, and calorie intake for the day. It even has foods listed by popular restaurants’ menu names (including Panera and Olive Garden – do the rest of you eat there as much as we do???) which makes tracking easier when we’re traveling for a tournament. He can also add his physical activity for each day so he gets a calories-in-calories-out summary. Then, he can email the data to his trainer for accountability purposes.
The really cool thing is that now my son can see, in black and white, which food choices help him reach his 115-grams-per-day protein goal more quickly and which slow him down. For example, this morning he ate 2 pieces of French Toast with peanut butter and maple syrup before heading off to school for a total of 19.2 grams of protein. Compare that to yesterday’s breakfast of a toasted bagel with cream cheese, lox, and onions with a glass of orange juice for a total of 33.24 grams of protein. Both were filling but the bagel breakfast got him way closer to his daily protein intake goal.
I figure my kid isn’t the only one who needs a little help nutrition-wise. And, anything he can do on his iPhone is more likely to GET done, if you know what I mean. If you’ve found any other nutrition or fitness apps you’d like to share, please add them in the Comments box below. Happy tracking!