MealSnap App Will Count Your Calories for You

Lindsay Mannering

mealsnap appLast night for dinner I had one lobster roll, one bag of salt and vinegar chips, two beers, and a handful of spicy pickles (see photographic evidence to the left). It doesn't sound bad, right? Actually, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. But I have no idea if that dinner would ruin a diet plan or not. Did that have a lot of calories? Maybe I'd be surprised at how few calories I had -- or maybe it's right on the money in terms of an average calorie-sized dinner.

Now I know it wasn't the picture of health -- I understand that potato chips don't count as a veggie -- but it seemed like a reasonable meal. But I'm excited to say that there's a new iPhone app that will take the guesswork out of this process. With the MealSnap app, I could've taken a photo of my delicious dinner and had all my questions answered. Neato Dorito!

The MealSnap app is for sale on iTunes for $2.99 and I'll be darned if it doesn't have me intrigued. All you do is snap a photo, and the app will match every part of your meal to the over 500,000 foods it has in its database and shoot back calorie information, nutritional information (like the amount of protein, carbs, vitamins, etc.), and will allow you to share what you're about to eat on Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare, giving you what they call "social accountability."

(The last thing I need is all my friends knowing what I'm eating without them, so I'd opt out of the "share" button. Don't want people to get too jealous of dinners that can range in popularity from a bowl of Pops to a steak and with pesto mashed potatoes.)

MealSnap can also act as your food diary. No need to write all that stuff down (how does one tally Oreo crumbs shaken from the bottom of the sleeve directly into one's mouth, anyway?), the photos will be stored, and so will their data.

The app was developed by DailyBurn, a social media company dedicated to helping its users and followers lead healthier lifestyles. I don't have the iPhone yet ... but now that all my sisters have taken the iPhone plunge, I think it's time I treat myself to one next month. This is the kind of app that gets me excited about playing around on my soon-to-be new phone. I do have some curiosities, though.

Like I wonder what it says when you snap a photo of a baby? Fifteen pounds of fat, lots of protein, tons of vitamins, 60,000 calories. Man, I guess eating a baby could really mess with your diet. And I hope it wouldn't count my thumbs as part of the meal. I've got man hands that could really skew the calorie count. And if this app is smart enough to catch the cookie dough I hide in my spinach salad, I'll know I've met my match.

Will you try out the MealSnap app? Have you heard any good or bad things about it?

Photo via me

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