As a recovering food addict, I've been told on numerous occasions that washboard abs are created in the kitchen, not in the gym. That's why we were intrigued to take a look at Nutrino, an iOS app that promises a "virtual nutritionist" service to help slice away the adipose from our stomach. We spent some time putting the software through its paces, and if you're thinking of making the leap, head on past the break to learn more.
The app is offered for free and is currently in beta, promising to supplant any diet books and eating plans you may have tried to slavishly follow. Instead, all of the information is in a day-by-day format which'll tell you which meals to have, and when. Upon launching the software, we were met with a rotating broccoli floret that stuttered to a halt. It's rare that we experience shaky performance on an iOS app, so it's worth mentioning that the creators need to do some work on the underlying code. It's a shame, because we found ourselves taken with the look and feel of the app, which was both attractive and functional.
Once we'd managed to get in and connected the app to our Withings and Facebook accounts, we were asked to plumb in our vital statistics. Admittedly, this was annoying, purely because we'd have expected the software pull this data from the aforementioned services. Afterward, we were asked to swipe through a Pinterest-style gallery of food pictures and drag various images into brown paper bags (or the trash) to denote which we'd like to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and for snacks. Then all we had to was to select a target weight and an intensity level -- the lowest making for a diet of 2,416 calories a day that would see us hit our goal on November 15th, the highest of which kept us limited to 1,902 calories per day, but we'd be newly svelte by June 5th.
Once it's cooked up a diet for you, it lays it out on a day-by-day basis, letting you mark off each meal that you've successfully eaten and giving you a score out of 100. Each meal has a recipe section, and best of all, thanks to a partnership with Tesco and ASDA, you can buy a day's worth of ingredients with just a few presses. Here is, however, where we encounter our first real problem with the system: one day's shopping was priced at £40 ($61). Upon further inspection, it transpired that many of the meals were for four servings, but there was no way to break this information out unless you sat down with pen and paper and worked it out on the side. Fundamentally, unless you're going to be shopping for groceries every day, it'd be preferable to work out your diet on a weekly basis, but there's no evident way to offer this up in Nutrino's present form. While we like the idea of an electronic diet planner that helps us keep the weight off, we're not sure this particular one fits in with our lifestyle.