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    Noom Weight for iPhone is a calorie counting app that could benefit from bulking up


    Noom Weight for iPhone is a simple, free app that lets you log calorie intake, weight and exercise. It's based on the Noom Weight Coach app for Android, but doesn't have all the bells and whistles that the Android app has.

    The idea behind the Noom Weight app is that by logging your daily food and exercise, you become more aware of your eating habits, which in turn should motivate you to eat more healthily and exercise more regularly.

    When you first open Noom Weight, you fill out a profile of yourself based on your gender, your current and target weight, your height and how quickly you would like to reach your target weight. The app then determines approximately what your daily calorie intake should be. From there, each day you log your exercise and food intake, starting with breakfast and working your way through to dinner, aiming for your target calorie intake.

    Up until this point, I was really excited about Noom Weight. I'm not looking to lose a load of weight, but it would benefit me to shape up a little. The idea of logging and tracking my food intake and exercise actually seemed quite interesting and fun, and if I ended up shaping up a bit along the way, all the better.

    However, the experience soon became a burden and chore. Not because of the app's design or UI -- Noom Weight is actually a really well-designed app; it's well laid out and easy to use. The reason is when I came to logging food, the app hardly recognized any of the food I was trying to log, which meant I had to manually enter the calorie content of each piece of food I ate... and I don't know the calorie content of every piece of food I eat.

    For example, this morning I had half of a mashed avocado with salt and pepper on a slice of buttered, whole-grain toast. Entering avocado into the app was fine; that was recognized immediately. But when I entered whole-grain bread into the app, it didn't recognize that. I had to find out how many calories my slice of wholegrain toast had in it, then add the calories for the butter. That may not sound like a chore, but when you have to do that for most items in a varied diet, it becomes extremely laborious and time consuming. After a couple days, I realized that what I was entering was not accurate and the process was taking up too much of my time, which nullified the purpose of the app. I gave up.

    As mentioned above, I really like the design and feel of the Noom Weight app. I also like the thinking behind it, but until the Noom Weight app has a much more extensive and up-to-date food-to-calorie database, or even the ability to scan barcodes of food packages for quick calorie-counting -- like some other calorie-counting apps out there -- it's not going to be much use to the average person wanting keep track of their food intake. However, if you're the kind of person who weighs everything you eat to work out the calories anyway, Noom Weight is a great place to store that information.

    Do you use a calorie counting app? Let us know what works for you in the comments below.

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