With 2020 coming to a close, there have been some significant behavioral changes to the way a lot of us live our lives. Instead of heading to the office in the morning, moving around for appointments, and heading to your favorite gym after work, now we are faced with working from home and (unfortunately) for many attempting to work out from home (or not working out at all). This 'shift' has created a shift from "light or moderate" activity levels to "sedentary" for too many. Couple this with new eating habits ("oh look, there's the snack pantry 20 feet away from my desk") is a recipe for disaster. Our primary goal is to help fight the obesity epidemic and 2020 has been heading in the wrong direction. The solution? Move more and eat appropriately! Today we are going to dive into a new app called Carbon - Smart Diet Coach. For those who have used MyFitnessPal or LoseIt, it will have some of the same functionality but aims to take the app from a passive experience to a guided journey! Let's dive in behind the paywall..
The Home Screen
Arguably the most important screen is the one you are going to see the most frequent and use every day: the home screen. From a design perspective, the layout of the Carbon app is very clean with no advertisements. For those of you coming from MyFitnessPal or another "free" tracking app, this may be something worth noting.
After the initial setup, you will see your calories and macros in plain view with a infographic to the left that shows you visually how far through the day of eating you are.
Clicking the macros button will take you to the nutrition profile that you set up at the beginning of the app. If you wanted to work off of different macronutrients (perhaps if you are working with a trainer or dietician who has already provided you with specific requirements) here is where you would switch that.
Clicking on the plannerbutton brings up something fairly unique to this app. The calorie planner allows you to modify specific days around your work schedule or training routine.
The Calorie Planner Feature
The calorie planner is a tool that allows you to "shift" calories from one day to another - all while still controlling your overall weekly calories. You can increase calories on say Thursday - perhaps because you work a 12 hour shift and still want to get a workout in.
This functionality allows you to plan more calories on days you workout or even days that are more stressful. Or, you can leave your days the same for each consecutive day of the week!
On a diet of about 2300 calories, you are able to shift one day as low as 1519 calories (the remaining days move to 2505 calories) and as high as 4730 calories (the remaining days move to 1970 calories).
Tracking Food With The App
One of the reason so many users choose to use MyFitnessPal over alternatives is because of their extensive food databases. But, what people don't realize, is that MyFitnessPal database is completely user generated and riddled with inaccurate information.
Carbon is initially limited in its food database, but the foods we have found were relatively accurate. Plus, adding a food that isn't in the database is very simple.
Like other apps, you can search via the keypad or scan a barcode. Both seem to work flawlessly here like many of the other apps.
Checking In With The Smart Coach
Checking in with the smart coach is a breeze. On a daily basis, it will encourage you to add your weight. This is useful because it allows more data points and reduces the chance of making adjustments based on water fluctuations.
On a regular basis, you will do a more in depth check in with the app. It will ask you about compliance to your diet and make adjustments to your program depending on your progress.
Both of these functions are absolutely easy to uses.
The Verdict: Is the Carbon App Worth The Price?
After having used the app for a few months and testing different functionality, we feel this app is a GREAT choice for (1) tracking your diet and (2) making smart recommendations based on your checkins. Like any lifestyle change, it is going to require you to be honest with your compliance and consistent with checking in. At a price of $9.99 a month, this is a much healthier spend than spending $9.99 on another streaming service that is going to encourage a sedentary lifestyle (although a great hack is only allowing yourself to watch your favorite Netflix show while walking slowly on a treadmill or piece of cardio equipment).
We would LOVE to hear your feedback on the app. Want us to go in depth on a specific function of the app or see us review another app? Let us know!