If you didn’t Instagram your dinner, did it even happen? Now the dieting app Lose It! has another use for all of those food pics: Instantly get a read on the number of calories in your meal. It’s worth noting the app isn’t always accurate, and it doesn’t recognize sauces or oils, so you have to enter that info manually.
But there are two bigger issues here:
- Calorie counting is flawed. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Losing weight is more complicated than burning more calories than you take in. Plus, obsessing over numbers isn’t a long-term solution for healthy living. It’s better to think about the types of food you’re eating and look for the places you can make small improvements.
- Not all calories are equal. Eating 300 calories of chicken or 300 calories of candy doesn’t mean the same thing to your body. Even two foods that are high in a similar macronutrient (carbohydrates, for example) can affect your body differently. Brown rice and Pop-Tarts are both high in carbs, but one has more nutrients your body needs—and we bet you can guess which one.
The bottom line? Knowledge is power when it comes to eating healthier, but snapping a photo to see the number of calories in your meal is very different from learning about the foods your body needs. And the latter option is much more sustainable.