Article in App of the Week category.
Moderation Harnesses the Power of Apple Watch Rings
Ok folks, I’m trying it again. I really am. I know that I’ve failed in the past, but Moderation may be the exact app to…
Ok folks, I’m trying it again. I really am. I know that I’ve failed in the past, but Moderation may be the exact app to turn things around. If it wasn’t clear (you know, since I was intentionally be opaque...), I’m talking about food tracking! Moderation is using the same principle that has me filling my Apple Watch rings to help me track my food intake. And if it is half as addicting as my Apple Watch is, I think this finally may be the solution I’ve been looking for.
Early on, I tried a bounty of different food tracking apps. MyFitnessPal was my most successful attempt with a solid six-month stretch of daily tracking that made a difference in keeping tabs on how many calories and other nutrients I was consuming. Paired with my workouts, it was an effective tool to staying healthy. But the app now feels bloated and unintuitive. Yet again, I’ve bailed on keeping track.
For me, there are three things that I need in a food tracking app. First and foremost it needs to do its job well with lots of features, easy input, and great metrics. Second, it needs to look great and be enjoyable to use. Finally, it needs to keep me motivated to continue tracking. If you’re wondering, Moderation hits the center of that food-tracking Venn diagram.
The app looks perfectly at home on iOS with a fully-native design. It’s segmented into your timeline, insights, and settings. Timeline is as straightforward as it sounds with all of your food and drinks for the day, as well as previous days as you scroll. For Moderation, you aren’t entering all the calories and macronutrients in your food — you simply deem each meal as healthy. A trending percentage bar at the top of the app tells you what portion of your meals have been “healthy.”
Insights is my favorite tab though, that gives you juicy, juicy data. The month view looks shockingly familiar to the Activity app for Apple Watch users. Each day in the month has a ring around the date that is filled based on the percentage of healthy food you consumed. A graph below gives you a line chart of your monthly healthiness. It gives you that feeling of wanting to fill those rings by trying to eat healthy meals.
To push those insights further, you can tag your meals. For example, you can tag meals “fried” or “chocolate” — complete with emojis of course — and Moderation can accumulate more data around those tags. You can see how healthy that tag has been in relation to your meals. You can see how frequently that tag is used, what days of the week are most prevalent, and what meal it is attributed to most. For me, I could quickly see that my lunches were problematic and most likely to be unhealthy and was a quick target for improvement.
Instead of just tagging foods, you can also tag people. You can see how you are most likely to eat healthy when with your significant other but more likely to eat unhealthy when you go out with your college buddies. It breaks down the health overall and in the last 30 days for meals with that person and tracks your progress over time. There’s still more here but you’ll have to dive in for yourself for the rest. Insights also has streaks, bar charts, and more to help you get the most out of your tracking and learn about what you’re eating.
Going back to the design of the app, it looks outstanding and the premium version has a series of different themes to style it to your liking. There alternate app icons as well to choose from. Widgets are the “it” feature at the moment and there are a ton to choose from in different sizes where you quickly log, see your healthiness over time, or see the prevalence of specified tags. Siri Shortcuts are available which make adding meals even easier.
What most users need is something approachable that keeps them accountable and Moderation does that. The urge to fill your rings is real and when applied to simple food tracking, absolutely makes a difference. This app absolutely nails it and brings awareness to the decisions you’re making while encouraging healthy choices. All in a sleek, well-designed app.
But enough about other people's apps.