If you’re like many people, you’re probably tired of diet culture and unrealistic body standards. But maybe you still want to gain some real insight into your health and the food you consume. You’d like to monitor and improve your nutrition, but you don’t want it to take over your whole life in the process. In 2024, you’re looking for realistic, achievable ways to improve your eating and make a real lifestyle change, not “go on a diet.”
Well, the future is here, and it’s coming for your crash diets and shame-based calorie trackers. The same technologies that are making your home smarter and your workflows more efficient can also help you get healthier. And they can do it in ways that are sustainable, realistic, and designed for long-term success. Here’s a roundup of the best types of high-tech nutrition tools and solutions on the market for the New Year and beyond.
Table of Contents
1. Track Your Macros
Depending on your goals, you may want to lose, gain, or maintain your weight, which typically means monitoring what you eat. At the same time, research has shown time and time again that “diets” don’t work for most people. That’s because they rely on unsustainable eating habits that most people can’t adhere to for very long without giving up. Still, there’s no quick fix, and there’s no getting around the fact that calories and macros do actually matter.
Macro tracking apps can help you learn what works for your body and how to eat the right quantities for muscle gain and fat loss. But they won’t work if they’re too frustrating to use, or if they make you feel bad about your decisions. Real nutrition is about long-term consistency, not short-term intensity. That’s why the best macro tracking app is whichever one you’ll find the easiest to stick to. Pick one that’s intuitive, user-friendly, and focused on real nutrition over rapid weight loss.
2. Use AI to Recommend Recipes…
In 2024, there’s an AI for everything, including helping you plan, shop for, and cook healthier meals. From generating recipes based on your dietary preferences to managing your weekly grocery list, AI can probably do whatever you ask. The key is sifting through the zillions of apps and websites to find exactly what you’re looking for. You might also have to double-check recipes for errors, since AI is definitely still a work in progress.
With generative AI, you plug in details like your calorie and micronutrient goals or whatever’s left in your fridge. AI uses that information to write you a customized recipe that takes advantage of those ingredients. Recipes can also be adjusted to suit your tastes or how much time you have to cook. Dozens of free solutions are available online, though some can be a bit on the glitchy side. It might be worth exploring a paid meal-planning AI or app to support your goals.
3. Or to Have Prepped Ingredients or Entire Meals Delivered
Meal planning and recipe generating, even of the AI-assisted variety, don’t offer enough convenience for everybody. Sometimes the hardest part of cultivating a more nutritious diet is finding the time or energy to shop or cook. Thankfully, technology is also making it easier to have your meals taken care of for you. The world may not be ready for Jetsons-esque 3D-printed food, but there are still high-tech ways to get around chopping an onion.
Numerous meal-delivery services exist, all designed to meet different dietary requirements and desired levels of effort. You can have pre-cut veggies and ready-to-cook ingredients or fully prepared meals delivered right to your doorstep. Most such services use their own apps to let you customize preferences, meals, and dates, as well as track your deliveries. Many also use AI and predictive algorithms to generate custom recommendations for meals you’re likely to enjoy.
4. Check Your Micronutrients
You might also be interested in tracking things like vitamins and minerals — micronutrients not macronutrients, in other words. When creating a balanced diet, it’s important to factor in crucial nutrients like iron and vitamin B12. Science has shown that getting vitamins and minerals from supplements just isn’t the same as getting them from food. Yet while micronutrients can play a huge role in your overall health, people (and meal plans) often leave them out of nutrition tracking.
The good news is a number of solutions are available to home-test your levels of various micronutrients. You go online, order a kit in the mail, obtain a finger-prick blood sample, then send it back for lab testing. In a matter of days or weeks, you can find out whether you have, say, a vitamin D or folate deficiency. Some of the tests can be costly, but they’re typically scientifically accurate. These tests can help you inform future diet choices, such as which veggies to eat more of.
Focus on the Long Term
When it comes to nutrition, remember that the best diet is the one that’s easy and comfortable to stay on. That means a diet that’s nutritious and tasty, and one that’s flexible enough to allow for special events and occasional indulgences. Long-term adherence to healthy eating habits is much more effective for muscle building than temporary solutions. Your overall health, happiness, and satisfaction are the most important part of the nutrition equation.