In a snap!

Anjali Jhangiani
Sunday, 8 April 2018

The next time you take a picture of your meal, just WhatsApp it to The Food Analysts, who will not only count the calories but also educate you about your food choices

It’s become a habit for some people to click a picture of their meal before digging into it, just to share it with friends on social media, to earn a few likes and comments. But imagine a life so convenient and efficient where you can simply click a photograph of the food and send it to a service which will tell you how many calories you’re consuming, and keep a track of your fitness goals. The Food Analysts, claimed to be the first WhatsApp-based human calorie counting system, makes that dream a reality for fitness enthusiasts. We speak to the founder of this service, Veer Ramlugon, to find out more about it.

How it works
The name of the service is quite self-explanatory. A group of qualified nutritionists with cumulative experience of over two decades in helping people achieve their desired fitness goals, and food analysts who are well trained in effectively measuring the portion sizes based on the images, analyse the calorie information from the photographs of the meal that the client sends. “Be it an image clicked from across the table or just from above your food. To back this up, we have a huge database of more than five million food items, with an additional 3,000 new items added every month. Our experience combined with this powerful database allows us to accurately estimate the macro nutrients in your food,” says Ramlugon.

To subscribe to their services, you can simply log on to the website, provide them with your basic physical information such as age, height, weight and level of activity. A team of nutritionists, who will be available 24X7, will then create a group for you on WhatsApp where you can start sending photos of your meals. “You will get instant reports for each meal that will help you understand how to plan your food intake and reach your desired goal in the best way possible. We do not bind anyone in long-term contracts, which means you do not need to unsubscribe from our services,” he says.

Ramlugon points out how starting a healthy routine is easy, but sticking to it can seem to be more difficult than you thought it would be. “This is precisely what led me to create The Food Analysts. How convenient would it be if there was someone tracking my food 24x7 and telling me exactly how much protein, carbs, and fats I have eaten and how much I have left for the day. I eat out a lot, so calorie counting apps like myfitnesspal is not that convenient after all — as it would require me to estimate portion sizes and break down each meal into its constituents. I’d much rather have a system that calculates my ‘macros’ just by sending a picture of my meal via WhatsApp,” says he.

Motivation is extremely important when you’re working towards your fitness goals. Along with tracking your macros throughout the day, the service also motivates and advises you on what to eat, when to eat and how to reach your goal. “Based on your food habits, you will constantly thrive to keep you on track and advise you on how to hit perfect macros everyday. So for example, if you are unlikely to hit your protein target and are vegetarian, the food coach will suggest ways for you to hit your protein goal. Or if you think a large platter of fruits is better than having a proper dinner to lose weight, the food coach will highlight the sugar content to you and explain why you need to rethink your dinner options,” he says.

Who should use it?
Ramlugon shares that many celebrities use the service because it is convenient, confidential and efficient. It can also be a boon for working professionals who are constantly on-the-go and can spare no time to keep tab on their eating habits. “We also have people who are looking to improve their health by aligning clinical manifestations and parameters such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid, and other nutrient deficiencies which are related to food. We have professional bodybuilders, athletes and sportspersons who rely on nutrition and carefully managed macros to reach their physical and professional goals,” says he, adding, “The majority of our users want to manage their weight and get as close as possible to the perfect figure. We believe that this can be only achieved by eating the right amount of calories at the right time, and with the right split of carbohydrates, fats and proteins — which form the basic foundation of all programmes on The Food Analysts.”

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