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How Jawbone UP Works

Counting Calories

You can enter information about the food you eat with the UP app. Keeping a food diary is a good idea for anyone who wants to lose weight. You can see at a glance if you're on track to shed those extra pounds -- or put on more muscle.

Studies show that people who make the effort to record their meals are more likely to lose weight and keep it off. Scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Center for Health Research conducted a weight loss maintenance trial in 2008 and discovered that subjects who kept a record of their meals and activities lost an average of 12.8 pounds (5.8 kilograms) over six months [source: Hollis, et al.].

You can do this without a special app or device, but it's a lot more work. For some, a gadget or piece of software might help break down the barrier between getting up and taking action or slacking off on the couch.

The Jawbone UP app doesn't just keep track of the calories you've eaten. It will also poll you and ask how you feel after each meal. Reflecting on how you feel may guide you to make better choices in the future.

The app can provide you with eating challenges. You're not going to find yourself gorging on a seemingly endless supply of pies. Instead, you may have to avoid processed foods for a week or two or make sure you drink eight glasses of water each day. Some challenges even let you contribute to charitable causes indirectly -- completing the challenge means Jawbone and its partners will donate money toward a particular charity.

Ultimately, the purpose of keeping track of your meals is to see how many calories you consume each day versus the number you burn through activities. Burn more calories than you consume and you're on the way to weight loss.