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Health Apps

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Esther Gabrielides is trying to get back in shape.

"I had lost 17lbs a few years ago and kept them off probably 2-3 years slowly they started coming back."

She says she regained the weight when she stopped using an app on her phone called lose it.

"It just makes it much easier. You can scan a bar code of an item and it will calculate what you ate for you."

Studies have shown people who keep track of their calories and exercise whether on paper or online, increase their chances of losing weight. Popular diet apps like lose it and myfitness pal make it more convenient.

"When it's in an app, you actually see immediately how many calories you are taking in. So you'll know how many you have left for the day," says registered dietician Martha McKittrick. 

But health experts warn the apps only work if you're totally honest and record everything you eat. Another thing to keep in mind - some apps can vary.

"Some of the apps I find kind of overestimate how many calories your burn when you exercise. So if you walked for a couple of miles and it says you burned 600 calories, be careful not to eat an extra 600 calories."

"On Saturday I went a little bit overboard."

Now that she's back using her app, Esther realizes she needs to eat better. "I'm going to make smarter choices going forward."

She wants to lose about 20 pounds before she turns 50 this year.

A new study from the Pew Research Center finds 8% of people surveyed use an app or other online tool to track their health.@

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