How a Photo-a-Day App Can Keep the Doctor Away

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Ever find yourself going through old photos, trying to determine whether you’ve gained weight since last Christmas? Avoid back-stalking yourself on Facebook with the Collect app. It’s a simple concept–download the app on your iPhone, and it will remind you to take a picture at the same time every day. The photos are then stored in an easily accessible calendar interface, or exported onto your computer. The result? A photographic record of your daily life. Here are four ways Collect can be used to support a healthy lifestyle.

Use it to track your weight loss efforts
We see ourselves in the mirror on a daily basis, so it can be hard to notice the results of a new diet or fitness regimen. The scale can be equally unreliable, since it fails to acknowledge weight gained from lean muscle –or just how toned your arms are looking these days. For an objective measure of your progress, snap a pic in the mirror every morning. You’ll end up with a virtual timeline of your changing body, allowing you to pinpoint what’s working, and what may not be doing you any favors.

Use it gain a bit of perspective or stay motivated
Sometimes an unflattering mirror, large lunch, or even just a horrible mood can be discouraging enough to derail the healthiest of intentions. On these days, being able to see just how far you’ve come can be crucial to staying on track. Another great source of motivation? Other people. Connect the app to your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter –once the compliments start rolling in, you’ll be inspired to stick with your routine.

Use it to track skin changes
Today, sun-savvy women are in the habit of applying SPF daily to ward off damaging UV rays. Yet, recent research has made it clear that not all sunscreens are created equal. One of the best ways to judge the effectiveness of your sun care routine is with daily photos. If you’re looking markedly darker than you did a month ago, it may be time to reevaluate. Additionally, if you notice any new or suspicious looking moles, head straight to your dermatologist.

Use it to snap your food
Collect pictures don’t have to be limited to selfies–the app works equally well as a food journal in photo form. Recording what we eat helps to keep us accountable, and having an archive of past meals makes it easy to remember recipes that we loved. Bonus: if you’ve been feeling sick or sluggish lately, look at your most recent food choices–they may hint at the culprit or the source of a food allergy

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