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Do You Really Want A Precise Calorie Counter?

Britt Aboutaleb
Managing Editor
July 9, 2014

Photo: Trunk Archive

What do women really want? A device that automatically counts the calories in their food, at least according to scientist Matt Webster, whose wife said she only wanted a fitness tracker for her birthday if it’d give her precise numbers. As The Telegraph reports, such a thing didn’t exist. Sure, you can plug your best estimates into a handful of different apps for a general idea of just how much you’re eating, but unless you’re taking real measurements of everything you put in your mouth (and we really hope you aren’t), there’s room for error.

Or there was, until General Electric’s Global Research lab helped Webster whip up a machine that uses microwaves to determine the fat and water content, plus the weight of the food you’re eating, before calculating total calories. Though the machine’s still a prototype, Webster imagines it’ll take on a dome-like shape, making it easy to place over a plate of food. Except, of course, that placing a glass dome over a full plate of food before you eat it—but after you’ve prepared or ordered it—isn’t easy. In fact, it’s kind of insane. An activity-measuring device is great because it encourages you to be active, instead of pushing you toward a food obsession. Carrying around a glass dome to figure out exactly how many calories you’re eating is too much. The real secret never changes: listen to your body and stop eating when you’re full.