The Movesum app shows your burnt calories in the form of burgers

I now regret that extra doughnut

You’ve just been for a run and – congratulations! – you burned 640 kcal. But do you really appreciate that number? What does it mean in terms of your diet? You could find out by making note of the calories and checking the packaging on your food items, but that’s a faff. A new step counting app called Movesum looks to simplify the process: it shows the calories you’ve burnt in the form of food.

Movesum is created by the Swedish developers of Lifesum, a popular health app that made Apple’s list of the best iOS apps in 2015. As with most step counters, Movesum shows your steps taken and estimates calories burnt – but in terms of common food and drink items. For example, say you walk 12000 steps. Rather than just list the calories, the app might show you a delicious burger. This gives you a feel for the amount of energy in the foods you eat and can help plan a more healthy lifestyle without doing any homework. Also, it makes you feel pretty great about your exercising.

Image © Lifesum

As step counters become more complex and add features that are beyond the needs of most people, the Lifesum team believe a simple and fun app is more effective at keeping people healthy. Henrik Torstensson, CEO of Lifesum, told us: “The simple truth is that people don’t need to move very fast to be healthy, they just need to move more. Movesum makes it fun to move on a daily basis, and will hopefully encourage people to walk instead of driving or catching public transport.”

The app is simple, fun, and interesting. It can be illuminating to discover that your favourite snack would take 1000 steps to burn off. The goal is to improve our understanding of the energy in the foods we eat, though I can imagine it backfiring for some people. Did that workout just burn off your burger? Or do you now need another burger to refuel?

Movesum is available free on iOS and Android.

Main image © iStock/PongMoji