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Want to eat better? Modus makes it easy to manage your nutrition

If you’re anything like me, you’re not the best at keeping track of the food you eat and the effects that food could have on your health. After all, sometimes it’s hard to imagine what the food we’re eating actually does to the body, making it easier to just eat what takes less time to make. One company, however, hopes to change that.

That company is Taav Tech, and it has come up with a device called Modus. Modus is basically a portable nutrition scale that connects to your phone and helps you understand what you’re eating and what that means for your health. It helps you quickly and easily track your calorie intake, without having to constantly go over labels on the packaging for the food you buy.

Related: Your Internet service may soon have a nutrition label, like your cereal

“The average person is bad at judging what’s in their food. We know what we are eating but we don’t know which foods contribute what to our total dietary intake,” said Theodore Brown, co-founder of Taav Tech, who came up with the idea for Modus. “Most people can’t even tell you how many calories they eat a day, much less if they are getting enough protein or too much sugar.”

Modus is designed for ease of use. Simply fire up the app, which is available for both iOS and Android, and select the food you’re eating — the app boasts a list of almost 9,000 foods and drinks (and if a food or beverage is not on the list, you can add it). Next, either put the food directly on the scale, or put a plate on, zero the scale, and then put the food on the plate. Alternatively, you can weigh your food before and after your meal — so if you don’t finish your meal you can still keep track of the nutrients you’ve taken in. This is also best if you’re at a restaurant and don’t have an empty plate to measure first. Over time, you’ll be able to check your nutrition history, which will offer a view of what you’ve eaten and how that relates to your goals.

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The device tracks a number of different things, including calories, sugars, fiber, 13 vitamins, and so on.

Perhaps just as important is the fact that Modus is ultra-portable, sitting at roughly the same size as a deck of cards. That’s not just convenient for taking out of the house if you so choose — it’s also good for storing in your kitchen.

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“To make the Modus a tool people might actually use, we tried to make is as convenient as possible. It’s designed it to be small enough to fit in a pocket or purse for that reason,” continued Brown. “This focus on convenience is also visible throughout the app, which gives the user the ability to zero the scale before or after they eat (because finding an empty identical plate at the beginning of a meal at a restaurant would be annoying).”

Taav Tech is looking beyond simply making it easier to track your food — it also hopes to shake up the health tracking industry. Brown says that while devices like Fitbit were interesting a few years ago, they really haven’t come very far since then. “Hopefully,” he says, “the Modus will stir things up.”

If you’re interested in getting the Modus for yourself, you can check out the Kickstarter page, where you can reserve the device with a pledge of $79 or more.