Healthy living software
December 24, 2003 6:01 AM   Subscribe

New Years resolution time is approaching — can you recommend any good diet/nutrition/fitness tracking software (preferably web-based)? [more inside]

I'm a sedentary male in my mid-thirties. Several years ago, I lost forty pounds over the course of six months. It felt great to be fit for the first time in my life. Unfortunately, I've since gained back all that weight. At the time I used a Mac-based program (that I no longer have) called Diet Balancer to track my daily calorie intake and my exercise routine. It worked great. I'm the kind of guy who needs data to show me how I'm doing. I'd like to find something similar for either the Mac or the PC. I'd actually prefer to find a web-based fitness solution so that I could access it from anywhere. What options are available? What has worked for you? What features should I look for? Are there any good free options?
posted by jdroth to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
Fitday is free and web based and I'm happy with it.
You might also want to try Weight by Date, a $20 program that will make all sorts of zippy charts for you. I think you can try for free for a few weeks.

Also, for quick weight loss and a new diet that makes you feel terrific after the shock of the first three days, I can highly recommend Atkins. There have been a bunch of threads about it worth checking out and lots of web resources.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:31 AM on December 24, 2003

I had great success with Weight Watchers web-based program. You've got all the tracking tools you could want, plus community, support, tips, recipes, articles, charts... It's web based so you can do your thing anywhere. (If you go to it will tell you to upgrade your browser if you're using Safari or Moz for Mac, but if you go to and allow pop-ups from the site it works great. Go figure.)

I like the program in general because it's very open ended. You do whatever you want within some very reasonable guidelines. I've lost 55 pounds so far (would have been more but I took the holidays off--but haven't gained anything back. Phew.) and it's been surprisingly easy.

The downside to Weight Watchers is that it can get kind of expensive; everything costs a little something, especially if you sign up for traditional meetings. (I have since switched to traditional meetings because I changed jobs and didn't want to spend as much time at the computer. One benefit of the on-line service is that it's a little cheaper and those meetings are hokey as hell.) Anyway, I could drone on and on and end up sounding like a cult member, but I'll just invite you to email me with any additional questions instead. (Note: I'll be holiday traveling for the next few days so I might not respond very fast if you do email me.)

Good luck!
posted by jennyb at 6:32 AM on December 24, 2003

I'll second fitday. Also, there's The Hacker's Diet, which might be useful and ediets (5$/mo.) which I haven't used but have heard good things about.
posted by callmejay at 8:41 AM on December 24, 2003

I'll "third" the Fitday recommendation. I started out with that, then migrated to Diet & Exercise Assistant for the Palm, when I started traveling a lot and couldn't count on net access.
posted by Tholian at 3:44 PM on December 24, 2003

I'll second the weight watcher's recommendation. I used the online membership and lost 20lbs in two months almost painlessly. You still get to eat most of the things you'd like to eat, you have the resources necessary to make changes to your favourite recipes so that they are lower in calories, and there's lots of tricks to keep you motivated. I'm nearing my goal weight, something that I didn't think would be possible a little while ago.
posted by nprigoda at 10:19 AM on December 27, 2003

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