Food Log suggestions?
July 15, 2007 12:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for suggestions on where and how to keep a food log. I have a number of criteria that, I think will help me keep it up. 1. I'd like it to be online. 2. I'd like it to have some database of foods. 3. I'd like to it show trends, at least a weekly goal thingy. 4. I'd like to it to offer easy ways to update the log. 5. I'd pay for it. Free would be great, but ... I have a diet that I am already using that contains goals -- calories, carbs, protein, etc., -- all based on BMI and activity levels. A bonus question would be stories about how you managed to keep it up for yourself. :-)
posted by tcv to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't used it, but Fitday is a popular suggestion. It has both free online accounts and a more developed pay software program.
posted by Durin's Bane at 12:27 PM on July 15, 2007

FitDay is my favourite. I've been using it for a while now and I find it very easy to track my diet and activity level with. CalorieKing also has a calorie counter and a bigger database, but I haven't used it.
posted by AV at 12:27 PM on July 15, 2007

FitDay is excellent. I have used it for a long time, and have been impressed by its ease of use, weekly and monthly reports, and database of foods. And, as AV notes above, CalorieKing is an excellent resource, especially for finding the nutritional content of various restaurant foods.
posted by richardhay at 12:37 PM on July 15, 2007

I've used Fitday since 2001, and it was a key tool when I dropped 50lbs. a couple years ago.

I do recommend using the Custom Food feature to add brand-name foods or convenience foods as you eat them. Then you'll always have the data for the foods you eat commonly and it'll help keep you accurate (honest). I used to hate how often I selected foods starting with "Subway" or "McDonald's" that I'd entered in the Custom Foods section, and since I wouldn't let myself NOT keep track of what I was eating, it steered me to making better choices.

Also, Fitday has been a great tool for diagnosing a food allergy and keeping track of my vitamin intake - the reports are pretty nice and easy to navigate. And, lastly, I use it to make my grocery list sometimes.
posted by annathea at 12:39 PM on July 15, 2007

I've used FitDay as well and it was fine, but I like SparkPeople better.
posted by mewithoutyou at 12:39 PM on July 15, 2007

I've used Spark People for a while and really like. It has a lot of reporting options and trending information and a really decent database of food when you're doing your food logs. And it's free.
posted by schnee at 12:39 PM on July 15, 2007

Also, there is PhysicsDiet, which seems to accomplish all your goals. I looked at it previously, but never really gave it a chance
posted by zachxman at 12:49 PM on July 15, 2007

I've used Fitday for several years; it's a fine program but the foods database is somewhat limited. That's not a problem because you can add foods to it. The search is a bit strange also - it doesn't handle plural queries well. If you enter strawberry you get strawberry pie, strawberry milkshake, etc. It doesn't return strawberries (fruit). Not a big deal, but something to know when your search turns up null.

If I was starting again I'd use The Daily Plate. It seems to have a larger database of name brand foods.
posted by 26.2 at 12:50 PM on July 15, 2007

I currently use The Daily Plate after it was recommended on another AskMe posting. I enjoy its interface, the catalog of food choices and its so easy to enter custom foods, you can even enter custom meals if you have certain meals regularly. There is a free version, but the Gold membership gives you certain add-ons, like a personal daily nutrition label with a breakdown of all of the vitamins and minerals based on your inputted intake. There is an area to input your physical activity (manually, or you can enter the time you've spent doing a certain exercise activity), so you can see your overall kcals and your net kcals after activity.
posted by Asherah at 12:51 PM on July 15, 2007

I use CalorieKing. It is worth $20 a year to me to not have to hunt down restaurant/prepared food and put it in FitDay's unintuitive interface. But FitDay might have gotten better than the last time I used it years ago.
posted by ch1x0r at 1:41 PM on July 15, 2007

Everyone has already mentioned FitDay, but I should add that I bought the pay software and like it much better. The online (free) version is fine, but the extended program has a better method of searching for foods, adding new foods, setting weight goals/calorie planning, and charting progress. It was around $20 when I bought it.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 2:47 PM on July 15, 2007

i've tried both FitDay and SparkPeople but i always go back to MyFoodDiary which i have used for about a year now. it's $9 a month but i have found that the interface is better designed and easier to navigate.
posted by violetk at 4:05 PM on July 15, 2007

Huge props for Sparkpeople - I lost 20 lbs on it in a few months, and felt better, ate healthier, than I ever had. Bonus points for being free.
posted by mazienh at 7:41 PM on July 15, 2007

There is a MetaFilter group on Spark People.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:29 AM on July 16, 2007

Another huge thumbs up for SparkPeople. I've tried FitDay as well, but I like SparkPeople better.
posted by ollyoop at 9:07 AM on July 16, 2007

DietTelevision just launched with a similar idea, as well. I don't know how well it works; I just used an Excel spreadsheet that's now in Google Docs.
posted by anildash at 10:07 AM on July 16, 2007

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