Thursday, October 22, 2009

Everything Old is New Again

In light of my new initiative, I decided it was time to set out on my own rather than follow someone else’s “diet” plan. I don’t want to diet. I do not want to mess with point systems, pre-made food, expensive services, books, fads, other equipment, shakes, pills, supplements, or a mess of “helpful” tips and articles about weight loss, diet, and exercise emailed to me multiple times a day. I want to know simple, quantitative information. I want to base the majority of this attempt on the very cut and dry equation of calories in vs. calories out, and tweak other nutrients as necessary. I want information; I want it to be up to me how I use that information; and I want to go on living my life.

There are a lot of free tools on the Internet that provide this type of tracking. I considered SparkPeople, but there’s so much other stuff going on there. I opted, instead, to pay for a site, $9 a month. It’s called And I think it was the right choice:

The user interface is very clean. The reporting is extremely clear about telling you exactly how many calories you can eat to reach your goals, whatever they might be. It changes the amount of food I can eat based on how much I exercise. And, the kicker, which really sold me, is that it’s mobile Web site, is clean, works on my Google Phone, and is very easy to use. That way, in my new job where I sit in the middle of cube land (I do miss having an office), I can discretely track my meals on my phone rather than hanging out on the Web site all day.
A couple snapshots of the interface:

Clean, simple, easy.

Though I think including items like “No dessert!” is a little cheesy for this “At a glance” section, I have generally found the information that is included in this chart very helpful. Like, for instance, I eat a ton of sodium. I honestly had no idea.

Then, it will tell me how many calories I have left at any given time of the day: how many I can eat to “maintain,” to “lose 1 lb per week” and to “lose 1.3 lbs per week.” That way, I know if I have a snack attack at 9pm, I have plenty of calories to work with. I also know that “If every day were like today,” I’d have a very successful week.

In addition to this being motivating information, it’s practical. I know that there are days when I can plan exactly what I want to eat, and days when I will go out and let loose. This type of information is empowering because I don’t always have to hit those “lose” targets. If I hit the maintain targets once or twice a week, I will still have a net lose.

So far, I’m very happy with it .


Kendra said...

I like it. SparkPeople adds so much "flair" that its hard to find just the information you need to lose weight. And all the annoying emails they send make me want to punch my computer.

Lindy said...

Nice...similar to Calorie King, but I can't log in on my cell phone. Maybe I will check this one out. Thanks!