Saturday, January 24, 2009

(Cough Hack Wheeze) Food Diary Software

That's the way I'm sounding right now. I'm feeling better than yesterday afternoon, but I'm kind of like the economy - in a definite downturn. There is no way that I can put on a pair of shoes and hit the trail. Kind of a shame because the weather is perfect for running - cool, wet and drizzly. Oh well.

That gives me some time and space here to talk about my real reason for running - weight loss! I've been at this running thing for a little over a year and a half now and have dropped about 20 pounds in that time. I am sitting at 220 plus or minus a couple of pounds. I've come a long way from tipping the scales at 260, but I would really like to drop below 200 by the end of this year, and get back close to my college weight of 185 by the end of next year. I know that I'm putting in the miles and doing the calorie burning to attack one side of the equation, so that means that I need to attack the intake side to get serious about this.

For the past couple of months, I 've been using Fit Day on and off. I found that the type of reports and feedback are excellent. But the results weren't. I think it was because the data entry became arduous, and as a result, I became lazy entering my food intake.

Here are some of the pluses of Fit Day:
  1. Web version is totally free.
  2. Report feedback is phenomenal. Single click to see calorie deficit for the day or caloric breakdown (carbs, protein, fat) for the day.

  3. Food database is *huge* (this also works as a minus)

Here are some of the things I found to be a minus to Fit Day:

  1. Food database is *huge*. Enter "bread" and you get 10 pages of breads to review to enter.

  2. I found that it took me longer to navigate my way through the food database than I anted to spend.
  3. The food diary is not broken down by meal. I know this is a personal preference, but I find the Spark People report much easier to review.
  4. I have to go too many places to view the important data. Food intake on one screen, caloric breakdown on another screen, calorie deficit on yet a third

I think if you are going to be obsessive about enterring all your food in in the exaqct quantities you are eating, Fit Day can be an invaluable tool. But, if you spend time eating at restaurants and doing a lot of travel, Fit Day makes it tough to enter foods in the food diary. Not becuase they aren't there, but because of the size of the databse itself! I also like the more intuiotive interface of Spark People. It may not provide all of the data as accurately and in depth as FitDay does, but on one screen I can see what I need to see, quickly. So, starting tomorrow, I am going to switch back to Spark People. I am going to attack the intake side of the equation and drop 20 pounds this year.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Glenn, are you feeling better? Have you hit the trail again yet? Sometimes I like to go for a short run when I have a cold to help get the "crud" out.