Friday, August 6, 2010

fitness friday: tracking, tracking, tracking

so, anyone who is serious about losing weight or getting more active intends to track their meals and exercise

i don't know about you, but food diaries always worked for me for awhile. then i'd forget to put a meal in, continue forgetting, and then try to think back to what on earth i'd had the day before much less the previous week!

enter websites that have saved my calorie counting life

the only one i have any experience with is sparkpeople. i found it, liked it and stuck with it. so i'm going to chat about it a bit, list a few others that seem to be similar, and then ask for your input. if you've had any experience with any of these or have one to add, please leave it in the comments so everyone can see it :)

first the rundown:

sparkpeople is free...which was important
it was easy...which was also important
and it has cool features that i'm STILL finding out about.

i've been using it off and on for a few years. here are my favorite things about it.

goals:

on sparkpeople you can set a goal for weight loss...or you can simply set some lifestyle goals. examples of lifestyle goals include "drinking 8 glasses of water a day" or "keep a journal" or "listen to a get-up-and-go song every morning"
you can also fill in the blank and create your own goals.

nutrition tracking:

every bite you put into your body can be tracked!
most restaurant nutritional info is available online, so you can enter it yourself
OR you can search entered info from other members--chances are that someone has tracked the same meal
any food you buy in the grocery is either listed or easily entered
and there are extras!
not only are there meters for fruit/veggie servings per day and glasses of water per day
but there are also ways to create food groupings of things your often pair together (my coffee with sugar and creamer, for example) so that you don't have to enter each one separately
and my very favorite part, which is an entirely new category...

recipes:
enter the ingredients, the number of servings, and save it in your recipes
you can choose to share with everyone else on sparkpeople if you wish
or just keep it for your handy info
i LOVE this

finally, there's fitness tracking:
you can plan to work in cardio however many times a week you want
strength training
etc

there are plenty of extra features--message boards, motivation tools, etc. i find that i don't really use them or the sparkspoints system, but you might find it helpful.

the only extra i do use? the iphone app.
:0)

here are a couple of other sites that seem to do similar things

so

have you tried any similar tracking sites?
did you stick with it?
were you happy with the features?
what's YOUR recommendation?


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3 comments:

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Real Math In A Minute said...

I want to check out the sites you mentioned. I always get frustrated trying to keep up online altho I think calorie counting IS the way to go! I love exercise....sorta. :) I'm off to Zumba in a few minutes and I'll burn at least 600 calories.

Like your music? What is the name and artist? Thanks.

Sandra (Just Playin')

Amanda said...

Seems like every blog I read lately is talking about these websites :) I was on spark people for like a week, but I just couldn't get into it. I know that for a lot of people "tracking" is what they need to lose weight, but I find that instead of helping me develop healthy habits the tracking aspect becomes its own problem (constantly worrying about every bite, counting every pound, etc.). That's my own thing though, I know it works really well for some :)