Online Food Journal Fun

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yesterday, we talked about how keeping a food diary can help you meet your health and fitness goals. However, the thought of toting around a notebook and pen might sound archaic to some! For those of you who like to keep everything on your computer or iphone this is for you. There are literally hundreds of online food and exercise journals to choose from. Some are super in-depth (and in my opinion complicated), some are easy to use, some are expensive, and some are free. With so many to choose from, how do you know which one to use? Hopefully, I can help narrow the field for you a little.

But first, let’s talk about why online food and exercise journals are so great! Taking your food diary digital can help you keep a detailed record of exactly how many calories, carbohydrates, grams of fat, etc. you are consuming each day. If you did this with your paper journal it would take you hours to track down all of that nutritional information, but the online sites do it for you. With most of them, you can simply enter in the foods you eat and it will look them up in its database and give you specific nutritional information on each item. This is great if you are new to healthy eating, and are not quite up to speed on the nutrition facts of most foods. Many of these sites will even create specific meal plans to help you meet your goals! Another great thing about the online journals is most of them will track your exercise as well. Once you input your food intake and exercise for the day, it can then compare them and see if you are in calorie deficit or if you consumed more calories than you expended. This is especially handy if you are trying to lose weight!

So let’s take a look at some of my favorite sites:
  • Free!
  • Has a corresponding iphone app
  • Tracks calories and other nutritional information
  • Database of over 88,000 foods
  • Online support community
  • Charts to track improvement
  • Free!
  • Tracks calories and other nutritional information
  • Tracks exercise and caloric expenditure
  • Compares caloric intake to caloric expenditure
  • Database of over 45,000 fast food, brand name, and generic foods
  • Online support community
  • Built to work with the leading diets such as the Atkins Diet, The South Beach diet, Weight Watchers, and The Zone Diet
  • Free!
  • Tracks calories with a very easy to use input system
  • Database of over 463,000 items
  • Has your own personal food database where you can add your own foods and recipes! (This one is huge and a lot of websites don’t allow you to do this)
  • Computes caloric expenditure from exercise
  • Support and discussion forums
  • Customized diet profile
  • Supports different types of diets such as The Atkins Diet, The South Beach diet, The Zone Diet and more
  • Free!
  • Food tracker and personalized meal plans
  • Customized fitness plan
  • SparkPoints motivation program
  • Support from experts on message boards
  • Includes articles, recipes and exercise tips

In summary, if you are looking for a website to use simply to track your food and exercise I would go with or However, if you want help coming up with meal and exercise plans I would try or Also, if you are someone who makes a lot of their food at home or eats what some might consider “different” foods, I would highly suggest The fact that you can enter in nutritional information yourself is so nice! For example, if you eat a specific type of cereal everyday for breakfast and that cereal is not in the database you can simply look at the nutrition facts enter in the information, and save that food for future use! This is quite possibly my favorite feature!

It doesn’t matter if you track your progress online or on paper, keeping a food and exercise log can be your golden ticket to better health!

If you try out any of these sites, let me know what you think!

Yours truly,

Lauren G.

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7 Responses to “Online Food Journal Fun”

  1. Thanks for posting this! I started a food journal when you gave me my "diet plan"!

  2. That's awesome Amy! What kind are you using? Paper or electronic? How's the diet going??


  3. Hey Lauren,

    Right now, I'm using paper. I've used electronic before but it was REALLY time consuming. So far, so good. I find if I eat a small breakfast and two snacks, I eat less in the evevning, which really helps.


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