For about 5 weeks now, I’ve been keeping a diary at a website called The Daily Plate. It has a lot of features, but the one I use daily is the food and exercise diary. Of course it also allows you to track your weight (which, BTW, is down 3 pounds in 3 weeks! Woo hoo!). There are two features that I really like. One is that, as you record what you’ve eaten throughout the day, it gives you a running total of how many calories you have left that day (based on your weight loss goals). If I’ve overeaten early in the day, and I know that I only have 210 calories left or so, it’s a good motivator to be very conscious of what I eat for the rest of the day.
The other thing that I like is that it has an enormous database of brand-name foods, both restaurant and grocery store. Here in Florida the predominant grocery chain is Publix, and the database has Publix’s brands of almost everything, including what they make in their deli. So, for instance, I can just type in “Publix cranberry walnut muffin” and it pops right up, with all the nutritional information already there. You can also put in your own recipes, as long as you’ve figured out the nutritional information per serving.
I tried another similar site, FitDay, and it had one advantage – it’s easier to find “plain” food. A couple of weeks ago I had baked a chicken, and I had trouble finding “plain” baked chicken breast on The Daily Plate that wasn’t someone else’s recipe. On FitDay, it popped right up. FitDay didn’t have the brand names, though, and it didn’t give the running total on the calories like TDP.
I had also tried keeping my own diary, but I was never able to last beyond about 3 weeks. Both of the sites I’ve used are much easier than doing it on my own, and they’re both free (although they both have premium content for a fee, of course). And – it seems to be working!