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Looking to lose & keep the weight off? Try food logging!

2010 May 6
by amcdonough

Who wouldn’t want to lose weight more quickly, and have a better chance of keeping it off?

It’s as simple as keeping a food log.

Research such as a study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, shows that keeping a food log on a regular and consistent basis was a key factor in weight loss.  Accountability and awareness were determined to be two of the key factors.  Just as the display on the Fitbit Tracker does for activity – motivating you to increased levels with the ability to “gut check” yourself throughout the day.

We all know that food logging takes time, so we’ve added features (and look for more in the future!) to make food logging easier than ever.

A few of the ways we try to make food logging easier for you:

  • We have a database of over 85,000 foods, and we’re adding more all the time, so it’s easy to find the exact food you were looking for. Don’t see it? Add it to our Food Suggestions Forum or add the nutrition information directly from the label by choosing “Add New Food” and we’ll add it for you.
  • Make it a favorite!  If you are anything like me, you might have a tendency to eat the same foods fairly consistently. Make a logged food a favorite by starring it and it’ll be at your fingertips every time you log food.  Right now, I need coffee.
  • If you are really consistent, create a meal and add instantly.  Banana, coffee and peanut butter bagel every morning?  No problem.  Add it with the click of a mouse.
  • Type ahead.  Give us the first few characters of a food, and we’ll show you an array of choices to get you started.
  • Logging all your food at the end of the day?  You can easily drag & drop foods between meals if you forget to use the drop down.
  • And don’t forget to fill your water glass!
9 Responses leave one →
  1. May 6, 2010

    I agree 100% – logging calories is the best way to make sure you dont overshoot your caloric intake goal during the day. Once you get used to logging consistently, it becomes second nature and not at all difficult. I’ve been logging everything I eat for the last year or so, and its definitely helped me keep my weight loss consistent over that time.

    I would recommend getting a food scale as well, since its much better than trying to guess how heavy that BLT sandwich was. This will allow you to log food by weight, which (IMO) is much more accurate than going by “servings” on the website. I use an analog scale with a large metal (removal) bowl at the top that makes it easy to measure things like pasta, vegetables, etc. You can get a decent scale on Amazon for under $30, or even try a place like ROSS or Marshalls, since they usually have one or two options in their kitchen sections for a good price.

  2. Adan Gallardo permalink
    May 6, 2010

    It would be nice if I had someway to log the food items from my phone.. hint hint wink wink ;)

  3. May 8, 2010

    I’m absolutely in love with my fitbit (it finally is here–yay!!). I’ve always kept a food log, but it is SO helpful to have the precise calories (and protein, fat, carbs, etc.) on hand to keep myself in check. I’m actually shocked at how easy it has been to begin logging all the nutritional values (thanks, fitbit).

    I agree w/ Adan Gallardo’s comment–it would be awesome to log food/water or have my fitbit update itself via my phone! (and *please* if you come out with an application, keep us blackberry loyalists in mind :) )

    Also, I’ve only been using for a little over a week so I may have missed this feature, but is there a way to create personalized activities (similar to “Add New Food”) so that we could be more specific in calculating our calorie burns? It would be really helpful for logging activities that provide calorie burns while/after you work out or complete the routine (i.e. gym cardio machines, wii personal trainer, fitness magazine work-outs).

  4. May 14, 2010

    I agree with a food log. It keeps you “honest” and also, if you start gaining weight, you can go back and see what could be the cause.

    On the food scale, this is a MUST. You think you can eyeball it, and for a while, maybe you can, but you would be surprised how after a while, an ounce soon becomes 2 ounces or even more. You can get good inexpensive ones at Target. Mine weighs in grams and ounces (kilograms and pounds), and you can weigh and reset without taking the bowl off. For example, when I make oatmeal, first I put in 40 grams of oatmeal, click a button, then add 180 grams of milk, click a button, add 1 tsp of brown sugar, microwave for 2 minutes, put it back on the scale click a button and measure how many grams are in my banana, all without taking the bowl off the scale (except to microwave). If you forget to turn it off, it stays on for about 5 minutes before turning itself off. It is digital so it is really accurate and cost about $15 at target about 6 months ago.

  5. Stephen permalink
    May 15, 2010

    I’d also like to say that I think your food logging application is great. However if you look at my history on the site- – you’ll find that I’ve stopped logging because I can’t remember everything I ate at the end of the day, and sometimes don’t remember to log it at all.

    I do carry a phone with me all day long, so it would be great if there was a mobile friendly way of logging food on the go. Would love to see this. Just a mobile friendly site, doesn’t have to be a fancy native app.

  6. cori permalink
    May 16, 2010

    I’m seriously considering giving fitbit a try – it seems like a very useful tool for tracking activity levels and the like. I also really like that you’ve added calorie tracking features, but Im curious if you have plans to release either an iPhone app for that purpose, or to allow users to import data.

    The reason that I ask is that I have been quite successful in tracking calories (and losing weight) using the iPhone app loseitapp [http://www.loseit.com]. I would like to be able to continue to log my calories in my iPod Touch – it’s *extremely* convenient. If you’re not looking to develop an iPhone app, loseitapp allows export of logged data, so an import feature would be useful.

    The other useful thing that loseitapp does is to help you determine what reasonable goals for calorie consumption to achieve my weight loss goals.

    Obviously fitbit can’t be everything to everyone, but the ability to continue to log my calories on my iPod would definitely push me over the edge from the purchasing standpoint….

  7. May 17, 2010

    Your food logging is good, but what would make it awesome is two enhancements:
    1) I’d like to be able to create a menu from an existing meal (i.e.: yesterday’s dinner that I’m going to have again for today’s lunch or yesterday’s lunch that I really liked & will eat again)
    2) Although Menus are good, I’d love a recipe builder. So, I have a Menu that I’ve created for a specific salad that I eat; but what if I eat only half the salad? Then I have to modify all the ingredients.

    Thanks!

  8. Paula permalink
    September 10, 2010

    I’ve been using the Calorie Counter app on my HTC Droid & find it easy & helpful in tracking food & exercise throughout the day. It would be great to be able to import this data to fitbit (currently syncing to fatsecret.com).

  9. Jenny permalink
    December 5, 2010

    Just wanted to say “ditto” on the request for a mobile food logging app or site. It would make keeping a log so much easier for me! Thanks!

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