Blackberry meet the SparkPeople Tracker App

For doing your daily tracking. Looks like it came out a couple weeks ago – so pretty new. But seriously, how did I not know about this sooner? What did I miss? Where was my email or big announcement! I log into SparkPeople daily – I see there is a blurb when I log in, but it had a picture of an iPhone so I didn’t even read it.

Anyway for everyone else out of the loop like me this app is available for Blackberry, Android and of course the iPhone.

I played with the app for all of 3 minutes but it looks like it is going to pretty work good. At least better then the mobile site anyway. I will know better when tomorrow comes around and it is time to enter my food for the day. I find a lot of calorie counting apps slow, but this one seems decent.

It could use some work in the looks department, but it seems functional and that is all that really matters. Especially the font, maybe they could have maybe it even bigger. Size 50 isn’t enough.

And if you want a bit more knowledge for the day, SparkPeople also has a recipe app. The recipe app has been kicking around for a while now. It comes in handy for those times I find myself going in the kitchen going “I want to make some muffins!” I get out my handy blackberry, open the app and before I know it I am making some nice healthy muffins. Really I do this. NERD. I know.

And of course, here is the link to find more information and download this wonderful app.

More thoughts on myfitnesspal.com

So I just added my lunch to my day. I went out for lunch today for Sushi… something that is usually pretty hard to add up but I was shocked by their selection of sushi already in their database.

Yes their food search is still very bare… but they have a ton of food that I could never find in sparkpeople. The results for ‘green tea’ were HUGE – and they even had gomae in their system as well different kinds of sashimi. Their list of Starbucks food is massive and even contains the petite vanilla scone! I didn’t eat at Starbucks today (not yet anyway, haha) but I did a search just to see.

Not only do they show the ‘recently added food’ but they do it PER meal. Awesome. I eat a lot of the same food for breakfast and then a lot of the same foods for lunch so to show me recently added foods to just lunch is very handy.

This site is for sure getting better. Of course I wish I could export my custom foods from sparkpeople, lol. There are still some features of sparkpeople that I think are awesome but I guess I could go between the two if I really had too. Maybe with time this site will be get better. I still dunno what I am going to use but I am liking this new site but not sure if it is worth the switch just yet.

myfitnesspal.com – my first thoughts

As suggested from a comment on my last post I decided to give myfitnesspal.com a quick try just now. I played with it for about 10-15 minutes; I added some of my food from today and my planned exercise.

Some of my first thoughts –

Based on my weight (182 pounds) and exercising for 60 minutes a day 6 days a week it told me to eat 1200 calories a day to lose 1.5 pounds a week. 1200 calories? THAT’S IT? That seems very very low to me for amount I currently weigh and the amount I plan to exercise. I know it is only a recommendation but it still seems low. But then I went and actually entered my exercise (that I plan to do) and I notice that my amount of calories jumps WAY UP to 1922. I really like how it adjusts your calories based on your exercise and says how much extra calories you ‘earned’, I think one problem I have is not eating enough on days I exercise lots. So that is very cool.

I guess I was kinda confused. I figured the 1200 was based on the exercise already because it asked me that information at the beginning… that was kinda weird. But I am glad it fixed itself when I actually went and added some exercise.

I like how you can ‘Remember a Meal’ – very nice touch! I also like how when you go to add a food it has a list of recently added foods (kinda like fitday.com) – However – I don’t really like their adding food system. There is a ‘My Foods’ section but I can’t seem to add food from there. I have to just search for food and ‘my foods’ then show in the list… I found that kinda weird. I find the search and the way you add food very very bare, there just isn’t a lot there, just a big scrolling list. I also really think there needs to be a search or something for the food you enter yourself.

When it came time to add my own food I was pretty confused. I really like that there was a spot for brand name and then food description. But then it came to entering a serving size. I don’t know how many servings there are in my box of crackers and I don’t want to do any math and it forces me to enter this information! argh, I think it is nice that the option is there but it should be just that; optional. As far as entering your serving for the food… there is just a box that says ‘serving size’ I was so excited and thought this meant I could enter ‘2 slices’ – nope, I was wrong. You have to enter something that their system recognizes – what I ate wasn’t in cups or weight, it was a slice – so then I tried to leave it blank, error – servings, error… finally serving worked. IMO if they have certain words that work, make a drop down and allow people to pick from a drop down. People don’t know what to enter, they need to be shown if they can not enter whatever they want. I make web sites for a living and I know this for fact – give some a box and they will enter what they want – you can’t let something enter whatever they want and than give then an error! If you want SPECIFIC information then you need to be more specific.

Exercise is all search based, there is no list like with SparkPeople but on the reverse of that SparkPeople has no search for strength training exercise just a bunch of dumb pictures that don’t really say much. With the strength exercises you can actually enter what you did, the amount of weight, reps and number in each rep.

Overall (after my very short visit) I think this site is pretty nice and has some nice extra features but I don’t know that I like the food entering system and since that is my main purpose behind using these types of sites, I don’t know how much I will use it… however, I think it deserves more of a chance, because I do like how the calories change when you enter exercise and it tells you how many calories you have left for the day. But it is also a super huge pain in the butt to enter all my custom foods (that are already on sparkpeople) that I eat all the time.

This is the third journaling site I have tried – they all have their strong points and their weak points; I could probably write a whole article just on that! But everything takes time and deserves a chance. I remember I didn’t much like sparkpeople in the beginning but once I got used to it I started liking a lot of the features, like the points and recipes and forums you could start with your friends.

So anyway – thank you to the person who suggested it, I have never heard of this one before and will be checking it out some more as the days go on.