I have a problem and when I have a problem, I often look to mobile technology to help with it. To be fair, I have several "problems", but I want to focus on one specific one to try and help as many folks as possible. My problem is: if I don’t eat 2,500 calories a day, I actually lose weight. After years of competitive running, my metabolism just won’t slow down, even though I have. I find that hours of feed reading and blogging pass by before I notice and I end up eating just one or two good meals a day; after weeks and weeks of that routine, the scale suddenly shows me 10 pounds lighter and my slight frame can’t afford that. Stick with me if you have the opposite problem, meaning: you don’t each much but you just can’t shed those pounds or if just looking at food adds another pound on the scale. We’re essentially trying to solve the same problem, just from opposite ends of the spectrum.
In the past, I’ve relied on various Pocket PC applications to help me log food and exercise. All of them were great, but I find myself using my Windows Mobile device less and less for specific applications. Simply put, having a UMPC or other small form-factor notebook is more effective for me due to a stronger feature set in apps, equal portability and faster text entry. So, earlier this week, I went searching for an app that would help me with my problem. Web-based was a plus so that I could use it anywhere, simplicity was a must, and it needed to provide me with options to log every detail; no matter how small. That’s exactly what I found over at Beginner Triathlete.
The website is geared for those it’s named after: it’s a community site for folks who are new to triathlons and want training advice, tools and programs. Joining the community is absolutely free and provides you access to the forums; some of the specific training programs have a nominal fee, which is expected. Here’s the real winner: if you register with the site for free, you gain access to both the Nutrition and Training logs, both of which are absolutely phenomenal. They’re so good, that I’d pay for the right to use them; luckily, I don’t and neither do you!
There are more details that you could possibly need in the nutrition log and that’s exactly what I wanted to keep track of my eating habits. Again, I’m trying to maintain or gain weight, but if you’re on the lookout to lose some pounds and need a on-line nutrition diary, this will work for you as well. Here’s some shots of how I’ve used this over the past few days:
I find that the entry system is quick and easy to use for meal logging. If there are meals that you eat often, you can save time by saving it as a custom meal; this way you can just choose the meal instead of entering the same details over and over. The web-based application is very usable with a Tablet PC or UMPC; all of my entries have been done with a stylus andor the Tablet Input Panel.
The other side of this equation is the training logs, which upon a cursory glance appear just as useful as the nutrition logs. I’m trying to solve my problem one step at a time, so I’m focused on getting my 2,500 calories (or more!) in each day. Hope this site helps anyone looking to better manage their weight and their nutrition or fitness level.