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Back in January I started using Calorie King’s Nutrition & Exercise Manager (NEM, from here on out) on a daily basis. I’ve never dieted before, let alone watched what I was actually putting in my body, so I wasn’t sure how I’d fair with this project. My immediate reaction was that Calorie King’s NEM was a huge help in the fight against too much food intake. Now I’ve had a couple of months to put the program through its paces and see what boils to the surface in the parts I like and the parts I don’t like.
The strong point for NEM is the massive database provided of foods and exercises. As someone who snacked and snacked and snacked, I never once counted a calorie and surely didn’t know where to begin doing so. The vast flexibility of Calorie King’s database allows you to quickly find the nutrition information from everything from a general apple, to a Stouffer’s Lasagna, to an In-N-Out Double Double meal. (The latter most definitely will ruin your daily caloric – not to mention fat – intake…) The database automatically pulls updates from the mothership every month, as more data is entered.
In the time I’ve been using this program, the biggest benefit I’ve found is that I’ve gotten familiar with where foods rank on the nutrition information. Those numbers are actually making sense to me – I can calculate on the fly now, what a chocolate chip cookie will set me back based on my daily allowance. Apparently I can be taught!!
So now that I know how my diet breaks down, I’m planning my days better. Which is to say I’m adjusting my meals to fit within my allowed calories/fat so that I know where I can have a treat for dessert or a more enjoyable dinner here and there. It’s refreshing to find that I don’t have to completely change my eating habits in order to eat healthier and drop a little weight. Calorie King’s Nutrition & Exercise Manager has really helped me learn to eat better by thinking about what I’m putting down each day.
I found a couple things that I’d prefer to work slightly different. It could just be my style of use, but they seemed like they might be helpful were they implemented a little differently. There’s no way to select a number of items that you’ve logged in your daily journal and copy/paste them to another part of the day, or another journal entry. Often enough I’ll have the same snack in the morning as I have in the evening. It’d be nice to be able to copy and paste an already logged food item – or better yet, CMD drag a food item to another spot to duplicate it. Instead you have to re-search the item to add another.
On the other hand, if you have a certain lunch on a regular basis, you can save it as a custom meal. That way you don’t have to re-enter all the ingredients, or sides, and all that jazz each time you have it. It becomes a single item in the Saved Meals section, has all the nutrition info saved in a sum total, and bam, it’s done. I’d still like to be able to copy and paste stuff, but this is quite helpful.
I’d love to see them add the ability to compare foods. This fits more into the planning side of things, so maybe it’s slightly outside the scope of what NEM is meant to do. But I think at the very least, it would be a great plugin for the program. I’ve begun compiling my grocery shopping list off the things I’ve found to rate better in Calorie King’s database. But it’s taken a lot of back and forth to determine which is a little healthier than the next. It’d be really nice to check a bunch of items and see them in a comparison page for quick reference.
But all in all the program is very solid and it’s helped me a great deal. It’s nice looking at the graph of my checkins and to see the line going down, down down…. Sort of like the program patting you on the back a little bit. Since some asked in the initial mention of this review, I’m now down 14 pounds. I guess that’s not too drastic over 2+ months, but I’m pretty happy with the results. And I’ll say confidently that I wouldn’t have changed my eating habits as easily as I did if Calorie King’s Nutrition & Exercise Manager hadn’t helped me learn to do so.
You can trial the program for 7 days, but after that it’s $45. If you truly desire to lose some weight, or just start eating better, it could be the best $45 you spend as you start down that road.