This post may interest only those of you who, like me, love gadgets and software that can help you learn and lose and maintain.
I looooove gadgets. Can’t help myself. I’m my dad’s daughter, and I just adore a new thing powered by a NiCad that might take days, months, or years to master, that feeds me information, or records it or parses and pukes it out in any of a number of languages, formats, forms of logic.
Ooooh, mmmm, shrink wrap and disks and cords and infrared beams and wirelessness!
So, of course, when I started my big loss a couple of years ago, I just had to look into and download and test dieting software. Well, naturally. Here are things I’ve tried and use now:
Healthetech’s BalanceLog — The perpetual link on this page takes you to my hands-down favorite piece of diet software. Healthetech’s BalanceLog for Windows and/or Palm. Oh yeah. Here is a diet planner, nutrient counter, exercise logger, data tracker all in one package. Even a body fat calculator I suspect is a whole lot friendlier than the calipers or the water tank. It guides and informs and isn’t perfect in its interface design (UI snob speaking), but the folks at Healthetech are working hard and listening to their users.
WWCalc — WeightWatchers members, of course, have devised point calculators and trackers for the Palm. Here’s the latest version I’ve found.
Bug Me! — For the Palm is a nice little alarm system. I’ve programmed mine to tell me that it’s time to eat. I need to eat every 3 hours, particularly when I’m trying to lose, to keep my metabolism burning at optimum. I’m often distracted enough to miss my meals. And that leads to out-of-control hunger later on.
J-File — I also like good old J-File (or your favorite spreadsheet builder for your PDA) to track all the things the other pieces of software don’t. I keep a number of things here. all may daily, weekly, monthly data, a Height/weight chart I use with folks I’m coaching, a Women’s size chart — for the same purpose (I’ve learned it’s WAY better to focus on size than weight), and my migraine journal.
Excel for Windows – of course, to keep track of your daily, weekly, monthly stats. It makes a nice place for your daily journal, too. One of these days I’ll work on a nice Excel weight loss stats/journal template and make it available here.
CalorieKing Mobile – this excellent counter is exhaustive, regularly updated, and a big memory hog. But very useful to have around for counting calories discretely in a restaurant as you peruse a menu. Includes fast food counts. But you know, just order the salads, friend.
BMI Calculator – This one from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood institute. I’m ambivalent about BMI numbers, because the calculations don’t account for people with a lot of muscle mass, but for vast majority of folks, it’s a good measure to watch.
Online diet planning sites – I don’t use these, but I’ve had very successful friends swear by them. If you’re online at least a little every day, these might be good tools for you. Check out these:
Got more/other software or hardware you’ve tried and want to share? Write to me at info(at)skinnydaily.com (I write the e-mail address this way to avoid receiving mail from web scanners of Mordor).