The 5 Best Food Diary Websites
In another post we discussed some of the reasons why a person might want to make a food journal to help keep them on track of their personal goals. However, if you Google the term “food diary” or “food journal” your results will come back with a plethora of websites for you. To help you find a food journal site that is perfect for your own style, we’ve come up with a short list of websites for you to chose from.
The Best Food Journal Websites
1. My Food Diary is a popular one but it has a cost of $9 a month. This website has been highly publicized from media sources such as Wall Street Journal, Shape, ABC News, and the New York Times to name a few. The site offers a very complete database of over 80,000+ foods, phone apps, and no annoying ads. You’re also able to calculate calories for over 700+ activities and you can also keep track of vitamins and minerals – something I’m not really big into because I go by the philosophy of “I could always use more.” The only drawback to this website is that it has a cost of about $9 a month. If adding this into your monthly expense is worth it just to not have ads, then this site might be for you:
2. Nutrition Data is a free site and I actually love to use this site when looking up nutrient contents of foods but as far as keeping a food diary, the interface is complicated and I don’t think it’s that user friendly. The website is actually owned by the same company as Self magazine and you can definitely tell based off the ads placed on the site. I love to use this site when looking up the nutritional content of foods – it has a very comprehensive database of vitamin and minerals from foods and it obtains its list of nutrients from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (yeah I know that was a lot of words). However, the big drawback to me is that the site has a complicated interface. But, what is complicated to one person may not be to another. If anything, it might be easier for you.
Because the site is a branch of Self it has a blog style format in that you can get tips for recipes, workouts, diets, and other health and nutrition related issues. In addition to that, it appears that you can only track foods and not fitness levels – if I’m wrong about that, let me know. If the inability to track fitness is a big deal to you, you may not love the site. However, the site is free and if keeping track of nutrients like vitamins and minerals is a big deal to you, this site may be great for you.
As you can see, the site is great at breaking down micronutrients:
3. Fit Day is the site that I love to use. First of all, it’s free (and that’s always a huge plus). Second of all, you can track so many different things – your weight, nutrients, vitamins and minerals, fitness, and even moods. The site isn’t as comprehensive as the first site mentioned, so if you’re looking for something a little advanced the first paying site might be your best bet. One of the features that I love is that it’s very easy to put in custom foods and all their nutrient levels. So if a food isn’t listed, you can add it along with the number of protein, carbohydrates, fat, and etc. If you wanted to keep track of the number of vitamins and minerals then that might take a little bit more work. But for macronutrient tracking – it’s perfect. You can also calculate how many calories your body needs just to live and have that as a reference point for all of your caloric intake. All in all, it’s a great site for free and you can pretty much find out everything you need to know:
The site also features a paid version for $5.49/month. By paying you get the benefit of no ads, advanced reporting, and custom tracking. Although, the advanced reports aren’t specified and I’m not sure what kind of custom tracking will be increased because you can already keep track of weight, nutrients, calories, fitness, and even moods. However, if you wanted to keep track of specific nutrients then the first two sites might be a little better. But like I said, if you’re just trying to track carbohydrates, proteins, and fats along with your basic activity levels, then this site works great.
4. My Fitness Pal.
I have seen a lot of this site on social networks such as Facebook so I decided to give this website a try for a day. What I liked about it was that it has a user based library of foods. You can also add your own custom food if the food is not in their system. Overall, the site is great for tracking macronutrients and overall calorie intake but not too good at tracking vitamins and minerals. If you’re looking for a very simplistic site. Still, the website is free and it does allow for tracking of the major components of nutrition but I prefer something a little more. The only reason I would consider switching to this website is because of how easy it is just to track just carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Another big drawback for me is that you can’t keep track of cholesterol, and different kinds of fats such as unsaturated and saturated. It also seems unable to keep track of fiber intake. Those things are very important to me. If that’s not on your list of things you want out of a food journal site then this site may be perfect for you.
The Phone App
I decided to give the My Fitness Pal phone app a try and compare it to their website. The phone app is literally, one thousand times better. Under the phone app the food diary is able to give you a breakdown of vitamins, minerals, and fats etc. The great thing about it is that you can even break everything down by graph. This app has actually become my favorite food diary as you can track what you eat on the go. As far as actual food journal websites are concerned though, my pick is still for Fit Day simply because you can keep track of calories burned (oh, and I like that it’s free). Here is what you can do with the My Fitness Pal phone app that you can’t even come close to doing with the website:
Like all of the other sites we mentioned, this site has the basic features of being able to track your weight along with weight goals, fitness and activity levels, and see the portion of macronutrients you’ve consumed. This site has another simple interface and like My Fitness Pal, you search their database of foods that users have submitted or just go of their list of foods. Unlike My Fitness Pal, you can also add your own custom foods. However, I find their interface not as friendly as My Fitness Pal so if I were to go for a site like this based off of simplicity, I’d go with the other option. Also, just as the other fitness diary websites, this one also features fitness, nutrition, and general health tips:
Do you have any other fitness journal websites you know of out there? Feel free to send us a message and we’ll take a look at them.
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