Day 3: My Big FatSecret

One of the most important things that you can do when trying to lose weight is to track everything that you eat. It’s amazing how differently your decision making goes when you know you’re going to have to write down what you eat. At a minimum you should record the number of calories taken into your body in some sort of log or notebook.

With technology making our lives easier these days, you can record everything on the computer or using your phone. I recommend using a website that tracks what you eat. Not only will it show you how many calories you are eating each day, but how much fat, sugar, carbs, etc. There a many different websites out there that will allow you to do this. Many of them even come with mobile phone apps to make it even easier to record what you eat. Here are a few that you can try:

Livestrong.com’s MyPlate:
Livestrong.com's MyPlate
I haven’t used MyPlate myself, but have heard that it is pretty good.
About.com’s Calorie Count:
About.com's Calorie Count
I used Calorie Count for a while and liked it a lot…until I found:
FatSecret!
FatSecret - All Things Food and Diet

I work in the software industry and am a big fan of open source software. The idea of open source software in a nutshell is to share the awesomeness of software that you wrote with others to enjoy for free. The original source of the code is freely available for you to change if you want to make it better. Many open source projects are done in collaboration with multiple people across the globe working together to write great software. A few examples of open source software that many of you may have have already used or heard of are:

Firefox Web BrowserRobust Email ClientFree Office SoftwareAwesome Free Open Source Image Tool

When I came across FatSecret, I loved the idea that the entire database of foods is editable by all members. Calorie Count had an approval process and seemed kind of slow and clunky – especially once I switched to FatSecret. Food Makers will change their labels from time to time. If you see an entry for a food that has a problem – just edit it. Bought a store brand that is not listed in the database? Add it yourself right then and there to the FatSecret database. The idea of an open source community type of nutrition tracking website had me from first sight.

I will be documenting all of the food that I eat while I’m on Body For Life over at FatSecret.com. My Fatsecret ID is:

benrunslife

If you are already on FatSecret, send me a Buddy Request! If not, what are you waiting for? Go give it a try!

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