Track Your Food on the Go With CalorieKing Diet Diary
By Sally Wiener Grotta, PCWorldSep 26, 2009 6:38 am PDT
Let’s face facts, sticking to a nutritious diet–whether it’s to manage weight or just to be healthier–isn’t easy. The one thing that all experts agree can be a big help is to write down what you eat or drink and how much you exercise. It keeps you honest, and it doesn’t let you commit “food amnesia,” forgetting about that small bite of chocolate or the lack of vegetables in every meal for the past three days. CalorieKing has a Diet Diary ($30, 7-day free trial) for your Palm that might be just the right ingredient to help with your journaling, even when you’re on the go.
On setup, you are asked to input your age, sex, weight, height, level of activity and goal (gain, lose, or maintain weight). Then, CalorieKing Diet Diary for Palm OS calculates a target level for your daily calorie intake, which you can change, if you wish. As you lose or gain weight, the program automatically recalculates your allotted daily calories. You can also set personal targets for carbohydrates, fat, fiber, and protein.
The initial splash screen has four options: Diet Diary, Database (of foods), Reports (of your intake, weight and calories burned over a period of time) and Library (of eight short articles about dieting).
Of course, the core of the program is the Diet Diary, itself, which has areas for recording what you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a single section for all snacks, plus your fluid consumption and exercise. Unfortunately, you can’t customize the interface to add a meal or record your food based on the time of eating.
As you add food to your diary, your daily calories are automatically counted down. But exercise gives you an added allowance of calories. (That’s why our screen capture shows that after our breakfast and morning yoga and walk, 1,508 calories remain from our 1,459 daily allowance. Trust us, after lunch, the numbers start to go steadily down.)
CalorieKing is well-known for its pocket-size books of food lists, such as the “The CalorieKing Calorie, Fat & Carbohydrate Counter.” So, it should come as no surprise that the Diet Diary includes a database of over 50,000 foods, including almost all fast food franchise offerings, listing their nutritional values. You can also add your own foods, as long as you know their nutritional breakdowns. While you can browse through the tree structure containing thousands of categories of foods, we found it much easier to simply do a search for specific foods. Then, with a click on the screen, it was added to our diary, and deducted from our daily calories. Adding a particular exercise works in the same way. You can save favorite foods, types of exercises and even meal plans, to make it even easier to add those items to your diary.
How effective CalorieKing Diet Diary for Palm OS is depends on the user. We’re going to try it for the next few months. Having this journaling tool with us on our Palms wherever we go should make it easier to finally lose those pesky extra pounds.