A good friend is worth their weight in gold. Apparently I’m worth more than the average friend.
I met a dear, dear friend of mine for coffee today. We hadn’t seen each other in months and as we hugged I gushed about the weight she’d lost, followed up by a breezy comment about how much I had gained. She grimaced, nodding her head emphatically in agreement. Although that’s not exactly the response I was looking for (I was actually looking for something along the lines of “it’s not that much” or “you carry it well.”) I certainly couldn’t be angry with her. It’s the truth! So I resolved then and there to forego the grande vanilla latte no foam, get my butt on the treadmill, and start dieting. Of course, I can’t do this in a low-tech way – it’s against my religion. So today I’ve provided a roundup of the best diet and exercise sites that I’ve managed to find.
- PeerTrainer: I really like the social aspects of this site. Users join groups that are limited to a maximum of four people to promote personal accountability. There is also a log to record meals, workouts, and notes, but these are just text fields so there’s no food-item lookup like more robust sites. I think this would be a good site to join in addition to a tracking site.
- The Daily Plate: Right now, this is the clear winner in this category. It features a food database with over 100,000 items, including restaurant offerings. Food items can be joined together to create meals, as well. There are tools to track food and water consumption, calculate daily calorie goals, log daily exercise activities, and even a journaling option. You can also upload up to 10 photos to create a visual record of your progress. The social aspect is covered, albeit weakly, with message boards. If The Daily Plate could kick up the socializing, this would be darn near perfect.
- Fit Day: Finally, there’s Fit Day. I noticed quite a lot of users on del.icio.us with this site bookmarked, so I decided to check it out. The site boasts impressive functionality, with a food database, meal tracking, exercise logs, a calendar, goals monitoring, journaling, and at least seven different reports. There is no interaction with other users as far as I can tell. One thing I do find annoying about the site is that even though it’s free, the ads for their companion software are intrusive and persistent.
I was disappointed with the slim pickings in this category. There are a number of sites in closed betas, though, so hopefully we’ll have some more choices soon.
I’ve joined PeerTrainer and The Daily Plate, and I think I’ll be working these sites. My goal for this week is to get all the tools and plans in order so that I can start this officially on Monday. In the meantime, I’ll be working up to at least 8 glasses a day of water. I figure I ought to meet my exercise requirement running back and forth to the restroom.
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