I sort of stumbled into a diet and exercise website called LiveStrong the other day. I was looking for a way to test out the BlackBerry App World, which had been giving me trouble, and decided to download the LiveStrong BlackBerry app which works with the website itself. It all looked pretty good, and reasonably legit: the company is now owned by a former founder of MySpace, and is associated with Lance Armstrong, the professional cyclist. The next thing I knew I was tracking the calories and nutrients in my food, and I was putting my weight loss goal at the top of my website. I’m talking about this thing:
The basic functionality of the LiveStrong website is pretty simple. They have a database of hundreds of thousands of food items, both commercial and home made. So if you eat a Turtle chocolate, or a Big Mac, or a tin of Campbell’s Chunky Soup, you can enter that into the food search and it will find all of the details of that food item. Click it, and it gets added to the list of what you have consumed for the day. That’s where you start: just adding food items consumed.
Where things get interesting is in the calorie and weight goals part of the application. For example, in my case I entered my physical details (weight, height, age, and normal activity level) and identified that I wanted to lose a pound a week. Based on that, LiveStrong came back and told me how many calories per day I am allowed- 1,951 in my case. Then all those food items you enter each day get tracked against this limit. You can do the same thing for a weight target, and the goals work together: your target weight loss per day based on calorie intake gets calculated against the total weight you want to lose, for example.
And, just as with food, LiveStrong has thousands of exercise examples you can search for and add to your daily record. Run on a treadmill at 4 miles per hour at a 5% incline, enter it into LiveStrong, and it will subtract the normal calories consumed by that activity from your daily calorie total. Since food and exercise can be updated using your smartphone or the web, it is easy to keep the data up to date. And you can share your progress with the world, or keep it private: most of my data is currently public- if you click on the image at the
Will this work to get me somewhat motivated towards my weight loss goals? It might, or it could just be like other things I’ve tried: I make a bit of progress, get frustrated, and give up. But I keep trying 😉