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Online Dieting: Tools to Help you Lose

By Annie Scully

Here we go again – summer’s arrived and you have a family pool party coming up, followed by a class reunion and a week at the beach. This year, you’re determined to feel healthy, look great, and face the world with confidence!

A big part of that is getting rid of those extra few pounds that crept on over the long winter months. Fortunately, there are a slew of on-line tools that can help you count calories, monitor your exercise routines, and keep you on track to look your best. Can’t afford expensive dieting programs in a tough economy? Not to worry – all of the following web sites are free to join!

FitDay is an easy-to-use online diet and weight-loss journal that tracks your calories and exercise on a daily basis. Simply set-up an account and you can start tracking your food intake, activities, weight and goals. The interactive tools on the site will help you figure out how many calories you burn each day and calculate how many calories you can eat to achieve your weight-loss goal. At the end of the day you can print out easy-to-understand reports on your net calorie intake, plus the percentages of fat, protein and carbohydrates consumed.  

SparkPeople offers nutrition, health, and fitness tools, all in a lively format that is 100% free to join. More than just a weight-loss program, SparkPeople teaches you to stop dieting and instead transition to a permanent, healthy lifestyle. The site has informative articles and interactive tools, such as fitness-trackers and meal plans, as well as a very large and active support community made up of fellow members and experts. You can also subscribe to their daily Spark messages that focus on family and wellness, recipes, exercises of the day, and an enlightening fast food showdown. Who knew that a Big Mac was better for you than a Chipotle Chicken Burrito!

Traineo is a well-designed health and fitness site that utilizes the latest software to track daily activities and calories burned against a pre-determined weight-loss goal. The site also tracks your calorie intake but you will need to separately determine how many calories are in the food you have consumed. (FitDay and SparkPeople find that information for you). A motivation menu allows you to add friends, family or other Traineo members to monitor your progress, and you can even add a Motivator Expert to make sure you stay on track. Appealing charts and graphs also give you a visual picture of how you are doing with your fitness and weight-loss goals.   

Studies show that people who enlist the aid of a “buddy” are far more successful at losing weight and keeping it off than those who go it alone. Weight Loss Buddy takes this concept and turns it into a cross between a social networking site and a crisis hotline for dieters! Weight Loss Buddy offers 24/7 support, so you can turn to someone when you feel the urge to overeat, or it will help you find a motivator when you just don’t feel like taking a walk or going to the gym. You’ll learn invaluable tips about how to avoid healthy lifestyle inhibitors and hear from people who have struggled with – and overcome – the inevitable diet temptations and disappoi

Comment by Maryan Pelland, posted 8/27/2009, 8:46 AM:

I really like Online Mom. I enjoyed the fact that you didn't just repost all the same diet blogs - your tools are new to me. In fact, I liked this post so much I featured it at DemystifyingDigital.com in my blog today. Link: http://demystifyingdigital.com/dd_blogs/DigitalGrandparent/archive/2009/08/27/digital-dieting-how-to-lose-weight-virtually.aspx What's your take on the new Nintendo system - Wii Sports Resort? Does it keep players moving? I haven't seen it yet. mkp http://www.ontext.com
Comment by Rena Hecht, posted 6/12/2009, 7:43 PM:

Loved this article about on-line dieting tools!
Comment by Cheryl Friedenberg, posted 6/12/2009, 12:51 AM:

There is also an iphone application called Loseit!
Similar to fitday.com it helps you figure out how many calories you should consume daily (input (what you eat) versus output (exercise)) in order to lose weight. I've lost 7 pounds in 7 weeks using this application.
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