Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sparkpeople VS Buddyslim VS Fitday VS Dailyburn

This is by no means a comprehensive review. Each of these sites had features that I didn't have time or interest in going into. This is an overview of the basic functions any dieter would use, and how easy it was to use it. I'm also only checking out free features. I don't believe in paying too much into the bazillion dollar weight loss industry. Each of these websites offers a basic food journal, activity journal, and some community support. 

Let's check them out...

I really like this one. It's colorful and easy to use, and even has videos on how to use each feature. I don't have patience enough to do that, so I noodled on my own. (Plus, I figured it would be a fair comparison this way.) Even on my own, I was easily able to find out how to enter weight, nutrition, and activity information. Above and beyond weight loss goals, they allow you to set personal and fitness goals. I chose to do a new workout video 1x per day and drink 64 oz water every day for 2 weeks. It has a progress tracker for these things. You can also track measurements.
You can have it configure everything for you from your nutritional needs to a full weekly meal plan including shopping list. It also allows you to customize your program by adding favorites, altering daily nutritional needs, and watching the nutritional values you want to watch. It also gives you reports on your progress. All in all, I really like this one and will keep using it.
There's a nice workout tracker in the sidebar so you can see how many hours you've worked for the week/month/year.
I did discover it gives pretty high allowance of fat, but I was able to customize it to a lower number. In the food journal, you can even choose from items other users have entered, which is super helpful because you don't always want to be entering everything you eat. You can also favorite the foods others have created by checking the add to favorites box when entering the food. There is no way to delete a food you have entered into the system, so if you screw up, too bad. You can remove it from you daily food journal though. Another small problem, you can't use piece or wedge or any of those measurements when entering an item. You have to use serving, cup, gram, etc as a unit of measurement.
Time from signup to entering food = 5 minutes (I had to fill out weight info.)

I'd love to give an overview of this one, but unfortunately, it wouldn't let me authenticate my email address. Too bad. From checking out the tabs, it didn't seem super easy though.

Time from signup to entering food = From looking at the tabs and things, I could see where things were, but it looked like it would take some time to get started.

This one was not as user friendly, or as colorful as It instantly asked me for weight info, so I didn't have to search for it, but I couldn't find other goals like measurements or non weight related goals. A short search of the tabs told me where to enter activity and food info.
The activity log keeps track of miles walked, which is nice if you're trying to meet a goal.
I did find extra nutritional goals, a nice pie chart, and other nutritional info beneath the food journal. It was also easier than Sparkpeople to decipher your calorie deficit.
The food journal doesn't allow you to use foods others have entered, so you have to enter your own, if your brand is not in the system. You can customize something already in the system though.
Ah, I did finally find that you can track your measurements here too. All in all, it works, but i wasn't as impressed with the look, features, or usability. Especially since some of the best features are only available to paying members.
Time from signup to entering food = 7 minutes

This one was pretty good as well. It had many of the features of the others. You can enter food, exercise, and goal, though you can only tell it how many lbs per week you want to lose, not what you want to weigh by a specific date. It does have a nice side widget with lbs lost and a widget at the top of your homepage with your daily calorie/exercise balance. Like with the others, you can add custom foods, and the database here is almost as good as the database for
it doesn't have favorites, but in both the fitness and food logs, you can copy food from or to other days. So, if you eat roughly the same foods each day, this would save you time. I wasn't thrilled by the reports. You have very few options for reports generated. In fact, this website seems limited in all respects. In both ease of use and options available, it's a step up from fitday, but a definite step down from sparkpeople. 

Time from signup to entering food = 5 mins

So, as you can see, I by far prefer sparkpeople and will continue to log my food etc on that site. I hope this mini review is helpful to those of you who want to watch your nutrition.
And a not to It would be great if you could add a Weight Watchers Points Plus

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