FatSecret’s Calorie Counter is currently rated #1 in Blackberry App World under Health & Wellness apps. After reading a few reviews and looking at some screenshots I decided to give it a try. It has turned out to be the complete package with the ability to track food intake, exercise, weight, and even come with a great web interface as well.
Food Diary: This is where you track your daily food intake. You can find foods by using the search feature, which works quite well; by choosing Foods, which gives you multiple levels of menus (i.e. Meat -> Chicken, Lamb, Roast Beef, etc.); by choosing Restaurants & Chains, which will give you varying levels of menus depending on the restaurant selected (i.e. Dunkin Donuts -> Bagels, Croissants, Donuts, etc.); or by Popular or Supermarket Brands. Once selected, you can enter the portion size, choose which meal to add the food to, and save. If you can not locate the food in the program, you can manually enter the details and it will be saved as an option going forward.
As a first time user of a calorie counting program I was skeptical at first, after having whole wheat spaghetti and meatsauce about how many individual items I would need to enter (spaghetti, sauce, ground beef) but lo and behold, under Pasta -> Spaghetti appeared Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Meatsauce. How much easier can it get? Granted there’s no way to know that I’m entering the exact portion amount or that the calories listed match up exactly to what I had eaten, but ballpark figures are good enough for me.
Exercise Diary: Here I used the website, www.fatsecret.com, to set up my default daily exercise. I figured it was a safe bet to enter 9 hours of desk work (1280 calories burned), 7 hours sleeping (597 calories burned), 30 minutes of walking at a moderate speed (156 calories burned), with the remainder set to resting (711 calories burned). Makes me wonder what happens with my day, as it doesn’t seem to me I rest for 7-1/2 hours a day. If it’s a day I go to the gym, I can modify this and enter Running, Calisthenics, etc.
Diet Calendar: This is where your total calories gained (Food) and lost (Exercise) are all listed out by day for the month. You can see the net calories gained or lost. Supposedly from what I’ve read online, every 3500 calories = 1 pound (gained or lost). I have yet to determine the truth behind this.
Weight Tracker: Just as it sounds. You can enter your weight as often as you’d like. It tracks it, and even creates a nice line graph – the top line being your starting weight and the bottom line being your goal weight.
Sync: I’m not sure the point of this option, as everything you enter is synced immediately, and if you don’t have internet access (no service), you aren’t able to enter anything into the app to later sync anyways. This brings me to my one con.
Web Site: As touched upon earlier, the web site that drives the app, www.fatsecret.com, has a great interface for entering food eaten, exercise, etc, as well as setting up your profile, your recommended daily intake, etc. Truth is it’s definitely easier to use the web site to enter multiple food items and I find myself entering most food items through the web site. However, the app is still easy to use, and since this is a review of the app, that it what I focused on.
- You need signal to use the application as other than the basic interface, everything is web driven
- Speed. The app is very quick to move around, even with its constant pulling information OTA
- No need to update the database of foods constantly, as the app is so web driven
- Immediate sync coupled with a great web-site interface.