Keeping fit is everyone’s dream; too bad it’s too hard to stick to daily diets and nutrition plans. Luckily, the social media web is there to help you – it offers you a wealth of both free and paid tools to stay motivated, track your progress and monitor your diet and workouts.
Here is an overview of most feature-rich and unique web 2.0 websites that will help you lose weight and reach your goals:
|Weight loss tool||Price||Web 2.0 features||Drawbacks|
|Weight Loss Chart||free||Twitter integration||No community feature|
|Thintopia||free||Competition aspect||Too limited functionality|
|FitDay||$64.95/year (with free account available)||Update your personal journal;||Too much promotion of the premium account|
|MyFoodDiary||$9/month||Join support forums, update your food diary||No free trial|
|Gimme20||free||Join the community, workout builders and widgets.||Too many details at sign-up|
|iTrainHarder||$3.75/month||Blog your progress; comment and tag your images by body portion pose||No community feature (upcoming feature “groups” is likely to be introduced soon)|
|SparkPeople||free||Join teams, Q/A feature||No|
|Traineo||free||Participate in traineo community, join traineo groups||No|
|RunFatBoy||$5 /month||Update your personal journal||No graphs of workouts and weights; no algorithm for initial workout revealed|
Thintopia lets you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals by taking part in worldwide weight loss competitions – “all in a friendly and easy-going environment”. The site is pretty much interactive allowing you to find other like-minded people and connect with them. All the rest features are very limited though: no charts, no progress tracking – nothing that could make your life easier. The design is too simple either. All in all, it is worth a try if you seek something different from weight loss communities you are used to.
FitDay is weight loss and diet journal. It has both online (free and paid) and offline ($29.95) versions. The site offers very sleek interface and some great tools, among them:
- Food and exercise tracking;
- Weight-loss calendar;
- Long term diet analysis;
- Basal metabolic rate count (to ensure you eat enough);
- Graphs visualizing your process.
One of the cute features is setting daily moods and saving the mood history in the form of the handy graph:
MyFoodDiary offers color-coded food analysis that helps you visualize your diet. With the service you’ll be able to access:
- Huge database of foods in the diary;
- Easy-to-understand charts and daily reports;
- Exercise log
for you to calculate the calories burned for over 700 activities;
- Food diary.
Gimme20 provides loads of motivation tools: track your fitness and weight, read the blog and join the fitness community. I found the registration process a bit too long as I had to specify numerous details on the spot (why would they need my home address?) but all in all the site looks cute. Its best features include:
- Take advantage of mobile reporting and the workout reminder;
- Chart your progress;
- Participate in interesting polls;
- Track various measurements about your body, be it your weight, your height, hours of sleep per day, and much more.
iTrainHarder is an easy-to-use application (you can also take advantage of video tutorials once you are lost). It has the hugest database of foods I’ve ever come across. Cool features include:
- Photo tracker (enter comments for each of your photos and set the date that the picture was taken);
- Measurements tracker (“From your daily weights to the size of your or waist, everything can be measured and tracked so you can see your progress”);
- Blogging your progress (you can run your blog both privately or make it public to show the world your progress).
- Calorie counter,
- Customized fitness programs,
- Expert answers,
- Motivation program, etc.
Traineo is a fitness and weight loss community that “gives you support and motivation to reach your health and fitness goals”. The site offers you to set your health goal and then choose friends and family to become your ‘traineo motivators’ who will receive reports from the site with your progress. The core advantages of the site:
- A lot of useful information to educate you: forums, articles from experts, and then training information;
- A set of visualizing tools: diet and weight loss graphs;
- Internal messaging system.
RunFatBoy is a tool for newbies offering a lot of web 2.0 features. Registration takes no more than a few seconds (no email confirmation required) and you are immediately taken to the plan set-up page. Submit a few details about yourself (your weight, age, your physical abilities) and the plan is automatically generated for you! Additional features:
- Update your personal journal sharing your progress;
- Track your foods;
- Upload your photos to “visualize” your progress.
There are many more similar sites and I could review them endlessly but I tried to mention more or less unique ones (other sites might be cool too but offer to similar functionality). Anyway, to make the right choice you should try all of them first and choose the one that matches your needs and personality. Good luck!