One of the tools I use to help me keep my diet in check is CalorieKing. First let me clarify – when I use the term “diet”, I mean nutritious eating; not some fad or gimmick.

I first started using CalorieKing five years ago. It’s a diet and weight-loss calorie counter that offers a web-based and desktop client with a bunch of useful tools to help you reach your goals. Some of the tools they offer are:

• A community forum where you can chat with other users • Articles and recipes • A store that sells items like pedometers and books • An online trainer to help you with your workouts • A large food database with generic, name brand and restaurant food information and nutrient data

The wide range of information in the food database made it easy to track and educated me on what I ate. For example, I used to love to eat at Chili’s. Then I looked up the nutritional value of their menu items and was shocked to see that a salad could be 750+ calories! That’s more than half of what my total daily caloric intake should be! I realized just how much calories I was really taking in. Factored against my activity level, it was no wonder I was overweight.

One of the things I love most about CalorieKing are the charts and graphs you can use to analyze your progress. The charts I use the most breaks down what percentage of my diet comes from carbs, protein and fats and what my net caloric intake is. There are lots of other options but those two are my favorites.

I’ve through period of laziness where I stopped counting calories. When I did this, I found myself getting lazy with my diet too. Just by going through this exercise, I am more aware of what I eat which helps me make better decisions about what I choose to feed my body.

I have tried other similar, free online tools but found that their database wasn’t as extensive as CalorieKing’s and their user interface wasn’t as sleek and user friendly.

CalorieKing is fee-based, but this was one of the key factors in my weight loss and I highly recommend it to everyone!

PS I wish they had an iPhone app. I contacted them to ask if one was in the works. Its not, but they do have a mobile web site. Haven’t tried it yet though.

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