Did you know that Google has its own calorie counter? The Google Calorie Counter, found at http://www.google.com/ig/ allows you to track your calories and manage your meals quickly and easily. You use the Google Calorie Counter with your iGoogle custom web page.
There are many reasons to use a running calorie counter. For one thing, it keeps tabs on how much you have already eaten so that you can ration out your remaining calories and stay on your diet. For another thing, it clues you into how many, or in rare cases, how few, calories are in a given item of food.
There are a number of programs both on the web and off that let you count your calories. Many pieces of online software let you keep a daily journal. And, PDAs and the iPhone have applications that let you do the same thing even when you are offline.
What sets the Google Calorie Counter apart is that it sits right on your iGoogle home page. So, if you use iGoogle, it can be a good option for you. You won’t have to carry around a machine or log into a separate site.
You will, however, have to use iGoogle which is a bit clunky. If you have more than a handful of apps, iGoogle can be very slow loading. And, if you don’t have a variety of widgets, there’s not a whole lot of point to iGoogle, so it’s a catch-22.
Further, the Google Calorie Counter is difficult to use. There’s no search function. While it includes all kinds of foods including common recipes and popular brands, you have to physically scroll through the letter of the alphabet that the item falls into.
Once you have found the item, you select it and it goes into your meal. You can select main dishes, sides, garnishes, deserts and more for each meal.
Another problem with the Google Calorie Counter is that it only has the three main meals. Many dieters take the advice to eat five or six small meals rather than a big breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is a “misc.” category that can cover snacks, but the program is rather inflexible.
There is a feature called “Settings” that lets you put in your gender, age, weight, height, and activity level. It will then give you a “daily amount” to target. As you add foods to the counter, you will be told how many of your daily allotment of calories you’ve used.
The Google Calorie Counter is useful for dieters who already use iGoogle. It has a simple, albeit klunky, interface. The constant reminder of how many calories you have left may force you to modify diet choices later in the day.
However, for most people, there are better alternatives to the Google Calorie Counter. If you use a PDA or iPhone regularly, the apps for those devises will probably suit you better and you won’t have to be connected to a computer to use them. If you don’t use iGoogle already, the Google Calorie Counter is no reason to start. Instead, check out the myriad of food journals and calorie counters available elsewhere on the web.