User Guide

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Diary
  3. Trends
  4. Foods and Recipes
  5. Profile
  6. Miscellaneous

Using the Diary

The Diary screen is where you log all of your daily items you wish to track. You can journal four distinct types of items to your daily diary:

  • Foods

    Log everything you eat and get a comprehensive view of your nutrition.
  • Exercises

    Log how much time you spend in physical activities, and we'll keep track of how many extra calories you've burned.
  • Biometrics

    Record measurements like your weight, body temperature, blood pressure, and cholesterol to track trends over time.
  • Notes

    Keep any notes for the day you want

A summary of your daily nutrition is displayed at the bottom. You can see at a glance how well you are hitting each of your nutritional targets. By selecting individual items in your diary, you can also see how each item contributes to your targets. Holding the shift-key while clicking items will allow you to multi-select items.

Adding Foods

  1. Click on the "Add Food" button.
  2. Start typing in food item you want to add. For example, type 'apple'. You can enter keyword fragments separated by spaces to narrow your search. For example, typing 'soup car' will find results such as 'Carrot Soup'.
  3. Select the appropriate food item from the food list. The results are ranked by a combination of how well the name matches your search, and how popular the item is.
  4. On the bottom of the "Add Foods To Diary" window, select the quantity and serving size.
  5. Click "Add Serving".

Mark Favorite

  • To Mark a food as a favorite, click the Star icon that appears to the left of the food name after clicking it in the results list. That food will now appear in the Favorites results tab.

Search Result Tabs

The search results are organized under several tabs:

  • All

    This tab shows all the search results for the text entered in the search box.
  • Favorites

    This tab shows all the foods you have marked as favorites. If the search box is empty, this tab will show all the foods you have marked as favorites. As you enter text in the search box, this tab will display your favorited foods that are also results for the text you entered.
  • Whole Foods

    This tab shows all results that have been tagged as "Whole Foods", i.e. unprocessed and unrefined foods like raw fruits and veggies, and foods that are close to how they are found in nature. The items in this tab usually have the most nutritional data available.
  • Supplements

    This tab shows all results that match that belongs to the Supplements category or tagged as ""Supplements".
  • Products

    This tab displays results that have the "Brand" tag, i.e. store-bought brands and common products you find on the shelves of the super-market. These results often have poor nutritional data due because the food manufacturers are not required to provide much information.
  • Restaurants

    This tab displays food items with the tag "Restaurants", i.e. menu items from common restaurants. Many restaurants provide some basic calorie and nutritional data for the food they serve, but like the Products category, that data is usually limited.
  • Custom

    This tab displays all the custom foods and recipes that you have created as well as the custom foods and recipes that have been shared with you by other users.

Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Instead of clicking the 'Add Food' button, you can use Alt-A (Alt-Ctl-A on Mac OS X) to bring up the Add Food dialog.
  • Pressing tab from the search field will auto-select the top hit and take keyboard focus to the amount box. Hitting tab from here will take focus to the measure list, and pressing enter will add the serving.

Adding Exercises

  1. Click on the "Add Exercise" button.
  2. Enter your exercise or activity in the "Activity Search" text field. Select the intensity of the activity from the "Description" menu'.
  3. Enter duration of your workout. The calories burned will be automatically calculated for you, based on the activity and your current weight.
  4. Click the "Add Exercise" button.

Adding Biometrics

  1. Click the "Add Biometric" button.
  2. An "Add Measurement To Diary" window will open. From the drop down menu, select the biometric that you would like to input.
  3. Use the drop down menus to select the appropriate measurements or information for the biometric you are adding.
  4. Click the "Add" button when you are finished.

Adding Notes

  1. Click the "Add Note" button.
  2. Type your note
  3. Click the "Add" button when you are finished.

Editing Diary Items

Sometimes you may want to edit an existing item after you've logged it. You may want to change the amount of a serving of food that you had, or edit a note. All you need to do is click on the value you want to edit. For example, if you want to change the amount of a food entry, click the amount to make it editable. And to edit the serving unit, just click it to make it editable:

Copy & Paste

If you want to copy items from a previous day and paste them to the current day, you have a few ways to do so. If you want to quickly copy the entire previous day into the current day, just select 'Copy Previous Day' from the diary widget menu: If you want to copy only a few items from a different day you can multi-select them by holding down the shift key while clicking them, then right-clicking on them to bring up a pop-up menu where you can select 'Copy Selected Items'. Next, switch to the current day (or whichever day you wish to paste into) and choose 'Paste' from the widget menu:

Diary Groups

Some people like organizing their daily diary items into even more detailed groupings. You can do this by turning on the 'Diary Groups' feature, which will add labeled sections to your diary. Items can be easily dragged between groups, and you can customize the labels for your needs.

To activate the feature, go to your diary, click the widget menu, and select Edit Diary Groups...:

This will bring up the edit groups dialog where you can activate the feature and choose custom labels for your groups. By default we have Uncategorized, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, and Other. But if you want an Afternoon Tea, or Workouts, or Alchemy category, you have complete control.

Clicking on a group header will activate that group, turning the label slightly red. If you add a new diary entry while a group is active, it will automatically be placed in that group. If you don't have an group active, the first group is always the default.

If you want to move an entry to a different group you can just drag and drop the item to where you want it. Clicking on a group header will also select all of the items in that group. This is useful, for example, if you want to see just the nutrition breakdown for a particular group. Right-clicking on a group header will also let you delete all of the items, or copy all of the items in that group.

Calories Summary

The Calories Summary section to help show all of your calories consumed and burned, and see at a glance if you have a calorie surplus or a calorie deficit. Our goal with this new design is to clearly show users all their energy details in one easy to understand info-graphic.

On the top left we have a bar showing your calories consumed. It grows from the left to the right. And on the bottom right another bar grows in the other direction, showing calories burned. If more calories have been burned than consumed, you can see The calorie deficit on the top bar. If you've consumed more than you've burned, similar surplus will be visible on the bottom bar.

The calories consumed bar shows the contributions from each macro-nutrient type (protein, fat, carbs, and alcohol). You can tap or mouse over each segment for more details. The calories burned bar shows calories burned by being alive (BMR), calories burned from general light activity through your day, and any calories you've burned from exercises.

Note, you can click the gear button in the upper right of this panel to see detailed help and settings:

You can configure the general activity calories here, as well as show or hide a weight goal which will tell you how much more you can eat or need to burn to stay on your goal.

Dynamic Macronutrient Ratio Targets

Some diets recommend specific target ratios for the amount of calories from protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

Click the settings button (grey gear icon) in the top corner of the Calories Summary (see above) to reveal the settings panel, and locate the Dynamic Macronutrient Targets section at the bottom of that panel to configure.

The default (None) will set the targets for protein, carbs, and fat to the minimum amounts needed by your body (as per the Dietary Reference Intakes).

Several popular diets are available (Zone, Low-Fat-Raw-Vegan (LFRV), Ketogenic, and Paleo).

Custom ratio values may also be entered.

If the default fixed targets are used, the four macro bars will all show fixed targets which you can configure by click on the bars. For all other selections, the targets will be dynamically computed based on several factors. The energy target will be derived dynamically by looking at your total calories burned for the day (BMR, activity, and exercise) as well as your weight goal. For example, if your daily burn is 2200 kcal, and your weight loss goal is to lose half a pound per week, this requires a 500 kcal energy deficit, and so your energy target for the day will be set to 1700 kcal (2200 - 500). The protein, carbs, and fat targets will all then be derived based on the chosen ratio to balance at your calorie target.

Total Carbs vs Net Carbs

You can choose to track carbohydrates as total carbs or net carbs. By default we use Net Carbs which is just total carbs with fiber subtracted. This leads to more accurate calorie targets for carbs, since fiber does not contribute heavily to your total calories.

There are two wide-spread opinions on whether or not net-carbs should include sugar-alcohols or not. By default, we use the simple definition Net-Carbs = Total Carbs minus Fiber. If you wish to also deduct Sugar Alcohols from Net-Carbs there is an option here as well to change the calculation.

High Fat / Ketogenic Mode

The High Fat / Ketogenic option is a special case. Instead of targeting specific ratios, we dynamically calculate a maximum target for your carbohydrate and protein targets, and set the remainder to fats. This is because eating too many carbohydrates will suppress nutritional ketosis, and too much protein will also do the same as the body can convert excess protein into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.

When High Fat / Ketogenic mode is selected, additional options are shown. By default, there are three strictness presets with Moderate as the default.
  • Rigorous is recommended for people doing a ketogenic diet for therapeutic reasons (cancer, epilepsy, etc...) where limits on carbs and protein need to be very tight. This is also a good setting for people who are very sensitive to carbohydrates and cannot easily maintain nutritional ketosis without very strict limits.
  • Moderate should be a good range for most people practicing a ketogenic diet for weight loss or health benefits.
  • Relaxed can be used by people who are very athletic and/or have determined through self-monitoring that they can maintain ketosis at higher levels of carbs and protein.
  • Custom lets you edit any of the values as you and your health care team sees fit.
Max-Protein Calculation

Your maximum protein is set based on a multiplier for each kilogram of lean body mass. For strict ketogenic diets, this is typically 0.8 grams of protein per kg, and the Moderate setting has it at 1 gram per kg.

Pregnant and lactating women will have an additional 25 grams of protein added — but please note it is not recommended that pregnant or lactating women attempt a ketogenic diet, and this should only be done with the approval and close supervision by a medical professional.

Since the maximum protein target is set based on your lean body mass, for the best estimates, you should periodically record your current body fat % to your diary. Simply log it as a biometric. If you are unsure of how to measure your body fat %, see our handy section for tips on measuring your body fat %.

Max-Carbohydrate Calculation

Your maximum carbohydrates are set again based on the strictness setting, and an additional 1 grams of carbohydrates are added for every 50 kcal of exercise, as those that are highly athletic can typically handle more carbohydrates without hampering ketosis. This can be toggled on or off with the Athletic Bonus checkbox.

Adding Ketone & Glucose Readings

Many people practicing ketogenic diets take regular measurements of their blood glucose and ketone levels. This is a good way to validate if one is producing ketones or not, and to learn how sensitive an individual is to different foods and exercise patterns. This panel adds fast links to quickly log your glucose and ketone test results. You can still log these through the normal Add Biometric screen, but these offer a quick shortcut.

Here are some products for doing home testing of glucose and ketone levels:

Targets Summary

The Nutrient Targets Summary section shows all of your tracked nutrition. There is a configurable section of target highlights at the top, and then the full list of targets separated by category below.

A Target may have a minimum and maximum value set, but neither are required. By default we set each nutrient to the recommended values as set by the DRI nutrition standards. The basic idea for these targets is that you need to get at least 100% of the minimum value each day to have good nutrition, and for nutrients that have a maximum, you want to also not go over the maximum value.

Note that if you select (or multi-select) items in your diary, the nutrition targets will update to show just the values for the selection. This can be useful to analyze specific foods or meals and how they contribute to your nutrition.

Nutrient Balance Charts

Gold subscribers will also see nutrient balance meters in place of ads at the bottom of the nutrient summary area. These display the ratio of two nutrients to one another. These indicate important ratios where because of how the body works with certain nutrients, the relative amount of each is as important as the absolute amount of each. For example, it is important to get a minimum amount of zinc and copper in your diet, but it is also important for the ratio of Zinc to Copper to be in the 15 : 1 to 8 : 1 range. We indicate the optimal ranges as green on the gauge. So if your balance of Zinc : Copper shows your value on the left of optimal, you can increase the ratio by either adding more zinc or removing some copper from your diet, to improve the balance.

The Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL) is an estimate of the alkalinity of the food. Negative values are more alkaline, and positive numbers are more acidic. While there is limited scientific evidence on the health benefits on an alkaline diet, many people are interested in tracking this.