Home > A great diet and exercise tracker from the USDA

A great diet and exercise tracker from the USDA

May 8th, 2016 at 03:28 pm

I see a lot of you are talking about various diets and like me, you probably want to lose some weight.

I came across an excellent USDA site for this years ago and really like it then, then lost track of it until I searched for it now and found they revamped it so it's even better.

Check out

You can get all sorts of detailed information about the nutrient/caloric makeup of different foods, but what I really like about it is that you can keep an online food and exercise journal while inputting your goals and so on.

You have to enter the foods you've eaten one by one, with an estimated amount/volume, so it can get kind of tedious if you eat something you made yourself that has a lot of ingredients. So for breakfast this morning, I had my usual homemade granola, but I'd like an accurate measurement since mine is very low fat. So I had to individually add oats, raisins, walnuts, olive oil, flax seed, etc. So it looks like my usual granola breakfast comes to 871 calories, or close to half what my daily intake should be given that i would like to lose 12 lbs.

And just from entering the ingredients of my breakfast granola, I can see from their bar chart that I've reached X% of my recommended fruit target,, etc. This is where I don't like the program, becus the USDA is using their recommended guidelines which I disagree with when it comes to how much dairy, protein, salt, etc I should be eating. In fact, based on the fact I ate a whole banana and about 1.5 oz of raisins, the site indicates I've reached 91% of m y daily fruit allowance!! Obviously way off for a vegan, who is going to load their plate up with fruit, veggies and grains and eliminate the dairy entirely. So far I don't see a way to customize the program to eliminate certain things you don't agree with.

The exercise portion of the website is just as detailed.

You can monitor and track your progress with their nifty charts, etc. IMO, this is even better than the Vivofit I spent $99 on which most of the time has trouble syncing with their website online.

However, the USDA site only allows you to input how much you walked, for instance, by time spent, not distance traveled in steps, as the Vivofit does. You have a choice on the USDA site of choosing from about 6 different paces, eg, 2.8 miles per hour, but there's no guidance given on how to estimate how many miles per hour you walk, so I'm just guessitmating.

So anyway, I'm very excited about this really detailed program. You just need to set up your profile to get started..

4 Responses to “A great diet and exercise tracker from the USDA”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    That sounds very high for a bowl of low-fat granola! I might try another calculator and see if you get the same results. has a good food-tracking tool. It does get very tedious so I just go for the calories alone and trust that the vitamins etc. will work themselves out. Smile

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    The USDA site does allow you to create "food combos" of foods you frequently eat together, so you can just click on your created combo to avoid having to input it one by one all the time.

    My granola does have a fair amount of walnuts, raisins or other dried fruits and the flax seed, which might account for some of those calories.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    And it' a big bowl, probably at least 1.5 cups. Guess i could measure it next time.

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    I use MyFitnessPal for tracking calories. I'm pretty happy with it. It is now linked to my Fit Bit so the steps I take get turned into calories burned.

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