So if you're like me, you're trying this diet thing on your own - no programs, no food deliveries, no official weigh ins - and sometimes things can be a bit tough.
You're getting ready to have a snack (because, let's face it, sometimes you just need a little something...and they say that smaller/grazing type meals are better for you anyway...) and you're not sure which is better...or you want to start counting calories (this, along with portion size is my own diet plan...) but you have absolutely no idea how many calories that chicken breast you're having for dinner is. I mean, it's easy when you open the loaf of bread to make a sandwich to check out the nutrition facts, but a head of lettuce doesn't have a calories or nutrition list.
I've found a great tool that has been super useful in this endeavor. It's also helped me figure out what to order the few times I've been out to eat since I really started paying attention.
I use www.fatsecret.com. It's a fully customizable food and diet page. It has a food log where you can log everything you eat (which goes with UAB's suggestion of writing everything down that she shared in a previous post). It also has an activity log so you can fairly accurately estimate the number of calories burned both by working out and in a general day. There are forums if you have questions for others, a cookbook to store favorite healthy recipes (and you can search others' recipes as well), there are groups you can join and also challenges that you can set up or post. I've gotten some great ideas for challenges - both short and long term - from others who have posted.
The biggest advantage I've found with this website is the app for my phone as well. I can log food no matter where I am. I can also search restaurants and other foods while I'm out so I can compare and make smart decisions. You can set your preferences to the number of calories that you want to stay under or other parameters and it will show you when you're getting close.
Check it out and see what you think. Great tool, easy to use...oh, and the best part? Totally free!!