4/21/2009

How To Set Up Edibles To Work With Weight Watchers

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

How To Set Up Edibles To Work With Weight Watchers by LauraMoncur from FlickrI have been looking for a good iPhone application to keep track of my Weight Watchers Points for a long time. Weight Watchers Online has a page that works with the iPhone, but it is SEVERELY lacking in usability, so I kept looking.

Back when I had a Palm Treo, I used to keep track of my points using WWCalc. It was a GREAT program, but Weight Watchers shut them down. I used to wish that the programmer would alter his program so that it could just keep track of anything and allow me to put a formula of my own in it. That is EXACTLY what Edibles has done for me.

You can download Edibles for your iPhone here:

Here is a detailed guide to setting up Edibles to work with Weight Watchers:

How To Set Up Edibles To Work With Weight Watchers by LauraMoncur from FlickrThe coolest thing about Edibles is that once you’ve set it up correctly, it will show how many Points you have left for the day on the applications home page, just like the Mail application will tell me when I have unread email. This feature alone was enough for me to love Edibles.

Edibles comes set up for you to keep track of calories. In order to change all the units to Points, you need to alter Edibles in the Settings section. On the applications home page, there is an app called Settings. It’s THERE that you need to change the units. Instead of clicking on Edibles to change the units, you need to click on the Settings app.

How To Set Up Edibles To Work With Weight Watchers by LauraMoncur from FlickrOnce you are in the Settings app, scroll down to the applications settings. You can see mine here at the bottom with the settings for AirMe. Click on the Edibles settings.

  • Unused Unit Badge is the indicator on the home screen that tells you how many Points you have left in the day. Turning it on will show your Points left and turning it off will show the Edibles app with no number on your home screen.

  • Custom Units Label is where you type what you want to keep track of. I put Points because I track my WW Points, but you could track calories, carbs, fat, or anything else.

How To Set Up Edibles To Work With Weight Watchers by LauraMoncur from Flickr

  • Custom Units Abbreviation is useful if what you’re tracking is a large word. For example, if you’re tracking calories, you could use “cal” for the abbreviation.

  • Food Categories is where I put the items that I need to check boxes for. My list is: Fruit or Veggie, Water, Whole Grains, Dairy, Protein, Vitamin, Oil and Exercise. I made a food item for vitamins (with zero Points) and even exercise activities that I do often (also with zero Points), so that I can easily choose them and keep track of whether I’ve taken my vitamin yet or what kind of exercise I did. For the exercise “food” item, I type in how many minutes I exercised as the number of servings so I can easily see how much I did.

How To Set Up Edibles To Work With Weight Watchers by LauraMoncur from FlickrOnce you have altered those settings, you can exit the Settings app and go back into Edibles. When you do, it will show Points instead of Calories.

You can change the number of Points you get each day by clicking on the Daily line and changing the number. You can do the same with the Weekly line for your Flex Points. You can’t change the Weekly line to read Flex Points, but once you use it for a bit, it’s easy to know what the Weekly total is.

Clicking on the Exercise line adds your exercise points for the day. You don’t have to keep a separate record of exercise in your food tracker like I do. You can just add the exercise there and be done with it.

How To Set Up Edibles To Work With Weight Watchers by LauraMoncur from FlickrThe truly inspired aspect of Edibles is the calculator. It comes with a calculation for BMI, which is helpful, but you can change the calculation to be whatever you want. For me, I want something to calculate Points, so I added the Weight Watchers calculation for Points.

I talked about the patents from Weight Watchers for Points here:

The calculation is here:

Points = (Calories/50) + (Fat Grams/12) – (Fiber Grams/5)

How To Set Up Edibles To Work With Weight Watchers by LauraMoncur from FlickrAt the bottom of the screen, click on the Calculator icon. Once there, you can set the formula by choosing the Set Formula button.

Here is what the Points calculation looks like using the Edibles syntax. Type this in exactly like you see and it will calculate your WW Points for you.

(<Calories>/50)+(<Fat>/12)-(<Fiber>/5)

You need to remember not to put anything higher than 4 grams of fiber into the calculation because I haven’t included that limitation into the calculation. Other than that, it works wonderfully!

How To Set Up Edibles To Work With Weight Watchers by LauraMoncur from FlickrWhen you’re adding in new food to Edibles, you can calculate the Points of a food by choosing the Calc button and entering the information from the nutrition facts label.

The one drawback of Edibles is that it doesn’t come pre-loaded with the Points values (or calories, carbs, etc.) for a bunch of food. You have to enter everything in yourself. For me, I’ve been following Weight Watchers for a long time, so I KNOW the Points of almost everything I eat. Adding food is easy enough and once it’s in my database, I never have to add it again. I don’t have to use the calculator to put in the Points values if I already know it, so adding food is a snap.

Using the Edibles Online feature, you can sync your information to their server, so if you have a fatal iPhone crash, you don’t lose your database of food or your history. You can even make your information public to share with your doctor, WW leader or friends. My information is here:

Unfortunately, I can’t get it to just show my food database and food diary. I have to show you my weight as well, but I’m sure they’ll fix that bug soon. Fortunately, the default is set to private, so if you sign up for Edibles Online, you will be able to access it yourself without sharing your weight with the whole world.

UPDATE 04-23-09: Jiva DeVoe at Edibles has fixed the bug, so now I can just show everyone what I ate without divulging my weight to the world. How is that for speedy service?!

Two years ago, I got my first iPhone and I gave up my Treo. With it, I was lost for keeping track of my Points on my phone. When I lost WWCalc, I felt completely lost and I started keeping track of my Points on paper again. The whole reason I created the Starling Fitness Yearly Journal was because I had to keep track of my food on paper again. Now that Edibles has come along, I no longer have to carry around a little paper. It does EVERYTHING and it is on the phone I already have in my pocket.

Download Edibles for your iPhone here:

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36 Responses to “How To Set Up Edibles To Work With Weight Watchers”

  1. angela Says:

    I’d be happy to have a WW calculator on my cell phone.

  2. Raven Says:

    That’s great! Do you have any idea what works with the blackberry?

  3. Zoe Says:

    Thank you so much! I’ve just set this up on my iphone and its FANTASTIC! You are truly amazing.

  4. Mary Says:

    This sounds great. I like the web component. I use iLog which was originally iPoints until WW made them remove it from the app store. Read the app reviews to see how to set it up for WW points.

  5. Wfhound Says:

    Edibles does not calculate Activity Points. Here is a trick I am using to add an activity calculator to my iPhone:

    1. Open Safari
    2. Visit this URL: http://www.meganandjack.com/points_calculator.htm
    3. The calculators will looks small on your screen. Stretch the page with your fingers so it fills the screen.
    4. Since you don’t need the food pts calculator if you have Edibles, scroll up so that just the activity pts calculator is showing.
    5. Touch the + icon at the bottom of the screen in Safari.
    6. Touch Add to Home Screen.
    7. Change the name to Activity Calc.
    8. Touch the blue Add button at the top right.

    There you go! You’re all done! Now, just tap this app whenever you want to calculate your activity points with this online calculator.

  6. Angela Says:

    Ditto on the previous Blackberry question.

  7. Corey Says:

    Here is a fully working Formula for WW Points. It includes the full Fiber quotient:

    (/50) + (/12) – (MIN,4/5)

    Great App by the way.

  8. Viva Says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post this review. Unfortunately it is not what I am looking for – a tracker to produce a food ‘diary’ to show to a nutritionist – but you saved me a few dollars. Thx.

  9. Nicky Says:

    Why not just switch to calories, and make sure have healthy choices? Easier, and more accurate. And there are calorie counter programs for free every where.

  10. Jen Says:

    Thanks so much for this! I just got an iPhone and this tutorial’s exactly what I was hoping for.

  11. Jen Says:

    Updated to add: For whatever reason (perhaps a version update?), I wasn’t able to use Corey’s formula, but here’s a version taking the max value for fiber that works correctly for me:

    (/50) + (/12) – (MIN[, 4]/5)

    (The MIN function takes either the Fiber value you entered or 4, whichever one’s smaller, and divides that by 5.)

  12. Jen Says:

    Correction: (<Calories>/50) + (<Fat>/12) – (MIN[<Fiber>, 4]/5)

    Ah – the error is that you have to use HTML to get pointy brackets to show.

  13. Laura Moncur Says:

    Jen,

    Thanks for putting the full and correct formula there! I couldn’t figure it out on my own.

    Laura

  14. David Says:

    here is a updated formula that rounds off..

    Round[(<Calories>/50)+(<Fat>/12)-(min[<Fiber>,4]/5),0]

  15. Ken Says:

    Just to make this even more complicated, accounts for only 4 grams of fiber, rounds off the total AND makes sure the result can never be a negative number:

    ROUND[MAX[((/50)+(/12)-(MIN[,4]/5)),0],0]

  16. Allison Says:

    Does anyone know how to swap calories for KJ. As in Aus most food is in KJ.

  17. Laura Moncur Says:

    Allison,

    When you’re using Edibles, you can track whatever you want. If you want to track KJ, then just use that for your units instead of calories or points or carbs or whatever.

    Best of luck, Laura

  18. Nate Simons Says:

    So what does the real, complete rounded formula look like for those of (like me) who are really stupid in this area (my brain totally doesn’t think that way)?

  19. KG Says:

    Brilliant! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! Thank you so much!!

  20. SM Says:

    Thanks everyone for sharing your knowledge!! I will be starting WW next week and this app is totally going to help me out!

  21. Kiki Says:

    Thank you so much!!! I love this app.

  22. Andrew Planck Says:

    Thank you so much for the detailed explanation of how to set up Edibles! It has been a life saver!

    Andrew P.

  23. Lucy Says:

    For those who are confused, here’s the formula exactly as it needs to be entered into your iphone:

    Round[Max[((/50)+(/12)-(Min[,4]/5)),0],0]

    My question is – is there any way to round to the nearest half-point? I used to have wwcalc set to do it this way and was very successful. I’d love to do it the same way here. I know I can change the final 0 in the formula above to a 1, but that rounds it to one decimal place (e.g., 3.3 points). I want it to round up so that the result is something like 3.0, 3.5, or 4.0 points.

  24. Lucy Says:

    Ah, i see the problem.

    Since i don’t know how to do it in HTML, look at reply #12 above and check out how Jen put the words Calories, Fat, and Fiber inside little less than/greater than arrows. Add the arrows and words into the appropriate place within the formula I posted above (same one as Ken posted in reply 15).

  25. Julia Says:

    This is extremely confusing! I have tried some of these but they do not work. What is the EXACT formula?

  26. Dan S. from Motown Says:

    Here’s the exact formula that WORKS!

    ROUND[(/50) + (/12) - (MIN[,4]/5),0]

    The trick is that ever calculation needs to be enclosed with parenthesis()

    ENJOY!

  27. Dan S. from Motown Says:

    HTML FORMS TAKE OUT THE <>’s!!!

    ROUND[(""/50) + (""/12) - (MIN["",4]/5),0]

  28. Dan S. from Motown Says:

    Okay dang it! I had to figure the HTML code. Here it is hopefully.

    ROUND[(&#91Calories&#93/50) + (&#91Fat&#93/12) - (MIN[&#91Fiber&#93,4]/5),0]

  29. Dan S. from Motown Says:

    Last try…

    ROUND[(&#60Calories&#61/50) + (&#60Fat&#61/12) - (MIN[&#60Fiber&#61,4]/5),0]

  30. Dan S. from Motown Says:

    Okay, in the formula above just replace the &#60 with the “less than” symbol, and replace the &#61 with the “greater than” symbol and it should work.

  31. Dan S. from Motown Says:

    David Posted it correctly above:

    Round[(<Calories>/50)+(<Fat>/12)-(min[<Fiber>,4]/5),0]

  32. Deborah Says:

    This is fantastic information and I LOVE Edibles – makes counting points so much easier! Now I am trying to figure out how to put in exercise so that it adds points back. Is this possible?

    Thanks

  33. Susie Says:

    I love this app. It works so well and is so much better than doing the paper thing. I went to WW before so I know the “ropes” and this app allowed me to get back in the game without having to spend money on WW online. THANKS for creating this.

  34. Andrew Says:

    OK, I think I got the final formula down ok (although I don’t have a clue what any of it mean)s. Does this final formula…

    Round[(/50)+(/12)-(min[,4]/5),0]

    …mean that I can add more than 4 grams of fiber? And I’m not sure what it rounds off to. Is it the next highest point? The next half point?

    Thanks, Andrew

  35. Amy Says:

    I’ve struggled with the exercise element a bit. I don’t like those points being added to my daily total because I lose track of where I’m at for the day in general and find it confusing if I want to “save” them for another day.

    The best thing I’ve found was what my cousin does: figure out the activity points you’ve earned and log them on your food log with a 0 point value (I enter “exercise” once for each activity point earned) then add the total activity point number to your weekly points (just don’t forget to reset it to 35 at the beginning of your week!).

    This method keeps my daily points separate but still lets me use the activity points when I need them

  36. Trica Says:

    Have you figured out the new Points values which include carbs? I’m having a little trouble configuring my edibles and would love some help

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