I 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:
- Edibles – Diet Journal [iTunes Link]
Here is a detailed guide to setting up Edibles to work with Weight Watchers:
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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)
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.
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!
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:
- Edibles – Diet Journal [iTunes Link]