Archive for the ‘Updates’ Category

Weight tracking made easy

April 20th, 2011

We’ve added the ability to track your weight with PhotoCalorie. Any time you weigh yourself, go over to the Goals page and save your current weight in the text box. All your nutrient goals will automatically adjust.

To view your weight goals over time, choose weight from the drop down menu above the graphs!


PhotoCalorie: Watch what you eat. Literally.

April 9th, 2011

Check out our brand new Ad, entitled Watch what you eat. Literally. Let us know what you think!

Try PhotoCalorie for free: Sign up for free at, or download the free iPhone app

Follow us on twitter: @PhotoCalorie, or on facebook:


Wordle of foods searched so far

February 8th, 2011

We have compiled all the search terms queried against the PhotoCalorie database so far into a wordle, and here is what it looks like. The bigger the word, the more often it has been searched.

Cheese, coffee, sugar, and sandwiches seem to be pretty popular, a strange mix. Unfortunately none of the fruits or vegetables stick out yet…

Try PhotoCalorie for free: Sign up for free at, or download the free iPhone app

Follow us on twitter: @PhotoCalorie, or on facebook:

Uncategorized, Updates

Announcing Data Driven Dining!

January 10th, 2011

We are proud to announce our newest innovation: Data Driven Dining, a nutrition research library providing an unbiased evaluation of common diet-related claims and theories, presenting the evidence both for and against a particular topic. Whether you are a health professional or just interested in eating right, Data Driven Dining can help you stay informed and achieve your goals.

In the right column, we have an RSS feed of current research from important nutrition journals, allowing you to stay up to date on the most current research.

So far, we have 3 topics available:

Each has 3 parts:

Main Points: A few statements summarizing the research.

Summary: A more in depth description and analysis of the evidence supporting and refuting the topic.

Bibliography: An ongoing, interactive list of all the important research for this topic. Each study is linked to the actual research paper, and is accompanied by a description of the study, the intervention, outcome, and general comments.

This is an on-going, constantly growing research library. If you think we missed a key article, or would like us to add a new topic, please email Larry:


New Feature: Personalized Nutrition Reports!

January 6th, 2011

Just in time for the new year, we have created personalized nutrition reports, giving you the chance to see how healthy your diet really is.

We compare each of your nutrients to the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for that component of your diet, to see whether you need to increase your fiber intake, decrease your saturated fat intake, and so on. In order to receive one, you must have filled out at least 5 days of food intake. Otherwise, the report will not be representative of your actual diet.

Here an example of what a full report would look like: Click here to download the full report.

If you’d like a report, just sign up for PhotoCalorie and start entering your foods!

Try PhotoCalorie for free: Sign up for free at, or download the free iPhone app

Follow us on twitter: @PhotoCalorie, or on facebook:


Insights from my daily use of PhotoCalorie

December 13th, 2010

I have been using PhotoCalorie at every meal, compiling photos and descriptions of all the foods I have been eating. You can see my read-only journal here. The photos expand if you click on them, and clicking the food description will show you the nutrition for each food. Anyone with a PhotoCalorie account can now make a read-only journal they can share with whom ever they’d like.

I have learned that I usually don’t like to be typing on my phone while I am eating with other people. So I usually just snap a photo of my meal, and put my phone away. Then later that day, I log on to my PhotoCalorie account on my laptop and enter my description then. That way, when I click on the food, I have a large photo of the foods I ate with the example serving size page as a reference:

Now if you click on the “Show example serving sizes” link, this will pop up:

Now that I can see what a serving of different types of food actually looks like, I can do a much better job of estimating how much I’m actually eating. The chicken breast in the photo looks about 3 times as large as the 3 oz chicken breast in the example. That’s why I wrote “Grilled chicken*3,” which will calculate the nutrition for 9 ounces of chicken breast. Now to search for more foods, all I need to do is separate them by commas. The corn looks like it is about 1 and a half cups, and the broccoli about 1 cup. I also had a cup of water.

Therefore, the final search query is: “Grilled chicken*3, corn*1.5, broccoli, water.”

Some things I have discovered:

  • I generally seem to eat the same thing for breakfast each day, with some small variation
  • I drink a lot of coffee
  • I began taking more time setting up my meal for the photo, so it looks nicer when I go back and look at what I’ve eaten
  • I usually eat 2 plates of food for lunch and dinner ( The days that I don’t, I’m starving by 10pm!)

We’d love to hear any insights you’ve acquired from using PhotoCalorie!

Sign up for your free PhotoCalorie account, here, and share your journal with the world!

Nutrition and Weight Loss, Updates

New Feature: Goals and Charts!

November 30th, 2010

We have now added Goals and Charts!


Based on your BMI and goals, PhotoCalorie will calculate the amount of calories you should consume each day to achieve your goal weight. You can enter your information by selecting: More, then choosing  Edit Profile. Your calorie goal will also show up in your journal, next to your running calorie count.


To track your progress, you can now select Charts at the top of the page.

Charts example on a desktop browser

  • At the top left, you can choose how many days to display (for Mac users, 2-finger scroll up and down your trackpad will zoom in or out as well).
  • In the middle of the page, above the graph, there is a drop down menu to choose which nutrient you would like to track.

In the example above, calories per day are displayed. The blue peaks are the calories eaten for each day, and the red line is your daily caloric goal. Hovering over any point will display the calories eaten for that day, as well as your caloric-goal in the top right portion of the chart.

Charts example on iPhone

On the iPhone, you can click on any point to view the calories for that day.


Updates, iPhone app

New Feature: Journal Sharing!

November 26th, 2010

We are announcing our newest feature: the ability to share your journal with anyone you’d like! Whether it is your dietitian, your doctor, or your friends, with one click you can now send anyone a link to your journal.

Under the ‘more’ tab, choose ‘Edit Profile’ and then click the checkbox for ‘Allow journal sharing.’ Then save your profile, and a link will appear. This is a link to a read-only version of your journal which you can send to anyone you’d like.

They can see the journal, scroll through the photos, and select each food to see the nutrition facts. However, they cannot edit it.

We believe this will revolutionize the way dieters communicate with their doctors and dietitians.

Example of a shared journal

Let the sharing begin!


New Feature: Photo Slide Show of your Culinary Creations!

November 23rd, 2010

A recent article in the New York Times profiled the growing popularity of photographing your food. “Keeping a photographic food diary is a growing phenomenon with everything from truffle-stuffed suckling pig to humble bowls of Cheerios being captured and offered for public consumption,” the article explains.

Because of this, we wanted to create a way for users to easily scroll through magnified photos of their culinary creations. By clicking on one of your images, you can scroll through them as you would your facebook pictures.

Screen shot of photo slide show on desktop browser

The photos can also offer some added motivation. “It’s definitely part of my neuroticism about trying to keep thin,” says Javier Garcia, the neuroscientist profiled in the NYTimes article. “It keeps you accountable because you don’t want to have to see that you ate an entire jar of peanut butter.” He began photographing his foods after he lost 80 pounds.

Screen shot of photo slide show on iPhone app

We believe it is very important for people to cook more of their foods and eat less pre-packaged “food like substances” as Michael Pollan likes to say. Having the ability to scroll through your photos will allow you to display your cooking prowess, as well as improve your ability to estimate serving sizes using PhotoCalorie.

Once you have snapped a photo of your food, now comes the hard part: telling us what you ate and how much of it you ate. Much research has shown that people have terrible trouble estimating their portion sizes. So because of this, we give examples of food sizes in the palm of your hand to help you estimate:

The foods in our database are all standardized to one serving size specific to the food type. If you search for a food and don’t specify serving size, it will return the default serving sizes (most of which shown above. Click here to learn more about our serving sizes)

In the example above, my chicken breast seems approximately twice as large as the example, meaning I would type: “Grilled chicken breast *2,” which means 6 oz of chicken breast. The broccoli and rice each seem to be about the same size as the photos, or 1 cup each. Therefore the search query for this meal would be “Grilled chicken breast*2, rice, broccoli.”


One search returns the nutrition for the 3 foods combined. No drop down menus to scroll through or strange units to convert.

We hope you enjoy our progress! In our next blog post, I will describe our other recently developed feature: sharing your journal with others.

Updates, iPhone app