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J3GIBSON SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,436)
Posts: 3
7/6/11 2:19 P

Thanks Guys! I have started to enter my favorite foods in manually and creating favorites stuff. If we all stick together and enter things everytime we go grocery shopping, maybe we can end up with a decent database! Your encouragement really helped! It's also nice to know I'm not the only one dealing with this frustration!

LOOKSLIKELILY Posts: 261
7/4/11 9:06 P

I'm from the UK and I have the same problem. The only way I have found to get around this is by trying to find out the nutritional information from the website of the restaurant if it is there and entering it manually. If this cannot be done then I will just try my best and find the closest thing I can, overestimating calories in to err on the side of caution.

SNAZZYMC SparkPoints: (28,276)
Fitness Minutes: (28,032)
Posts: 267
7/4/11 8:23 P

I would love to say there is a nice, easy way to find the 'Canadian' version of items....but, honestly it's hit or miss. I will often search for foods entered by members, and use only partial words. BUT as another poster mentioned, make sure you check the nutritional info - I have found that many portion sizes are slightly different between US and Canada, which means the nutritional info is different as well.
I have found it easiest to enter my foods manually and create my own list of favourites and food groupings for meals I eat frequently. It does take a bit of time, but once your base is built up it becomes quite easy. It really is worth the effort in the end.

FROGISCO SparkPoints: (5,359)
Fitness Minutes: (6,664)
Posts: 251
7/4/11 7:37 P

I found that alot of others have kinda done the work for me already. for example, did a search for PC greek yogurt,,,and voila! Some kind soul had already entered everything from the package. Restaurants are another deal though.....not too many but big chains sometimes have the cals, etc on their web page so you can check.

CHRISTINA791 SparkPoints: (39,683)
Fitness Minutes: (42,143)
Posts: 789
7/4/11 5:53 P

I don't think there are any easy solutions, but the more you enter and the more you get used to it, the easier it all gets.

I do a lot of pre-tracking when I go to restaurants. Many chains are getting better about posting nutritional information, so I'll browse the menu before hand, enter what I'm going to eat from there, and then stick to my plan. If I can't find the information online or from the source, I'll usually email the restaurant to ask if they have the numbers available (they usually won't, but I've gotten lucky a few times), or I'll try to find something similar from a different restaurant just to get a ballpark figure. For example, Moxies and Earls have similar foods and portion sizes. Earls has a great nutrition section on their site, but Moxies doesn't... so if I have to eat at Moxies, I'll see if I can find a similar menu item and substitute that instead. It won't be exact, but it at least gives you an estimate (of course, if I have a choice, I'll dine at the restaurant that provides the info).

For smaller chains and stores, I'll email or ask at the counter. You'd be surprised at how many are willing to give you the information, even if it's approximate.

Being Canadian, I also find that a lot of our foods are slightly different from what's entered on the site. It's a good idea to check, and I usually end up entering the nutritional info myself. It's a bit of a pain when the US totals are right there, but I like the accuracy. My little trick is that I take any 'new' foods (ones I haven't had to enter before) to my desk after a shopping trip and add them manually right then and there. After months of doing this, it takes just seconds for me to add a custom food, and it's usually only one or two items per trip.

One other tip - sometimes foods are in there, but referred to by another name. I'm ashamed to say I had to wiki green onions to find how they were listed in the food database.

So, it's a little more work for us and sometimes we have to play detective a bit, but the more you build your collection of Canadian info, the easier it gets.

J3GIBSON SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,436)
Posts: 3
7/4/11 5:38 P

Hello, I tracked my food for a few days but I soon noticed that most brands and restaurant chains here is Canada aren't on the site. It gets very difficult to track what I eat (especially when I try less common low fat or low sodium stuff) so I get very frustrated and have stopped to track altogether. I know that I would be much more conscious of my food intake if I would continue tracking but it's just so difficult to find what I eat. Any fellow Canadians have tricks to get around this? I'm not always near a computer and can't always create new items on my cell phone..

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