This is the single most useful tool SparkPeople.com provides. If you're new to the site, learn to use it first. Exercise is useful, but learning and controlling what you eat is paramount to weight loss. It takes a little time to learn its special features, but it's well worth it.
Simplify the process: Learn to add foods to your favorites so you don't have to do a full-scale search every time you want to add a food. Learn to search through other people's entries for the foods you won't find in 'regular' diet books. Learn how the grouping feature works to save more time.