Nutrition Tracking: Now Even Faster

By , SparkPeople Blogger
People who keep a detailed food diary (like the SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker) lose twice as much weight as people who don't track what they eat. Are you using your Nutrition Tracker every day? Are you recording everything you eat and drink? Are you measuring your portions for accuracy? If you've gotten stuck on your weight-loss journey, this is the best place to start looking for small changes you can make to your eating habits.
And now, tracking is even faster and easier than ever! Instead of having to type in a whole word to search for the food you ate, the search box will populate a drop-down menu with choices as soon as you start typing. So, for example, if you start to type "strawberry," as soon as the first few letters hit the box, you'll get a drop-down like this:

This new feature will save you time and make it even easier to accurately track calories and nutrients in your diet!

When you're in weight-loss mode, do you use the Nutrition Tracker every day? If not, what would make you more likely to make tracking a part of your day?

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I don't have any problems with the new tracker....especially on my home computer where I do the majority of my tracking. My biggest issue - and it is NOT related to the new feature, would be when trying to find foods that I have saved to my favorites (which is a LONG list after 3 years). Some were ones that were shared by other members, and it would really work better if it worked more like the website tracker. If it is, for example some sort of chicken tamale that the nutrition works well for what I am eating, if the item I have saved is for example, brand X extra spicy tamale with green chicken chili, I have to scroll through my entire list in order to find it. Report
I had already written to Customer Service about this feature when it popped up unannounced about a week ago. I am in the group who hates it. It gives me items I don't want and makes it difficult to find the ones I do want. It takes extra time. I don't like the way it hides the regular Search feature. it seems as if it is weighted towards brand names -- subtle advertising maybe? I am a faithful tracker and have been using SP since 2007. Most changes simply take getting used to. This one is not worth getting used to and might make me explore other sites if it remains. Several people have mentioned offering it as an option, and I think that's a great idea. I for one would opt to turn it off. Report
This is for Dreamseeker9 - You can delete several foods at once! (I didn't notice this for the longest time either!) You just scroll down the page, next to the "Weekly Progress" chart are several tabs, one of which is "Remove Multiple Foods" It displays all foods entered for the day and you can delete as many as desired. Report
The drop down is a pain when you track on the ipad. It takes about 3-4 extra taps to get it to register or it repeats itself and then hides the ability to select the amount you've eaten. I've found I need to bypass the new drop down and use the old to get done! Can you hear me say UUUUGH! Report
I loathe this new feature, and would like to be able to turn it off. Is it possible to disable it? Or to offer an option to turn it on/off so users who do like it can keep it, but I can turn it off?

I have found so far this "time saving" feature has actually COST me time, because I have to figure out how to close it before I can access the search results that have already appeared beneath the search box.

Also, it makes it VERY difficult to track on a smartphone - on certain occasions I need to use the website via my phone's browser, rather than the app. I now have a much harder time with this. The new start page is also almost impossible to use on a smartphone. Report
How about a drag and drop between meals function? But I love this tracker tool and use it most every day! Report
I like the new tracker but for some reason, I am unable to find the quick fruit and vegetable tracker. :( Report
Overall, the Nutrition Tracker is a terrific tool. My one request is to please make it easier to delete multiple items at once, rather than having to click on each item individually and then wait for the tracker to reload. If I plan ahead and add a soup with several ingredients, and then for some reason have to change what I eat and delete the soup, it takes several minutes to delete all those ingredients one by one, because even if I have them together as a grouping they show up individually on the tracker. It's easier for me to delete them on the app, but I'd like to have that functionality on here. Thanks! Report
I like the Scan Barcode feature so I can more accurately add foods to my list! I love SparkPeople!!!! Report
Yes, I do use the tracker every day, but I'm glad I read this. I thought the new menu was a page that wasn't loading properly! I have most of my food saved to favourites, so I've yet to truly investigate the new bit. Thanks for trying so hard to please us, though. Change takes a while to become the 'norm'..... Report
I love SP and normally love the changes...this is not one of them though! I find it slows me way down. Sorry SP but I think this one is just bad :( Report
I'm not sure how to describe ...put a system that you could have the blank menu one side and an list of food on the other then you can just drag the food to the right meal, have a part with ounces and weights so you can choose there too..and be able to add the same food to the meals, like if you have beans for lunch and dinner you can add to both meals...
I do track all my meals and it can take a lot of time.. Report
I also agree with the negative comments on here. I find it makes the task of adding foods more difficult and slower, even for basic items like strawberries. It will predict the word after a few letters and even when I've typed the full word in and hit enter, the menu doesn't recognize the whole word. If I hit enter again (hoping that this time it will take the whole word) instead it selects something from the dropdown menu and searches for that word. Another problem I've noticed is if I actually select something from the dropdown list, like "pears, fresh" sometimes I get a message saying that the item wasn't found but it's because of the comma. If I remove the comma then it works. Frustrating!

Some people love it and others hate it, so why not give users the option to change settings to use it or not? Report
The tracker has saved my mind literally. I was showing big signs of dementia and was scared to tell anybody but I am sure everyone noticed. I was always tracking my food and running the nutrition report everyday. Somethings I was low on consistently. One day the dementia was extremely bad and when I ran the report it said I was extremely low on magnesium and what the side effects were. It described all my symptoms. I found that baked potatoes were high on magnesium and started having one every day for about two weeks. All symptoms left me. Family started commuting within a week that I seemed more observant and sharper. Now when I see symptoms creeping in I grab a potato. Thank you for all the wonderful tools you have provided for us. I can honestly say, you saved my mind. Report
I like the change. What I'd like to see is for it to be easier to modify a recipe. For example I make the same recipe many times, but one time I may not use the meat in the ingredients or I increase or decrease some ingredients based on what is in the house. Other times I'll add stuff because I'm cleaning out the fridge. Right now, when I'm modifying the recipe, it's almost like having to re-enter it all over again. Being able to do a quick change/edit would be nice.
Thank you for all that you've done already regarding the improvements. Report
I just tried it..don't see a problem with it. Thanks for working so hard to make things easier for us Report
Honestly., the Nutrition Tracker was the reason I joined, and stayed with, Sparkpeople! I had tried several others, and I found the database to be very good, and it was easy to use. As far as the new Search, I haven't really noticed a problem. I have at least 90% of the things I usually eat saved to my "favorites" tab. I just wish there were a few less ads on the pages--I hate waiting for ALL of them to load before being able to do almost anything on the page! Report
It isn't quicker when a lot of us enter most of the stuff from our Manually Entered Foods - we have to type it all in i.e. not getting 'predict-a-text' like before. Also, when I go to enter Banana, it isn't helpful getting things like:
"BANQUET Chicken Pot Pie, frozen entree"
or type in "Carrot" and get:
"Caramello Candy Bar"
or type in "Apple" and get:
"Margarine like spread, approximately 40% fat"

I have "All words" selected ...... :-(
I too find it very annoying - please listen to the majority and remove it. It works great for simple things that will pop up like strawberries, but impossible for things that used to be easier to find, like Trader Joes Vanilla Yogurt, or most other things that I must look up with a brand name. Report
I love this tracker! It the first thing I reach for in the morning! This has given me the motivation that I needed. Report
I have never been able to master enough decipline to use the tracker every day. I have however spent A LOT of time adding all kinds of foods on mine though. I have about 50 or more fav. on my list and about 25 food groups. I use it to make sure I am staying in my caloric range. I think SP is doing a great job with the food tracker. If a person doesn't use it they are missing out on a lot. I have a team here and I encourage them all to use it. I always am trying to get myself to use it every day. Some day I will! Report
I think the drop down box will be a great asset to the site. I have found that tracking my nutrition everyday weighing and measuring has helped me to stay on track. Report
I really hate the new dropdown menu. I know I can hit ESC to get out of it, but I shouldn't have to use an extra keystroke every time I want to find a food. It also stops me in the middle of my typing, so the search comes up as an error message--and the dropdown doesn't always contain the item I want, so the search would have been more effective. Is there a way to turn off this "feature" ? Hate it! Report
I love it! So much easier and faster is so right! Thank you!! Report
I have to say I don't love the new drop-down either. It just populates the search box and then it stays in the way so I have to hit an extra key to get back to add the food. Report
For those of you having trouble getting the dropdown suggestion box to disappear: if you hit the ESC key on your keyboard, it will go away. I hope that helps! Report
I agree with comment #6. The new search box is irritating when it "won't go away" and I have to reload the page. I'm just thankful I downloaded the app years ago and can use it before I'm so frustrated I want to toss the computer out the window. This really discourages me from tracking my food on my computer. Report
I am using Safari v 6.1 Mac OS 10.7.5. The nutrition tracker has been slow for at least the past several weeks and I can only assume now it must have been due to this testing of the "enhancements". It doesn't matter what time of the day I use it: 3 a.m. or 6 p.m. Eastern. It is slow to type a word in, I click on the favorites tab and it is slow to load. It can take up to a minute or more to load. I can't browse other pages in tabs from different websites because the script is trying to load.

This new search box? I have noticed it. Sometimes it appears when I have no intention to have it pop up and then **I can't make it go away**. I have to reload the page to make it go away.

I've tried turning off ad-block to see if the issue is resolved. No dice, the situation remains the same.

Incidentally, there are no "save" buttons on this page on the Spark People Blog. I've noticed that for a week now.

I really hope someone reads this and notes my issues now. Help! Report
HATE the new drop-down menu - when I click on one of the items, it tells me it can't find it, and I have to start all over again. Report
I am not sure if I like it or not, but I will get used to it in any case. Report
I don't like the new tracker, it doesn't show me the items I'm looking for. Report
I like the new tracker, except that if an item is removed it goes back to the top. Lots of wasted time scrolling when I am having trouble deciding what to eat. Report
Love the new drop-down menu! Makes searching MUCH quicker! Report
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