They say keeping track of the food you eat is one of the necessities of dieting. But who has time (or wherewithal) to keep a log? Health Magazine has a clever tip: Use your camera phone to snap and e-mail pictures of the meals you eat.
Better yet, Health says, sign up for Nutrax, a online service to which you send pictures of your meals as you go through your day. Later, when you sit down at your computer, you can identify the foods eaten in your pictures. The service tracks the calories, carbs, and nutrients against your goals. Goals can be set based on different diet regimes, like low fat or low carbohydrate.
Then you can slice your data several ways: You can see a table, which looks much like a food-nutrition label, for a meal or a day. There's also a dashboard showing several personal stats (calories, weight, exercise, etc.) Or the system can show you the pictures of meals you've eaten that were high in fat, eaten late at night, etc.
You can also use the service to track exercise (by photographing your running trail or weight bench).
That's the free service. The paid service, for $8 a week, adds a personal touch: You get a personal dietitian to work with you to develop a plan, and to watch as you upload photos in real time and, if necessary, give you feedback when you need it, presumably by SMS.
To this I say: Yikes. I'll stick with the free, non-Big Brother version, thank you.
There are other diet trackers out there, but Nutrax is nicely executed, and the camera phone integration is very clever.
See also my favorite pictures-of-food site, AirlineMeals.net.