Free Diet Journal Reviews: Choosing the Best Option for You

Reviewed by: Nancy DeLuca, RD

Even though it won't cost you any money, choosing the right free diet journal should be done with care... the wrong choice will waste weeks of journal setup and data input time.

Two leading free online diet journal options are FitDay and MyFoodDiary.

FitDay has a "permanently free" option that never expires, while MyFoodDiary offers a free 7 day trial that gives you time to explore its features. Before you dive right into FitDay, take a minute to understand the differences. You may find that the reasonable monthly fee for MyFoodDiary is worth it...

Free Diet Journal Comparison: FitDay vs. MyFoodDiary

Following is a product comparison of each free diet journal...

Overview FitDay (aff) MyFoodDiary (aff)
Disclaimer: Free diet journal features, products and prices may change at any time, so check with each company for updates.
Features/Products Overview
diet, exercise and weight loss journal and tools and user forums
diet, exercise and weight loss journal and tools and user forums
Non-computer-related products
none
none
Advertisements displayed while using online tool yes (free version only) no
Paid only, free only or both free and paid features
Both free and paid features/products 7 day free trial, then paid
Free Diet Journal Features
FitDay (aff) Free 7 day trial (aff)
Charts, logs and database for tracking diet, fitness and feelings extensive and integrated extensive for diet and fitness; feelings tracker limited to daily personal notes
Educational resources and interactive tools no yes - online weight, measurement and heart rate calculators, educational articles and 'Ask the Expert' database
Weight and body measurements trackers yes yes
Goal setting/tracking
extensive and integrated no
Interactive calendar for planning/tracking
diet/fitness/
journal/mood all integrated into one calendar, but no ability to set recurring meals/activities (must input activities separately for each day)
no
Food journals
Easily add foods by searching well-organized and complete food database (foods are all broken out into individual components; no recipes available).

Includes detailed nutritional information of most foods (and has ability to customize nutrition info for each) and add details to your journal for tracking.
Easily add foods by searching well-organized and complete food database (foods are all broken out into individual components.

While pre-made recipes are not available, there is a recipe builder tool that allows you to input the ingredients of any recipe to track its nutritional value.

Includes detailed nutritional information of most foods.
Recipe suggestions and/or database
no
no
Meal planner
no
no
Activity journal
Easily add activities to your journal by searching well-organized and complete activity database.

Choose activity, input time spent and/or distance and tool automatically calculates calories burned.

Also compares calories eaten (from food journal) with calories burned.
Easily add activities to your journal by searching well-organized and complete activity database.

Choose activity and input time spent tool (automatically calculates calories burned) or manually input calories burned.

Entry screen also includes pie charts highlighting the number of days you've exercised over the last 7 and 30 days.
Activity/Exercise planner
no
no
Weight journal
yes - input and track weight, body mass index and change statistics and evaluate them against goal weight.
yes - basic
Take notes/make journal entries
yes - includes its own journal entry tab
yes - daily journal entries allowed
Mood tracker yes - includes a separate Mood tab with drop down boxes for your various levels of happiness, stress, anger, energy, clarity, hunger and health, then converts your input into an overall happiness level.

Also allows you to track how your daily mood coincides with your diet and exercise routine.
no
Are computer tools online only, software for your computer or both
Free version is online only; computer software available for a fee
Online only
Mobile access (via smart phones) no yes (no additional charge) - Add foods to your food diary, add activities to your exercise log and view reports

-Research foods (search their entire database before you order meals to view meals' health information, including menu items from popular restaurants)
Forums yes yes
Other notable features
- Dashboard overview page with high level stats/charts/info, including calories eaten, weight change, overall nutrition chart by vitamin/mineral and average daily calorie balance (calories eaten vs. calories burned)
- Home page provides a nice "launching point" for data entry in every area. It also provides the ability to add your "Forum Favorites" where you can quickly view threads from your favorite forums.
Paid Membership Features/Products
FitDay (aff) MyFoodDiary Paid Membership (aff)
Fee(s)
FitDay Premium (aff)  - $5.49 per month ($64.95 per year)

FitDay PC (aff) -
$29.95 one time cost
7 day free trial (aff)

$9 per month after free trial ends
Additional features of paid service/products (in addition to free services/products)
FitDay Premium (aff):
- Removes advertising from FitDay.com
- Customized tracking allows you to track any statistic
- Provides access to advanced reports
- Synchronize online data with FitDay PC (if you choose to purchase it)

FitDay PC (aff):
- Allows tracking and synchronizing with online data for easier input and offline usability
n/a
Synchronize computer saved info with online info yes
n/a (smart phones that can access internet view the same data that is available from your computer)
Track customized statistics yes yes
Advertisements displayed no (premium service removes ads) no

Decided which free diet journal fits you best?

After signing up and getting to know your tool of choice, please come back and let us know what you think in the rating polls below.

Still not sure which tool is right for you? Here's a summary of how the tools compare...

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Bottom Line: Free Diet Journal Summary

FitDay (aff) is a more robust diet, fitness and mood tracking and reporting tool, but the level of detail could seem a bit much depending on how involved you want to get.

After you input all of your information the tool becomes extremely easy to use, and the integrated diet/fitness/journal/mood tracking tools, calendar, statistics and graphs are second to none.

Their extensive and integrated goal-setting ability is also an important feature that MyFoodDiary does not include.

Their free version is very robust (although the required ads in the free version are placed front and center, which can be distracting), and their monthly subscription fee is a few bucks lower than MyFoodDiary's.

Click here to sign up for FitDay's free online weight loss support tool.

MyFoodDiary's tool is much more polished and easy to dive into. While it doesn't provide the level of customization that FitDay does nor does it provide the ability to track and view reports of your mood, its simplicity makes up for it.

The ability to make food and activity entries, view reports and view food health information while you're away from your computer is a huge advantage if you own a smart phone.

This feature alone could make the difference between keeping your entries current and letting your food journal tracking goals slip.

Their 7 day free trial provides ample time to explore the tool's capabilities and decide if it's right for you.

Click here to start your free trial with MyFoodDiary's online weight loss support tool.

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[Last editorial review/modification of this page: 10/9/2013]

Disclaimer: The information contained in this web site is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as nor should be relied upon as medical advice. Rather, it is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician(s). Before you use any of the information provided in the site, you should seek the advice of a qualified medical, dietary, fitness or other appropriate professional. Read More