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Tracking Net Carbs and more using Cron-O-Meter

This entry is part 149 of 208 in the series Ketogenic Diet

One of my main New Year resolutions is not to eat anything until AFTER I have it entered into a tracking app. In the past I’ve used MyFitnessPal (hereafter referred to as MFP) – it works fine, has pretty good social sharing so friends can see what you want them to see; and they have a massive user contributed database of foods. The website and app are free (though they hit you up pretty hard to buy the premium membership). It’s kinda like the wild west so far as their food database is concerned, though: anybody can add any food with any information. If you look in MFP for “Keto Chow” you’ll find several dozen entries, some that I made =) MFP does have some serious shortcomings though. First and largest is that user contributed database, it has a lot of good stuff in there but it also has a lot of junk: entries with incorrect or incomplete information, duplicates and more, including linking barcodes to incorrect products. Sure there’s an entry for food X, but you have to verify the information – it’s about the same as entering it yourself anyway, advantage lost. MFP also doesn’t know how to track net carbs, only total carbohydrates (including fiber). There is a Chrome browser script that you can use to add net carbs to MFP but it doesn’t work with mobile and is a bit of a hack.

By comparison, there’s Cron-O-Meter (hereafter referred to as CM) – free via browser, paid as an app with barcode scanning. The biggest difference with CM is the food database is curated – it only has validated, correct entries. It also has a lot more detailed information. You can add your own foods and recipes that combine foods together – if you buy the “gold” membership you can share foods and recipes with friends. CM also added a Ketogenic Diet mode back in March 2016 (I even posted to /r/keto about it =) – it’ll help you track net carbs and other nutrients. Set your macronutrient targets and go! I recommend CM over MFP for these two features alone. The problem becomes: How do you get custom foods into CM? I have the process for getting Keto Chow officially added to the database going but that could take years! The solution is to add it yourself with some handy information I’ll give you.

To start off, you’re going to want to add an entry for just the 50g of Keto Chow powder. You can refer to the entry I created for Keto Chow 1.9 Rich Chocolate. If you add a new food, there’s a gear icon on the far right that you can import a JSON file with the nutritional information so you don’t have to type it all.

UPDATE: The developer of Cron-O-Meter contacted me and said I should just submit all the flavors for publication in the general database. I had previously tried that but nothing ever happened. About 15 minutes after I submitted them they were approved and ready to use. So you can now simply search for “Keto Chow” in Cron-o-Meter! END UPDATE.

I was excited to find an entry already in CM for “Darigold, Whipping Cream, Heavy Classic 40%” which is the stuff I get from Costco in 2 quart packages. BUT the entry was missing a key element: the 0.48g of carbs per serving I know are in there. The solution was to find the USDA entry for “Cream, fluid, heavy whipping” and edit a copy with the specific values on the Darigold label (since the Darigold has more calories and fat at 40% fat instead of the standard 36%) see here for the complete entry I created.

OK, so you have an entry for the powder and the heavy cream. You can enter the powder and cream separately every day (tedious) or you can bundle the heavy cream into a “recipe” with the powder. I created a recipe that includes the powder, heavy cream and MCT oil (since I use MCT oil, I’ve been at this 2 years =) – you can check it out here. Now every time I want to add Rich Chocolate Keto Chow the way I like to mix it up, I just add 1 full recipe of “Keto Chow 1.9 Rich Chocolate plus 50ml heavy cream and MCT”. What about Chocolate Peanut Butter? Since it’s my #1 favorite flavor of all time you gotta know I have a recipe for that too! I made a custom food entry for “Peanut Flour Light Roast 28%“. I cloned the Rich Chocolate recipe and added 10g of the peanut flour to give me “Keto Chow 1.9 Peanut Butter plus 50ml heavy cream and MCT“. In case you’re curious, here are the entries for KC2.0 Chocolate+heavy cream and MCT and the corresponding KC2.0 Chocolate Peanut Butter. Finally, make sure you are getting your Ω-3 fatty acids – here’s an entry for the new Keto Chow Fish Oil pills .

One thing to note about CM: If you edit a food entry you created, the change will propagate back to previous days. This is handy for fixing an error you discovered but sucks for revisions. The solution is to edit a copy of the food, then “retire” the outdated one. The existing entries will remain unchanged and the old food will not show up as a suggested entry when you add food to your diary.

Here are my entries for yesterday (January 2, 2017):

The target values were derived from the Keto Macro Calculator coupled with some details I got from my DEXA scan last year.

 

 

By |2017-03-21T08:06:11-06:00January 3rd, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Ketogenic|Tags: , , , , , , , |6 Comments

1.5 update, Sample All the Things change, and UPC Barcodes

First off – All of the active flavors in all the sizes are switched over to Keto Chow 1.5 with acacia gum (which is good since everybody seems to really like it). There are still a few Butter Cream Toffee samples that are the old formulation but that’s because it’s been discontinued and I can’t make it in the new formulation.

I woke up this morning and had an idea for the “Sample all the things” bundle that has one of each of the 8 currently active flavors. We’re pre-packaging them into an actual bundle (in a quart sized zip-loc bag if you’re curious). This will make a bunch of stuff easier, especially filling orders since most of the samples we sell are part of that bundle. It even got its own label! I also changed the product to be a “simple product” so it’ll no longer break out the names of each flavor, it’ll just show up as the one line item in the cart.

I bought 250 UPC codes a few days ago and added them to the labels, if you want to see them check out this page – it has both the week and day full labels. I tested the day ones by scanning them into MyFitnessPal – I’ll probably do the same with the week ones shortly. In case you’re curious (and also to seed the UPC search engine results) here are the codes and their corresponding product:

760537021847Day – Chocolate Fudge
760537021854Day – Chocolate Mint
760537021861Day – Cookies and Cream
760537021878Day – Gourmet Vanilla
760537021885Day – Peanut Butter
760537021892Day – Rich Chocolate
760537021908Day – Snicker Doodle
760537021915Day – Strawberry Blast
760537021922Fish Oil Capsules
760537021939Minerals – for 10lbs
760537021946Minerals – 1 week
760537021953Sample – Chocolate Fudge
760537021960Sample – Chocolate Mint
760537021977Sample – Cookies and Cream
760537021984Sample – Gourmet Vanilla
760537021991Sample – Peanut Butter
760537022004Sample – Pina Colada
760537022011Sample – Rich Chocolate
760537022028Sample – Snicker Doodle
760537022035Sample – Strawberry Blast
760537022042Week – Chocolate Fudge
760537022059Week – Chocolate Mint
760537022066Week – Cookies and Cream
760537022073Week – Gourmet Vanilla
760537022080Week – Peanut Butter
760537022097Week – Rich Chocolate
760537022103Week – Snicker Doodle
760537022110Week – Strawberry Blast
760537022127Sample all the things
By |2016-10-14T07:17:52-06:00July 1st, 2016|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , |0 Comments

6 months of Ketogenic nutritionally complete “future foods”, I’m 81% the man I used to be

Apparently I drank too much water yesterday and my weight ticked up from 209.4 to 210.7 – wasn’t the direction I wanted to go for my actual 6 month keto anniversary. I was hoping to reach an even 50lbs lost but it was not to be (that would have been 207.8) and today I’m sitting at 47.1 lbs lost.

6months_keto

Aside from the weight loss I’ve also

  • lost 2 shirt sizes (XXL to L)
  • lost 4 inches (38 to 34)
  • Made 4 new holes in my belts
  • Won second place in a weight loss contest
  • MyFitnessPal says I’m on a 182 day streak.
  • My scale says I’ve gone from 36.9% body fat in November to 26.6%
  • From a BMI of 34.0 (“obese”) to 27.8 (“overweight”) and am getting closer to the “magic” 24.9 where I won’t even be “overweight”!
  • My blood pressure has gone down from 142/98 to 128/84 (it was actually lower last week but whatever)

Here’s a really brief summary (you can real the whole story here) of my experience that I’ve stolen from one of my own posts on Reddit:

I’ve tried 5 different formulations of Ketogenic soylents over the last 6 months and it’s what I’m currently using as my staple (although I do still eat some beef jerky, kipper snacks, bacon and whatnot).

I’ve tried:

  • QuidNYC Induction Phase Ketofood – WAY too much chia seeds and other stuff. I couldn’t even do a full week
  • QuidNYC Ketofood for ongoing ketosis was tolerable compared to the induction. It tasted far better though it was still really gritty. I changed the recipe a bit to suit my own tastes
  • Ketosoy – made by fellow redditor /u/ketosoy – it’s pretty good, especially compared to Ketofood. Far less gritty, it was was opened me up to the possibility the ketogenic soylent could actually taste good. Full review here.
  • Kennufs Keto 9.3 – by /u/kennufs this recipe changed everything for me. Hardly any grit at all, tasted amazing thanks to ample heavy cream, even my wife thought it tasted good. I cloned his recipe, changed some stuff around and made my own…
  • Keto Chow – I aligned many of the ingredients with stuff I had from making super carby “People Chow”, took out the coconut flour, added moar fiber and changed the protein to one I could get quicker (next day vs. 9 business days). I’m currently consuming Keto Chow and plan to do so for the foreseeable future. It’s tasty enough that even when I do hit my target goal I won’t have any problem continuing with it as my staple.

For any that are insanely curious, here’s my weight for the last 15 months drinking soylent. You can see where I started People Chow, slowly gained the weight back and then started Keto.

15 months of soylents

By |2018-06-25T16:05:13-06:00April 21st, 2015|Categories: Future Foods, Keto Chow, Ketogenic, Weight Loss|Tags: , , , , , |7 Comments

The apps and tools I’m using to track my progress

This entry is part 30 of 208 in the series Ketogenic Diet

A coworker asked me a while ago about all the stuff I’m using, I figure I might as well document it. Here are the Apps, monitors and other things I’m using to track stuff about my health.

Activity Monitor

I grabbed a used Fitbit Flex off eBay about a month ago to see if I would like it better than the Jawbone Up I had. Ultimately the Fitbit won and the Jawbone is in my backpack in case anybody on craigslist decides they want to buy it for $40. The Jawbone app was actually far better than the Fitbit one and gave me better information but I like the bluetooth sync function of the Fitbit and couldn’t find an Up24 for cheap. Neither do automatic sleep tracking, you had to tell the device it was nap time and again tell it when you woke up. The more expensive trackers do more stuff automatically. Both Up and Fitbit talk quite nicely to all the other apps mentioned here, sending activity data over automatically.

Fitbit Web UI

Fitbit Web UI

Fitbit Android UI

Fitbit Android UI

Weight Tracking

The Withings app/website does a great job of tracking weight, blood pressure and a number of other metrics. It’s also free to use and will send the weight data to a large number of applications. By having it send that data I don’t have to go into 5 different apps to update my weight all the time, it just does it automagically for me. You can use the Withings app and site with the Withings Wi-Fi scale or one of their fitness trackers, but you don’t need to. I did eventually end up buying a Withings scale but I used the app for about a month and a half before that. You can also import and export all the measurements very easily. I imported my weight logs from all the way back to October 2006.

Withings Web UI

Withings Web UI

Withings Android UI

Withings Android UI

Nutrition Tracking

I’ve been using MyFitnessPal for 2 or 3 years to (occasionally, up until 4 months ago) track my nutrition. Currently I’m on a 87 day streak of putting in my food, weight and activity. I use MFP as a sort of “central hub” for everything else. All my activity monitoring, weight and workouts head here. On a Ketogenic Diet I also need to track how many carbs I’m eating and it does a good job of that. There’s some settings and a userscript that enhance MFP for keto diets. It’s particularly nice to be able to scan a barcode to add food and with how I’m eating mostly the same stuff every day it’s a cinch. I used to use My Net Diary but MFP is way more useful.

MyFitnessPal Web UI

MyFitnessPal Web UI

MyFitnessPal Android UI

MyFitnessPal Android UI

Workout tracking

I’m using Digifit on my phone to track exercise (via a heart rate monitor, see below). On an ideal day I’m doing 30 minutes of elliptical in the morning and 30 minutes of running/walking in the evening. They have Android and iOS apps that have limited functionality unless you pay the $1.99 or whatever to upgrade it – it was worth it and I used an account that is shared on all my family’s phones and devices to pay so my wife gets the upgrade too. It can be used indoors on exercise equipment (which is what I mostly do) but it really likes going outside to fire up your GPS and correlate actual distance and speed with heart rate. It gets weight data automatically from Withings to use in calorie calculations.

Digifit Web UI

Digifit Web UI

Digifit Android UI

Digifit Android UI

Heart Rate Monitoring

I bought a Jarv Bluetooth 4.0 Chest Heart Rate Monitor for myself and then another one for my wife about 3 days later since it works so well (then we can work out together!). It works exceptionally well and communicates to Digifit just fine, although occasionally it takes a bit of prodding or wetting the chest contacts to wake it up. Coupled with Digifit, it does a much better job at calculating the actual calories you are burning. This morning with the heart rate monitor, Digifit calculated that I burned 439 calories in 30 minutes on the elliptical. That’s a far cry from the machine’s solely weight based calculation of 870.

Ketone Level Monitoring

After a few weeks in Ketosis you get accustomed to what it feels like and can mostly just Keep Calm & Keto On. I do still occasionally check my ketone levels. When I first started I bought a 200 pack of  2 Parameter Glucose & Ketone Test (URS) Urinalysis Reagent Strip (C 200 Strips). I also picked up a very, very cheap blood alcohol breathalyzer about 2 months ago for fun because the super cheap ones can’t distinguish the difference between alcohol on your breath and acetone. Actual breathalyzers that cost more than $5-10 can tell the difference just fine. I’m very proud to report that this morning I blew 0.05% even though I have no alcohol in my system at all.

Cheap Breathalyzer

Cheap Breathalyzer

Ketone Test Strip looks great!

Ketone Test Strip looks great!

By |2016-10-14T07:18:04-06:00January 14th, 2015|Categories: Future Foods|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Adapting MyFitnessPal for Keto diets

This entry is part 16 of 208 in the series Ketogenic Diet

Honestly, you’re better off using a program like Cron-o-Meter. It supports net carbs on the web and the mobile app and does a much better job. See my review of Cron-o-Meter here.

If you do still want to use MyFitnessPal:

  1. Do the install, as instructed on this page 
  2. Next you’ll want to set up your “macros” in MyFitnessPal:Go to: Home -> Goals -> Change Goals
    Select “Custom” and click continue
    I have mine set up as 70% Fat, 25% Protein and 5% Carbs.
  3. You also need to add Fiber as a column to track so the script can calculate Net Carbs for you:Go to: Food -> Settings
    Add Fiber to your list of nutrients to track. Make sure you at least have carbs, fiber, fat and protein selected. These are what you need to track for a low carb or ketogenic diet.

It ends up with a cool pie graph and net carbs on the tables (this is for a full day on Ketofood, plus a pepperjack cheese stick as a snack… and 30 minutes of intense elliptical exercise):

2014-11-24 11_53_13-Chris_bair's Food Diary _ MyFitnessPal.com

By |2017-10-10T13:38:43-06:00November 24th, 2014|Categories: Future Foods, Weight Loss|Tags: , , |11 Comments