Jump to content

Recommended Posts

[Note: I'm starting this thread as a recommendation for CRONometer.com as a tool to help CR practitioners track their nutrition. I hope it can also serve as a place to consolidate questions people may have about CRONometer and its usage.]

 

No list of useful tools for people practicing CR would be complete without CRONometer, arguably the premier online tool for planning and tracking diet, nutrition and exercise:

 

logo.png

Here is a description and list of features for this great tool, taken from their website:

 

Features
 
Calorie reduced diets require a lot of information to perform optimally. In order to restrict caloric intake, but remain healthy, users of the diet must track their vitamin, mineral, and protein intakes with great care. We aim to provide a complete solution for the smart dieter.
  • Easy to use, streamlined data entry
  • Track 60+ Nutrients for 20000+ foods
  • Log your Diet, Exercise, Biometrics, and Notes
  • Make custom foods and recipes
  • Mobile Apps for logging on-the-go
  • Automatically connects with several fitness trackers and services, including FitBit

A little known fact about CRONometer is that (as the name implies to those in-the-know), it started out as a tool for CR practitioners to track their nutrition - CRON stands for "Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition", although that term has fallen out of favor. More history - CRONometer was developed by Aaron Davidson, a CR practitioner himself.

 

Now CRONometer is used by thousands of dieters and health conscious individuals who have probably never heard of CR. In fact, I think it could be argued (perhaps sadly) that CRONometer has had the biggest positive impact on health of anything associated with human CR to date.

 

Here is a review of CRONometer and 4 other diet tracking packages from LifeHacker, although it is a bit out of date (e.g. it says CRONometer doesn't have fitness tracker integration, which it does).

 

CRONometer has both a web interface and mobile apps for both Android and iPhone. All three are free, but you are encouraged to upgrade to the Gold version (for $34/yr) to support development.

 

The Gold version includes the following additional features:

  • No Advertisement - Gold customers will not see advertisements when using the site or mobile apps.
  • Share Foods & Recipes with Friends - Great for couples. Link your accounts and automatically share all your foods and recipes with each other.
  • Priority Support - A priority support queue for prompt answers to all your technical questions.
  • Ask The Oracle - Recommends best foods for each nutrient. Low in Zinc today? Ask the Oracle to recommend foods that will boost any nutrient.
  • Advanced Trends & Analysis - View trends over your entire history. Access to several charting options not available in the free version.
  • Sort diary into custom groups - Sort your diary items into custom groups like Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, or use whatever custom labels you'd like.

Overall, CRONometer is an incredibly useful tool for anyone practicing CR. It is especially critical for people just starting out to help you maximize nutrient density and avoid deficits.

 

--Dean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do the mobile apps work without an internet connection? And if so, how much of the functionality is available without one?  Only part of my house has signal, and it's hard to tell how usable this would be on a smartphone without having to only use it by the window standing on tippytoes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do the mobile apps work without an internet connection? And if so, how much of the functionality is available without one?  Only part of my house has signal, and it's hard to tell how usable this would be on a smartphone without having to only use it by the window standing on tippytoes.

I turned off WiFi on my android tablet and tried firing up the CRONometer app. It asked me to log in and then failed because I didn't have an Internet connection.

 

Moreover, one's CRONometer data is available across multiple platforms, including the mobile apps and the Web interface. This strongly suggests to me that they are using a client/server model, with all one's data residing in a database in the Cloud somewhere. I suspect the food database info resides there as well.

 

So I'm pretty sure that without an Internet connection you're not going to have much luck using CRONometer. That data CRONometer uses has got to be minimal. You might consider letting it use your smartphone's mobile data plan to access the internet.

 

--Dean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given that he, Aaron, is presumably pleased about "$40,000/mo in revenue" (https://www.indiehackers.com/businesses/cronometer) wouldn't it be polite if he updated Cronometer?

 

An update could offer helpful RDA rounding suggestions, like, say I enter in today's food (avocado toast, broccoli hunks, whatever) and then the program helpfully suggested specific food items to meet today's RDA? Tell us, updated Cronometer, that we need 16 goji berries today in order to achieve lev.

 

Confession: I bought the premium version last year, go the gold, etc, and so this year I was like, uh, why, what for, it's not improving, is it, it's not changing, it looks like auto pilot gold $40,000 a month with no upgrades, and plus, I don't even notice much fun between the paid version and the unpaid version (not on an iPhone anyway -- are laptop versions better?)

 

Aaron's probably happy with money, he's hopefully floating in the warm waters of Svalbard -- but many of us are poor skinny whining schlubs still obsessing over grams of adzuki -- so upgrade your golden goose, fine fellow, we politely suggest now.

 

Let's send him paper letters written in ink, drop these sealed with spit and stamps into blue-not-rusting mailboxes.

 

Old fashioned Cronometer, staid but classic, I still use it like I still listen to the Grateful Dead, and it's also mildly popular in public (try suggesting Cronometer to someone seeking truth-in-their-daily-diet, and they're like, did it, tried it, gave up on it cos it's dull).

 

Hey Cronometer: ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really? I find the gold version to be different from the free version in small but important ways.

 

I've been tracking my own eating off and on for the past 16 months or so, but my wife and I decided we should track her eating for just one week just to learn what we learn. I signed her up for the free version of Cronometer and we dutifully entered everything for seven days. We then looked at her nutrition report. BUT because we are only using the free version, we only have access to the last seven days for the nutrition report. I can't go back and see it now. There was really only one day that we could glimpse what we were trying to see with this little experiment. I'm glad I've got Gold so that I can go back and look at my data in many different ways, something I can't do with the free version.

 

I also really like being able to reorder the entries to keep things nice and organized. That's a small feature that is only available in Gold.

 

It does seem like there have been some updates. Unless I'm confused (which is totally possible) it looks like the ability to "retire" a recipe is a recent upgrade that I really like.

 

There are a few other small things that I would like to improve. I'm not sure if there are lines of communication open with the developers, but I'd be happy to help make suggestions if they are interested. The one big one right now which seems like it should already be on their radar is to be able to import data from Apple health. My phone is recording all of my steps (at least the ones I am taking while carrying my phone), but that data isn't available to Cronometer right now.

 

But there are a bunch of tiny improvements that I think would make a big difference and that I think the developers might not be able to see. For example, I've lost a bunch of recipes because I forgot to press save after adding each ingredient. If I'm cooking up something on the fly with the ingredients I've got on hand, I don't entirely know what I'm making until I finish making it. So I'm adding each ingredient to Cronometer as I go. But if I forget to hit save before navigating to another part of Cronometer, I will lose what I just entered. It would be nice to have it automatically save every entry without making you manually do it. Little things like that would make it a lot better, at least for this user.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that being able to create nutrition reports for whatever timespan is convenient, as well as the oracle function. But again, it's not enough to convince me to subscribe again to the gold version. I might do it for a single month if I desire to dig into my dietary past for whatever reason, then cancel teh subscription.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the cost is very reasonable, and I am grateful to all the work they put into it. I'm happy to support Cronometer.

 

I used the free version for several months before upgrading to gold. Now I think I'll renew annually for the foreseeable future.

 

I've tried using the oracle a few times, but have found that I don't really need it too much. A cool feature though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×