As you may have noticed, we revamped our dashboard to make it even easier for you to track your calorie intake and expenditure. On the new dashboard you will see ‘Food’ = calories you eat, ‘Activity’ = the calories you burn through logged exercise, and ‘Remaining ‘= how many calories you have left in your calorie budget to eat for the day. The ‘Remaining’ calorie number is based on what your target intake is set to plus any logged activity which would allow for an increase in your allotted calories. Technically, you want to aim for zero remaining calories at the end of the day to ensure you are not over or under -eating.
Previously, we had incorporated an activity level which estimated the amount of calories you would burn every day on a baseline level. While it is accurate your body requires a certain number of calories at rest, it is a variable, often inaccurate calculation. Because we want to make things as simple and clear as possible for you, we have removed that number from our dashboard and analysis pages. However, if you were used to the old format, you can switch back by clicking the link on your dashboard.
Added: March 9, 2012 - 9:26am
As you may have noticed, we have incorporated the new design into the Old Dashboard experience. We now also offer a toggle version that allows you to see Net or Remaining calories depending on your preference/or to see both. The selection that you make there affects what your analysis graph displays for you. We've also exposed the water logger and added a date widget. We are listening to your feedback and are doing all we can to ensure you have tools that work for you.
The new dashboard is quite frankly, terrible. It is confusing to read that I still need X number of calories to reach target when you are subtracting activity from intake. If I followed this suggestion I would have ate 2500 calories tonight.
I am glad you left me the option to use my old dash. If you take it away in the future, I will be reconsidering my use of this site.
Take the new dash out back behind the shed and shoot it dead.
Very dissatisfied user.
Sorry, I don't like the new format either. I would like to see my calorie deficit clearly in the graph, just as it was before.
A couple of people have mentioned cynically that perhaps CC is looking to enhance their paid model. To that I say that I would happily pay to have the previous concept of the site enhanced. This site has been incredible and has made losing weight fun and relatively painless given the simplicity of calorie counting and maintaining a deficit (with the added benefit of more complete nutritional tracking).
Sadly it didn't even occur to me that the goal would be to pay CC so someone could simply tell me what my target should be, which was the fundamental reason I chose this site in the first place (because it already did that and well). On the other hand I could see why people would want a professional nutritionist to review their logs and reports and that is great.
But if you need a subscription model to keep the site truly useful please do so. This site WAS worth paying for.
@riabear: You make some great points (love your description of "variable and inaccurate calculations and calories remaining) but I really hope you are wrong about the paid nutritionist simply being a way to get money to tell us our "BMR and activity level...". In my case the activity level estimates were reasonably accurate from the automated BMR + Activity level formula (which I believe was just this... http://www.caloriesperhour.com/tutorial_BMR.p hp).
I'll throw my own two cents in and I do not like the new dashboard at all. I want to see what my deficit is and be able to add water easily on the food log. Please reconsider the revamped site, it's terrible and not a good fit for at least 80% of the people who use the site. I mean, come on, I weigh 250 pounds right now, ate about 1950 calories today, did a bit of walking and it says I have 267 calories remaining? Makes no sense.
In fact I am so impassioned by this change I offer this as the ideal dashboard/analysis:
BMR + Activity Level + Exercise logged = Burn meter
Food calories logged = Food calorie meter
Target calories = target calories
Which is the old site except you could actually show the auto-calculated BMR and daily activity level calories as separate editable fields (with the auto-calc amount always showing next to it or something as the default guide).
Then you can create a SINGLE METER using that data with food calories logged being the thing that is filling it up, the meter itself simply showing the total daily calories (it doesn't even need to animate itself throughout the day, just show the total burn for the whole meter all day). And on that single meter have a tick mark/line graphic to indicate your chosen target calories.
THEN you can still show the DEFICIT/OVERAGE as we've all become accustomed to.
However, if some people do like the idea of CALORIES REMAINING you can also show that in relation to the target calories. EVERYBODY WINS and the whole dual meter functionality remains with a cleaner interface all around.
Moreover, you could add a switch to track whether the account is currently being used to LOSE/MAINTAIN/GAIN and adjust some of the vocabulary and graphs accordingly.
My suggestions, especially using the words "BMR" and "Activity Level Calories" by name as separate editable fields addresses the supposed concern about "innaccurate variables" the new update is supposed to fix. But by making them literal but still automatically calculated BUT EDITABLE, you still offer a useful starting point for new people, while allowing those of us who have managed to get a more accurate assessment to properly update the "innaccurate values".
I hope these suggestions make sense and could be of value to the team (and whatever marketing thing might also be behind this).
- Make BMR, Activity Level calories, and target calories all auto-calculated but editable values on the account settings (just like target calories is already handled but using the existing activity level chooser to auto fill the bmr and acitivity level fields to start)
- Reinstate the DEFICIT/OVERAGE concept as it was on the analysis screen
- Create a new SINGLE FOOD/BURN meter with target calorie mark
- Add in the calories remaining concept but only on screens where the FOOD/BURN meter concept is apparent and the remaining calories is relevant to the self set target calorie mark on that meter.
I think some version of these suggestions (or something similar could satisfy all of us who think the thing you originally created called calorie count was great) while also bringing in some of the concepts you are trying to introduce in the new update. I get why someone would want a concept of "calories remaining" but in my mind that concept does not trump the need to clearly see "real" calories eaten versus "real" calories burned. Nor can I understand any reason to eliminate the sublime simplicity of the existing concept of account settings activity level and the food/burn meters.
I hope this helps to extend a meaningful dialog towards the ongoing development of CC which, I can't stress enough, WAS amazing and changing lives.
The new dashboard is terrible. My target calories for a day is 1650. I exercise 350 calories. According to the new dashboard I now get to eat an additional 350 calories to reach my target cal. If I follow this suggestion, then I will maintain my weight and not lose a thing. It’s confusing at best and at worse lots of people will no longer lose weight.
I switched to calorie count a few years ago when another calorie counter site changed their format as well. By comparison, theirs looks better by the second. I do appreciate the old dashboard option you’ve left us. When that vanishes, I’ll have to say goodbye. It’s a shame though…
Not keen either.. I dont like the fact all my bars are red when i dont hit my number pretty much exactly. i dont want to have the same amount every day i have what i feel i want and need that day and my average over the week comes out at my maintenance level (2300) but there is nothing wrong with it being 3000 one day, 2000 the next.. I dont think trying to confine yourself to a very narrow range of calories per day is healthy.
Also.. i would like it if i could set my own maintenance level in stead of it saying i am 500 calories over.. To get it to say around 0 i would have to say i am extremely active when in reality all i do is walk to school and home and sit around the rest of the time.
I have to agree with so many others here. While I like the look of the new Dashboard, I do miss the deficit. On the analysis page, I have no idea what that new graph is telling me. Calorie Count has been a simple way to track your progress, even through the day, but this seems like a setback for those that are trying to lose weight.
If yo are asking for opinions, I would say bring back the deficit and the old graph.
Thanks again for all you do to try and improve our weight management experience.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't take the old dashboard away . . . . I am FINALLY making progress with my weight loss and if you take this away I will be screwed. I need to see my deficit in calories - not how many more I need to eat. I eat fine and eat the number of calories I need to each day but I also work out differently each day - seeing larger deficits when I am more active gives me more incentive to continue to be more active. This calorie counting is time consuming and by changing it you will discourage users. Please leave it alone!!!! I am very thankful to found the way to put it back. For those of you who haven't go to the dashboard main page and then there is a link on the right which says switch back to the old dash board.
I can't believe so many people are complaining about the new format without giving it a week's worth of usage so they can get used to it.
I find the remaining cals indicator far more useful than the old burn meter. I've never used the BMR feature - I just set it to sedentary and log my walking cals as well as any proper exercise. By doing that, I can see clearly just how vague the BMR figure can be, and that it might not just average out over time.
Agree the chart could be a source for confusion, but it's nice to see things flipped, so the psychology of the bars is in line with the will of the majority - weight loss.
I do see lots of water log mentions in there - how about a small water glass widget which is a glass with a number. click the top of the glass to add, bottom to delete (because you undrank that last cup of course)? Make this visible on all food log pages (not just the main log page as used to be the case) and it will please everyone.
Maybe I am being thick, but I cannot understand my chart at all!
Before it was obvious to me that the green lines were the deficit and if I clicked on 'average' I could find out what my average deficit was (which I found helpful). Can someone explain what I am now looking at and why when I check the 'average' box I get a load of red lines? Why are they red? Also, according to the chart, my deficits seem to have completely changed, so that most days I am not achieving the deficit I was achieving prior to this change. Is it because I have selected sedentary and am not adding in every little movement I make during the day?
Thanks for all the feedback. Let me start by saying that we'll make this work for everyone. It might be by either keeping the two versions forever, or by making the new one work flawlessly, or by switching back to the old one as the site's default.
So with that out of the way, I will leave the rest of the conversation between you and our team in Rachel's hands, because she's a lot more knowledgable in nutrition than I am. Rest assured that Rachel will make sure to listen and understand your concerns and the rest of our team will make sure to make any changes that we all agree on.
I'd also like to remind everyone that change is always difficult to accept, but sometimes it might lead to better things. Just keep your minds open and try to understand where we're coming from (Rachel has mentioned the inaccuracy issues with the old method and I am sure she'll expand on that more), and we'll do that same for you.
I really don't like the new look. If it doesn't change, I'll probably go look for another site. Too bad, because I really loved the old site
The "New" dashboard is very similar to the dashboard in existence two years ago. (For simplicity, we'll call it version 1. The dashboard of a week ago, I will call version 2, and the New and "Improved" version will be version 3)
When I first joined the site a couple years ago, it took me several weeks to figure out the dashboard, because the concept and images were based on balancing calories in = calories out (i.e. maintenance). The weight loss forum was filled with threads with questions about the dashboard images. Any new used was confused about the existing dashboard metrics and there were kind posters who would explain the metrics over and over again.
If memory serves me right, about every fourth posting on the forum was a newbie question about their main page metrics and icons.
Along came version two. I actually began to like version 2. I understand version 2. It is elegant in it's simplicity. It shows me at a glance how many calories I've eaten. It keeps the concept of diet separate from exercise, AS IT SHOULD, because some of us are here to track our calories, some are here to record activities, some are here to diet, and some are here to maintain. It covers all the bases.
Version 3 fails to communicate in a simple and straight forward manner. If the dashboard must be changed, please come up with a simple style that does NOT try to do the math for me. I am not an idiot.
And get rid of or tone down that awful "Android Green" color, please.
I understand there is a new nutritionist and a new product driving this bus, but please don't drive it over a cliff.
It took me a bit, but I did figure out how to go back to the old format. Like many of the other users, one of the main reasons that I like it better is because it shows the net calories with the "normally burned" calories included.
My issue with the changes is the popups. They always come up right where I'm working and cover what I'm trying to read or write, or the list that I'm trying to lookup foods/activities on. Sometimes they will close, but I've had them take me to the other site when I've clicked on the close icon and I've also had them lockup Internet Explorer altogether. This is something that just started yesterday after the change, so I highly doubt this is an issue on my computer.
I understand that running a site like this costs money and popups bring in more advertising dollars. However, by placing in a way that forces people to either have to deal with them causing site errors or to pay for an upgraded version can also have its adverse effects. At least I've been lucky that I haven't lost any of my information yet. (The reasons that I quit using another highly regarded weight-loss site.)
I've only been using this site for about a week and a half and, up until now, I have had nothing but positive reviews. As an accountant/bookkeeper, I have been through a few buy-out and take overs at other companies and one of the steps that was ALWAYS taken in making any changes was to run everything through the new programs and then re-run them to get out any glitches before going live.
I hope that this issue can get resolved quickly.
We are grateful for your feedback and understand your concerns. I want to start by saying that this change is in NO way related to the fact that we launched our Premium Services at the same time. We would never purposely try to confuse you or 'trick' you into paying for our subscribed service.
The main reason we changed the dashboard is because we were receiving many questions about what the Activity Level meant and how it factors in. With the New Dashboard, Remaining Calories is technically just another way to look at your same deficit as before. However, not to worry, we will not take away the Old Dashboard and phrasing from you if that is how you prefer to view it.
I agree with most of the posters on this board, I opened up my "analysis" tab and was confused to see so many red bars, it's like being lightly active doesn't count for anything but a measly 60 calories anymore. As my calorie target is 1260/day, I go over it almost everyday by 30-100 cals, as hitting between 1200-1260 would require an OCD level of focus. Also, the exercise calories seem to count for 100% whereas in the old analysis, I think they were somewhat discounted, which I think is more consistent with how your body actually burns. (i.e. when you workout to burn 300 calories, you can only really eat an extra 180 calories to balance it out, this same concept was definitely in weight watchers)...
They've basically built in a defecit of whatever the number between your basal burn (mine was around 1700) and your target. Which guarantees that if you stick to this and never eat over/under you get a ~450 cal defecit for everyday you get to zero. I think. It's just a different way to look at it, but not really one that I like a lot. Because everytime I choose to only have a 300 cal defecit it actually looks like I overate by 150 calories.
Switched to the old view (blue link above "weight box"). New view is definitely annoying. I'm afraid it will definitely encourage people who occasionally eat under the minimum limit of 1200 since that's the only way they'll see those big green bars if they aren't into exercise...
I like it, though I admit I am still using the concept of BMR to make it useful for weight loss.
What I did was calculate my resting metabolic rate, for me about 1900 calories, and I set my calorie goal to 1400 so I would ideally have a deficit of about 500 calories a day. I like the new dasboard because I can easily see how many calories I have left until I start eating into (literally) my desired deficit. With the old system, I would let myself off the hook a lot, because the green bar would still be there and even if it was only 50 calories I would still think "well, at least it's still negative..." This system will keep me more honest.
Looking at the graph I can easily estimate how close I am to my goal. The closer to a flat line the better. Green good, red bad (whereas, before red meant surplus calories, so it meant really, really bad).
I also like the 'calories remaining' feature because I do motivate myself to exercise by allowing myself to eat more that day, as long as I still maintain a 500 calorie deficit.
So, I still think that BMR is useful for those who want to lose weight, even if it isn't the best actual measure of calorie usage. You should include a calculator in the tools section for people who are interested. It's really hard, otherwise, for people to start figuring out how much they should be eating per day.
For those of you who hate it, I'd say give it a chance and see if you can tweak your information to make it work for you. As I said, if you make the x axis your ideal deficit, it is really easy to see how well you're progressing on your deficit goals.
I think for someone who has opted out of Calorie Camp, that link to go back to the old view is not available.
I too have the suspicion that we're dealing with a couple of bugs that are affecting the toggle link and the analysis values. We're checking everything as we speak and will update you.