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Tracking and Quantified Self

Hey everyone,

I have not been on 4hb since April, as I have been working on a project. I would love to get some feedback from those of you who have been doing detailed self tracking. I was a little disappointed with the websites available for tracking things about your body. They either seemed to be focused on a particular diet, like the standard american diet. Other times they were heavily focused on logging your exercises. I started out building a tool for myself that would allow me to easily track any facet of my body. Blood sugar, weight, inches, anything really.

I also was helping my father with 4hb, he was a type 2 diabetic when I started building the website. I wanted him to be able to log his blood sugar and food intake so I could help him with his diet.

Long story short, I am about to open up the website to the general public. I would love to hear from you guys, your thoughts on this sort of thing. What would you want from a service like this? What is that one feature that every other website seems to neglect? Would any of you want to be beta testers etc?

beta sign up is live




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I'll beta test. The big problem will be making it simple enough to get a lot of newbies and advanced enough to keep folks coming back. Here's what I track daily:


Exercise (type, reps, weight, calories, levels, etc...)

Calories (must be able to take notes)

Carbs (this isn't a must)

Notes (start PAGG, cheat day, anything else relevant)




Nice to have:

A place to put images (pics of yourself and anything else)

Then I make lots of graphs from the data.

I think if you keep the intent of tracking straight, then the rest will make itself. The intent of self tracking is control. I want to control what is happening to my body and I can't do that if I'm guessing. I know why I was constipated for 2 weeks because I was tracking all my data (I needed more fat). I knew I hit a stall because the nuts and wine were adding 400 cal/day. I knew ketosis worked for 2 weeks but then my body adjusted and stalled big time. I knew all this because of data. I took control and adjusted because of said data.


  • jodyalbritton commented Jul 29th 2012:

    Thanks for the feedback. As of right now I have most of those features covered. I should be able to open it up for testing within the week. I have updated my original post with a link to sign up.

  • jodyalbritton commented Jul 29th 2012:

    Every stat has it's own graph and goal. Same with daily diet macros. You can set how many grams of fat/carbs/protein you want to consume every day. The daily dashboard shows you a pie chart with current breakdown. I also give rough estimates for calories burned from basal rate and any activities you enter, current body fat and bmi. I tried to make it as diet/exercise agnostic as possible.


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In trackers, I like to have the ability to enter data "late." Sometimes I'm not at the computer and I write info down on paper. I usually get caught up weekly, but if a tracker won't let me change the date, then I'm SOL.

  • jodyalbritton commented Jul 30th 2012:

    My version is free form. You can enter as many/few meals you like on any date. Meals can be called whatever you like and frequent meals can be saved as a favorite. I eat Chicken/pinto beans/green beans most of the time so food entry for me is two clicks.


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Hi Jody,

This is so ironic, because I just came here to ask for a good website for tracking progress. I would definitely try it. I have only finished one week on this 4HB,

I think another good aspect of the website to have would be the ability to upload photos weekly (or whenever...wouldn't have to be each time you weigh in or take measurements). The website would then automatically place them into a "compare mode" with previous photos. Maybe if you hover over each photograph, you could see your stats for that week

Also, something that would automatically calculate losses/gains would be helpful. Visual charts.

Another thing that I saw in a website was a gallery that would show photos of people by weight/body fat percentage. In other words, as they are tracking themselves, if someone uploaded a pic of themselves with the stat that they were 15% body fat, their photo would automatically show up in a gallery with other people whose photos show the same stats. It is fun to see the differences in people at different body fat percentages or different weights. Other people's photos can become motivational photographs or give people something to work for. Maybe some people do not know how a body looks at 20% fat vs. 15%. That would help people visually to create their goals. I hope that makes sense. Photos would not HAVE to be in the gallery, however. Users could have the option of whether or not their photos are added to the gallery.

Dh and I also design/own websites, so I am familiar with the technical aspects. Would love to try it out!

  • Brittney Kyle commented Jul 28th 2012:

    Oh, I wanted to add that users could place a filter on the photographs to show them by body fat, weight, height, etc. Then they can hover over the photos to see the specific stats for each person. Height would be an important stat to have in this case because of course 160 lbs on a 5'10" woman is going to look a lot different on a 5'2" woman.

  • jodyalbritton commented Jul 29th 2012:

    I am working on the exact feature you are talking about. The ability to upload photos, show them in relation to dates/stats etc.

  • Brittney Kyle commented Jul 30th 2012:

    Jody, I tried to create a log in, but got the message that something went wrong. Now when I click on the link to try again, I get the same error message.

  • jodyalbritton commented Jul 30th 2012:

    Thanks for the heads up. Had a pretty big code push this weekend. It's up now.


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I requested an invite, not sure if you're still taking testers.

One thing I miss on other sites I've tried is the ability to download the data I enter in a format where I can load it into excel and have it on my hard drive.

The excel sheet I made for myself tracks morning weight and evening weight, some notes on sleeping (which is how I discovered I lose more weight on days I get enough sleep). I have a column for BMI (even though I know it's somewhat useless), and a column for any cold therapy I did, and a column for comments where I deviated from the diet.

I also have a place for my 2 week average and month average weight.

  • jodyalbritton commented Jul 31st 2012:

    I will approve any requests for invites tonight. Right now if you enter your age, height, weight, and waist circumference it will calculate your current BMI, Body Fat, and BMR. As of today it only gives a graph of the numbers you enter over time for a stat. Averages and mean increase/decrease are in the works.


Germany flag

I wanna test, too!

Great stuff

  • jodyalbritton commented Jul 31st 2012:

    Invited you, let me know if you have any troubles.

  • CarmenCR commented Jul 31st 2012:

    I really don't know what to put in there.

    "Stats" "Stype... Start typing" (?) "Value", "Units"

    What are Stype-Units? What kind of value can a stype have?? And after all: what is "stype" anyway???

  • jodyalbritton commented Aug 1st 2012:

    Sorry, the boxes that say start typing are auto-complete. You just start tying a value, in this case you can type weight, blood sugar, waist etc. It will auto complete you body stat for you.

  • jodyalbritton commented Aug 1st 2012:

    I made it a bit more descriptive.


Germany flag

I'd like to test it too. But for me it's only practical if there's the opportunity to change units into kilogram (kg) and centimeter (cm).

And I have one more question: Will the website be public? Do I have the choice not to show my photo's even if I uploaded them to track my results?

  • jodyalbritton commented Jul 31st 2012:

    Should have kg/cm by the end of the week, and everything can be as private as you want it. The privacy system is similar to googles circles.

  • Silke Frerichs commented Aug 2nd 2012:

    Thanks for your reply. I just requested an invite.


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I just requested invite ;)


Germany flag


Good idea! I'll definitely beta-test it if I'm still allowed!


Netherlands flag

Great stuff. My excel sheet is just not simple enough and consists out of too much dirty hacks :).

I just requested an invite!

  • jodyalbritton commented Aug 2nd 2012:

    What do you track in your spreadsheet?

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