Tutorial: Meal Diary Made Easy – The simple way to log your meals – by photo!

I know we’re all looking for the simplest solutions, and in fact, that’s a core reason why I write these articles for you to read. So I’m stoked to be able to be able to offer this tutorial on the easiest way I know to log meals you eat. It will work for anyone, but it’s especially easy if you have a smartphone that can send emails.

I had an awesome question from a reader, Jason, who was asking about a photo journalling app. While there are lots around, and it depends a little on which phone system you use as to what you might find, there is a simpler way, that keeps the photos in a safer place than in your cell phone (anyone flushed their’s recently?). Plus, you can share with other people, and check out your photos from other computers.

Here are the (simple) steps to it:

  1. Sign Up for or Login to your Flickr account (free)
  2. Set up an ‘email to’ address
  3. Add tags (keywords) automatically (like 4hb, slow carb)
  4. Use the ‘Share’ tool on your cell phone to email a photo to Flickr
  5. Snap photos of your meals, and send them off!
  6. Share your Flickr web address if you want to show people what you’re eating.

Step 1: Sign Up or Login to your Flickr Account

Head over to www.flickr.com – if you have an account, great! Login and skip to Step 2.

If not, here’s what the sign up process looks like (click for bigger images):

1flickr homepage 200x173 Tutorial: Meal Diary Made Easy   The simple way to log your meals   by photo!2flickr signin 200x167 Tutorial: Meal Diary Made Easy   The simple way to log your meals   by photo!

3 create account 175x200 Tutorial: Meal Diary Made Easy   The simple way to log your meals   by photo!4 create flickr username 200x114 Tutorial: Meal Diary Made Easy   The simple way to log your meals   by photo!

Step 2: Set up your ‘email to’ address

Find the ‘Your Account’ link near the bottom of the ‘You’ menu.

5 acct in menu Tutorial: Meal Diary Made Easy   The simple way to log your meals   by photo!

Click the ‘Emails & Notifications’ option


6 emails and notifications 1024x174 Tutorial: Meal Diary Made Easy   The simple way to log your meals   by photo!

Use the first option – Your Flickr Upload Email – to create an upload-to-flickr email address


7 upload to email Tutorial: Meal Diary Made Easy   The simple way to log your meals   by photo!

Step 3 – Add Tags

Optional, but pretty cool. Add ‘tags’ that flickr will automatically add to each uploaded photo. Here, you see I have added ’4hb, slow carb’


8 add tags 1024x585 Tutorial: Meal Diary Made Easy   The simple way to log your meals   by photo!


Step 4: Share a photo from your cell phone

Depending on your phone, it might be an icon, a menu option, or something else, but almost every smart phone has the ability to email a photo.

Try taking a picture, and immediately reviewing it – use your menu options to see if you can find a ‘Send’ or ‘Share’ option – and select ‘By Email’, ‘Mail’ or ‘Gmail’ in the case of an Android with the Gmail app.

Enter in the Email address from flickr, enter an email subject (= photo name), and type some info in the body of the email (= photo description) and hit Send.

Step 5: Snap your meals and share them!

Whenever you sit down to eat, simply snap a photo of your meal, and send it away. It’s easy to do, and from time to time, you can come back to your flickr page to check out what you’ve been eating. It might actually surprise you!

Take the 7 day challenge and photograph everything that you’re eating. Everything.

Step 6: Share your meals with other people

This is of course totally optional, but it’s worth doing if you are excited about the meals, or if someone asks you about them. It’s also much faster than trying to explain the slow carb diet to someone who’s never heard of it and can’t figure out why you always want to go to Mexican places for lunch.

Firstly, visit your ‘Photostream’ page by selecting it from the ‘You’ Menu:

photostream Tutorial: Meal Diary Made Easy   The simple way to log your meals   by photo!

Then, copy and paste your unique web address that you have in your address bar (That’s it up the top, starting with http://www.flickr.com/photos/):

photostream url Tutorial: Meal Diary Made Easy   The simple way to log your meals   by photo!

Advanced: use an email address modifier to set privacy level:

9 privacy Tutorial: Meal Diary Made Easy   The simple way to log your meals   by photo!


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4 Responses to Tutorial: Meal Diary Made Easy – The simple way to log your meals – by photo!

  • Reverend Ken says:

    Very good. I have taken a similar, as-easy route, which is to create a blog (I used blogspot.com) and connect my phone (and/or camera, depending on what was handiest) to my computer every day and copy my photos to the blog, using captions to describe the meals.

    The virtue here is that if you miss a picture, you can still just put in a word description of the food. And some things (protein shakes), don’t make interesting pictures.

    I have also been tracking my daily weight with a spreadsheet of my own devising, and I like putting up daily graphs. I also keep track of inches on a weekly basis, so my Saturday entries have other charts showing my progress.

    When I was setting weight-loss goals, I put the goal at the top of my page.

    I started the Slow-carb diet on January 1, and have used this blog as my meal diary, with musings about my progress, and have never missed a day.

  • Luke says:

    Congratulations Ken. Your progress is really great, and I very much appreciate you sharing your blog here. It makes for some interesting reading, and you have some great meal ideas too!

    Keep up the great work, and I look forward to hearing about your results in time.

    All the best,
    Luke

  • anna says:

    Help! Dont have a smart phone! What then?

    • Luke says:

      Consider carry a pocket digital camera with you, and upload in the evening – you’ll still have a chronological record of your meals, and you’ll still have the same, easy access! You could even upload from different computers if need be (much more useful than saving images to one computer).
      All the best!
      Luke

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