T Nation

I Made a Diet Generator. Check it Out

****EDIT: URL for the new site: http://www.eatthismuch.com/
****Made some huge changes recently, including automatic weekly planning and automatic leftovers planning. Still a ways to go before it’s flawlessly managing my diet, but it’s getting there!

Hey dudes. Over the past couple weeks I’ve been making this diet generator website in my free time: http://swole.me/

It was mostly to learn javascript/programming, but I like how it turned out. The only problem is that I can’t tell how useful it is to other people. This is where you all come in!

I think if you live like the poor college cooking retard that I am, it can be pretty solid. If I check off brown rice, oatmeal, pasta, bananas, eggs, protein powder, round turkey, yogurt, peanut butter, and milk, the output looks surprisingly similar to how I eat.

On the other hand, some friends that I’ve shown it to think the foods given in the meal output are too random and they hate that the foods don’t go well together unless its by chance. Essentially, I’ve limited my audience to people of the bodybuilding community who only eat food to get the appropriate proportions of macronutrients.

So give me your feedback and I’ll try to make it more useful. Also, if you have any suggestions on the macro proportions, let me know. My choice of 25% calories from protein, 25 from fat, and 50 from carbs was kindof arbitrary, but it sounds close to ideal. I’ve seen some places advocate 55% from carbs, 20% from protein, and 25% from fat, or some minor variation of those proportions. Making the proportions flexible is probably the next thing I’ll put in.

Note: I also don’t think it works in IE9, but eff internet explorer. I wasted a day getting it to work in the older IE versions, and then microsoft releases a new version like a week ago with a whole new batch of problems

UPDATES (7/6/11):
I just finished a pretty big update with a food sandbox mode. You can generate a meal plan with the generator and then send it to the sandbox mode for editing with a drag and drop interface.

I’ve got a pretty extensive timeline of updates to make, the soonest probably being the ability to add your own custom food objects, followed by better generated diets, vegetable recommendations based on micronutrients, and a better saving/account system. Metric units will have to be thrown in there somewhere too. Let me know if you have any feedback on the changes, especially if anything doesn’t work for you. I haven’t even tested it in internet explorer, so I’ll probably get on that in the morning.

UPDATES (10/6/11):
After almost 3 months I’ve managed to push another update. Now there are separate breakfast menus and vegetable recommendations based on micronutrients, along with a snazzy new look. I’m going to be making more incremental updates from now on, so check it out every now and then to see what’s changed, and I’ll post about it here!

UPDATES (3/10/12):
I totally failed to follow through on the more frequent updates thing, but I finally made another update today. I finished adding a food database, you can add custom foods, decide which foods the generator picks in each meal, and change the units for each food. You can also add foods, lock them in place, and then use the generate function as an “autocomplete.”

It’s come a long way since I started a year ago, and it’s finally becoming a pretty reasonable diet planner. You guys were my initial inspiration, so it’d be great if I could get your continued feedback. Try it out and let me know what you think!

UPDATES (8/4/12):
This last update was a long time coming, but I just launched a new version at http://www.eatthismuch.com/ . The biggest change is a much more intelligent algorithm, recipes, and more extensive food options. Also, I attempted to implement a business model! Give it a try and let me know what you think. At the moment, the recipe selection is a bit limited, but as people enter more of their own I’ll add them to the pool of recipes the generator draws from. So if you have some decent recipes (especially simple ones), please enter them with some decently written directions.

UPDATES (5/6/13):
Damn, it’s been over 2 years since I started this! Eat This Much has gone through some major changes since last August, the biggest being automatic weekly planning. Now, if you sign up, it’ll send you a 7 day meal plan and grocery list every week via email. If you see anything you don’t like, you can load up the day in the generator and make edits on the spot. Once you like what you see, you can resend yourself the email. If it suggests any big recipes, it’ll ask you to save the extra servings as leftovers and eat them over the next few days.

The weekly stuff isn’t free (if you guys don’t burn me at the stake, I’ll build a coupon system and pass some out here!), but the free version of the generator has also seen some big improvements since the launch and makes much more reasonable looking plans. Would love to hear what you guys think about it.

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Try it out and give me your feedback!

I don’t think I could eat that many baked beans in one day… but the concept is great for beginners who don’t know what food to choose. Although one criticism is the food choices could be better. But great idea.

Thats a really cool idea and I like where it is going. I think if you slowly start building a larger database of food choices it could be a really awesome program. Way to go man I think that could be really helpful to alot of people.

It’s not a bad idea, but it doesn’t take into account nutrient timing and targeting your carb intake. I’m sure with a few tweeks you could put a nice bodybuilder friendly spin on it.

S

I only want to eat 2 meals per day.

Great idea but too much carbs and not enough protein. It only gave me 8 ounces of meat for the day.

I think maybe you should put an option to allow people to put in their own protein intake number as the numbers i’m getting are very low…

The most unanimous feedback I’ve gotten so far is to allow you to control the macro ratios, so I’ll try to put that in sometime today.

Are there any serious bodybuilder foods you guys think I’ve missed? I’ll have to spend some time adding a custom foods option since I can only have so many food choices without cluttering the page, or add some search function with a much larger food database.

Great job on that, thanks for the work and providing the link.

[quote]Wilba wrote:
Great idea but too much carbs and not enough protein. It only gave me 8 ounces of meat for the day.[/quote]

I think that was probably one meal not for the whole day.

Another constraint that I think you could put in it is no more than 3 or 4 ingredients per meal.

You could also make a table of food pairings that go together via categorizing. It shouldn’t be too hard to do - for example, most people probably won’t want to eat peanutbutter with pinto beans. Roughly categorizing into breakfast, lunch/dinner, and supplements will pretty much do this for you. Then any meal can only be composed of breakfast + supplement or lunch/dinner + supplement. This eliminates the weird parings problem, at least at first sight.

The more elegant approach would be to make a complete table of pairings…but that’s a pain in the ass.

I think this is great!! Thanks a lot Papabear!

You should sell it as an app, or try and sell it to a website… like this one… Really…

And you should hurry up.

Let the use control the macros IF THEY WANT, but also keep a general guideline.

The general population is not made of bodybuilder.

If you want to make the most money, target this app to the general population

Good work

I will definitely be using your site once you allow for variable macro ratios. Right now it wants me eating 50% of my calories from carbs, roughly 700 grams, or 15 cups of brown rice a day…

Great idea though, I hope you come out with an Apple/Android app and make some serious $$$

You should be able to customize macros now! I haven’t tested it a whole lot, but it doesnt work too well if you want to eat 0 of a macronutrient. If you do, make sure you uncheck all foods that have that macro.

I probably won’t have much time to update it over the next few days, but the next thing I think I’m going to try to implement is letting you email/link a diet to yourself if it gives you a good meal plan.

Food pairings is definitely something I’ll work on, and probably the second biggest issue after custom macro proportions. I’ll try to update this thread as I make progress.

Thanks for all the feedback so far, keep it coming

I do’t really calculate the amount of calories I eat a day, but I like your idea. I’ll show the link to some of my ‘calories anal’ mates. They’ll love it. It’s got potential. Well done :slight_smile:

[quote]PapaBear wrote:
You should be able to customize macros now! I haven’t tested it a whole lot, but it doesnt work too well if you want to eat 0 of a macronutrient. If you do, make sure you uncheck all foods that have that macro.

I probably won’t have much time to update it over the next few days, but the next thing I think I’m going to try to implement is letting you email/link a diet to yourself if it gives you a good meal plan.

Food pairings is definitely something I’ll work on, and probably the second biggest issue after custom macro proportions. I’ll try to update this thread as I make progress.

Thanks for all the feedback so far, keep it coming[/quote]

Awesome!

Absolutely brilliant idea for newbs and a reality check for the rest of us!! I think you should alter the default Macro ratio to 40/40/20 (Protein, Carbs, Fats). However, using the option at all right now brings up the following error details;

User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; FunWebProducts; .NET CLR 3.5.21022; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152)
Timestamp: Sun, 17 Apr 2011 09:46:10 UTC

Message: Not implemented

Line: 311
Char: 1
Code: 0
URI: http://swole.me/

Message: ‘event.target.tagName’ is null or not an object
Line: 1
Char: 1
Code: 0
URI: http://swole.me/

Very cool tool PapaBear…a few more tweaks here and there and you could have a very good product there.

It actually reminded me how much more I can eat while not in a fat loss phase :slight_smile:

I’m not sure if you tweaked it since yesterday but it is awesome.

I think you could spend sometime tweaking it more with true meal recipes and sell a great product.

PS if you decide to throw some ads up, I’ll be happy to direct people to your sight.