Healthy Living and Losing Weight with MyFitnessPal
Now that it’s been nearly three months on my new change-of-lifestyle diet I wanted to share one of the key tools that has helped me to improve me lose weight, feel energetic and generally improve my health.
When the boyf and I started this new diet we had to make huge changes to our food decision-making. We were so used to just eating what we fancied and even though we didn’t eat particularly badly we were gaining weight and not feel healthy. So in order to motivate us we started using MyFitnessPal.
If you haven’t come across this before MyFitnessPal its a membership website and app that allows you to track your food intake every day along with any exercise you do. Originally I think it was purely for fitness purposes but we use it to track our food.
There are a number of reasons I have found it so useful to use MyFitnessPal.
1. Tracking calories
OK, honestly the nutritional counts are sometimes incorrect, but it’s been really helpful to see a snapshot every day of where my calorie intake comes from. It’s helped me understand the food I’m eating and thus adjust my food choices accordingly.
For instance, if I’ve had a bigger breakfast or lunch I will see from MyFitnessPal that I might just have 500 calories for dinner. So I’ll make sure that I choose something lighter such as a vegetable heavy dish or broth.
And before anyone tells me I’m crazy for counting calories … I do just use this as a guide, I’ve not been super rigid. I’m using this as a tool to think about my food differently.
2. Food Mindfulness
Sometimes you might have something a little more substantial during the day, or have a particularly food-filled day (especially when out and about visiting people). By using the app I’m able to be more mindful of my food intake over a week as well day to day. So, maybe I might have a ‘cheat’ day, that’s fine. I can see exactly what I’ve eaten.
Before doing this I would have a snack here, a snack there. At the time they were just a little something. But by writing it all down I was able to see that these actually add up, and it’s surprising how much you can eat if you don’t pay attention.
3. Share your food diary
There is a great function where you can add others and view each others food diary. This has been really useful for the boyf and I to just copy over a meal we’ve both eaten. Saves on inputting time.
It’s easy to forget to update your MyFitnessPal but we’ve turned into a bit of a routine. I’ll try and update it during the day as I go, but we remind each other at bedtime to check we’re all filled in for the day.
5. The app
I love that I can use the app on my phone and iPad alongside the desktop version. On the app there’s a fancy barcode function so you can just scan the packaging of the food you’re eating, set the portion size and voila! the food is added to your diary.
There are loads of other funky functions to the app and website. But those are the main reasons I like using it.
We’ve found it really helps keep us on track with our new healthy lifestyle and have since become more mindful of what we choose to eat.
So yeah, without sounding like a walking advertisement (it’s not, by the way) I’d really recommend this. It’s helped me loads and I know a few of you were interested in my new healthy lifestyle process.
Have you used MyFitnessPal before? How did you find it?