I read about calorie tracking for weight loss several years ago. It never interested me as it seemed like such hard work. And it was! You had to read labels and try to figure out the amount of calories consumed. The accuracy was low and it just wasn’t worth the effort. Fast forward to 2014 and we now have the benefit of smartphones and applications that do a great job of tracking weight, calories consumed. My app of choice is MyFitnessPal. This great app is a comprehensive food diary, weight tracker and exercise tracker all in one.
Below is a screenshot from my phone. As you can see I’ve lost almost 3 kg over the last month. My current weight is the lightest I have been in over 20 years and MyFitnessPal has played a major part in this achievement! I check my weight once a week at the same time in the morning when I wake up.
The bread and butter of the app is the food tracker. It is very quick and easy to enter the food you eat. I definitely eat less some days because I know I have to enter the food – the app keeps me accountable! Below is a screenshot from my breakfast this morning. Because this is a meal I have regularly, I can copy it from another day with just a couple of clicks.
Actually, I feel like a little naughty treat right now as I’m under my calorie goal for the day. I’m having half a Pinky chocolate bar. I could search for it in the huge MyFitnessPal food database but even easier, I scan the barcode of the Pinky bar wrapper using my iPhone camera and it automatically pops in all the details as shown below. All I have to change is the ‘number of servings’ which I changed to 0.5 as I was good and shared the other half of the bar with my wife! 76 calories – not too bad for a nice treat!
Here is what it looks like when saved. The process of scanning and saving the food item in only took 10 seconds. I am in the habit of entering food before I consume it or just after consumption and then I don’t forget.
Its the end of the day and I’m ready to submit my diary for the day. I simply press ‘Complete Entry’ and I get a message on how my day was. Woohoo! I’m on track.
I can also check to see how I got on with meeting individual goals for Protein, Carbs and Fat. Carbs were good today but Fat too high and Protein too low. This is exactly the type of feedback I’m wanting from the app. That’s ok – I’ll make sure tomorrow’s a better day – my goal is to meet my weekly goals which use the averages across all days.
So that’s MyFitnessPal in a nutshell. It is very function rich and highly usable and I recommend it if you are struggling with weight loss and need a ‘minder’. If your friends use the app too you can ‘friend’ each other and cheer one another on and even share your respective food diaries if you want total accountability. Download MyFitnessPal today from the iTunes app store or Google Play.