I Lost Weight By Using My Phone!
By: Lynn Fenner
Losing weight is one of the hardest things in the world for me to do. With my hectic lifestyle, advanced stress level, temptation to indulge in the wrong types of food, and the convenience of fast food, I have a tendency to over eat. I've tried some of those crazy crash diets which resulted in temporary weight loss but made me pack on the pounds after the diet was over. I've been told that the best way to look your best and maintain a healthy lifestyle is to eat well and exercise. It sounds good in theory but that's easier said than done. So what's the solution? With my Caribbean vacation right around the corner, I started researching the best way to lose weight. Studies have confirmed that keeping track of the food you eat and the activity you do has many benefits to your health. That seemed quite tedious and time consuming … until I found the website MyFitnessPal.com and it's mobile app for iphone and android! MyFitnessPal gives you the tools to manage your weight with a personalized diet profile making weight loss easy and actually fun! This app is great for anyone trying to lose weight, gain weight, maintain weight, or simply just trying to live a healthier lifestyle. The best part is that it's FREE!
I was reluctant to download yet another app to my phone but with a desperate desire to lose 10 pounds, I went ahead and did it. MyFitnessPal took me through a series of questions including my age, height, gender, weight, general level of activity, and weight loss goal in order to generate a personalized diet profile for me. I was realistic in my goal for how many pounds I wanted to lose per week and how many times per week I exercise. Once all my stats were in, an individual diary was ready to view and start tracking. I could instantly view my projected daily net caloric intake as well as how many grams of carbohydrates, protein, fat, sugar, and essential vitamins and minerals I should consume in a day. The net amount can change based on how much exercise you do, but the total goal caloric consumption stays the same based on your fitness profile. Sounds complicated, right? It's not. MyFitnessPal always clearly displays these numbers so you can follow it very easily. I was ready to track my food and start losing weight!
MyFitnessPal is a calorie counter and fitness tracker. Each day starts out fresh with a total number of calories in order to reach your goal. MyFitnessPal allows you categorize food into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks so you can see the amount of calories you are consuming per meal. There is the option to track how much water you are drinking so you can make sure you get your 8 glasses a day in! The app also allows you to categorize your fitness into cardiovascular and strength training. Once you start eating, start tracking. I think the easiest way to import your food is to simply scan it with your phone. If you are making eggs for breakfast, scan the barcode on the egg carton, type in how many you are eating, and voila! All the nutritional content from the eggs is now imported into your personal diary. If you don't want to scan your food, MyFitnessPal has a searchable database of over 1,600,000 items and it's growing every day. Each time you add a food, the app saves it so you won't have to search for it again. Myfitnesspal also gives you the option of importing your own nutritional information for foods that can't be scanned or found in the data base. For example, I ate lunch at Panera Bread the other day and wanted to import my lunch but couldn't find the exact meal that I ate. So, I went on the Panera website, got the nutritional facts, and created my own which is now accessible to all the other Myfitnesspal users. It is important to track everything you put in your mouth in order to get an accurate report at the end of the day. It's really as simple as a couple of clicks. No excuses!
Numbers don't lie, people. As you import the food you are eating, you can see your daily numbers diminishing. It is very helpful to import your food as you eat so you can plan your next meal based on how you are progressing throughout the day. I noticed that I was consuming way too many carbohydrates in the morning and was maxing out my goal by mid afternoon. By seeing those numbers, it helped me to make a lifestyle change in the way I eat. You can view your goal amount of carbs, sugar, calories, protein fat, vitamins and minerals in number form or in graphs. You can also see how well you are progressing daily, weekly, and monthly. At the end of the day when you complete your entry, a notice will put up telling you how much you will weigh in 5 weeks if you eat the same way you did that day. It is such an eye opener because we all have those days that we simply just over eat. It's good incentive to help you stay on track.
So, losing weight can actually be fun?!? I used MyfitnessPal on my phone for almost 3 months and I lost the 10 pounds that I was hoping to lose. In the beginning, I was in shock at how many calories I was consuming over the amount that was recommended. It made me sick to my stomach to think that I was also eating triple the amount fat that was suggested. This app is so easy to use and is honestly pretty addictive. I look forward to importing my meals and seeing how well I'm doing. This app is now a part of my life, not to lose weight, but to maintain my NOW healthy lifestyle. I've learned so much about myself, what foods to eat, and what foods NOT to eat. This app is also good to keep yourself on track because it is so easy to fall off the wagon and go back to fast food and junk food. MyfitnessPal will show you the nutritional facts and it will make you reconsider eating that Whopper with cheese meal from the Burger King drive through. I would suggest this app to anyone who is ready to embark on a healthy lifestyle!