Oh, myfitnesspal. You are always there. This is a good, bad, helpful, and addictive.
Big One got me to sign up for an account on http://www.myfitnesspal.com and it has been an interesting experience so far.
Here’s the welcome message on the website …
MyFitnessPal is a diet and fitness community built with one purpose in mind: providing you with the tools and support you need to achieve your weight loss goals.
It’s similar to many other sites and methods available so I am not saying this is a new or innovative program. I joined to participate in something my daughter and some of her friends were doing, and now I am addicted. The site has basic principles – you sign in each day and log your exercise and food for that day. It calculates calories ingested and used up, congratulates you on good days, and motivates you with messages on how you will be doing in 5 weeks if you keep up the pace.
The addictive part for me is that you need to do it every day to get the full benefit of the logging and the messages. If you save up and enter a few days at a time, you only get the messages for the current day.
It’s very eye-opening when you log everything you eat every day. It is also helpful when there is a site or program like this that helps you determine the calories of each item.
I have never been a very conscious eater when it came to understanding the impact of each food / drink I was ingesting. Of course, there are some things that are obviously high calories when you are eating them. (chocolate cake and fettucinni alfredo spring to mind) There are also things that sneak up on you that I have become more aware of – that French Vanilla Coffee from Tim Horton’s (about 250 calories) is a far cry from a simple coffee with cream (about 40 calories) and if I plan to drink 1-2 every day, I better be making a conscious choice.
The best part of the site, though, that is really helping me is to become aware of the impact exercise is having. The more I exercise, the more I can eat and still maintain or lose, and get into better shape. I am making decisions at lunch to go for walks instead of long lunches, attend my martial arts classes on a regular basis, and jogging in place for 10 minutes while watching one of my favourite t.v. shows. Each small decision helps with the outcome and those little messages from myfitnesspal actually put a smile on my face.
This is not an ad for their website. As I said, I’m sure there are many programs that work in similar ways. Think about what you are doing, make conscious choices, and get feedback on your progress. In a life that is busy, these acts are not always easy to do. Thanks myfitnesspal for helping me out. And of course thanks to Big One for suggesting I try it.