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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fitness Update and My Fitness Pal Review



It has been one month since I started using My Fitness Pal. Since using the app, I have lost 7 lbs to the date of this post. {See my widget in the side bar for total weight loss to date!} This is better than my fitness pal goal, which is 1 lb per week!

I am not much of a numbers person when it comes to weight. {Can't say that about anything else, since I am an engineer and usually love the numbers.} Because I am taller than most women, I can expect to be heavier than a preconceived idea for weight. I have always been on the high end of the BMI spectrum, even when I was skinny.

Before starting to use my fitness pal, I only paid attention to my weight when I got on the scale at the doctors office. My main way for understanding my weight is via pant and bra size. My personal goal is to step down a pant/dress size and then maintain my weight/size.

So how am I doing with the goals I identified last month?
  • Manage Food Consumption - Check! I have used MFP every day this whole month.
  • Exercise - Check! I have been walking daily and doing a jog/walk about three times a week.
  • Drink Water Consistently - Check! I still need to work on the weekend water consumption. I have typically substituted water for other beverages during meals.
  • Be a positive role model for my children - My stepson flew in on Sunday. We have been a good role model in the past. However, I believe we will be an even better role model this year now that I am getting with the program. :)
Also, my fiance has started reducing his portions. He isn't counting calories, but he is being more aware of how much is a serving and choosing to eat a specific serving at one time. It also helps he has quit smoking (the herbal variety) which has reduced his snacking and juice consumption. He has started walking to help with his anxiety (which is one of the main reasons he self medicates). So not only am I being a positive role model for my stepson and future children, I am being a positive role model for the guy.

I am feeling very successful with my fitness pal, so I thought I would review the app.

My Fitness Pal Review

My Fitness Pal is really easy to sign up, set up goals and away you go. It is cross platform, so whether you are using it on your computer, tablet or phone, it works. It also has some cross app functionality if you are using another app for logging exercise or BMI.

Counting calories is easy since most food options have already been entered into the database. You can also add your own recipes or nutritional information from restaurants. There is a quick Calorie option, if you know your Calories, but this neglects protein, sugar, fat and carbs. There is a bar code scanner for adding foods to your diary that way.

During set up, you set up your long term goals in order to set up your daily goals. When you set up your goal weight based on a certain date, it gives you a recommendation for how many pounds you need to loose per week to meet this goal. You then select your weight loss per week and it sets up a goal for Calories, protein, sugar, fat, carbs, etc. It then tells you your balance as you log food and exercise. When you complete an entry, it will tell you how much you can expect to weigh in how many weeks.

Lots of exercise routines are also in the database. You can enter the time and number of Calories burned per exercise routine. It will also calculate the Calories burned if you aren't sure. For instance, I log my Calories burned when walking as I have a pedometer that keeps track of it based on my speed and weight. I log the time I spent cleaning and it will calculate Calories for me.

Screen Shot of my Food Diary on the website

It keeps track of water consumption too. Almost every diet/weight loss program agree that consuming water is essential to loosing weight. They each differ on how much water. I believe it is typically dependent on your current conditions and how much you are trying to lose. A good rule of thumb is 8 glasses of 8 ounces. My Fitness Pal gives you a goal of 8 glasses per day.

Weigh ins are optional. My Fitness Pal acknowledges that your weight may not drastically change or may actually increase. This is because as you develop more muscles and lose fat, muscles weigh more than fat. MFP recommends taking body measurements and has a place to do this. MFP also recommends taking weight at the same time of day and week, as your body fluctuates naturally through the day/week. MFP suggests taking measurements regularly, whatever works best for you. Weekly or monthly may be easier to see results than daily. I have been doing weigh ins every other week.

My Fitness Pal is a social app that lets you keep track with friends. I don't have any friends on it currently. I am actually a little shy of this feature. MFP tells me that people who have friends actually lose weight easier/faster than those who don't. I guess then it is like peer pressure to keep each other on task. {Want to be friends with me? My user name is... can you guess it? ngnrdgrl!}

Sometimes the app or web app can be a little clunky, but overall it is pretty easy to keep track of everything. Keeping track as you go is best, since you'll start forgetting if you put it off. I use the phone app on the go.

Final Thoughts

I really like My Fitness Pal. It is almost like a puzzle or game. Checking to see if I made my goal is like checking to see if a high score was beat. I ate this for breakfast and this for lunch, what can I spend my remaining Calories on for Dinner? Can I afford a can of soda for a treat? What if I go for a run, come back and do some cleaning?

Yes, it is a commitment to log your food and exercise every day. However, losing weight and getting in shape is a commitment. It takes determination. It is a mind set. I am changing my life style to be a more healthy person.

I know I won't be able to keep up the logging for the rest of my life. That isn't the point. I am using it as a tool to adjust how I eat and exercise. Eventually it will be second nature to eat the correct portions and maintain a level of fitness.

I have slipped while trying to prep for going on vacation. I figure I probably won't log during vacation, since I will be out of data and may not remember everything I consume. Since we will be hiking all week it shouldn't be a problem.

Are you using My Fitness Pal or a similar app? Has it been successful for you? Are you contemplating an app? Let us know your thoughts below!

Featured by: Tips and Tricks Tuesday

Linking to: Freedom Fridays | Sharing with Domestic Superhero | No Rules Weekend Blog Party | What to do Weekends | A Pinteresting Party | Empty Your Archive | Live Laugh {Linky} | Tips and Tricks Tuesday

14 comments:

  1. its incredible, you have lost 7lbs in a month. I lost 7lbs in 10 weeks. I just don't know why though!

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    1. It is! I really wasn't expecting that much weight loss. I am beating my goal of 1lb/wk, that's for sure.

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  2. Good for you! That is awesome! I'm jealous of your discipline. I used to use myfitnesspal...then I started blogging and stopped working out, lol. Hope you're enjoying your time with your step-son! Hugs, friend!

    ~Abby =)

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    1. Thank you! Haha! Yeah, starting blogging has that affect. We are really enjoying having him with us. He is soooo big now! Wow! The difference between 11 and 12 is HUGE! He grew a foot, has blond hairy legs and peach fuzz on his upper lip. He is so mature and grown up but still has that innocent, childish quality about him. His smile is so infectious.

      Hugs back at you, friend!

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  3. Stopping by from Mums Make Lists~ I have seen My Fitness Pal from time to time and have been curious about it....think it's time to check it out....it seems to work! Congrats Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

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    1. You should check it out! It has been working out for me. I have been using it every day since I started. I am planning on giving another update a month from this post. :)

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  4. Great Review! I just started a link party for people searching for and sharing weight loss / health advice and I know of a couple people looking to switch to MFP from WW that would LOVE to read this review! I would love if you'd link it up!

    Kristin
    http://likea2-year-old.blogspot.com/2013/08/tips-and-tricks-tuesday-1.html

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    1. Great link party idea! I linked up this post. I'll be posting another update on the 15th, so I'll try to remember to swing by again next Tuesday. Thanks for the invite!

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  5. I love MFP! I feel much more confident in what I eat and that I am staying my calories thanks to MFP but I still love logging every day and seeing it say that I met my goals! Thank you for linking up with us for Tips and Tricks Tuesday!

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    1. MFP is really working for me! I just hit 10 lbs lost. Woot woot! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  6. I just found my old unused MFP account yesterday and am trying to get back into checking in there every day for extra motivation. If you'd like to be friends I'm jm474.

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    1. I would love to be friends! I only have a couple friends on there so far, so haven only just started using it as a social network. I have sent you a friends invite. You'll recognize me, as my user name is ngnrdgrl. :)

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  7. I lost weight back in 2006 quick and easy ... exercise became a part of my life but eating ... I never mastered that. I couldn't out cardio my calories despite staying uber active. So I joined MFP May2013 and have LOVED it. SO much easier than the other calorie logging sites I had tried to use in the past.

    I've logged every day since I joined, and I DO actually plan on keeping it up forever! It's just SO easy to lose track of how much you are eating (at least it is for me, I can get to 3000 calories every day, too many empty calories).

    I'm scrapjen there - I did a MFP post on my blog too, but I didn't share my food diary, still working on getting that to where I'm not too embarrassed to open it up to the public.

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    1. I was oh, so horrified at the empty Calories I was consuming and the poor choices I was making. So far I am continuing to log in every day. It really is pretty easy compared to other sites. I convinced a coworker to start using it and he was really concerned about logging food every day. I told him it just gets easier once you start, because it remembers your routine foods. I don't share my food diary either but would be glad to be friends with you on there. I am going to send you an invite. My username is ngnrdgrl. :)

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