iamincharge

myfitnesspal

Posted on: February 8, 2012

 

It’s been said again and again by fitness professionals, dietitians, and nutritionists, “Write everything down.” The transient “everything” can mean solely food, and/or exercise, and sleep, and water, and macronutrients, and so on. I believe the best approach to tracking is KISS (keep it simple stupid). And my perfectly KISSable app for tracking is myfitnesspal.

You can track online using their website: http://www.myfitnesspal.com

or by using their iPhone or Android app, available in your smartphone’s respective app store.

Here are some of the brilliantly user-friendly features of the app and how I use them on a daily basis:

 

When you choose to “Add” something, it will offer you the option of adding to breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks; you also have the option of tracking exercise or water. I find it helpful to see how many calories and macronutrients I have eaten at specific meals because ideally, I should be eating my largest and most carbohydrate- dense meal in the morning. This doesn’t always happen, but I strive for it. On the topic of tracking exercise, I love Group X classes here at Purdue and the database for exercises obviously doesn’t include Body Sculpt or Dancemania class… so when tracking these classes I choose something similar like “dancing” or “calisthenics.” Don’t freak about a couple of calorie difference. As long as your being reasonable and erring on the side of caution, you’ll be fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The home screen displays how many calories you have left for the day, how much you’ve, eaten and how many you’ve burned. When I first wake up mine says “1200” for calories remaining. Then, as I eat it subtracts calories, and adds calories for my physical activity. If I know I will be doing a particularly strenuous workout later in the evening (like tonight: Cardio Blast, Turbo Kick, and Body Sculpt all after 5pm) I add those workouts earlier in the day so that I make sure to eat enough. If I were to add the workout once it was completed (which tonight will be at 9pm), I would need to eat 1317 calories late into the evening which, for me, is like pushing me headfirst down a slippery slope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are plenty calorie tracking devices out there from the bodybugg, to other apps like Sparkpeople.

Bottom line: decide what will work for you. The simple interface attracts me to myfitnesspal. I also like the ease of adding dining court food; even when I venture beyond the salad bar and grab some falafel or a black bean burger, they usually have something similar in the food database that I can track.

My goal to improve personal calorie tracking: use it faithfully on the weekend.

Tomorrow: rise and workout–tips for squeezing fitness AND remaining awake for that dreaded Chem lecture

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