Why I Track What I Eat With MyFitnessPal
I have had MyFitnessPal for years and have used it on and off. After not using it for a long while I decided to start again recently. For those that don't know, I am on a weight loss journey. I have a significant amount of weight to lose. My approach is not to crash diet but more to create a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that will help me get to my ideal weight but also increase the wellness of my mind and body. Here is why I decided to use the MyFitnessPal app to help.
I am a big eater and I used to never be able to leave anything behind on my plate. My plate would be squeaky clean after every meal.
I would often go to bed feeling like I could barely breathe or even sleep on my back because of how uncomfortable I felt with all that food in my stomach. Now obviously this was not healthy and I really chose to cut down on my portions for my health and just to feel better.
Since I have been using this app I am more aware of what I am putting into my body and how much. Sometimes I can be completely unaware of just how much I am consuming.
It really opened my eyes to just how ridiculous I was eating sometimes. I mean, a meal that's over 1000 calories shouldn't be a daily occurrence.
It isn't good for you body to stuff yourself until you can't move so I had to get out of this habit as quickly as possible.
Now, I always make sure that I am being sensible with my portions and only putting down what I need. Then once I add these meals to my app they are nutritious and not unnecessarily high in calories.
It took a little while getting used to, I would feel like I wasn't putting enough on my plate at first but once you finish eating and realize that you are still full - just not overly so - it really is satisfying.
I still struggle to leave things behind on my plate, so if you are the same just dish up a small amount, an amount you know is ok to finish. If you really are still hungry then go to the kitchen and have a little more. Just don't this every time - that defeats the object!
Just keep working on it until you find what works for you.
Stopped Me Snacking Unnecessarily
This carries on from my previous point. I think we are all guilty of snacking mindlessly and not even remembering that we finished a whole packet of cookies.
Once I start snacking, especially sweet things, I just can't stop.
So being aware of just how many calories are in a whole packet of cookies really helped me understand and be aware of how much crap I was putting in my body.
And sometimes we don't realize how many of our snacks add up.
It isn't just the calories either. When we get into the habit of writing down everything we eat we become a lot more aware and notice patterns that we otherwise wouldn't.
So even if you don't download the app, just writing down what you eat each day will show you so much.
You might start to notice what triggers your snacking or what times of the day you are more likely to binge on snack food. Once you get to know your bad habits you can work to start breaking them and creating new good habits.
I have actually since quit sugary snacks altogether. I have found healthier alternatives and I know I won't overindulge on those and they are often a lot lower in calories as they are no longer filled with sugar.
So it can push you to pick healthier alternatives that will generally be lower in calories but higher in nutrients.
Motivation to Exercise
With MyFitnessPal you can also track how many calories you burn when you exercise. Again I don't think it is healthy to be a slave to calories, or how many you are burning off.
But I can tell you that it does motivate you to get moving. Also if you have over indulged one day, you can see that when you exercise it can help with the calorie deficit needed to lose weight.
Because simply put, in order for us to lose weight we do have to be in a calorie deficit.
Since using the app I have been on so many long walks with the dogs instead of just around the block.
I have paired the app with the MapMyRun app which tracks where I walk and works out how far I have gone, how long and how many calories I have burnt. It then sends it all over to MyFitnessPal automatically.
Seeing those numbers add up is so satisfying and just gets me moving more which is definitely something we all need to do more of for our health - not just for weight loss.
See How Far I Have Come
Not only can you track how many calories you consume each day but also how much weight you have lost.
You can also track your measurements. It creates a cool little graft and I can't tell you how satisfying it is to see that line keep going down.
You can look how much progress you have made in the last week, month and year. You can also upload pictures and see your physical progress along the way.
There are so many ways on this app that you can see how far you have come and motivate you to keep going.
You can also connect with other people on the app as you can follow them and see their updates. You can choose to share your little updates too (you don't have to share your weight).
I am not that strict with my calories when I use this app. If I go over my recommended amount I don't fret and I never allow myself to go hungry. So if you think that you can sensibly use this app to track your calories then I would definitely give it a go. It is such a useful app to get motivated, see your progress and be mindful of what you are eating and how often you are moving.