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My Public Display of Dieting – Week 7

February 22, 2016

RESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 9 pounds!

My Fitness Pal appThis week I managed fairly well except for one day. I caught a cold last Sunday and sometimes having a cold gives me the munchies. My friend Kathleen suggests it's probably a comfort food thing. That sounds about right. So Thursday I mashed up an avocado and had chips, avocado, and sour cream for dinner. Yup. That's all. I went nearly 700 calories over that day!

Now I'm not the kind of person who likes keeping a food journal. I like counting nearly everything in my life, but I don't like trying to keep track of calories on paper. It's a total pain in the butt and the few times I tried to do it, I quit after a week or two.

But a few years ago I found the My Fitness Pal app and I love it! You can download it onto your smart phone, and you can also use it on the website. It has a humongous database of food with calorie counts, and the number of grams of protein, carbs, fats, sugars, etc. (I use the free version. It's more than enough info for me, but you can get even more information and features from the Premium version.)

You can enter food you bought at the grocery store as well as food you ate in restaurants (if the restaurant is a big enough franchise to be in the database). You can also enter all the ingredients from a recipe and note the number of servings, and it gives you the calories, etc. for each serving of the recipe. That's how I found out one of my brownies is 166 calories, and a 1/8th slice of my meatloaf is 250 calories.

When you enter your age, gender, weight, and weight loss (or gain) goal, it will calculate how many calories you should eat each day to make your weekly goal. I chose to lose one pound per week for my goal, so the app says I can eat 1670 calories per day. (As I lose weight, I would guess that it will lower my calorie ceiling, but I don't know yet.)

Last night we went out with our friend Dwight to Panda Express. I know that food is high in calories so I tried not to eat much the rest of the day, and I only ate half my meal when I was there. The app told me how many calories everything would be so I could plan accordingly for my breakfast and lunch so I didn't go over at dinner.

I can add my exercise, too, and it calculates the number of calories it thinks I used for cardio exercises, but it doesn't calculate how many calories I burned doing strength exercises. Still, it's a place to track all my exercise. The app connects to my Garmin Vivofit bracelet and to my Map My Run app, as well, so there's not much double-entry.

It's a pretty great app! And it only takes me a couple minutes at each meal to keep track of the food, and just a minute or so to track the exercise. If you aren't using it, give it a try! 😀


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