Thursday, October 6, 2011

{Fitness} Tools:

As a teenager I swore never to count calories. But I guess you can see now how well that is going for me. But really, it sounds like a pain in the BUTT to try to figure out how many calories you need, how many you should take in if you want to be healthy but losing weight, and then track your daily intake of food. And I bet it was a pain before the internet.

MyFitnessPal: Dumb Name, Good Tool

When the hubs got his fabu new iPod Touch he got addicted to downloading free apps. Though he doesn't need to lose weight, he was intrigued by the fitness apps and found one called MyFitnessPal, which also happens to be a website (for those of us who aren't yet toting around one of those shiny silver pieces of machinery, but have at least entered the internet age).

Here's a peak at what my food log there looks like:

About a week ago I logged in, entered my stats (age, height, weight) and my weight loss goal, and it spit out a calories-per-day goal for me to follow. I actually really love it, and here's why:

  1. It has a database of foods already set up so I don't have to look up the nutrition facts of every food I eat. It also saves foods I eat a lot so I can just click and add to track my meals. You can also add your own recipes of meals you eat or enter new foods with their nutrition facts if they don't show up.
  2. It does the adding and subtracting for me so I don't have to add and subtract in my head, which I should never do, I am terrible at it.
  3. It focuses on more than calories, showing if I go over or under my ideal protein and fat intakes, too.
  4. It calculates extra calories for exercise and has a database of exercises so I can just look up what I did and get an estimate. Or if I do a machine at the gym, I can just enter in the calories I burned.

It also has space to track your water intake, and gives you an estimate of when you'll reach your weight loss goals. I'm not really into forums, but they have those, too, which I'm sure a lot of people would find helpful.

So the calorie counting thing has actually been pretty straightforward with this. It's the actual eating part that has been hard.