My Fitness Pal: The Catalyst To Achieving Your Goals!

The Money In Your Bank Account Isn’t The Only Thing You Should Be Counting…

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Many of you have heard of and maybe even tried MyFitnessPal. The more common complaints I’ve heard from friends who have tried the app but generally stop using it involve the ideas that the app takes “too much work,” is “too hard to navigate,” or just plain old “difficult to keep up with.” I began using My Fitness Pal in the summer of 2014 after many attempts at using the app between January 2012 and that summer, I finally decided that my weight was beyond out of control and I needed something to become more accountable to, since I couldn’t rely on myself to change my own life. Through placing my health in the hands of MFP I learned much about myself and the quality of the life I wanted. The My Fitness Pal application provides you the opportunity to not only become accountable to yourself but also in attaining and maintaining your goals. Before I get so excited and sign you up myself, I want to give you the chance to review a list of reasons why you might want to consider using the application and changing your own life and health consciousness.

The Diary: 

Similar to writing in a journal each day, you log your food electronically. The coolest features I’ve found encompass the ability to bar code scan your food items, share your diary with others and copy and paste daily meals (if you really, really enjoyed a meal) to a future date as the same or a different meal option. For example, today, I might have enjoyed a lovely breakfast (about 350 calories total) and tomorrow I have a similar calorie expectation for lunch and I’d like to eat breakfast for lunch, I can go in and copy the meal items from breakfast today, into lunch tomorrow – saving time and energy. Another amazing feature is finding restaurant items that have been verified Check Mark.jpg by the MFP community. This feature is one of my favorites as we all aim for accuracy and want to make sure we’re keeping up with our goals. Your diary will also track the number of days you have stayed consistent with logging…this brings me to my next benefit of using the app.

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The Reminders:

I’d like to strongly remind you that YOU are in charge. With My Fitness Pal, you can set your own reminders to hold yourself accountable. One of my reminders I use is the general, “alert me if I haven’t logged any item for one day.” This reminder generates around 12 PM and keeps me on track. Again, it doesn’t have to end there, you can set up application reminders to make certain you log your weight every so often, your snacks, or a meal. Just pick the day and time and you can continue or begin your journey of a healthy and happy life.

The Community:

Here’s where it gets fun! After realizing how completely awesome this app is, you get the begin to go crazy and tell your friends, similar to what I’m doing now. Once you understand and sometimes even before understanding how it works you can add your friends and family members and watch each other’s successes. I have set up push notifications to make me aware of milestones in my friends lives, whether they’ve logged consistently for X amount of days, or attained a weight loss goal. Similar to social media, you can take the time to comment/like their achievement and continue pushing one another to attain the results you desire. Beyond this, and many do not utilize this feature, you can checkout the My Fitness Pal Blog which posts much needed articles on getting in shape, recipes for a successful journey and so much more.

The Breakdown:

Not only does MFP act as the Superman to your Lois Lane, it holds the key to the healthiest of break downs. So while that double cheeseburger calls your tummy its new home, you can determine exactly what the heck it was you just ate and pray about why that meat looked so funny. When surfing the app, you will find the option to review your macro break downs for specific meals, days and individual items. What does this mean? The application will already provide you with healthy suggestions on the number of calories, carbohydrates, sugars, and SO much more based on your personal weight loss, gain or maintenance desires- your overall daily goals to reach, and you can see how you’re doing item by item, meal by meal, choice by choice. This part is very user friendly and we all find ourselves shaking our heads at our end of day consumption.

The Exercise:

Literally the easiest feature of the application. After, before or even during (I usually choose after) you can document your workout. There are two categories of “exercise type,” one focusing on strength based workouts the other on cardio based workouts. From the two categories you are then able to select the type of workout and amount of time you spent during your experience. The app will automatically generate the estimate of the calories burned, however, I utilize the Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Sport Running Watch during many of my workouts which calculates my total calories burned. It’s a fantastic investment and provides me with accurate information. Anyway, back to the point, regardless of the device you use or if you want to trust MFP (which it is generally right on target), you do have the option to see the total calories burned and how it factors into your goals.  Observe the photo below of my MFP tracking for yesterday, my caloric goal was 1,506 calories for the day, I exceeded that consuming 1,515 calories. The app then factored in my 290 burned calories (32 minute elliptical workout) giving me a “remaining 281 calories” to consume for the day. At the end of the day you can “complete your food diary,” and MFP will give you a rough estimate of your weight in five weeks if “everyday were like…”(insert day of the week). You can then see the difference between your eating habits day in and out and once again hold yourself accountable.

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The Success Tracking:

The Better You: Even if you decide that MFP isn’t for you long term, many that have used the app have found that they do in fact become a better version of themselves. The tracking alone sows the seed for better health consciousness and overall wellness. Many dear friends of mine have used the application to track personal goals even if it doesn’t involve their meal consumption. I’ve found that individuals of the health community often track their exercise goals met, use it for weight entries, to review macro consumption and to support friends and family members.

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Oxxo (Because Counting Isn’t Hard As You Think), LUV,Tay

Connect With Me On MFP @TaylorT26

 

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