Thursday, January 19, 2012

when I start to lose focus or get off track....

I discovered an AWESOME app that has really helped me when I start to notice my jeans feeling a little more snug, or my (not so cute) muffin top creeping back's called myfitnesspal  It really helps me get back on track to eating a well rounded, healthy diet that will make FEEL good and not just help me reach what should be my secondary goal of looking good. It's a glorified calorie counter that helps you get a hands-on , good visual of what you are eating and how it compares to what you SHOULD be eating.
Why this app is awesome:
1. Automatically decides your optimal caloric intake for youWhen you set up the app for the first time, it asks you for things like your weight, height, gender, birth date, activity level, nursing etc. It also asks you your goal weight and how quickly you would like to gain or lose that weight. It then takes all that information and generates a calorie limit for you that should, with individual variation of course, help you reach your goal. 
2. Super intuitive and easy to useI pretty much immediately knew how to use everything upon opening the app for the first time. The navigation and layout is intuitive and simple
3. Awesome food database
I have never looked up a food and not found at least a few listings. I have even found homemade, odd items .some times you have to make a guess about which listing to use for the greatest calorie accuracy, but that gets much easier once you get used to it. It has most all restaurant chains dietary info. making it super easy to keep track when eating out too.
4. Remembers your frequently eaten itemsIf you are the type of person that routinely reaches for the same foods every day or a few times a week, this app will keep track of your frequently eaten foods and suggest them for you so you don’t have to look them up every time.
5. It will scan anything with a bar code on it (which most everything does...even a box of strawberries) and will automatically plug in the nutritional info for you! I'm a little addicted to the scanning part! and again, anything you have scanned or entered will be saved for future use.
6. Counts exercise as well
you do some exercise, you can look that up in the app’s exercise database, and it will add the calories you have burned back onto your total goal. This is handy for me – if I eat way too much for lunch and  realize that I need to eat a smaller dinner or take the girls for a jog before the big kids get home. it's a real exercise motivator, because the more you move the more you can eat and the app lets you know just how much. love that!
7. Lets you create and store custom meals and custom foods-
you can plug in favorite recipes, what you used, how much and it will tell you how much a serving size is and how many calories each serving is...and it will save it. next time you eat that food, it's already there.
8. It has pie graphs, and side by side number comparisons of how much you ate and what you should have eaten.  my neighbor (who is a personal trainer) got me thinking that carbs were bad and I should eat a diet that was high in protein- but after using this app for a week I had the eye opening experience of realizing that in avoiding carbs I was eating way too much protein (and I wondered why my legs were so big- my quads were WAY too muscular and bulky!) and that my diet was off balance. Sometimes after lunch I will check the side by side comparisons and if I can tell I haven't  eaten enough carbs, but I'm almost at my sugar and protein limit, I will choose whole grain pasta with veggies for dinner instead of chicken and fruit. make sense? it helps me pay attention and get a good understanding of what a well balanced diet is supposed to look like.

9. Calculates an estimate of what you will weigh in the future

This is one of my favorite features about this app. At the end of the day, when you have added all of the foods and exercise and everything is totaled up, you can hit a button and it will calculate an estimate for you, based on your numbers for that day, what your weight will be five weeks from now. If I have a bad day, I can hit the button and realize “oh no, if I keep eating like this I am going to gain weight!” On the other hand, it is awesome to have a good day and hit that button and be told that, if every day were like that day, I would lose five pounds in the next five weeks. It’s one of the best ways I have seen of providing feedback on how well you have eaten for one particular day – it hits home a lot harder than “oh well, I went a few calories over my limit, what’s the harm in that?”
10. It just keeps me motivated!-    Before, I played so many mental games with myself about how many calories the food “probably” was and that “well, a little bit won’t hurt – so why should a little bit more matter?” This way, I have direct accountability – “well, that half a pie I just ate had 1200 calories. I will DEFINITELY remember that next time…” It’s quite eye-opening.
 I am a gadget girl and  facts this app is totally up my alley. this app is a fun, easy way to help me pay attention to what I am eating and see and track my progress. It works for me, and the best part is that it is FREE!!!  Good luck sisters!:)


  1. ooh! thanks, caroline. i'm NOT a gadget girl, but i'm going to have brad put this on the ipad! love you!

  2. I'll add my endorsement of this app! RIGHT before I got pregnant I was really getting in the stride of using this app and I lost like 3 pounds! Then found out I was pregnant and ultimately decided to stop using it for now. It really helped me to see what I was eating. So for a week I could see that those 4 starbursts that I ate without thinking were not the best choice and added unwanted calories. It totally helped me stop snacking and I was still able to eat a homemade peanut butter smoothie here and there because I was exercising and could make sure I was burning off the snack calories. Loved this app and will definitely use it again later!

  3. You lucky iphone users! This is the same as that I posted about earlier. There a few differences, but mostly the same. So for those who don't have iphones and ipads (i guess that's just me and Kjirst) can be used on your home computer.

  4. it works on any smart phone too...just incase you have one of those too:)

  5. This sounds cool . . . I remember Taryn and dad telling me about it. But, like Sarah said, I think we're the only ones left without iphones/pads. And, I don't have a smart phone either . . . I'm prehistoric! Oh well.