How I’m Losing Weight Using My Fitness Pal

January 30, 2016

Like many people, I packed on a few extra pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  When January rolled around and I realized they weren’t coming off like they used to, I knew I had to make a concerted effort to shed those extra pounds.  I enrolled in a Pilates class and started walking more.  But the weight still wasn’t coming off.  I turned to my friends for some weight loss advice and I was surprised that not one, but two different friends suggested the free mobile app My Fitness Pal.  I figured there must be something to it since it came highly recommended by two different people.  Here’s how it works…

This is a screenshot of My Fitness Pal app

Set your goal and choose a plan

I started by googling my ideal weight based on my height and age.  I realized I needed to lose 6 pounds to reach my ideal weight.  So I entered that ideal weight into My Fitness Pal as my goal.  After inputting my current weight, the app offered suggestions to reach that goal.  I chose a conservative plan of losing one pound per week, which seemed very reasonable.

Track your calories consumed

According to my plan, I need to net 1200 calories per day.  Tracking the calories I consume is so much easier than I thought it would be thanks to the enormous database of different foods.  I can even use the barcode scanning option to help out.  For example, if I’m eating some Kale Chips from Trader Joes, I simply scan the barcode and all the nutritional information is logged.  It’s also easy to adjust the serving sizes using the app.  If I only ate half a serving of kale chips, I adjust to 0.5.   Meals made from scratch can be a little tricky to log, so I just choose a close match from the database.

Track your calories burned

Again, there is a huge database of physical activity to track the number of calories you burn in a day.  If I go for a lunchtime walk, I log my activity.  If I take a Pilates class, I log my activity.  Remember, the daily calorie count goal is the NET calorie count.  So if I do an hour of Pilates, I’ve earned myself the ability to consume an extra 142 calories.  Yipee!

Does My Fitness Pal work?

Absolutely!  Each morning (right after I wake up and pee), I do a weigh-in and log it into the app.  I’m about a week in and I’ve already lost 4 pounds!  I’m ahead of my one pound per week plan!  Simply having a plan and knowing what my daily calorie intake SHOULD be was a huge breakthrough for me.  Being able to visualize the calories I’m putting into my body and how many calories I’m burning each day is actually really motivating.  I find myself making better food choices and exercising more.

If you’re looking to lose weight, My Fitness Pal is definitely worth a try.  It’s free, it’s simple, and it seems to really promote results!

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