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…
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!