Many clients come to us with the desire to lose weight and while exercise is certainly a factor in weight loss and we absolutely encourage it, truly effective weight loss occurs with the combination of exercise and a change in diet. The change in eating habits is often the most challenging aspect of weight loss for many people. When you really break down weight loss, it’s all about finding the right balance between calories consumed and calories expended. But tracking calories can be challenging for many people and keeping a food journal can seem tedious.
Enter: My Fitness Pal. My Fitness Pal is a smartphone app and website that makes calorie tracking easy! Here’s how it works:
Download the free app or visit http://www.myfitnesspal.com/. You’ll need to create an account with your email address. Once you create an account, you’ll need to set up your profile by entering your age, gender, height, weight, and weight goals. From there, the app will develop a calorie goal for you and you can begin tracking your calories!
To enter food, you’ll click on the “diary” tab in the app or if you are using the website click on the “food” tab. The day is broken down into Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks. Choose your meal time and click “add food.” Once you search for a food, a bunch of results will come up with foods that fit your search criteria. If you are eating a product that has a company name and calories listed on it, you can scan the results and try to find that exact food (it’s likely that it has already been entered by someone else). If you cannot find it, you can also create a new food. Once you select a food, you can put in how many servings you had and it will calculate the total calorie amount. Once you’ve added a food, it will show up on your “Recent” list and will be easy to find next time you have it again.
As you add food throughout the day, it will be subtracted from your goal at the top of the page, showing you how many calories you have left to consume that day. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see a “Nutrition” button. When you click on this, it will pull up pie charts that show calorie percentages, allowing you to see what meals you’re consuming the bulk of your calories in. You can also view macronutrients levels as well.
The app/website also has the capabilities to track exercise, water consumption, and weight. It provides a simple and quick way to track calories throughout your day and help you stay on track for weight loss. And the best part? It’s FREE! Both the app and website provide guides when you first sign up about how to navigate the pages, making it easy for new users. Your account also syncs between the app and the website so you can log on anywhere. Give it a try!