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My Fitness Pal

My Fitness PalWe have just discovered an iPhone app that works on the iPhone, the iPod and the iPad called My Fitness pal, which I have to say is one of the best tools that we have seen for helping people manage their calories intake, but also their sodium, carbs and vitamins. If you are serious about losing weight, using My Fitness Pal can help you to do that.

It will take some effort to record all of the activities and food. The payoff of course is knowing how your food intake affects your weight. Just knowing that the snack your eating has 500 calories in it helps. You may decide to eat a little less. Note that there is no need to eliminate various foods. Control how much you eat by monitoring the caloric intake. Don’t forget to add exercise and the calories that you burn. You can use these extra calories to either treat yourself or contribute to the weight loss your aiming for. My Fitness Pal is a great tool. Start using it now.

My Fitness Pal

This app is so good that we are recommending it to any one who wants to keep track of their food intake and see how it affects your weight. You start of by installing the app and then registering with the online application. You will need to create an ID and a password. Once that is complete, the next thing is to create a profile. Nothing too invasive, however it does ask you your current weight, some information about your lifestyle and how many pounds you want to lose in 5 weeks time.

With this information, the My Fitness Pal app will calculate how many calories you are allowed to eat every day in order to achieve the desired weight loss. This becomes your objective, in other words you cannot exceed this amount. If you exercise, walk etc then you will be able to enter that into your daily diary and add some calories if you want, while still achieving your objective.

Every day you enter the various foods that you eat. There is an extensive online list of various foods and typical meals along with sizes to search and add to your daily diary. As long as you record everything and do not cheat, you will have an accurate representation of the amount of calories, carbs, sodium, fat and vitamins that you are eating every day.

My Fitness Pal – The Big Surprises

I have been using the MY Fitness Pal for a week now and have had a couple of surprises. For years I have avoided adding salt to my food, preferring the natural taste and also trying to keep blood pressure under control. To my surprise even with this approach, I am far exceeding the salt intake that I should be because of the type of foods I am eating.  Not a lot of processed foods, but there appears to be sodium in everything with sodium being added. I am starting to be more judicious about the foods that I eat now, even more than I was previously.

Another surprise is the number of calories that are in various portion sizes. Even with splitting meals with my spouse, I am finding that the meals served in America are so large and contain so many calories, that it is impossible to stay within the limits of the calories I should be eating every day. This re-enforces what we have always known and that is that you must chose foods that are naturally low in calories to lose weight, or you need to exercise like crazy!

Exercising Helps

On various posts on this blog we have said that energy in less energy expended  will equal weight loss only if the answer is negative. By entering the time and type of exercise into your myfitnesspal app, you will have an estimate of the calories burned and you can also see the impact this has on how many calories you can eat as a result each day. Exercise really does help, even if it is just walking!

Update Your Diary

Keep your food diary up to date and the app will do the rest for you, in terms of tracking calories, fat, carbs, sodium and vitamins. YOu can generate various reports on your smart phone as well as access the web site with a PC and generate additional more detailed reports as well.  This is a great little application that can be used by anyone with a smart phone, although the web site indicates that it has been developed for the Apple products.

We will add mote posts about this app in the future and talk about our success as well in terms of losing weight. However in the mean time, comments are appreciated from our readers who have had experience with this app or others that will help us all manage our weight, our sodium intake and maintain a healthy life.

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