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My Favorite Fitness Pal
Over the past few months I started noticing that the numbers on the bathroom scale were beginning to creep up to never-before-seen levels. And this, at the holiday season? Yikes. I was getting worried that in the New Year, none of my pants would fit.
My new favorite gadget - the iPad - has provided the unlikely benefit of helping me drop those few stubborn pounds.
We have all heard that keeping track of what you eat can help you lose weight. I decided to test that theory by downloading "My Fitness Pal" a free mobile app. (It's also available as an online tool too.) I figured a free app was a lot better investment than a new wardrobe.
How My Fitness Pal Works
Then you enter how active your daily routine is: are you a CFO at a desk all day, or a ballet dancer? All of this helps determine your recommended daily caloric intake needed to reach your goals. I decided to take the cautiously optimistic road and selected "lightly active" with the aim of losing a pound a week.
Now, the time-consuming part: I had to log everything that passed my lips every day. The app makes this very easy. Type in "bread" and the database gives you multiple suggestions on types and brands. A key part of the process is determining serving size. My electronic scale and measuring spoons have become permanent fixtures on my kitchen counter top. I'm now well-versed (and slightly disappointed) on what an ounce of cheese actually looks like!
The Calorie Countdown
The good news is you also plug in any physical activity you did that day. What you expend in calories is added back onto your total daily allowance. The more you work out, the more you can eat, obviously. Talk about an incentive to get to the gym.
But it is not just about counting calories. My Fitness Pal's vast database determines sodium, carbohydrates, vitamins, fat intake and the like. It's been rare that I haven't been able to find a food or close facsimile. And if you can't find it, you can create it. My favorite feature is "my recipes" - you can enter all the ingredients in a recipe and it will calculate the calories for you.
The Lessons are Multi-fold
Goal Set, and Met!
If you've got a favorite app, I want to hear about it!