Welcome to Day 6 of Fitness Cheerleader’s September Writing Challenge. Today’s topic is how do you log your eating and/or workouts.
My favourite program to track my food and exercise if MyFitnessPal. I love it! Most of the time I log my info on the iPad app, but I also have the app on my BlackBerry and can enter info online as well. Regardless of where you enter the info, it all syncs up and shows in whatever version you might be using next. That makes it very convenient to use.
Each day, it starts our with the allotted number of calories that you should be consuming based on your daily activity level, exercise levels and weight loss goals. I am hoping for weight loss, with exercise 3-4 times a week, with a job that has been very sedentary for most of the day (sitting at a computer!). Based on this, it tells me I should be consuming 1200 calories a day to reach my goal. From what I have seen and heard through friends, this is a pretty common calorie target, so I wonder if that is the standard calorie target for anyone hoping for weight loss. I imagine that would also be the lowest consumption level, since anything lower would likely be on the unhealthy/unsafe side of things?? Then as you enter the food you eat, it adds it all up for you, shows your carb/fat/protein splits and tells you what you’ve got remaining. Here’s how mine looks so far today.
Probably the best thing about MFP, is the huge, and I mean HUGE, database of foods and exercises. You name it, it is probably in the food database, and if it’s not, you can either scan the barcode and it will come up with all the nutritional information, or you can manually enter that info off the package. You can also calculate calories, etc. for any recipe you make. To do this, you enter the individual ingredients and then tell it how many servings and it will calculate what one serving is worth. I have done this with a few clean eating recipes that didn’t seem to be in the database yet. But, once you enter it, it will always be there for you to select next time you eat it. The exercise database has things broken into cardio and strength. The cardio database is quite extensive, and although I haven’t poked around the strength side too much, based on my quick look today, there is a ton in there! Here are a few examples of the running options under cardio and a few of the strength options.
I glimpse at it while I run to make sure my pace isn’t too horrible, and to know when I’ve gone far enough and I can stop! On my long runs, I’ve got it set for 10&1’s. I am always so thankful when the timer goes off and I get my one minute walk break! They are my saving grace on long runs. I don’t know how people can run a whole half marathon or full marathon straight. I am in total awe of those runners. I’m hoping that by the end of this training program I will be able to run for 8k without stopping. I’m up to 6k so far, so hopefully I can tack on another 2k without killing myself. Who knows, if I get to 8k steady, I may even see if I can go for 10!
I hope I haven’t bored you to tears with my babble about MyFitnessPal, but I really like it and think it’s a great way to track progress. Plus, if you have friends using it, you can link up with them and send each other encouraging messages when they post a good run, or a drop a pound. You can also comment if they haven’t logged in for a while (Lazer…where are you?). I just think its great, and if you really enter everything you eat, it is a bit of an eye opener. It makes you think twice about eating crap if you’ve got to enter it. Or, if you want the crap, you can figure out what sort of exercise will wear it off!
if you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should. www.myfitnesspal.com I’m CathyO13 if you want to link up.
How do you track your diet and exercise?