A coworker brought My Fitness Pal to my attention after showing me the app of her iPhone. It's a free online tool that lets you track calories, exercise, and goals. It also provides an e-community, if you're into that kind of thing.
But there's no question that even a simple food diary can be a wake-up call. So when I saw how easy it was to log them online, I thought I'd give it a whirl again.
Best part - you can save meals. You can take a grouping of ingredients (yogurt, raspberries, and juice) and save it as "Smoothie", putting all that nutritional data in one place that you can return to.
For example, today I save "Refried Bean Burrito" - 1 tortilla shell, 1/4 c refried beans, 1oz colby jack cheese, and 1 T taco sauce. Instead of having to log 4 items each time, now that whole meal is saved. (PS - it's very healthy and tasty! And cheap ...)
For me, this tool is enormously helpful. I can immediately see how well or poorly I'm eating. As a visual person, this is accessible and quick.
So far, I've found that my main weaknesses are:
- Too many calories on non-exercise days (by under 300, but still ...)
- A tendency to go over on fat (work food days ... I'm looking at you)
- Under on fiber (if not making a concerted effort)
I used to think I was a "neutral eater" - neither bad like a junk food junkie but not anything to brag about either.
Now, when I see my food choices for the day, I understand that anything but healthy is counterproductive. There is no such thing as being neutral when it comes to food.
I am the typical American diet - just not the drive-through/processed foods extreme.
<looks disgusted at self>
With that embarrassing admission out of the way, I have begun to slowly change my habits. My biggest downfall is fruits and veggies. I have never eaten enough and as a recovering picky eat, there are still vast foods that I will not touch.
Today went really well though - I had a plum, an apple, 1.5 cups of spinach, and spaghetti sauce that has 2 servings of veggies.
There's no doubt that eating the recommended amount of fruits/veggies would be a huge benefit to my health. I just have to work at it, because it's terribly easy to me to skip them altogether.
Side note - take fresh corn, cut it off the cob, saute in a modest amount of butter = super awesome!
Anyways ... :)
So I wrote this post on my own volition - I am not being paid under the table by anyone, lol. I know there are a million tools out that this same thing - some free, others not.
Question of the Day: What tools have you used and how well do/did you like them?