Technology can really help support our fitness journey.
My all time favorite app to help you stay the nutrition course is ‘My Fitness Pal’.
There are several reasons for this:
- it’s easy to use
- it makes food tracking simple and shareable with whom ever you like
- it increases accountability
- it EDUCATES as you track your food – you’ll discover exactly the nutritional content of your intake by food logging with this app
- it counts daily steps
- you can personalize the macros instead of using presets
- you don’t need the premium option – the free app is fantastic
There are just a few things I do NOT like about the app (but there are great work-arounds):
- the preset macros are off – I disagree vehemently with the preset plans based on height/weight/age (but you can simply add your own)
- the calorie presets for exercise are inaccurate (simply do not use)
I’ve used My Fitness Pal (MFP) for years to track my food. The reason I do this is because I tend to be a chronic under eater (surprisingly many of you are too!).
Since using MFP, I’ve actually increased my food intake and energy levels and dropped about 6 lbs. This is significant since weight loss was not an initial goal and since I was only 127lbs to start, this is a fair bit of weight if you ask me.
I like to call this process of increasing food intake a ‘reverse diet‘.
Many women have been chronic dieters so they’ve tanked their metabolism.
For weight loss to occur (which is the most common use of the app), you need to fix your metabolism first. This takes a bit of time to slowly increase intake by ‘reverse dieting’.
The goal is to increase intake without weight gain. This can be achieved by balancing and monitoring macros (fat, protein, carbs) and MFP is brilliant for this purpose.
The good news is that even though you’re monitoring food, you are not necessarily ‘on a diet’ because you’ll be eating a good amount of food. Even better news is that for the most part, you can eat what you want as long as your intake fits your macros.
I add a caveat here because if you eat all your macros in say, jelly beans (carbs), vegetable oil (fat) and processed meats (protein) and even if it ‘fits your macros’, your results will only be mediocre at best given the low quality of food.
So there is wiggle room with your eating when you track with MFP, but best results will occur when eating high quality nutritionally dense foods.
There is a specific formula that can be used to personalize YOUR macros. This is dependent on many things including: height, weight, age, activity level and lifestyle factors.
You will not find this personalized macro formula with diet templates – while diet templates CAN be effective for weight loss, if you’ve hit a diet plateau or nothing seems to be working, a personalized plan using a personalized macro formula is your best way to find lasting success.
So, here’s to a big shout out to My Fitness Pal. I find it’s the best app out there for me and my clients.
I recommend you try it. Play around with it. Take a look at what YOUR macros are at the end of the day. Feel free to send them to me! I’d love to hear what they are and if you have any questions regarding them.
And if you’d like your own personalized macro plan, I’d be happy to help. Let’s start a conversation here.