Tracking Calories: The Power Of MyFitnessPal
I know what you're thinking - I CAN'T TRACK CALORIES FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!
And you'd be absolutely right, but bare with me...
As you might know, we're in week two of our first ever transformation challenge over on Facebook. As a result, they've all been introduced to the wonderful world of MyFitnessPal, and I've actually started tracking my calories as well.
My Results? Down 1.8kg in just two weeks!
At this point you could say 'well it's easy for you, you're a personal trainer', but I'm also someone who has their own relationship with food (I'm a classic emotional eater) and someone who absolutely loves cake and chocolate!
During my two weeks of tracking, all I've done is simply try to stay within my calories. Yes, there's been days where I've gone over and days where I've had cookies and chocolate. Overall though, I have been in a calorie deficit - the number one thing you need for weight loss.
But, why is MyFitnessPal so useful in helping to create a calorie deficit?
It's a great form of personal accountability! When you have to go through the effort of logging all of the food you eat, you ask yourself 'do I really need that?'. If the answer is no, you put it down and move on. When you're eating mindlessly, there are no questions and everything is on the table (literally).
Even if you don't log every piece of food, just be using the app you are more likely to make better food choices due to the micro-commitment you made by downloading the app!
MyFitnessPal also has a social element too - you can add friends and even check out each others food diaries if you want (don't worry there is a private setting). We spoke about social accountability in the last blog post - add in the personal accountability and it's easy to see why MyFitnessPal can be a powerful tool to help you lose weight.
In terms of usability it's super easy - it has a huge food database that you can search and select to add to your daily diary and it also tracks macro and micro nutrients. This can sound boring, but if you're looking to manage your food intake then this is really helpful!
Don't get me wrong, I love MyFitnessPal, but it isn't for everyone.
For some people, the idea is of logging every bit of food you eat is as about as interesting as watching paint dry. It can be time consuming, and people tend to worry about becoming obsessed over their food intake and logging every milligram of food.
If that sound like you, maybe a simple portion control method would be more beneficial (check out this simple guide)
However, if MyFitnessPal sounds like your cup of tea you can find it on the apple and android app stores and the best thing is that it's completely free!
After downloading the app, your next step should be to work out roughly how many Calories you're burning per day.
You can do this by using this calculator - all you need to do is input your gender, heigh, weight and age. This will give your BMR (the calories your body uses at complete rest). Then using the formula provided on the link, you can work out your active calories - roughly how many calories you use per day based on your activity levels. Take 10% off of that number and input that as your calorie goal on MyFitnessPal.
Stay within your calorie goal consistently, over time, and you will ensure that you lose weight!
That's all I, and all of my 6 week transformation people, have done - and it's working!
So, to guarantee your weight loss:
Work out your active calories and then multiply by .9
Set the total as your goal on MyFitnessPal
Stay within this goal
If you have any questions at all, drop them in the comments below!
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