Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Fitness Pal

Last week I learned that my sisters were on My Fitness Pal.  I've had a MFP account for a while - their database of foods is pretty substantial - but I haven't really used their site as much as I've used Sparkpeople.  Their web interface did nothing for me when I checked it out briefly, but I hadn't really looked into their mobile app.  After hearing my sisters rave over how easy it was, I decided to join in and see how things went.  Turns out, the app is a huge improvement over the website.  Here's what I've tracked this past week.

Monday, July 91596
Tuesday, July 101665Thai Basil Pork was worse than I thought
Wednesday, July 11 1600BINGO!
Thursday, July 121596
Friday, July 13 1891Wegman's Hot Bar Smorgasbord
Saturday, July 141648
Sunday, July 151813Pizza for lunch - soo good!

Tracking via the iPhone app is easy.  I love that I can scan bar codes to enter foods.  Where Sparkpeople gives a 250 calories range for me to stay within, My Fitness Pal gives me a number to stay under, 1630.  Any cardio that is added is automatically included in your allowable calories for the day.  I think I like that through I've been trying not to eat those extra calories.  I've setup my account for losing 1 pound per week.  If not eating my exercise calories means I lose a little faster then yeah, but I'm not going to give myself too much room to go over my 1600 calorie goal.

They also provide some good graphics as to how you are doing as the week progresses.  I found this graph to be motivating as the week went on.  It shows numbers different from those int he table because it includes exercise calories in the totals.  Also motivating is this little message they give you at the end of each day "If every day were like today...  You'd weigh ###.# lbs in 5 weeks".  I like seeing that affirmation that I'm doing what I need to be doing.  It's also good feedback when I'm not exactly where I want to be.

Evaluating the week using my criteria:
  • Consistent Tracking: I tracked every day!  It helps to have a new toy to play with.
  • 1600 Daily Goal: 4 days out of 7 tracked were between 1400 and 1650.
  • Weekly Average:  1687
  • Monthly Average:  1684
That's interesting.  My weekly average was higher than last week but my monthly average is still trending down.  One month ago the monthly average was 1809; that's a 125 calorie reduction on average or 6.9%.  That's great!  The monthly and weekly averages being close together tells me that I've got a better handle on my day-to-day consumption.  I'm not having wild overages.  I'm sure they will occur, but I'm happy they are less frequent.

I do wonder if my monthly average will always trend higher than my goal.  I would probably have to start eating under goal more often to get the average to allow for days when I go over.  I'm happy with where my averages are right now, but the point of tracking them is to use them for some perspective on my progress.

One thing I didn't do this week was tracking in my notebook.  I actually missed it.  And when I went to write out this post, I realized that the notebook was telling me things that the website isn't really set up for.  I could see based on my handwriting how I was feeling, if I was eating on the run and when I particularly liked a meal.  I didn't get that of the website.  Next week I'm going to keep tracking the details on MFP, but there will be an attempt made each day to record thoughts in my journal as well.

Yeah for a new toy!  Yeah for consistency!  I'm feeling good.  Two weeks in a row.  I look forward to keeping this streak going!


  1. I love that your enthusiasm has returned. You are strong and you are making fantastic progress!! You go girl :)

    1. Thanks for your support! I'm also thrilled to be feeling better. It certainly makes every day just a bit easier!