My Fitness Parent

Good food.
Ok, so the app is really My Fitness Pal. But really, I think of it more as a Parent than a Pal. And this probably makes the makers of the app squirm because I'm pretty sure they want the app to seem friendly, fun and easy, rather than strict, stern and authoritarian.

I say, "Hey, whatever works."

I love My Fitness Pal. In moderation. Because I can tend to become really obsessive/compulsive (in a non-clinical, un-officially diagnosed sort of way). You see, I'm kind of an all or nothing girl. Never been good at moderation. There's no such thing as a little cake-- I either eat half the cake or none of the cake. Unless I have someone watching me, like My Fitness Parent Pal.

What is My Fitness Pal?
It's a great little food and fitness tracker. You can set your goals-- it allows you to adjust the percentages of macros (protein, carbohydrates, fat) you want to eat daily. You input your current body weight, your desired body weight (or maintenance), and it tells you how much of each category you should be eating. Then throughout the day, you input what you eat (by typing it in, scanning a barcode or searching for food). MFP keeps a running total of your intake (including vitamins) and lets you know how much you can still consume to hit your goal for the day. .

Not so good food.
You can also input your exercise. For cardio exercise, it will calculate the amount of calories burned based on time spent in the activity and add that into your calorie total. BUT beware-- it's not a perfect calculator. For example, it doesn't recognize strength training as a calorie burning activity, but it does recognize billiards. There is a feature that lets you connect directly to exercise apps, so your fitness tracking app can automatically upload your personal data.

It's really simple.

Why I love it:
It provides a reset. So, I mentioned before this all or nothing habit of mine. It's easy for me to lose track of what I'm actually eating, and over time, I find myself a little heavier than I want to be. I get into that poor me, "I just can't lose weight" mentality. About the time I start feeling helpless, I fire up the MFP and go "Woah! I'm eating A LOT." (Ok, all you ketogenic diet people who say that calories don't matter. I'm living proof that they do.)
3 mile run = 310 calories burned for me

It helps me discover portion sizes again. In order to enter the food I'm eating, I've got to return to portions instead of piles. It's not that I'm restricting. It's that I'm paying attention.

It keeps me accountable. Here's where that Parent part comes in. MFP is watching-- I'm not just having some chocolate. MFP wants to know how many servings. And I'm a horrible liar, so I always tell it the truth. So, before I eat half a jar of almond butter, I think, "Do I really want this recorded forever on the internet?"

What I don't love:
Inconsistency. It tells me how many calories I burned mowing the yard or doing automobile repair or unicycling, but it won't calculate the number of calories I burn when I do deadlifts or bench press or kettlebell swings.

Max deadlift = 0 calories burned


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