Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Great App for Counting Calories/Monitoring Your Intake

I know that I'm guilty for doing this - mindlessly grazing.  We all do this while we are making a meal for the family - we taste a little here, take a bite there.  And then of course you sit down and eat your meal with your family but you don't realize that all of those tastings and little bites while meal prep has led you to consume more calories than you probably need for the day.  And we question why we haven't lost those last 5lbs! 

Well there is a free app available on iPhones (check if your phone has this app for free) called My Fitness Pal.  This app helps you to keep track of the calories you consume with each meal/snack giving you a tally for the day, week, etc.  You start out by answering a few questions regarding your height, current weight, goal weight, activity level, etc.  All you do is enter in the foods that you eat, meal by meal and then submit your entries at the end of the day.  This app has a very extensive food database that is very helpful in trying to find the foods that you are eating. They make is so easy that all you have to do is scan the barcode on the package with your camera and the app will look up the nutrition facts for you (or you can enter it in manually).  The one thing that you are responsible to do is to remember to enter in the foods that you are eating and how much you ate but other than that, this app is so simple to use and extremely helpful to see exactly how many calories you are eating. 

I personally don't believe in counting calories but rather eating good, quality food but what I do like about this program is that it forces you to take out the measuring cups and spoons and start using them to ensure that you are eating the appropriate portion sizes, which is something that we consumers have lost sight of living in a "super-sized" society.  This app will help you find out exactly how much food your body needs to make it through the day while helping you keep track of your caloric intake.  As I said before, I'm not the biggest fan of focusing on calorie counting but I do like that this app makes you mindful of the foods that you are eating as well as how much you are eating.  You first start out by counting your calories but then you learn to choose healthier and often lower calorie items, thus lowering your caloric intake.  I tend to use this app in cycles - I'll use it for a month or so to reinforce my portion control and caloric intake but then will stop because I now know what to eat as well as how much to eat.  I hope that you found this information helpful and that all you busy mom's who have struggled with losing those last few pounds of "baby weight" now have found the right tool to help you on your path to eating healthier and looking slimmer.  Stay tuned for more health info...