My Fitness Pal - a great diet tool

So, I saw a photo of me a few weeks ago and didn't realize for a minute that it was me. Yes, it was that unflattering.

Something must be done and now.  I asked around at my favorite online homeschool mom hangout and noticed many were talking about p90X -a series of hard-core video workouts.  I decided this is for me; But first, I needed to get up off the couch and do some kind of exercising, because doing p90x straight from couch-potato status probably would lead to my quitting exercise all-together.

Know thy enemy: My enemy is myself.

I went ahead and made an account over at Beachbody (publishers of p90x) and found an online coach (another homeschool mom)  I asked my coach about counting calories, something I haven't ever attempted because I know I would stink at it... She told me about My Fitness Pal - which is a really cool smartphone app and website.  I don't think calorie counting was ever this easy or addicting.  I think of it as my own online video game...of sorts.

You can sign up for an account, it will ask you for your height, weight, sex, level of current activity (does walking to the computer and fridge count??) and your goal -weight loss, maintain, gain?  The site will then calculate how many calories a day you should be eating to make your goal.  The neat part, as you enter in everything you eat, it subtracts calories and lets you know how many you have left for the day.

This is diet journaling at its finest.  It's sadly eye-opening to realize how much junk you stuff your face with, and how little 1200 calories is compared to what you have become used to.  [ahem]

Your smartphone app and desktop will synch, which is really cool- if you are out at a restaurant, you can add to your food diary and even look up dishes to find nutritional content and to help you make a healthier choice.  I love that when you look up food items, they are usually already in the database with all the nutritional information already entered.  I also love that it remembers all the things I eat, and so, since I am a creature of habit, I can easily check off foods I've already entered as I eat them. You can also scan food packages with your phone and the information will pop up. How cool is that?

The online video game part?  You can sort of bargain for calories.  Go for an extra run, enter it and My Fitness Pal will add extra calories you are now allowed to have.  It's a if I get up off my butt and run I can have a bigger dinner?  Yes. Maybe.   I've discovered that at least for me, adding the extra calories slows my weight loss to almost nil, so I am staying with the base 1200 calories and not entering in my exercise.  But...if I really wanted dessert, I might play the game once in a while :)

The diary also keeps track of your water intake...I really need this.  With my anemia, I am often dehydrated - my hands often look prunish- like after you get out of being in water for a long time, except I haven't been in water.  And yet, I don't drink enough water.  Having the prompt on my screen is helping me to make sure I drink water.


You can make a profile at My Fitness Pal, track your weight and eating goals and make friends.  If you have an account (which is free) let me know in the comments and I will send you my username if you'd like to friend me.

So far I've lost 5lbs.  It's such a slow race, kind of frustrating.

So, internets, any fitness advice?

*not a sponsored post