I have just begun an intense love affair with a new pal. I am constantly checking in with my new pal, paying attention to every detail about my new pal and I couldn’t be happier with my new pal. Before I get in trouble with my husband who probably won’t read this anyway because he is golfing in Ireland for the week (rough life), I have to confess my new pal is an app I downloaded to my phone called My Fitness Pal.
I am not sure why I hadn’t discovered this before last week, but it is amazing! I would have thought that with all of the running I have been doing to train for the Marine Corps Marathon, I would have lost a few pounds. I did not and now I know why. I didn’t change my eating habits at all and I was probably eating more because I was running so much. Last week I decided that I wanted to try to lose 5 lbs. before the marathon. I have heard from many sources that every pound lost has an effect on your pace. I can use all of the help I can get. I have attached an article on the effects of weight loss on running here. There is also data that states people who track their food intake, lose twice as much weight as those who do not.
In a previous blog, I mentioned that I started an online Nutrition course. Based on having to keep a food log for an assignment and wanting to shed a few pounds, I decided to try My Fitness Pal. My Fitness Pal is very user friendly and has multiple functions. My favorites are the recipe creator, the UPC scanning ability, the notes section and the breakdown of many nutrition goals. The goals that I set for myself are to lose a pound a week (very reasonable) and exercise 4 times a week for 60 minutes/time. I am tracking EVERYTHING that I put in my mouth. I have a 1200 calorie goal/day. I am finding that it is not hard to stick to the calorie goal but it is difficult to stay within the sugar and carb limits. I can’t imagine what these numbers looked like before I was actually paying attention to what I ate. One of the most exciting things I am finding about this app is that I can alter my recipes to be healthier. I have been making a Chocolate Chip Banana Bread for my family for years. It never occurred to me to try to change it until I saw the nutritional breakdown of foods in this app. I have made the bread twice now and have either reduced the amount of the ingredient or substituted all together and my kids love it! Changing just a few things made a pretty unhealthy breakfast item into something I am proud that I made and thrilled my kids are eating.
As of my 1st weigh in, I have lost 2 lbs. I went running today and I felt lighter and faster. It could just be a mental thing but whatever it is I am going with it and will continue to track every morsel (maybe not every morsel but most) until I reach my goal. It is so easy to use and interesting to me to see the nutritional value of food that I will probably continue to track my food and exercise even after I reach my goal. If you are at a point where you get on the scale and you don’t like what it reads, give this a try. If you try it and like it, friend me. My user name is KsCarew.