In the years since MyFitnessPal began, we’ve grown into a community of more than 40 million supportive users on journeys to health. MyFitnessPal users have burned over 125 billion calories and shed over 100 million pounds, not to mention you’e gotten a heck of a lot fitter and stronger. So it stands to reason that you might have learned a few things along the way!
That’s why we asked you over on our Facebook page to give us a few of the insights you’ve gained by logging your daily foods and exercises into MyFitnessPal. The response was so great we’ve decided to break it out into a short series of blog posts.
This time we’ll talk about food logging!
Our vast database of food items (over 3 million foods and counting) is one of the many reasons why MyfitnessPal is the best weight loss tool on the market now. Not only is it easy to find and add the foods you’ve eaten during a day, it is also easy to track the nutritional information of those foods and see how it is affecting your overall fitness.
Here are seven things you’ve learned from logging with MyFitnessPal:
Logging consistently is the best way to lose weight. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again (right now, in fact), but now YOU have said it too: loggin into your MFP account every day and tracking your foods consistently helps you lose weight and keep it off. Keeping a daily tally of your food intake keeps you focused on how many calories you’re taking in and how many you’re burning. It also helps you stay better fueled for tough workouts, and helps you track all of those important micronutrients too. MyFitnessPal user Tim stated: “I’m amazed that I have logged continually for over 610 days, and have lost & maintained 90 pounds with the help of the program.”
Logging before you eat can help you plan. Some users had this twist on logging your foods every day. By recording before you eat, you can see the good, the bad and the ugly of the foods you’re about to eat, and make changes if necessary.
Restaurants have a high price… in calories. Eating out can be costly – and not just in terms of money. The calories of a restaurant dish are usually much higher than the same dish made at home. To keep costs down and flavor high, restaurants load up their meals with sugar, fats, and other less-than-desirable additives that satisfy your mouth but expand your gut. As user Lizzie Jean simply put it: “…my daily calories go out the window with just one meal at a restaurant!”
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Logging helps you watch out for hidden dangers. Like icebergs lurking under a calm ocean, hidden dangers hide just under the surfaces our favorite foods. Bread, cereal, salads – the average pantry is a minefield of calorie, sugar and sodium bombs. You told us it pays to look at nutritional info of everything you eat.
It is possible to not eat enough! Most people think weight loss and fitness are about controlling how much and just what you eat. But many users learned through use of the MyFitnessPal app that they weren’t getting enough to eat. Not eating enough food can slow down your metabolism. In addition to dramatically slowing weight loss, under-eating can make you irritable, make those workouts even tougher and leave you feeling weak.
It’s crucial to keep those portions under control. Some folks ordered only appetizers when at restaurants. Others immediately took a restaurant meal and hacked ⅔ of it away, to remain uneaten. Some even planned out their plates before doling out foods at mealtime. You told us that simply reducing portion size allows you to sample everything and not feel cheated, and helps you stay within your daily calorie goals.
It’s important to track nutrients. You told us there’s more to eating healthy than just tracking calories, carbs, protein and fat. Thanks to MyFitnessPal, users were also able to keep an eye on intake of other vitamins, minerals, and things like fiber and water. Many of you were surprised at how difficult it is getting enough iron just from food!
Keep up the good work on your continued journey toward a healthier life. Next time we’ll talk about some of the things you’ve learned from logging… exercises!
If you have any other revelations share them with us on the comments below or on Facebook!
The MyFitnessPal Team