Ever since I was younger I never really cared much for nutrition. I ate what a wanted, when I wanted and didn’t really care about what would happen. The usual follow up to this sentence would be ‘but now I find that when I eat x or y I gain weight’, or something along those lines. This still isn’t true for me; generally, I can still eat what I want and get away with it.
But recently something in my psyche changed…I wanted to experiment with my food and see if actually eating healthy and monitoring my intake would give me any benefits. So, I made an attempt to watch what I was eating and see what happened (I am a Personal Trainer so I roughly know what I should or should not be eating). I did that for about a week before I fell off the wagon and went back to my old McKFC ways….
Then just before christmas my girlfriend reminded my of an app called MyFitnessPal, which I had used in the past but never really engaged in, she suggested that I log my food using this and see how I get on.
I’m now on day 72 and I haven’t missed a day. I’m addicted….for several reasons…
1. I like data. The app shows me my macronutrient (carbs, protein and fat, amongst others) and calorie intakes. This pleases me as I know what I am eating and what it contains.
2. I have actually seen some results from it! Due to my job as a Les Mills instructor, sometimes I do a considerable amount of exercise in a day and, therefore, need to consume extra calories to make up for this. This meant that in practice I was allowed to eat considerably more food than I generally did before, which led to me feeling fantastic while teaching and not feeling as fatigued afterwards. (I know you’re thinking ‘he’s a fitness instructor and should know/do this anyway, but we’re all human eh?) I also found that, because I am strict about putting everything I eat into it (and not skipping inputs just because I had a Wispa gold), I tried to generally eat better food, as I sometimes felt guilty about logging crap food. I still eat some rubbish food, however compared to 3 months ago, no-where near as much.
3. IT’S SOOOO EASY TO USE! Most of the time all I have to do is scan the barcode of the food I’m eating and then it magically pops up with it, without me having to worry about putting in all the stuff myself. I have recipes saved on there so when I cook from scratch I don’t have to enter all my ingredients manually (well, you have to do it once but after that you’re flying). One great thing about the recipe thing is that if you find a recipe online that you want to cook, you can put in the URL of the recipe into the app and it then makes the recipe for all, instead of manually adding the ingredients (I have done this with a couple of Jamie Oliver recipes). Last thing, I can log the classes that I teach on there too, which then updates my total calorie goal for the day.
I don’t follow the calorie recommendations strictly, as t is impossible for an app to tell me EXACTLY how much I should be eating without using direct or indirect calorimetry , but for a rough guide I have found it invaluable.