When you first begin to use the My Fitness Pal app you have to enter in your weight, some basic measurements, activity level and your goal weight. This is the information they use to calculate your daily calorie intake goal. My weight when I began was 130 pounds and I'm about 5 feet even so they suggested 1200 calories daily (this is the lowest they will recommend).
Yes, I had birthday cake for breakfast. So bad!
After they give you this number you can begin using the app immediately. Now I only suggest using this app if you are familiar with how proper portion sizes of items you eat look like or if you are going to measure out your meals. You can search chicken but it won't help you with the calorie count unless you know how much chicken you are eating!
When I first started using this app I was SHOCKED at how many calories I was consuming in a day. I mean no wonder why I gained weight- there were days where I was having 3000 calories with no problem. This I think was the best part of this app- it opened up my eyes to my super unhealthy habits.
I LOVE this app! This app, along with a good attitude, has already helped me lose 6 pounds! Now this is in about a 3-4 month span, but for someone who has never monitored what they eat or really exercised regularly this is a big accomplishment.
Tips for Success with My Fitness Pal:
* Be honest. You're only lying to yourself if you say you ate 1/3 of your plate of mac and cheese and you really ate all of it.
*Underestimate your exercise calories. After doing some research it appears that the app over-calculates how many calories you are burning during your workout. I usually subtract 5 minutes from the time I enter for my workouts to get a more accurate count.
*When you first begin calorie counting use measuring tools until you become familiar with what a serving size looks like.
*Add your friends! I always get motivated when I see how many calories one of my girlfriends burned during their workout.
*Utilize the community message boards. This is probably one of my favorite parts of the app. The message boards are full of SO much information and recipes and tips and tricks. It's also a very positive environment.
*You don't have to use this EVERYDAY. I'm not even going to lie, I barely use this on the weekends. Between skipping breakfast because I sleep late or having a few cocktails at happy hour, I'm not as strict with it on same days as I should be. Once you become familiar with what 1200-1500 calories looks like in a day, you won't have to be as strict.
* Don't beat yourself up or give up. For the first time in my life I became aware of what I was eating and stuck to a regular exercise routine, but I didn't see weight loss for a good 6-7 weeks. Sometimes it takes a while to see results, but you MUST stick with it.
Has anyone else used the My Fitness Pal app? I'd love to add you as a friend?