Just after Christmas, I posted that I was going to start juicing. I have been, somewhat, however when I see the amount of material I was adding to the compost heap, I kept thinking “but those bits are yummy too…” and really, I’ve just been eating more vegetables and fruit, and juicing now and then. My wife, not a fresh-fruit or vegetable enthusiast, has discovered that she LOVES fresh apple and orange juice.
Then, in January, my daughter told me about an app for my phone called “My Fitness Pal.” I am NOT a big cell phone app user – I have the WordPress app, Amazon Kindle App, FaceBook and Twitter apps, Angry Birds Star Wars, and now My Fitness Pal.
And I like it.
Simply put, when you set the app up, you tell it what you weigh, and how much you want to lose per week, and it generates a caloric goal per day. After that you enter the food you eat in the daily ‘diary,’ which is connected to a decent database of foods including nutritional information for some of the foods (it depends on what’s entered already) or you can enter the nutritional information yourself, from the back of the package. There is also a bar code scanner, for pre-packaged foods. As an example of the scanner, I usually take microwavable dinners to work on our midnight shifts, Lean Cuisine or other ‘healthy’ offerings depending on whats on sale that week. Scanning the bar code on those meals has, so far, accurately brought up all the nutritional information: I cross checked several of the results from the back of the package.
You also enter exercise into the app, which offsets your calorie count for the day. I have a treadmill with a 32″ flat screen TV/DVD combo in front of it, so I tend to watch NetFlix or DVDs while on the treadmill. Yesterday I watched “Thor” again while on the treadmill, with a result of 4.6 miles over the one hour forty-eight minutes of the movie, incline 4-6, for 1,326 calories burned.
The app makes an interesting game out of what you eat and how you exercise. Now, every time I open my mouth to put something in it, I think about that calorie count, along with if I’ll be able to hit the treadmill that day to offset the difference.
It’s working, too. I lost 8 pounds in the first ten days. It’s also changing how I think about foods, since the app tracks the nutritional content (if it’s provided when you enter your intake) of everything. For example, people might skip a Coke Zero because it has no calories. Wrong. It has NUTRIENTS in it, so you should track it. Again, the bar code scanner works on every soft drink I’ve tried it on, and you’d be shocked how much SODIUM you end up taking in with diet drinks. Sodium in moderation is necessary, but at the end of a week, if you look at your sodium intake on this app (if you’ve been honest about adding foods) it’s HUGE, way above what is needed.
Yesterday, I had me a bit of a weak moment and stopped at a local BBQ place for lunch. I had the beef plate with deep fried green beans and jalapeno poppers. Not good, I felt like I swallowed half a bottle of deef frier fat all day. One month ago, I WOULDN’T HAVE NOTICED. Instead, after I got home, I hit the treadmill to make up the calorie difference.
I won’t be doing that again anytime soon.
You learn, with this app, what’s filling without being high-calorie. You also start noticing exactly how many THOUSAND calories you can give up with fast food.
I want to see 250# again – and I want to see it soon, but in a way that I can SUSTAIN. No yo-yo dieting for me, I like to do things in such a way that I don’t have to do them over and over again, so changing what I eat, how I track it, and how I pay for it with exercise is exactly the right way to do it.
Losing this weight will help with, well, everything. Better hunting, less cost (tree stands rated for Sasquatchoids are more expensive) in my equipment choices, CLOTHES WILL FIT AGAIN without having to ask folks “that come in man size?” (I messed with Scentlok at the ATA Show when the nice lady tried to sell me on their new jacket. “That come in man size?” I asked… she said “What size are you?” “XXXL…” “No, sorry, XXL is the largest…”) Of course, losing weight isn’t going to make my SHOULDERS smaller, and I don’t quite fit through normal doors because of the width of my shoulders, but hey, less weight is still better.