My smartphone earned its place at the top of my list of favorite things when I used it to keep a food diary during a month-long weight loss challenge with a few of my friends in the Spring. Normally, I would be turned off at the idea of jotting down everything I ate, but research has shown that keeping track of what you eat leads to greater weight loss. And during the challenge I found that using my phone was really helpful in tracking the calories I ate and the calories I burned, which is half the battle of weight loss- burning more calories than you consume.
When we started talking about the challenge, I initially felt one month wasn’t enough time. But my friends convinced me that it would be fun to do for the moral support, results aside. My friend suggested using the MyFitnessPal app as a way to monitor our progress. After putting in my weight, height, and goal weight, the app gave me a daily calorie count to meet that goal. It was pretty easy to keep a food diary, too, because my new Pal took care of the math for me. I just selected the foods I ate from the database of food items, with calorie, fat and carb totals pre-calculated, after each meal.
Adding in the calories I burned was pretty easy, too. For every time I went on a run, I just entered the length of the run and about how fast I was going to get a total of calories burned. Granted, all of these are estimates, but seeing these numbers helped me become more aware of how I should choose what I eat throughout the day. Read the rest of this entry →