Are you on a fitness/healthy eating journey? Are you a conscious eater? Do you care about calories and measures? Have you downloaded the Myfitnesspal app? No? You’re already doing it wrong! Lol. What are you waiting for? Hit that button already… right away. I honestly think Myfitnesspal app is the Beyonce of fitness/calorie apps. It is just amazing. And listen, whether or not you’re looking to lose weight, this app will totally change your approach towards food, enhance your consciousness about choices and sort of fine-tune your mindset. Yes.
I downloaded this app for the first time in 2010 but deleted it almost immediately because…reasons! Infact I totally forgot about it until I downloaded it again in January and realized it was already showing my details. Forgetful Jane, me. Lol. It is such a helpful app and now I’m hooked and honestly don’t know how I ever functioned without it. Thanks to this app, I have become a walking encyclopedia of calorie information and a major source of annoyance to my friends and family.
Friend: Would you like a coke? Me: Ehn? That’s 270 calories Friend: I’ll just have Indomie and egg for dinner Me: That’s 370+78 = 448.
Who AXE you sha? Sabinus! I usually get a mean side eye but I’ll be on my Ray Charles swag…. Lol
Using this app, I’m realizing that just because something is healthy doesn’t mean it has less calories; and this is very important if you’re on a calorie counting spree. Often times, we think “oh its healthy so I’m allowed to have LOTS of it/oh I just had a salad for lunch so I can eat more at dinner”; scam! I learnt that with this app. Take the tuna salad below, its healthy yes but it doesn’t mise on calories.
How many times do you throw stuff in your mouth mindlessly during your typical day and think nothing of it? A cookie here, a doughnut there, candy here, cake there… after which you sit down and think “I haven’t eaten today at all”, then proceed to make yourself a nice lunch/dinner thinking to yourself that that’s all you’ve had proper today. Scam! It all counts and this app rubs it in. One day, I tried to log in one tiny piece of coconut I had just eaten [as a snack] and guess what it said? 100g of coconut which is about 1/3 the size of an adult female palm was 354 calories. THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY FOUR!!! How can a mindless/thoughtless snack account for nearly half my daily calorie allowance? I was upset. First of all, that was just a snack okay?! Secondly, I could have just eaten one indomie [370kl] and called it a day. Thirdly, I have to have walked 5kilometers [or run 3km] to burn 350 calories, meaning the opportunity cost of one tiny piece of coconut was a 30min run/5km walk? Ridic! Nah! The trade-off just wasn’t fair for me. I felt like it wasn’t worth it so no more coconut for me, I have better ideas for what to do with my 354 calories. Lol.
How am I making these deductions? Regular use of myfitnesspal.
So how does it work? You download the app on your phone and sign in using an email or any of your social media accounts. I used my one-nation email because….paranoid! I’ve watched too many oyibo movies to be syncing my social media accounts to every app. Nah.
Anyways, so you log in and input your details – weight, age, height, location, your goal/target [mine is weight loss obviously], how much weight you want to lose and in what amount of time, how active your lifestyle is etc.; based off the stats you’ve just inputed, the app calculates and tells you what your daily calorie allowance should be. Mine is 1200 per day, my friend got 1500 so it varies from person to person. And you’re ready to begin your daily logs. A click of the home button opens up – status, water, food, exercise and weight.
Personally, I only log in my water intake and food daily, the exercise I log in when I do; which is about 4 times a week and I update my weight every week. The exercise tab separates into cardio or strength exercises and you can log in almost anything from zumba to kickboxing to swimming. This app literally thinks for you and anticipates your needs. Wholesome.
Now the food section is full of all kinds of food but sometimes you may not find the exact thing you just ate especially with Nigerian meals probably because Nigerians aren’t logging in enough new recipes but I can bet you’ll find a very close alternative. The trick is to add Nigerian to the end of whatever Nigerian food you type in the search bar e.g searching Egusi may give you 4-5 hits but searching “Egusi soup-Nigerian” will return more hits. Infact, once you type Nigerian in the search bar, all kinds of Nigerian things just appear… like magic ha ha. Trust me, it’s all there, you just have to be a bit creative.
Another tip is, if you cook your meals yourself, you can simply create your own recipes in the recipe tab. Personally, I make almost all my meals myself so I know exactly what’s in it, therefore, I have a log of my own recipes now. Not only am I making it easier for myself to log in my meals, I’m also contributing to the data pool so other members of the myfitnesspal community can use it too. Who knows, that tuna salad you just logged in may just be my recipe and I like that. Makes me feel like I am doing my quota for the betterment of society 😀 ha ha
I prefer to log in my meals before I actually eat them so it measures my allowance, that way I can see what I need and how much/less of it I actually need to make up my daily requirement and then I make necessary adjustments where necessary. I find that if I log in after I’ve already eaten, the likelihood of going overboard my goal/allowance is usually higher.
Protip: I tend to exaggerate my portions to cover anything I may have missed, i think it’s better to exaggerate than under log which may mislead you into eating more albeit unknowingly.
Overall, I’m making better choices with my meals and being uber conscious of the “this vs that” debate. Like I’d much rather have a dense smoothie that is about 180kl than drink a 50cl bottle of coke which is about 210kl. One is filling and can hold you till lunch time; the other is just a craving that does nothing for hunger. And that’s not to say coke is a sin, I just know that I have to work extra hard in the gym the day I choose to indulge. Yes coke is now an indulgence for me. Shock horror!!
Also, if I know that my lunch will be calorie heavy [like the beans & garri below], I usually will just have an apple and/or a smoothie for breakfast and green tea/ACV at night. It’s all about playing around with the numbers.
One uber cool feature of this app is that it reminds you of little but important details while you log in your meals such as “you’ve reached your sodium[salt] limit for the day”, “this food contains a lot of Vitamin A”, “this food is low in saturated fat”, “you can still eat 480 calories more to stay within your goal”…. How helpful! Which is why it’s best to log in before you eat so you know what to cut out or increase. If you log in at the end of the day, you may have overeaten or even forgotten that one mindless cookie you had at your desk at lunch time. No bueno!
Another cool feature: If your turn your device sideways while on the app, it breaks down the content/contribution of every single food input to your overall daily goal and shows you a tally.
A click on the nutrition button at the bottom of the log shows you a pie chart of your calorie breakdown for the day according to the three food classes and clicking on “Complete entry” shows you your projected weight in 5 weeks.
I think I’ve talked enough, afterall, these people aren’t paying me a figgin for this amazing review/sale pitch… I’m just Saint S riding on her lettuce leaves with the gospel of…. Every little helps.
PS: If you don’t have a smart phone but still want to be able to use this amazing tool, you can simply log on to www.myfitnesspal.com on your computer and enjoy.
Are you sold? Will you be trying this app? Anything I forgot to address? Any questions? Just use the comments section.