Friday, January 28, 2011

My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal

Got this app for my new Android phone and am loving it. First of all, I can use it through my phone or online, which is nice. I use the online version for doing more complicated stuff, especially now at the beginning, like entering in custom foods/recipes, and probably workout routines (I'll get to that tomorrow). As I add more things to it, though, I'll be able to pull up those items I've used before, and it'll be a lot easier to do it just real quick on the phone. But one of the REALLY cool features of the app is a barcode scanner, which makes it really easy if I'm just having a glass of juice, or a granola bar, to just scan the code, and all the nutrition info gets entered automatically.

But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. To set up my profile, I entered in my current weight, my target weight (which is a looooooong way off), and the rate at which I'd like to lose the pounds. Also in there is my exercise plan (3 times a week for 45 minutes each; leaving it at that for now since my non-Y workouts have been sporadic at best), so it takes that into account, and determines how many net calories I need each day in order to reach my goal (in other words, calories consumed minus whatever I burn off by exercising that day). Also, it's not evident in the app itself, but when I was looking on the website it seems to take into account that I am burning calories during the day just by existing, based on my weight, and my sedentary lifestyle. My next trip to the Y is tomorrow morning, so I guess that means I'll have to learn the actual names for the machines I've been using, so I can enter that in.

As far as my actual progress, and not just my new toy, I've been doing pretty well this week in terms of food, not as great with exercise. Again, it's the days I don't go to the Y that are the issue. Hopefully this app will motivate me to actually do something substantial on those days so I can enter it into my phone . . . stupid reason maybe, but hey, whatever works!

Anyway, just to get an idea of my "diet plan," here's my entries from yesterday:

Nature Valley Granola Thin, Dark Chocolate - 80 cal
My Smoothie - 223 cal

Jimmy John's Turkey Tom Unwich - 87 cal (<--- LOVE THIS!!!)
Jimmy John's Pickle - 22 cal

Red Robin Chicken Caprese Sandwich (only half bun) - 556 cal
Red Robin Steak Fries - 434 cal
Raspberry Iced Tea - 3 cal

Yoplait Light, Blueberry - 100 cal
V8 V-Fusion, Passionfruit Tangerine (small glass) - 60 cal

Water: 3 cups
Total calories for the day: 1565

This is fairly typical of my diet lately. "My Smoothie" is a blend of skim milk, frozen berries, and a Carnation Instant Breakfast package, so I calculated the nutritional info based on those ingredients (using the nifty barcode scanner). I try to eat lunch out when I can, sticking to healthier options, simply because I'm still sort of at a loss when I make my own at home. My lunch staples in the past have been stuff like PastaRoni. I could just do sandwiches, but all that bread isn't great for my diet either. It's nice that so many places have nutritional info on their websites now, so I can customize what I want and they tell me what the stats are. For my JJ wrap, for example, I add the lettuce wrap instead of bread, added cucumbers and onion to the tomato and alfalfa sprouts already in there, and REMOVE THE MAYO! Holy crap, that stuff added on like 200 calories, and it was almost all fat! I was going to substitute either mustard or a vinaigrette for next time if I needed, but it was perfectly fine without any extra condiments at all. And honestly I added the giant dill pickle as a side simply because I felt a little uneasy about a meal that was under 100 calories, but it was still a decent-sized lunch, it was just almost all vegetables. This is the sort of thing I need to start making for myself.

Dinner is my one "bad" meal a day. I'm hoping to change this in the near future, but in the beginning of my diet I've been mostly concerned with just not overdoing it (as I've mentioned). Doing this calorie counting thing really shows where those pitfalls are, though. Even a modest dinner, amount-wise, ran me almost 1000 calories! And the fries were almost as many calories as my sandwich?! They were fairly healthy looking fries! Unfortunately I looked up the nutrition info on my dinner AFTER we got home from the restaurant, otherwise I probably would have avoided them altogether (and I calculated my sandwich by getting the stats for regular, and then the stats for no bun at all, and then adding half of the bun stats back in; the sandwich was getting really messy about halfway through, so I just decided to eat the insides and leave the rest of the bread). It will get more complicated when I make dinner at home, rather than just copying nutritional info from a restaurant website, but it should be easier to keep those dinners a bit healthier.

Anyway . . . this is fairly representative of how I've been eating the past couple weeks. Nice to see I came out at a decent calorie number, but it's also easy to see how a different lunch or dinner could swing that number pretty far in either direction. So just because yesterday was a good day doesn't mean that every day has been that good.

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