I’m trying to not obsess about my weight loss. Specifically, am I losing? Did I lose anything this week? I’m the type of person who obsesses, and it ain’t pretty. In the past few months, I admit that I’ve done well. Considering that, in the past five years, I have failed miserably to lose the bulk, and had no success. Now that I’ve lost 21 lbs so far, it gets harder to lose the weight.
From what I’ve learned, the body loves its fat. When it senses that it is losing its fat stores, the human body will adjust your metabolism to compensate. It’s a survival mechanism — fat has historically gotten us through the lean times. Unfortunately, I have a lot of fat still on me, due to years of cheese danishes and Burger King Whoppers. Also, after months of eating so little, and seeing good progress, you start to slide, snacking a little more, eating a little more, justifying it all. So what to do? I looked through the iTunes store for some good calorie counting apps, and found a few, but the two best I’ve seen are the Livestrong app (associated with the Livestrong website/group), and something called MyFitnessPal (screenshot below.)
After inputting my profile info in these apps, you input what you ate, what exercise you did, and track at the daily and weekly level how well you’re doing to reach a specific weight loss goal. I found that the best apps to use allow you to search and find/identify a wide variety of food, whether you bought it at a restaurant, or you made from ingredients found at your local supermarket. I paid for the Livestrong app, which has an excellent food repository, but I primarily use the free MyFitnessPall app (available for both iOS and Android OS) to track my consumption and exercise. I especially like the features where you can:
- scan the barcode of a particular food, and it pulls the name & nutritional data for you automatically.
- input exactly what you ate, whether it was a partial serving or not.
- easily find and add in calories lost during a particular cardiovascular activity (I’m not bothering trying to calculate calories lost through strength-training exercises yet.)
I had initially tried the Calorie Count app from About.com, and while it was the most aesthetically pleasing app, it was buggy and not accurate. Too bad.
This may all seem a bit much, but after one week, it’s been a good set of tools to help get me to the next level, and to keep me on the straight and narrow.