By Jesmarie Disdiel
A new semester has begun, along with the hope to achieve new goals. Thanks to MyFitnessPal, the weight has been lifted from the nutrition aspect of starting your journey to a healthy life. It’s simple – the app asks you to fill out what your current weight is, what your activity level is and, then, what your goal weight is and what you want your weekly weight loss goal to be. From there, the app gives you a list of the nutrition goals you must aim for in order to accomplish your overall weight loss goals.
Now, the main attraction of the app is how it counts your calories tracks your nutrition. You simply select what meal of the day you are inputing for, such as breakfast, and type in the name of the food you’re eating — for instance Panera’s Egg and Cheese on Ciabbata — and it finds the product for you, and all you do is add it to fulfill your diary. Another way to add food is to scan the product’s barcode so it finds the exact item in no time. For example, say you purchased a drink from the gas station, you will select “snacks”, then barcode-scan the beverage. In no time at all, it shows you exactly what is in the drink, such as carbs, calories, sugar content and so forth. Then you save and it adds to your daily diary.
I love this app because it tells me exactly what I am putting into my body. I always look up nutritional facts of items before I eat it to see how it affects my nutrition for that day. At any time, you can look up your nutrient details for that day, such as how much protein you’ve consumed, and how much more protein you need to attain your nutrition goal for the day. If you go over your nutrition goal, the text will turn from black to red, alerting you that you are not sticking to your goal. You also have the option to check how you are doing for the week. It shows you a bar chart and if you are hitting your caloric goals and whether you are under or over those goals. At the end of each day, when you are done, you select “complete entry” and the app will tell you what you will weigh in the upcoming weeks should you continue to eat like how you did that day, every day. If you are under your goal, it tells you that you need to eat more in order to be healthy.
This app is really just a nutrition diary, but it tells you so much. It tells you how much you should eat, if you are getting enough vitamins or essential nutrients and informs you of what is in thousands of food products. Are you eating at Panera and want to know what salad has the most protein, but least amount of fat and sugar? Type in the name and, in no time, you’re aware of exactly what is in the salad. Also, you can set an alert on the app so it reminds you when to record your breakfast, lunch and dinner. You never miss a meal.
This app has many features, such as adding in workouts you did that day. It subtracts the calories you burned from what you ate, so it notifies you how much you must eat to make up for it, or how much protein is needed to build muscle. You still are able to add in the nutrition details of a product if the database doesn’t have it. This app is important to anyone wishing to start a healthier way of life.
As a daily user of the app, I am much healthier. I have reached goals I had for myself, such as losing fat and gaining muscle, and it is all because I know exactly what I am putting into my body. Losing weight and being healthy at first is hard. It’s about breaking habits so you may start new ones. This app makes the nutrition part easy, now its up to you to figure out how to get to the gym.