About a month and a half ago, I decided to start losing weight…with 2 goals in mind: To get to 200 pounds and then to get to 175 pounds (my high school weight). One of the reasons I want to do this is to improve my 5k race times. I’ve done ok the last few races, but I’ve yet to get under 30 minutes to complete 3.1 miles. So, I figure that if I dropped some weight, I wouldn’t have to lug around as much weight while I’m running and should, in theory, do better with my race times.
So, in order to drop these unwanted pounds, I’ve started watching what I’m eating…initially trying to cut back on calories and sugar in particular. My main problem, however, was that I didn’t know how many calories that I should be eating or how many I had been taking in each day. A coworker of mine introduced me to a great app called My Fitness Pal that does all this and more! Oh, and it’s FREE!!! Shocking, but true!
Before installing the app on my phone, I had lost about 15 pounds on my own (calorie cutting and running on my treadmill 6 days a week). I have only been using the app for about a week, but I’ve lost 4+ pounds this week! It turns out that my attempts to cut calories, while good, was causing my body to go into starvation mode (too few calories) and weight loss wouldn’t occur. After logging in on their website today), I discovered that they provide it’s users some tools for those that sign up. Some of these tools include the counters that are now on the right side of the blog…how much weight I’ve lost since installing the app and how much I’ve still got to lose. I’m trying to weigh in daily, so in theory these totals should change every day (good or bad).
By the way, one of the really cool features of this app is that when you’re adding food to your diary, you can scan the barcode of the food products to input all the nutrition info! It makes inputting info so much faster! If what you’re eating doesn’t have a barcode (say, if you’re eating out), there’s a way to type in what you’re eating and find it in their extensive database. I’ve only used it a week so I don’t know all the in’s and out’s, but the one part that I don’t like is how to change things. For example, if I were to make Hamburger Helper, the recipe calls for ground beef…but what if I make it with 99% fat free ground turkey to make it healthier? How to I change this in the recipe? I’m not sure, but like I said before, I’m new to this app.
So far so good however. 4 pounds in 1 week is pretty good…especially for someone that’s NOT on The Biggest Loser. By the way, I do plan to run at least 2 more 5k races this year…maybe 3. My morning workouts on the treadmill, while mainly used to lose weight, are also helping prepare for these races. For example, I walked (but mainly ran) 2.7 miles today! Unfortunately it was in 40 minutes, but I’ll be knocking that time down in no time (by the way, the 40 minutes includes a 5 minute cool down walk).