I found an app recently. Well, I regularly find apps but this one is particularly useful in the land of a healthful Mush. It’s called “MyFitnessPal” and I discovered it via a recommendation from Fitocracy.com. It’s basically a food and exercise diary to help a person be mindful of their biological inputs and outputs. Previously, I had build myself a calorie counter using a Google docs spreadsheet but it was a bit of a chore. This app, on the other hand, has a lot of nifty things built in to make keeping track of nutrition much easier.
First off, it’s very easy to add food to the diary. You can manually add items or you can search for them in the database of foods. Or even better than that, you can scan a product’s bar code and it will bring up the nutritional info for it. Which is pretty neat. Every time I scan something, I feel a little bit closer to the future. And it’s not just for counting calories, but also for capturing a more detailed picture of nutritional intake, including what percentage of carbs, protein, fat etc you’re ingesting with every food type. This is helpful because maintaining a healthy diet is not just about base calories in and out, but also the type of nutrient in question. So that’s kinda cool.
|Warning! App usage may result in sexy tux wearing!|
The app allows you to specify your current weight and a target weight and gives you prompts as to how many calories you need to be taking in to achieve that as well as the balance between carbs, fat and protein necessary. If you have a particularly good or bad day, it will give you a projection as to your weight at the end of your goal period if every day was like that. So, for instance, I had a particularly Mushful weekend involving a wedding and recovering from a wedding. The app told me I’d be 3 kilos heavier than I am currently if I kept that up for a few weeks. So that’s nicely incentivising.
There’s a facility for adding exercise as well, which is nice because it takes that into account with the projections and gives you a more holistic picture of your state of health. The other thing as well is that you can ask the app to remind you to prompt you to update the diary after every meal so that you don’t forget to log your progress. A gentle nag in the right direction is necessary at times I find.
Best of all, the whole thing was free. I’ve been using it for most of a week so far and I’m getting good use out of it. Sure, there’s a bit of effort required initially. But as you go along you can build saved meals so that if you have the same meal again in the future you don’t have to add the individual items again. Super handy. So yeah, if anyone else is trying to get on top of their food intake, I’d heartily recommend the MyFitnessPal app. Not sure if it’s available for Android devices but it’s certainly a nice addition to my iPhone (and I’m not the only one as you can see from this review: http://uk.pcmag.com/iphone-apps-reviews/5599/review/myfitnesspal-for-iphone).