MyFitnessPal (MFP) is an app and website that allows you to monitor your nutrition and also exercise. It helps you keep track of your daily food and drink intake calculating all your nutrients, calories, and vitamins for you. We like to encourage our clients to use MFP intermittently, not as a permanent life-long tool. It is used with our clients to learn and develop a greater understanding of nutrition.
We use MFP with our clients for a variety of reasons, one of the main ones being awareness. Tracking your food with MFP is more than just calorie counting, it allows you to become more aware of what you are eating and when you're eating it. We don't use MFP solely for the calorie counting function, as there are a number of reasons calories can fluctuate; one being digestion varies from person to person.
MFP allows clients to identify small changes that can have a big impact on your calorie intake over time. This might be swapping your morning latte for a black coffee or fruit juice for actual fruit. These small changes all add up, and without you even feeling like a chore. You may find that you begin looking differently at that extra bit of cheese, extra biscuit or extra glass of wine when you know you'll be recording it.
MFP provides you with a breakdown of each meal that you input into it. It highlights the proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrates in your meal and also calories. We use this to help us develop an understanding of what type of individual nutritional balance works for you. For some people it may be they need more healthy fats, for others more carbohydrates.
We like to use MFP as an education tool. It's easier to make informed decisions about food when you understand what is in the food you're eating. It will help you to understand portion sizes. The more you track, the easier it will be to identify where you can make changes to your meal plate to move you towards your goal. An example could be reducing the amount of mashed potatoes and increasing your veggies!
The secret to success
Overall, there is evidence that monitoring your nutrition intake can help maximize weight loss. Many studies have found a significant link between keeping track of your food and weight loss. By monitoring your food, you become more aware of what you put in your body, how it makes you feel, and how it affects your weight. Over time, you learn to develop healthy eating habits.