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  • Michael Keane

My Fitness Pal : Your Accountability Buddy



What This Isn’t


This isn’t a “get rich quick” scheme for me. I don’t get paid each time you log into your My Fitness Pal (MFP) account to track your bodyweight, food consumption, chat with friends, look up recipes, read their blog, or use their app for any other of its many uses. Sounds awesome, right? Well it is!


What This Is


What my goal for this blog IS to highlight one practice you can incorporate into your daily ritual to ensure that you reach your goal.


To get started, you input your sex, age, activity level and goal then the app produces generic calorie and macronutrient goals for you. It would behoove you to get input from your trainer for a more specific, goal-oriented approach.


MFP is primarily used to track your food consumption. As you go through your day, you can enter what you eat in a number of ways. You can use the search box or you can scan a barcode. You can also look up a restaurant’s specific menu at popular restaurants and also input your own recipes. You can whip something up for you and your family, save it, then recall it for simple re-entering. This saves so much time!

Sold yet? Don’t be.


The Problem


As the day progresses and we get more tired, our brain gets deprived and our decision-making process slowly starts to deteriorate. Have you ever stayed up late at night and started to crave sugary snacks? My bet is that you have.


This is a problem because towards the end of the day, you are going to hit your calorie and macronutrient goals leaving you with no room for any more food. But when you are tired, and mentally weak, you will surrender to the temptation. Don’t do this. Don’t be weak!


We all know it takes months to earn the body we deserve and only days to lose it!


The Solution


PLAN ALL OF YOUR MEALS THE DAY BEFORE and stick to them. The best way to do this is to tack it on to the end of the day. About an hour before bed, I open MFP and start to plan and input my food for the next day.

Some things to consider when doing this include:


  • Wake time

  • When you are going to be training and at what intensity

  • Your schedule (should your meal prep and pack a lunch?)

  • Family time

  • Sleep time


When I’m doing this, I’m constantly referring to the “Nutrition” tab to make sure that I’m not going over my allotments for each metric. After some reorganization and consolidation, I finalize my plan and STICK TO IT!


You’ve heard many a time that nutrition is responsible for 80% of your progress and fitness the rest. This idea is close, but not quite the whole picture. I believe that sleep/recovery owns 50%, nutrition/diet 30%, and fitness/activity 20% of the responsibility to get you to where you are going.


If your sleep and recovery is not under control, you will not operate at a baseline level. From a productivity aspect, when you are sleep deprived, it takes you longer to complete tasks and you often have to go back to correct mistakes wasting more time. The same can be said for aspects of physical fitness as well. You will not be operating at peak potential, you won’t make sound food choices and you will drive right passed the gym to go home after work. You will find every excuse to not train and eat appropriately.


You need to prioritize your sleep, develop sound habits around your nutrition routine (incorporate the tips from this blog) and stay physical active for the majority of the day.

“By Failing to Prepare, You Are Preparing to Fail” -- Benjamin Franklin


Don’t Fall Into This Trap!


If your goal is to lose fat and you decide to track your exercise with this app as well, it will give you an estimate of the amount of calories you burned during your training session. DO NOT eat these calories! The overall principle to get you to burn that fat is to be in a caloric deficit. By eating your exercise, you are normalizing the hard work you put in.


If You Only Read One Thing:


  • Download My Fitness Pal right now, set it up, and display it on your home screen

  • Let your trainer know that you have done so. This will ensure that you both work towards a common goal!

  • Set a timer towards the end of the day as a reminder to plan for the next day

  • Get to bed at an appropriate time

  • Create a Course of Action and STICK TO IT

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