Counting Calories With MyFitnessPal
I should really write about all the health/fitness apps I use, but for right now I want to talk about MyFitnessPal. The others might come up in the course of writing this anyway.
One of the things to do when you're trying to get healthier or change your diet is to start counting calories. Since I'm doing that right now I wanted to write about this app because it's the best calorie counter that I've found.
It's an app and also a website. All the information syncs between the two.
It has a huge library of food that is easily searchable. Any user can submit new food to it. Other users can then confirm nutritional info as correct and it will end up in their general library for everyone to use.
The last time I used it was over 6 months ago and since then they've added a new feature. Scanning barcodes! I can't believe how easy this makes it to track calories. Just point your phone at the barcodes of food or ingredients as you pull them out to make a meal. It's database is really good at giving you the exact information for different brand name foods.
MyFitnessPal also lets you set goals and adjusts calorie requirements to help you reach them. It's nice that it will do that for you and you don't have to manually adjust calorie goals from week to week.
It also integrates with other apps and services. I use it with Runkeeper and a Withings scale. It works flawlessly with them.
I step on my Withings scale every morning and my info is synced to their service, which updates my weight in MyFitnessPal.
Whenever I do physical activity I turn on Runkeeper and monitor my running, walking, or biking. Once an activity is completed it automatically uploads the activity and how many calories I burned to MyFitnessPal.
The MyFitnessPal app also works with the built in step tracker in iOS8. As I move around throughout the day MyFitnessPal will add my steps tracked through my iPhone to my daily exercise and adjust my calories accordingly.
Basically I'm using these apps in conjunction to automate monitoring my health as much as possible. It still requires a little bit of work, but with my current setup it's less than 5 minutes of effort for me each day.
I would highly suggest checking out MyFitnessPal. Especially if you've thought about tracking your calories before but have never gotten around to it. It's awesome and completely free.