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myfitnesspal - has it helped anyone in losing weight?

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Old 11-09-2014, 08:07 PM   #1
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Default myfitnesspal - has it helped anyone in losing weight?

For my entire weight loss journey I have focused on eating healthy/clean, exercising, relaxing with yoga, & avoiding junk food and candies by not buying them to have in the house. That was when I was in my teens and I had no problem losing weight over time. But now I'm 24 and living in a house with three generations and TONS of terrible foods! Cakes, doughnuts, sweet tea, ice cream, chips, cookies, candy, you name it and we have it.

So needless to say I'm having a tough time living around all these foods with other's pushing me to eat more. So until I move out I thought about using myfitnesspal to count calories so I can work around my slips when I indulge in unhealthy foods. The problem is I've never done it before and I don't have a smart phone. I would have to go to my computer and log it all in that way.

Has this program helped anyone? Does it only work when you have it on hand like on a smart phone or tablet? Thanks in advance for the information
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:10 PM   #2
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A definite YES from my corner! I discovered a couple things when I started using MFP in addition to the wonderful support in this forum.

One was that I had absolutely no clue whatsoever how much sodium was in the foods I was eating. That alone explained why I'd gain for a few days or level off other days when I thought I was eating good and exercising. Then within 2 days I'd lose 5 lbs. With all the salt I ingested it caused me to have a water weight gain. What made it worse was in the beginning yesterday I could be 500 under my amount and then today I could be over by more than 2,000. Those huge differences were making a huge dent in my weight loss. Now I can keep an eye on that.

I try to make up my 'menu' a day in advance to make sure I'm not over my calories, sodium, fat or sugar recommended levels. This helps me eat more healthy. You can also add in any exercises you do and it will add the calories you burned to your overall calorie count for the day. (Though be aware the calories burned for the exercises are usually double or triple what they should be on MFP.) Some people use the extra calories to eat a treat, others don't. Personally I don't because I'm never sure of the exact calories I burned.

You mentioned you don't have a smartphone. The app is really only good for one thing IMHO... Using the barcode scanner to enter new foods. (I LOVE THAT FEATURE! LOL) Other than that I prefer using the site anyway.

I was very firm about never counting calories in my diet. I thought it was an unnecessary hassle. I tried to eat good, but I really wasn't in the end. After many people mentioned it here I finally decided to at least take a look. I was hooked after just a few minutes! Entering your foods for the day is very easy and it keeps a list of your recent foods and a list of foods you eat often. Searching for foods in the database is easy and I've only had one meal not come up in it so far and it was from a private restaurant. You can also keep track of your weight. (Of course.)

Overall I'd say it's definitely worth at least a try for a few days. Since I started using MFP I've seen how much quicker my weight is coming off the past few weeks. If you decide to try it feel free to add me as a friend. My ID is JesslanRose.
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:32 PM   #3
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I love MyFitnessPal. It's easy to use, only takes a couple minutes out of my day, and makes me feel comfortable with eating whatever foods I like, while encouraging me to make healthier choices overall.

With that said, it did NOT work for me when I was using the website and didn't have a smartphone. Even though I sit at a desk all day, my phone is the thing that's with me when I'm cooking and when I go out for meals. It's easy and convenient to pull my phone from my pocket and make sure I have enough calories for an item on a menu, for example. And even in front of my fridge it's easier to grab my phone to see what I planned to eat today, rather than open the laptop and sign in online.

I had a completely different mindset and use of MFP when I used the website. It was a chore to go in and enter my data every day, and I would get annoyed with using it and eventually stop, then convince myself it's something I should do, which would restart the cycle. That may not apply to everyone and it may not apply to you; it's just the way it was for me.

I also find it much easier to enter foods from my phone, not only because of the barcode scanner but also because more data about searched foods are displayed before I add them to the diary. Sometimes there are a lot of listings for the same item, some of which have slightly different nutritional contents (presumably versions from other countries) or use a different measurement (grams versus ounces, or cups or tablespoons) than what I'd like to use. The website gives me only some of this info up front, wheras the app lets me delve into the whole listing before adding it.

One thing you might consider if you run into troubles with the website and aren't prepared to buy a smartphone & cell plan, is an iPod touch. You could install the app on that and also use it for music and such. You wouldn't have internet when out and about, but you could always have it with you to know how many calories you have left, and it's easy to make food notes in the app so you can pull up & enter new stuff when you get home. It would save data for anything you've eaten before or have pre-entered. I think that would be almost as convenient as having MFP on a smartphone.

Anyway, you might have a completely different experience than I did with the website, so I definitely encourage giving it a try! Best of luck with it, and best wishes for your weight loss journey.
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:02 PM   #4
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I started using the website to track calories in addition to counting my WW points because I was afraid I was eating too little calories with not using my weekly points, and being under my daily points by 1-2 fairly often.

MFP is pretty great though. I've been logging food and weight loss in it since the one day I tried it just to check. Right now it's more to see how much WW points align with calorie intake, but if I weren't doing WW then I'd most definitely be using it. Plus tracking WW points is very similar to tracking calories.

Anyway, more on topic. The website is actually really easy to use. A ton of foods, even recipes I found online, are in it's database, and it's easy to add a recipe if for whatever reason it's not. I'll usually enter stuff twice a day, once around now (which is about an hour after I actually get up) and then once more towards bedtime at night, when I check these forums again. I've found having lots of stuff to update kinda helps keep me on track.

Ultimately though, just try it out. It may work for you, it may not. It's free to sign up so there's nothing to lose, and if it does work for you, it's awesome

If you do decide to sign up and want some buddies (cause you can add friends in the app and on the website) then my username there is Sunarie.
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:32 PM   #5
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I also use MyFitnessPal and I think it's a great tool. I don't often use it from my phone. I log what I plan to eat in the morning with 100-200 leftover calories so I can have a snack if I get hungry. Make a note to myself if there are any edits to be made, then log those in the evening to finish out my diary for the day.

It's been very helpful to me. I've used it from the beginning.
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:40 PM   #6
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I use it and log religiously. Even though I have all the calories of pretty much every food/dish that I'll ever eat or make memorized at this point It helps me stay accountable and keep my eating organized. Also its helpful to track my macros and see how different combos effect me(like protein intake for example). I like to log my food as far in advance as I am able to. The more in advance I log my food, the easier it is to stay on plan for me. This week I logged everything last night and have all my food logged through Friday.
Its very easy to be inaccurate on the site though and I would suggest buying a food scale or at least being very meticulous in measuring spoons/cups and trying to always guess a little higher just in case if you're unsure.
Good luck! I think calorie counting is the way to go and personally its how I've lost all my weight.
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dottington View Post
I use it and log religiously. Even though I have all the calories of pretty much every food/dish that I'll ever eat or make memorized at this point It helps me stay accountable and keep my eating organized.
Keeping accountable is important... but also:

I have COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN about food I have eaten sometimes. Just the other day I logged into MFP in the evening and was reminded that I ate a (dark) chocolate bar at lunch. I was just going in to enter dark chocolate (I specifically try to eat a certain amount every day/week), and if I hadn't checked in I would have eaten a second chocolate bar. >.<;;

I've also forgotten about irregular things I've eaten. Like if I bought a smoothie on the run in the morning, I might not remember having breakfast.

I don't know if it's like taking a regular pill, where you can easily forget if the one you remember is from yesterday or today, or if I just have a bad memory in general... but either way, logging is important for me. Even if I remember all the calories for everything I eat, I don't think I will ever stop logging. I'm in it for life!
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Old 11-10-2014, 04:22 PM   #8
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I use it religiously and have for the past 6 months or so. It's a great tool for knowing your calories, which I find I actually UNDER eat, but it's also great for know your percentages of fat, carbs and protein.

I try to keep my carb percentage very low and it's a way for me to track. I always find it better to track, then there's no guess work. My trainer highly recommended it to me and it really makes a difference.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:15 PM   #9
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i use myfitness pal along with my Fitbit braclet and it really shows me how many calories im burning and how much i can eat. Used together they are amazing! I've lost 135 lbs with the healthy eating and fitnesspal. I see so many people do the fad diets and fail because its just "temporary" to them.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:29 AM   #10
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Wow thanks for all the replies! I read through them all and I ultimately decided to go for it and try MyFitnessPal out. My husband offered to join me so we could work together when he found out, too, so more support here at home .

After the first day of logging food (today is my fourth, but I missed two days ) I realized how much salt and sugar I was eating! I went over my max allotted salt by the end of lunch! Also, I realized I was short on carbs and protein on a day to day basis, so that could be why I feel so hungry or sluggish at times. I've tried to adjust my eating a little at a time and I already feel more confident about my weightloss. I've lost a little over two pounds so far, which is very fast for just four days, so maybe it's water weight from cutting out all the excess salt. Either way, it's still a confidence booster and a push to keep going.

I just figured out how to add new people so I'll be adding everyone who put their username in their reply.

Thanks!
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrUki View Post
I realized how much salt and sugar I was eating! I went over my max allotted salt by the end of lunch!
Yeah, isn't it amazing? When I first started I lost like 12 pounds in a few days which I assume was water weight from all the salt I had been eating.

Quote:
Also, I realized I was short on carbs and protein on a day to day basis, so that could be why I feel so hungry or sluggish at times.
Could be. Note that you can change the macronutrient goals as well as all the other goals (including manually setting your calorie intake if you want). I changed mine to 30% Protein, 20% Carbs, 50% Fat on the advice of my nutrition coach (not a dietitian/doctor, but a pretty smart guy who does my DXA scans). Eating carbs makes me feel hungry, so I minimize it somewhat, but you can try out different ratios to find out what works for you.

The other advice/info I got was that younger people (as in teenagers - I'm only 29 and don't fit in this category) need more carbs generally speaking, and as we age it's less necessary to have that readily burnable fuel I guess, so fat is a good choice. And anyway, fat makes me feel full which makes it easier to get through the day.

But I suspect everyone functions a little differently depending on their lifestyle/age/gender/genes, so... just saying, you don't have to follow the rules MyFitnessPal sets for you. Get advice from someone you trust (whether that be your doctor, fitness trainer, etc) and set goals that work well for you.
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faiora View Post

Could be. Note that you can change the macronutrient goals as well as all the other goals (including manually setting your calorie intake if you want). I changed mine to 30% Protein, 20% Carbs, 50% Fat on the advice of my nutrition coach (not a dietitian/doctor, but a pretty smart guy who does my DXA scans). Eating carbs makes me feel hungry, so I minimize it somewhat, but you can try out different ratios to find out what works for you.
I didn't know that you could change all of that. I feel like a novice at this even though I've been losing weight for a while now

I had gone to my doctor for blood tests for anemia and low energy but my vitamin B and iron were just within normal range so that's why I assumed how I felt was my diet. Right now I live with two generations of my family (three total in the house, with sometimes four ) and so I don't get to eat like I'd like to because of disagreements over kitchen appliances and stocking. Though, it could be anything, really.

I'd never considered diving up my diet like you described. I think I will look into it, maybe I'll find something that is right for me.

Thanks for the advice
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Old 11-14-2014, 02:12 PM   #13
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MyFitnessPal definitely did help me, although I made the switch to LoseIt for the iPhone recently.
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Old 11-16-2014, 02:51 PM   #14
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My fitness pal works for me in keeping track of my calorie intake!

I think this is because:
-I weigh/measure everything that goes in my mouth.
-I keep track of what "maintenance calories" would be at lower weights and adjust my calorie restriction accordingly.
-I don't eat back exercise calories.
-I use the activity level below the one I actually think I am for my profile.
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Old 11-16-2014, 02:56 PM   #15
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I use and love my fitness pal. I find it makes me think about my choices and it's kind of fun to enter in my food and exercise. You really feel bad if you go over your calories.

Question: how do you guys enter your weight loss graphs at the bottom of your posts? First day here! I created mine but don't know how to attach it. Tia!
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