Did you guys know that one of the huge differences between folks who have money in savings and those who don’t is a pretty small detail? The folks with money in savings log exactly where their money goes. That’s right, they are careful and meticulous in tracking where their money is going. This discipline helps keep folks on budget and in the ‘black’ with finances. Tracking is a very real and visual tool that helps show a person exactly where their money is going. In this way, they can cut something out or refrain from purchasing something that does not fit the budget, nor does it meet the goals they have set for their finances.
In the same manner, tracking your caloric intake helps you manage and refrain from taking in calories that aren’t ‘in the budget’. This year, one of my weight loss tactics is to employ this strategy. I am logging everything that goes in to my mouth, and let me tell you, the first week was an eye-opening experience for me. I had to make some changes to fit my food into my caloric goals. Thankfully, I found an app that is helping me keep track of food, exercise, and water intake. The best part is the price: free!
My Fitness Pal
This is the home screen of the app. At a glance you can see what you have logged for the day, what your current food percent intakes are, your activity feed (which will include friends, if they also use this app), and your easy category buttons along the bottom.
This website and app help keep me on track in several ways. I am doing the “gallon of water a day” challenge. This app helps me log the cups of water I drink with an easy scrolling numeric. As soon as I hit 16 cups of water, have reached that goal!
You can add foods easily with either the ‘+’ button or by adding to the diary through the button at the top. I have yet to find a food that wasn’t in the database already. This includes my German brötchen, beer, Pepsi, and bakery items. Another very cool feature is it remembers what foods you usually log together. My coffee and creamer pop up together. My cereal and my milk show up together. It’s easy to check both items and add them in bulk. Now that I am choosing lower carb options like eggs and veggies in the mornings, those can also be checked off ‘in bulk’.
Another great part of the app is the recipe log. I can create my own recipes in the app and it will give me the nutrition facts for my portions.
The charts are another great way to keep track of what is going on. You can upgrade to a Premium membership with a couple different cost options if you really want to track those macro calories, but the free version works well for me.
You can also log your exercises annually, or you can link this app to your MapMyWalk app (which I do). There are several linkable step counting and exercise bluetooth option to sync with this app. There are so many, I had to look several up online 😉
Once you have set up your personal goals, you will get encouragement or reminders as you enter food for the day. It’s also easy to copy a meal that you will have repeatedly under each meal section with the ‘…more’ button. It’s also very easy to delete and entry by swiping the menu item to the left to find a red ‘delete’ button show up.
“But Kay, I HATE tracking my food!!!” I know, I know, I hate doing it too. But I want to keep my calories ‘in the black’ instead of maintaining my laziness. I really do want to wear my pretty skirts and feel good in my jeans. THAT is my goal.
This is part of a blogging series: Scaling Back