Wednesday, June 13

My Food Diary

I would like to put out a recommendation for My Food Diary. It's an online food journal and support center for weight loss. I have been working and stalling and working and stalling for years to achieve certain specific fitness goals, and MFD has contributed to the successes I've had. I'm now stepping up and focusing more seriously on reaching my goals this summer, and MFD is an essential tool for me. It has been a great resource to teach me how to eat well and track my progress. It's $9 a month, which I think is GREAT (compared to Weight Watchers $12 or so per week and you have fewer tools). The features include:
  • a very large database of foods, including hundreds of restaurants
  • the ability to add your own recipes by inputing ingredients, amounts, and number of servings. It'll then give you the nutrition data per serving and add that to your "Fridge", which is your personal database of foods you eat.
  • a body log, where you record your weight and measurements. It tracks it on a graph and lists how many pounds or inches you have lost, and how many pounds you have left to lose.
  • an active forum where you can post questions, get support and learn more tools and ideas. I am in a group of about 7 women whose motto is "deadly determined" to reach our goals, for our own health, fitness and long-term wellness.
  • a daily summary of how many calories you have left in the day to lose __ pounds per week and maintain your weight. It'll tell you "if every day were like today, in one month you would weigh ___" and it gives what date you'd reach our target weight.
How do you use it? Daily, you go to your Fridge, enter what you are eating or will eat, and it adds it to your diary for the day. It gives you a "smiley" on the summary page for things such as reaching daily amounts for vitamins and minerals (A, C, Iron, Calcium), high fiber, low saturated fat, water consumption, no dessert, and exercise. You get frowns for high sodium, no exercise, not enough calories, too many calories, and more.

The fridge starts out empty when you sign up. Over time, you'll add the foods you eat, like milk, cheese, etc. You can put anything in your fridge - ANYTHING. If a brand or type of food isn't in the existing MFD database, chances are the company's website publishes the nutrition data. If you have the nutrition label from the package, you can quickly add it to your fridge.

With the recipe building feature, I am able to add in the decadent desserts I sometimes make in order to know how many calories a slice contains.

The system doesn't let you eat too few calories without warning you. You are supposed to eat the calories you earn by exercising. Why? If you are already on a 1400 calorie diet to lose weight, but you burn 500 that day with exercise and don't eat those calories back, you essentially net 900 calories, which is way too few to be healthy and to lose weight in a healthy way. Your metabolism will slow and your body will store what you eat once it enters survival mode at that calorie level.

It works when I use and stay in my calorie range and log my food intake. The times it doesn't work = user error/failure, not method error. I know that not everyone is like this, but I believe I will need to be mindful on a long-term basis about what I eat in order to be fit and healthy. It's a good wake-up call to see how calories quickly add up without really realizing it.

The only downside is that a trial period isn't available.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

That sounds cool. And motivational!