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April 6, 2012 at 8:00 AMComments: 4 Faves: 0

My Fitness Pal App for Weight Loss: A Skinny Chef Reveals Her Secret!

By Sue More Blogs by This Author

I admit it; I'm a bit of a closet junk food junky. I preach and practice healthy eating most of the time but every now and then, I hide a bag of salt and vinegar chips, Twizzlers, or even a stash of M&M’s in my glove compartment. (Although I recommend finding another hiding spot for the M&M’s in the summer.)

Is it really all that bad to have a splurge every now and then? I've always tried to live in by the motto "everything in moderation." This means eating veggies, protein, lean meats, low carbs. But it also means that a glass of wine with dinner or a Twizzler or two isn't going to through your diet goals off the rails if you don't allow it to. If I allow myself these little treats I am more likely to stick with my healthy eating program. The key is keeping track of what you are eating and tipping the scales more towards healthy.

my fitness pal appSmartphone App - My Fitness Pal

I recently downloaded an app on my phone called "My Fitness Pal," which adds the fat, calories, and all the nutrients of the foods I eat throughout the day. I programmed it to allow me 2,000 calories a day and on the first day, I ate like a I normally do.

  • Breakfast - A whole-wheat piece of toast with natural peanut butter and a glass of orange juice, as well as a cup of coffee with cream.
  • Mid Morning Snack - Bag of jalapeño flavored cheetos.
  • Lunch - Chicken caesar salad.
  • Mid Afternoon - More coffee and cream.
  • Pre-Exercise - Apple and gatorade.
  • Dinner - Stir-fryed hoisen pork with pea Shoots, red peppers, and a side of soba noodles.
  • Night Time Snack - Cheese and crackers 2 glasses of wine.

I was shocked to see just how many calories I was eating - and just how much I had to exercise to burn those calories!

Tracking my eating made realize that I was eating tons of unnecessary calories every day. For example the cream I add to my coffee added as many calories as a bag of chips! And did I really need the cheetos? And the wine? Well let’s just say I’d rather go an extra 10 miles on the bike. ;p

All in all, I didn’t do THAT bad. After all, I did manage to stay under the 2000 calorie mark.

Eating Consciously

Being conscious of what I put in my mouth causes me to think twice about my choices, especially since I know I have to exercise to burn them off.

After my well-behaved day of eating only 2000 calories, my husband comes home with cheesecake. I wanted a piece so badly, but that would have meant exercising enough to burn it off. (Just a sliver of cheesecake takes an hour and 15 minutes of biking to burn off!) Still, I couldn't help myself, and yes, I did bike 15 miles the very next day. (And then I ate another.)

Still, it is SO much easier to eat right than to get on the endless treadmill of keeping up with over consuming.

Eat Smart

Healthy doesn't mean eating salads for every meal! You CAN have the satisfaction and flavor without all the fat and calories. Here are some quick and easy comfort food recipes, which are close to their more fattening counterparts yet skinnied down to keep you on track.

More from Sue Others Are Reading


  • I am using the same app on my droid. It really opened my eyes to the amount of calories I'm eating every day. I was shocked! But, like most things in life, I needed to learn to modify my habits to be more moderate. So, at this point I'm trying, although only marginally successfully, to curb it to the calories I need, rather than desire. Good blog, and great recipes! I'm going to have to try the Chicken Parm in the future. It sounds delicious!

  • Excellent tips, Sue! Taking the time to pay attention to what we eat is a straightforward way to maintain our weight. Tracking our calories is not only a mindful task, but it can also be quite eye-opening as we learn what nutrients are (or are not) included within our diet. I wrote about My Fitness Pal in addition to a few of my other favorite nutrition apps a while back myself:

    I just love the variety of tools available to us as there is certainly one for everyone!

  • Great app!

  • There are so many great resources in chrome apps from nutrition to weight loss to personal training advice. Just discovering them and loving it!!

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