How I Lost 10 Kg with MyFitnessPal

Losing Weight with MyFitnessPal

I lost 10 Kg over a period of 6 months using a calorie counter called MyFitnessPal. If you don’t know it yet, MyFitnessPal is a free calorie counter, diet and exercise journal that permits you to log the foods that you consume or the exercises that you perform daily.

MyFitnessPal Data

I chose the slow and steady route instead of opting for rapid weight loss. Even when I was working as a general physician, I always advised my patients to lose weight slowly because the measures that are used to achieve fast weight loss typically require tremendous exercise and extreme dieting. These methods are not ones that you can incorporate as permanent lifestyle changes, and chances are that you’ll easily drop them before you even know it.

So, I started off by defining my weight loss goal. I chose to lose on average 2 Kg per month (that’s equivalent to losing about 0.5 Kg per week). Based on my anthropometric measurements, target weight, and lifestyle, MyFitnessPal determined that I had to consume 1,230 calories/day (net calories). Mind you that I selected zero exercise.

Each time I logged in the amount of calories I had consumed on that day, MyFitnessPal calculated and displayed my 5-week weight projection. It would only notify me if I did not consume less than the minimum amount for women (1000-1200 calories) recommended by the National Institutes of Health. Basically, the site doesn’t encourage you to consume less than recommended for your gender since this is unhealthy (see the screen shot below).

Not Eating Enough MyFitnessPal Warning

Last year, I successfully lost 10 Kg when my (non-pregnant) weight reached its highest after Ramadan. This year, I plan to lose 5 Kg between August and December 2016 (on average 0.25 Kg per month). I’m starting off today at 70 Kg. I shall track my weekly progress and hopefully share some snapshots. You can do it too and I invite you to join me on MyFitnessPal. Send me an email through the contact form with your MyFitnessPal username and I shall join you to cheer you on. However, before choosing to use MyFitnessPal, this is what you need to know:

Why MyFitnessPal is Cool

  • The website has a community of like-minded users, who are free to exchange tips with other fellow members. Users can choose to blog their weight loss journey and share their experiences and struggles with members in their network.
  • The site is user-friendly. Even as a first-time user, you do not need a manual to navigate. Even if you can’t find your way, you can use their FAQ section or post a question in the forum.
  • You can conveniently log food even from anywhere, whether you’re at home or you’re eating out. MyFitnessPal has a huge database of over 3 million different kinds of food (from all corners of the world). Users can choose from this database and log their food on their phone, and all changes that they make on their mobile phones are also made on the website.
  • MyFitnessPal calculates the caloric need of an individual based on the information that the user enters (gender, weight, height, and daily habits). Users, therefore, shouldn’t worry that this calorie counter is a one-size-fits all app.

The Downside of MyFitnessPal

  • The accuracy of their food database is doubtful. Sometimes there are inconsistencies due to multiple entries (with different caloric values) for a specific food type. This can make it frustrating for users to log food because the methods of measurement differ (grams or ounces, cups or tablespoon).
  • If you’re looking for any kind of expert support (nutritionist, dietitian), you won’t find one. You can only get support from members of the forum, whom no know nothing of except for the description on their profile.
  • If you need help and post in the forum, you can only wait and hope that someone notices your post and responds to your question.
  • Some experts believe that calorie counting is unhealthy. First, it’s not the calories that are important, but the types of food that you eat. This said it is more important to eat a healthy and balanced diet than to count the calories. Second, some medical professionals believe calorie counting is an eating disorder.

If you’ve ever used a calorie counter to lose weight please tell us about your experience. Did you have a hard time logging your food and exercise? Did you actually lose weight using this system?

Princila

Princila earned a Doctor of Medicine degree in 2006 and worked as a general practitioner for nearly two years before moving to Saudi Arabia. Her passion for writing took its toll, and she ended up switching careers to work in the medical publishing industry. She also has a passion for healthy food, which prompted her to take several online courses in nutrition and health offered by Wageningen University. Are you into research? You can connect with Princila on ResearchGate or LinkedIn. Visit our About page for details.

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