The Best Habit I Learned from Fitbit and Reinforced with MyFitness Pal



I haven’t used my Fitbit in a few months because I seem to be pretty good on my 10,000 steps goal pretty consistently and I was mostly using Fitbit to remind me to log my food.  Sort of like the old rubberband trick – except it was my Fitbit watch.  Anyway, that was working great until I discovered MyFitness Pal.

myfitness pal

I love MyFitness Pal mainly because it does a fantastic job of calculating all the nutrition info on each food and summarizing all of it per day, per week, per month so that you can see your collective intake.   You can see on average how much protein you’re eating per day or how much sugar you’re eating.  And most importantly your average calorie consumption per week, or month.  The best part is that once you’ve logged in your starting weight and your goal for weight loss, each day that you finish logging the food and hit “save” the program tells you what you would weight if you ate like that every day.  PRetty cool, hunh?   So yeah, those features have had me preoccupied and away from my Fitbit for a while but I wanted to share with you a wonderful habit I use with MyFitness Pal that I actually learned from using the Fitbit.

That habit is:  Journal everything you plan to eat at the beginning of the day.

I’ll say it again.

Journal everything you plan to eat at the beginning of the day.

Whether it’s Fitbit or MyFitness Pal or Daily Plate, whatever, if you enter in your food for the day first – you can step back and look at it and see if that’s truly how you want to spend your calories.

Before this I would eat and journal as I went and keep a general tally in my head but inevitably I’d tally up before dinner and realize I was already in trouble with my daily allotment.

But Fitbit taught me that if I enter it in first , the program subtracts for you and then you can see how much you have left before you eat anything.  And you have time to correct it or change it according to how you feel that day.

Say you eat a standard  breakfast same thing everyday, and you get to work and you plug that in but you go ahead and plug in what you were planning to eat for lunch and dinner.  But you know you really want that cookie as a late afternoon snack but it’ll cost you 200 calories.  Well, you look at your pre-planned lunch and you se that the little side roll that comes with the salad is 200 calories.

Now you can ask yourself – which one do I really want? The cookie or the dinner roll?

Maybe the only reason you were eating that roll is because you always eat it because that’s the way they serve you the meal when you order it.  Well, today can be different.  You can ask them to hold that bread or give you an apple instead (Panera, anyone?) and then you can have your cookie and still stay on target with your total for the day!  Bravo!

It becomes a fun game because you can play with different foods and really see what’s eating up your calories and decide if that’s really what you want to do.  Suddenly you are in control of this.

This happened to me today.  I bought sides from Zoe’s Kitchen and one of the sides is roasted vegetables but because of the oil, those roasted vegetables are 190 calories.  Well, I really, really, wanted olives with hummus as a snack when I got home.  But when I put in all the other food I was planning for dinner I didn’t have enough.  SO I said to myself, “you’ve had those vegetables two nights in a row and while you like them you really like those braised beans more.  Would it really rock your world if you substituted the Zoe’s veggies for some steamed broccoli? That way you get your greens without the calories and you can move those calories over to the snack you wanted” Well, hello delicious olives!


And yesterday, not only did this work but for whatever crazy  reason those olives were more filling than usual and I didn’t even want my chicken or my vegetables. I had the beans and some grapes and called it a night!

And bonus – one good decision leads to another.  As I was plating my dinner, I decided at the last minute that I really didn’t need that chicken leg. That chicken thigh looked like more than enough! Winning!

smoked chicken with broccoli and beans

And voila!  A wonderful new strategy for winning this weight loss game!  I’ll take all the help I can get!

What about you? What’s your favorite trick using a gadget?  Fitbit? MyFitness Pal? Something else? Tell us about it.  We need all the help we can get!

Today’s eating went like this:

Breakfast – 2 eggs; 2 strips of turkey bacon; 1/4 of an avocado (I include 1/4 of tablespoon of oil b/c I put al little on the pan to prevent sticking)

Lunch – Panera Bread Turkey Chilli – 12 oz.   – Soooooo good and only 290 calories – Holler!!!!

Snack after work – 1 chicken wing; 2 tablespoons of hummus; 10 olives and 6 teardrop yellow tomatoes – that is not their official name but that’s what they look like – can you believe my tomato garden is still producing? Crazy, right?

Dinner – Smoked chicken thigh (skinless); steamed broccoli; 1 serving of Zoes’ Kitchen braised beans – At the last minute I put back that leg – decided after the snacks all I needed was the thigh!  Winning!

Dessert  – grapes and tea

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