A lot of times people assume that we trainers eat what we want and don’t worry about what we eat. This could not be further from the truth. There are some out there that don’t worry about what they eat, but most I know and have talked to about this watch what they eat in some way. I started using the MyFitnessPal app to see how hard it was to truly count calories and hold myself accountable with the food I eat. Funny enough it was hard in the beginning, but for a very short time. As I became more accustomed to the MyFitnessPal app I found it to only take a couple of minutes each day to keep track of what I put into my body. Here are three takeaways from my experience.
Lesson 1 –
It truly is calories in and calories out. The average person is supposed to eat about 2000 calories per day. If you eat more calories than your 2000 then you gain wait. If you eat less, then you are going to lose weight. But not all foods are equal when it comes to calories. Nutrient dense foods allow you to eat more with less total calorie consumption. This usually means vegetables instead of bread. If you are like me you like to eat… a lot. So that I can feel full I eat vegetables where I can. Things like spinach and carrots can fill you up while keeping calories low. Making smarter choices can be difficult, but as long as you hit your correct numbers when it comes to total calories you will be okay. The great thing about the MyFitnessPal app is when you first set it up you it will tell you how many calories you should eat each day to achieve the goal you input into the app.
Lesson 2 –
Hit you protein numbers. Going off of lesson 1, fats, carbs, and protein are all important. The issue is most of us don’t actually get enough protein. There are many different studies out there showing how much protein people should get from, a sedentary individual to an athlete. For most of us I suggest around .8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. The problem is when you start tracking your food, you will notice that you are probably way off of that number for protein. When I started using MyFitnessPal to count calories and keep track of the food I eat, I realized how low I actually was. It is hard to build muscle if you are not eating enough protein. I added protein to get to my number and watched my strength increase and weight drop.
If you wonder how much protein you should have or just more information on protein check out this article I wrote :
All About Protein
Lesson 3 –
If you are serious about weight loss you have to track your food. As a trainer I am not around my clients all day long. We can talk during sessions about what they eat, but there is only so much that we can go over. And who knows if they are being 100% honest. With MyFitnessPal we can see what each other is eating and have accountability to each other. Plus I can see if they aren’t being honest with me and their selves. How is that you may ask? If they come to me wondering why they aren’t losing weight, we can look at MyFitnessPal and if everything they eat and enter shows that they are eating the right number of calories but no weight loss is occurring, there is something amiss. They may not be putting everything into the app or maybe they aren’t actually eating enough.
As long as you actually put some time into learning to use the app in the beginning you will find it very easy to use. Then you must consistently use they app and track your food. If you do this you can see some amazing results.