Beating the Scale (part 2), and Journaling on the Internet

I posted a couple weeks ago about how I’ve stepped back a bit on weighing myself. I decided to weigh myself once a week on Fridays. Except last week I just didn’t feel like it, so I didn’t. This week, when I got on the scale I was amazed. Yet again, without constant daily vigilance, nothing catastrophic happened! Amazing! I’m really liking this new freedom from scale tyranny! I was even down a pound and a half this morning, which may have been attributable to…

I signed up to try an online food tracking web site. I’ve decided that doing reviews of the various sites might be a fun few articles for GYFT, since my editor there has been hinting lately that he’d like some more product reviews. So this week I’m trying out MyFitnessPal. So far I have some thoughts, which I’ll expand upon later, but what it boils down to is, when you’re used to writing down with pencil and paper what you’ve eaten it’s a bit of a hassle to have to search for it in their database, try to figure out what the right one is among the result set, then try to figure out what the portion you ate was when all they have are options like “100 grams.” WTF is that in the real world, please?? I imagine that will probably be the case with any food tracking site though. Welcome to the 21st Century!

Also the interface has a relentless focus on weight loss, which is a little off-puting to me. Not everybody who is tracking needs to lose weight. I’m just trying to maintain here, so daily summaries that tell me how if I ate like this every day, in 4 weeks I’d weigh (X which represents a several pound loss) are kind of annoying.

On the plus side, seeing my running total through the day and how much I have left at any point is nice and triggers a bit of a game instinct in me, causing me to try to stay under my target for the day. Never really get that with pen and paper tracking.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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7 Responses to “Beating the Scale (part 2), and Journaling on the Internet”

  1. Mary Says:

    I totally know what you mean about MFP focusing on weight loss. I have a friend who was in a horrible cycling accident and had his jaw wired shut – already underweight, he decided to use MFP to track his calories to make sure he was getting enough in his liquid diet to not only sustain his weight but try to gain some. He stopped after a few days, saying it was frustrating to get messages about how to do better with cutting calories when that wasn’t even his goal.

  2. Jennifer Says:

    I found MFP to be too much time – I cook most of my food and use very few prepackaged products, and getting my different recipes in there was a pain. I also ad lib a lot of my cooking. I have a good general sense of things. I am, of course, used to figuring out my portions and writing them down with pen and paper. I want to track specifically for my diabetes, and MFP didn’t adapt well to that need.

    • Laina Says:

      Oh yeah – that too! Thanks for pointing that out! I eat a salad for lunch every day at work and it’s a pain to look up every single ingredient I might have put on it, guess how much I added, ad nauseum. Same with dinners – last night I had to try to guess how much of each ingredient I’d actually eaten of the frozen leftovers we defrosted (so knowing the ingredients was guesswork to). It’s definitely more of an app for people who are eating mostly prepackaged foods, and most people who are conscientious of their intake are NOT.
      So much easier just to write down with a pen a ballpark based on what I know. Or, if they allowed me to just put in a caloric figure based on what I know is in my food, but haven’t found that to be an option either.
      Anyway, thanks for the comment – something I’d been irritated by but hadn’t quite put words to yet, crystallized. 🙂

  3. Trystan Says:

    Back when I gave a tiny crap, I liked using http://www.fitday.com/ bec. it’s super basic & is just a no-frills food journal / calorie counter w/areas to track exercise & goals IF you want to. You can see charts about what % of your intake is protein, carbs, fat, different vitamins, etc, if that matters. No rah-rah BS, no advice, doesn’t have to be public or social or anything. Looks like there’s a mobile app for it now too.

  4. Donna Says:

    Yes, I like fit day too. Especially since it give nutrition info along with tracking calories in and out. For foods not in their database, they let you add some too.


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