Mistakes I Made With My Fitness Pal & WIW

After unsubscribing to Weight Watchers (because I wasn't feeling it this time around) I started using the free program MyFitnessPal. You've probably heard of it before, but if you haven't, it's a website/app that you can use for free, that is a gigantic database of food information that you can use to track your calorie intake/expenditure.

At first, I really wasn't getting anywhere with it. I don't know if it's because I wasn't 100% committed, or if I was in a rut, or what was going on, but I didn't see much happening on the scale. Looking back, I think it was a combination of things, including a few mistakes I made with the MFP app.


  • My first mistake with MFP is that I forgot to change my activity level to low. I set it a long time ago when I was still at work, which was a much higher activity level than what I do while I'm home. I obviously burn way more calories when I'm working an 8-12 hour nursing shift, running from patient to patient, than I do currently at home. I do houseclean and make meals and play with Harper, but it's nowhere near the amount of physical exercise that I get at work. I'm going back next week, and I will have to remember to switch it back when I do! For me, that's a difference of about 400 calories! 
When I return to work, I will switch to Active!



  • My next mistake was that I wasn't finishing my daily tracking. I would faithfully track until suppertime, and just assume that my supper wasn't over the 700+ calories I had left for the day. I have a little confession to make. I've been known to be a nighttime binger. So, obviously my leftover calories wouldn't always be enough to cover me eating whatever I wanted. 



  • Next on the list. I was a nighttime binger. Obviously I wasn't really committed to writing down what I ate and staying within my daily calorie goals. That needed to stop. One way I have worked on this is to eat more during the day. If I'm actually not hungry, I'm much less likely to go crazy at night. Another way I've fixed this is to actually keep chocolate in the house. That's right, whole chocolate bars. Just not what you think. I've been buying dark chocolate bars and if I have a bad chocolate craving, I'll have 3 squares and then re-evaluate. Do I want more? I think it really helps me to not get anything milk chocolate because I really would eat it all, but there is only so much dark chocolate I can take. I like it some, but not enough to eat a whole bar. I've got a bar in the cupboard that I've been working on for 3 weeks! In the past, I've been known to go nuts if I don't have anything sweet to eat and literally eat half a bag of chocolate chips. I've also been keeping things like Jello Pudding cups in the fridge, or Thinsations cookie packs. If I need something sweet, it's there, but it's in easy packages so I don't overdo it. 



  • I was only tracking Monday-Friday. Like I said in the previous point, I wasn't fully committed. I was being pretty good all week, and then on Saturday/Sunday I'd go nuts and basically erase any progress I had made. Well, the weekends were big calorie drains for me. Friday night we went to wing night, and I wouldn't track it. Saturday I'd just not even bother tracking at all. We would go to the market and have lunch, and then have something else unhealthy for supper, like pizza or something. Then sunday is always our family day, and we end up eating sunday dinner at Casey's parents house. It doesn't have to be unhealthy, but it's usually followed by ice cream or something like that. 

Check it out! 30 day streak! 
  • I was trusting that the exercise part was accurate. I didn't realize how inaccurate this was until I bought myself a Polar FT4 heart rate monitor. This photo is from hockey last week. 70 minutes with only 1 sub. MFP says I burned 800. That's a big difference!! So, if you're looking to get an accurate reading on your calorie burn, you need to invest in the right technology. Or,  you could just trust MFP and make sure you don't eat all your exercise calories. 
Hockey with only 1 sub! PHEW!

  • Finally, my last, and probably biggest mistake, was not being completely honest with what I've eaten. Some days I did it intentionally. Others, not so much. I'm only lying to myself if I neglect to add that hot cocoa, or extra serving of whatever. Be honest with yourself. It might be disappointing when you slip up and you might want to ignore it, but don't! Own up to it! Put your big girl panties on and do it! 

Now, moving on to Weigh In Wednesday with Heather and Ash

This week I'm down 0.8 lbs! A total of 22.4 lbs from November-ish.

While I am happy with the loss, I'm a little bummed because my DietBet weigh in is in 2 days. I'm still 1.9 lbs away from hitting that goal. I know that it was a long shot but I was right on track every week but this one. Looking back, I do realize that it's not really reasonable for people to lose 4% of their body weight in 4 weeks, nor is it really healthy, since I'd need to lose over 2 lbs a week to achieve it.

Casey on the other hand, looks like he's achieved his goal and even lost a bit more! I know, I know, it's quite a bit easier for men, and it's true, but I'm super proud of him! I only really did the DietBet so he would do it with me in the first place, so I'm super glad he did a great job!

Have a great week! 

Weigh In Wednesday




Comments

  1. Awesome NSV owning up to your mistakes!

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  2. Great job on the weight loss! I love MFP!!! But it does take some getting used to!

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    1. Thanks! Yes it does, but once you do it's great!

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  3. I always question how accurate MFP is with calorie burning. I do need to get a Polar monitor.
    I like using MFP, but I do also have my days where I don't record everything. But I am always very honest. There have been times where I've -800 or so in calories. I think it is important to be honest, even if you go way over you calories for the day. I also don't really beat myself up over it. Some days I am legitimately hungrier than others. I just do better the next day. My weight loss is slow, but it's going down little by little and that's what counts.

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    1. It is important to be honest. And, its best to have a slow weight loss! Something you can maintain! :) Thanks for reading!

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  4. Woohoo, what a great reflective post, and great loss this week! Good for Casey, too. You guys are doing great things!

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  5. I feel like your wrote a post about me and MFP! I struggle with ALL the same things. I think that might be why my weight loss has stalled out. This post was really timely for me!

    PS, Congratulations on Casey! That's awesome! I also was shy of winning the dietbet by like 1.2 pounds. SO FRUSTRATING!

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    1. Thanks girl! I hope the new place is treating you well!

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  6. I did a few from your list too-Like erasing my progress on Weekends! and not tracking everything! Congrats on the loss!

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    1. Weekends are the worst! I still struggle with being honest on them. Thanks for reading!

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  7. Great loss this week and you are RIGHT omg. This is totally me with MFP too. ACK I really really really need to invest in a HRM I think. That may be my next expense. I sometimes forget to even hit "submit" for the day. Must less even being truthful with my tracking.

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    1. Thanks :) I love my Polar, it's been very handy!

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  8. I was the same way with MFP. It was stressing me out more then helping me. I do need to get a HRM. I'm trying to lose a some weight before the summer gets here but it's hard. Congrats on the loss.

    http://innerworkingsofthefemalemind.wordpress.com/

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    1. Now that I've got it figured out, it's not stressful at all. My Polar is awesome, I highly recommend it! Thanks for reading :)

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  9. I just switched from WW to MFP, too! I lost 30 pounds in college, going to WW meetings, but after gaining 50 when I developed a chronic illness, I tried WW online. I think the new "free" veggies was messing me up. Anyway, thanks for your honest post! I love reading these weigh in Wednesdays because they always motivate me to honestly track!

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    1. I did the same. Lost a bunch in university with WW but I just couldn't stick with it. I gained it all back and then some before and after I got pregnant. Hoping to make lifestyle changes now, not just temporary fixes. Thanks for reading!

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  10. I love my Polar HRM too! I have yet to try MFP, but think I will soon since I only count calories "in my head" since I tend to eat similar meals every few weeks.

    http://whatadventuresawait.blogspot.com/

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    1. I couldn't count calories in my head, I'm horribly forgetful! Thanks for reading! :)

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  11. I have had the SAME issues with calorie-tracking! I rarely account for meals/snacks/that "the-kids-are-finally-asleep" glass of wine, and I just get too lazy and out of routine over the weekends. It's not the app's fault, it's user error ;) The Polar Heart Rate monitor seems pretty cool, though. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I've learned that only by being honest about what I eat can I get what I want out of my weight loss journey!

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  12. Hi Winter! Thanks for sharing. I've tried several fitness apps and gadgets and, while some I like, the ones that count calories frustrate me. The one I've been using lately is the Pear Sports heart rate monitor and app. It does a great job of counting calories and it connects to MyFitnessPal and MapMyrun. Shameless plug: I wrote a review on the Pear system last week if you're interested (link below (i was unpaid, so just my opinions). Great post, thank you!

    http://mikienglish.com/pear-sports-training-system-product-review/

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    1. Very cool monitor! I am pretty much addicted to my fitbit, and I use my Polar FT4 occasionally. Thanks for reading!

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  13. I'm currently using My Fitness Pal and after reading your post, am happy to learn that I'm not the only one struggling. I definitely start my day with the best intentions but as the day goes on, I forget to log my meals (and snacks). Gotta get better about it and start making changes!

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    1. The best thing you can do for that is to set a reminder in the app to notify you by a certain time if you haven't logged your last meal of the day! Good luck!

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  14. Such a good post! I have made all of these same mistakes as well - thanks for motivating me to get back to using MFP! I love your suggestion about the chocolate and snacks - total deprivation never works long term! Oh - and Happy SITS Day today!

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    1. I have posted a few other things about using MFP to lose weight if you check out my newest post! Thanks for reading!

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  15. Congrats on making progress with your weight loss! Your tips about chocolate sound very sane! Hope you have a fabulous SITS day!

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    1. Thank you! As long as I can have a little bit of chocolate, I don't lose my mind! Haha!

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  16. First let me congratulate you on the loss of 22 lbs and counting. That's great. I love the chocolate tip. I like to keep mine in the freezer (I haven't been able to get on board with the dark thing, but I might be able to do a piece or two...), I'm not a big fan of hard chocolate so I have to let it thaw before I get to eat it.
    I'll be checking out my fitness pal, as I could defenitly use it, and I'm also thinking I might join the Weigh in Wednesday with Heather, Ash, & Erin. Might help keep me motivated.
    Thanks for the great tips.

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    1. Thank you! This post is actually old, I've lost over 40 pounds now! I hope to see you in the linkup! WIW is the thing that keeps me motivated to do well, it keeps me accountable!

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  17. I've been considering trying MFP, and really appreciate the tips. Happy SITS Day!
    Judith

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    1. Thank you! I hope you like it as much as I do!

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  18. If you don't have time for workouts and still want to lose weight, you can try Garcinia Cambogia Extract! I lose weight and so happy about it!

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