Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Using the "Save Meal" Function on My Fitness Pal

Like me, many of you use My Fitness Pal to enter your food and keep track of what you are doing. I find that many meals I have are similar and it becomes cumbersome to fill in the individual ingredients every day. I have been doing this since 2010 so any "shortcut" I can utilize to make this easier I am going to use. Read more by clicking the link!
Before I tell you about the "save meal" option, I wanted to mention a couple of other things that are very important when utilizing this website.

First of all; CHECK all the nutrients. When you search out out a food on MFP, you are relying on other users data entry and HONESTY when they entered it. MFP utilizes a user generated data base and often times people don't want to be honest about the nutrients in their foods. This is especially important if you are "macro conscious". So every time I go to enter a food I click on the link that has "nutritional information" to see what calories, fat, carbs etc. are entered for that food and check against the packaging. More often then not it's correct but occasionally it's not. This could be because the nutrients actually changed or because a person "hand entered" the item and fit it to what they felt comfortable putting into their diary.

If the nutrients aren't correct, you have the option of correcting them. What you do is choose "no" if the information isn't correct and then you edit. I also change the title of the food, adding "corrected" in parenthesis before saving.

Secondly: MEASURE AND WEIGH your food. I cannot stress this enough. If you are "eyeballing" your food you are doing yourself a disservice. You may be eating MORE then what you think or less then what you need. I weigh and measure EVERYTHING that goes into my mouth. If you are at a plateau and don't do this, try and see what happens.

Next: Make sure you go through the "guided set up" on MFP to get your caloric requirement per day in order to lose weight.

Lastly: if you use a HRM make sure you log your workouts to find out how much fuel you've actually taken in during the day. If you are consistently below 1000 calories that may be a reason for a plateau in your weight loss.

Now, on to the good stuff!

I was finding that I was eating many of the same foods and was tired of entering them on a daily basis. What I did was on the drop down under each category you have something called "Quick Tools". Once you've entered all your items, choose "remember meal". I name all my meals KB <insert name of meal here >. Be descriptive so you can easily find it again (all your meals are located on the tab titled "Meals"). This way when I go to enter my turkey burger lunch, all I have to do is search KB TURKEY and all my saved meals that contain Turkey will pop up. I just choose the one I want and hit enter. Voila! All the individual items are then inserted into my diary. The only thing that I have to do now is when packing my lunch, measure out the individual items and enter that into my diary.

This makes it super easy to plan an entire week of eating which is super helpful when you are making grocery lists.

I hope this helped you and, as always, EMAIL ME with comments or questions!

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