Approximately 165 days ago I watched the documentary Hungry for Change. A coworker told me all about it so I went home that night and found it on Netflix. It took me a few days, but after the message of Hungry for Change sank in, I decided to start using the My Fitness Pal app and embark on a journey of health. I chose the My Fitness Pal app because being a guy that dieted on and off most my adult life, the last thing I needed was more unused products collecting dust around the house. I weighed in at the beginning of September, 2013 and as of today I’m happy to say I’ve lost 41 pounds. Using the My Fitness Pal app has been my saving grace from a life of yo-yo dieting.
Unfortunately, 20 days into using the app I missed a day. So, instead of having a 160+ day streak, today is my 140th straight day of logging what I eat.
Even though I didn’t lose any weight from Thanksgiving until after New Years, using the app made all the difference in the world for staying aware during a time when it’s easy to lose control.
I would say that’s the biggest difference the app makes: AWARENESS! Even when I eat something high in calories, I’m aware of how many I take in every day. There’s a button at the bottom of the food diary that says, “Complete Entry.” When I click that button at the end of the day, there’s a message that comes up and says, “If every day were like today . . . You’d weigh XXX.X lbs in 5 weeks.” This is the single-most eye-opening feature of the app because on the days I struggled, it helped me visualize why I gained weight in the first place. Then on the days I stayed within my calorie count and got exercise in, seeing that number say what I could weigh in 5 weeks was an amazing motivator.
The biggest takeaway from Hungry for Change that has stayed with me since September is this: this is not a diet! My wife and I have done everything in our power to restrict processed foods and increase whole foods: fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats, eggs, and all-things-paleo. We wouldn’t classify ourselves as Paleo/Primal “only” but we have crowded-out all the processed crap with as much healthy food as possible. I am now aware of what foods make me feel good, what foods make me feel unaware and addicted, and what foods are nothing but wasted calories. I am now aware the foods I ate before were really not “food,” they were food-like substitutes that were high-calorie, low-nutrient. Now the food I put in my mouth is real food. I eat high-nutrient, low-calorie foods as much as possible and I feel amazing as a result. My greatest surprise has been discovering vegetables I now love that I didn’t even know existed before.
If you’re on the fence about changing your health, please watch Hungry for Change! If you need a free way to track your calories and keep you accountable, the My Fitness Pal app is truly a lifesaver! If you decide to try the app and want some encouragement along the way, we can be friends on the app and communicate through the app. If there’s any other way I can be of assistance, please let me know. Here’s to another 140-day-streak of health!!