A Croissant OR A Pain Au Chocolate, Not Both

Latest Craze - Diet

Silviu introduced MyFitnessPal, a calorie counter, to me 5 days ago. I am surprised that he is even considering using it as he never used to care how many calories there were in the food he consumed. To him, recovery food meant mainly beer, burger, fries, or anything that satisfied his craving of that moment, and as long as he continued with trail running, the calories intake and output equation would eventually balance.

Perhaps he wants to ramp up for our first trail running season in France…or perhaps MyFitnessPal is just one of those fitness gadgets that he is always trying out. Regardless the reason, I am interested in joining him in his latest craze.

My FitnessPal

The best feature about MyFitnessPal is that it is extremely easily to use, even for a gadget-dummy like me. During the app sign-in, I only have to set my target weight – to lose, gain or maintain – and the timeframe I prefer to achieve my target weight. The app will recommend a daily calorie intake based on my physical profile and goals.

Every day, I only have to enter the details of each meal, and the app will automatically calculate how many calories have remained for the rest of the day. The cool part is that the app allows me to scan the barcode of most food items, and thus saving me the hassle of manually entering the nutritional information. At the end of each day, I am advised of the weight I may eventually achieve in my timeframe, if I am to continue with my current actual calories intake. For a person like me who seldom has the will to follow things through, the ease of using the app definitely encourages me to be more diligent in using it.

Extra Few Kilograms

I will be honest. The key reason for trying out the app is because I have been trying in vain to shed the extra few kilos I gained since the start of the last festive season (Christmas, followed by Chinese New Year), and that was 6 months ago! Besides the festive food indulgence, my badly sprained ankle which took close to 3 months to recover resulting me in not running much earlier this year, the move to France where I experienced a “food shock” of cheese and pastries (not that I am complaining much), and the unwelcoming cold grey winter, have not helped me to eliminate the surplus body weight. I am hoping that the calories counter will me to keep check on the number of calories that I consume.

Physically Fitness

The secondary reason is to achieve my aspiration of being physically fit. It’s already 5 months into 2016…kinda of late to be a new year resolution. However, it is better late than never to be physically fit, right?

To be physically fit, it is just a simple equation of regular exercise + healthy diet. Common sense tells me that besides the regular exercise that I do in the form of running, a healthy diet is specially crucial for runners like myself, who need to repair and rebuild the tissues that have been damaged by endless pounding on the trails.

However, my aspiration is still so far just an inspiration, mainly because I am lazy: I find researching on the nutritional value of each food item is too much of a chore. Like many people out there, I eat to satisfy my hunger, a craving, and sometimes out of boredom, without putting too much thinking on what actually goes into my body. There are times when I develop a sense of guilt for not taking good care of my body, and I would go out of the way to include additional portion of vegetables, or have fruits as desserts, but alas, I do not implement them en rigueur.

Other Features Of My FitnessPal

MyFitnessPal not only focuses on calories intake; it also gives a breakdown by nutritional composition of my daily food consumption. For instance, if I notice that the breakdown shows that I am lacking in Vitamin C today, I would have an orange for desert, and fight off the urge for a piece of Lindt Excellence Orange Intense Chocolate.

The app also gives me the option to increase the credit of my recommended daily calories intake by inputting the calories I lost through any form of exercise, and thus allowing me to eat more without going astray on my daily calories intake. Being an active runner, the normal daily calorie for a person with a more sedentary life style will definitely not be suitable for me. This feature ensures that I will not endanger my health.

Croissant OR Pain Au Chocolate

It is only the fifth day that I am trying out MyFitnessPal, and it is of course still too early to say whether I will follow through with my weight loss-cum-physically fit program.

MyFitnessPal has not totally taken out my enjoyment of food. It just makes me more conscious of what I eat. In the last five days, I had not given up visiting the boulangerie below my flat; I just have to amend my selection of pastry for breakfast – instead of the usual coffee, a croissant AND a pain au chocolate, I have reduced to just a coffee and a croissant OR a pain au chocolate, if not, my daily fat budget will soon to be exceeded.

Flan et éclaire
And of course, since today is a public holiday in France, Silviu and I will pamper ourselves with some pastries. Bon Appétit!

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