Friday, March 27, 2015

You Have a Friend in the Fitness Business

I am constantly amazed by what is available on the Internet. I've been connected with the computer industry since the late 70's.  When I started you paid for nearly everything. Nothing was inexpensive, especially software.

These days, software developers are perfectly willing and able to give you something for free. They work a numbers game that can pay huge dividends if worked correctly. The best example out there right now is Facebook. The company is valued at over 200 BILLION dollars. When was the last time you paid anything for the use of Facebook? Even Microsoft is jumping on the bandwagon. They are planning to release the Windows V10 upgrade to users of Windows 7/8 (legal or not) for FREE. A move no one would have even thought possible as little as 4 years ago.

It used to be when software was "free to me" it was substandard. That you were giving up on the quality of the software or it's features because you weren't paying.

Not any more.

Let me introduce to you a tool I can't live without now that I never thought I needed. I thought an application like this would be too hard to use

A web site? How can a web site, something you need to access with your computer be of any help? Because .com doesn't necessarily mean you can only access it with a computer any more. Right now I have the MyFitnessPal app installed on my Android phone, Ipad and use the web site. There is also an Iphone app (which I used when I had an Iphone) and a Windows mobile app. The only thing there is no app for is Blackberry. Does anyone even use those anymore?

The beauty of MyFitnessPal is how easy it is to use.

I put some screen shots on the left so you can see for yourself how straight forward it is. I started with the app on my phone. The app is free and once downloaded it takes you through a very simple setup process. In the process you put in you overall weight goal.

My starting weight was 309lbs and I set a goal of 200lbs. Then I was asked how many pounds a week I'd like to lose and here's something that says a lot about the program. You can't select more than 2lbs.

That's smart. Slow weight loss means lifestyle change and that's what this app does. It helps you think about what you're eating and how it's going to affect you.

Once you get your information in it is simply a process of entering the things that you eat into the system. That's what I thought would be the hard part. That's the part I never thought would NEVER work for me. What I found was it's actually incredibly easy.

First off, just about anything you can eat is already in the system. Whether you're having a cheeseburger at McDonalds or Green Giant Steamers Baby Brussel Sprouts in Butter Sauce out of your freezer it's already in the system. You can either look it up or point the camera on your device at the bar code on it and it will automatically find it for you. It then pulls up the screen giving you all the information. You tell it how may portions you're eating and it's added.

Here's how extensive it can go.

I happen to be a fan of Mullins Cheese Curds. Mullins is a small cheese company based in Mosinee, Wi. Never heard of Mosinee? I'm not surprised, it's in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin. You can't even buy their cheese online. Go to their web site they only sell in their store or wholesale to stores in Wisconsin. Yet when I scanned their label, all the information on the product came up!

If you look at the screens on the left you'll see that you can keep track of your progress. All you have to do is "feed" the system. It even tracks your exercise and give you credit.

It integrates with the Fitbit, electronic scales and all kinds of other devices. All for NOTHING. There are a few ads but nothing really all that annoying.

Another way to explain it is ... think Facebook for healthy living. That's what they're going for. You have your own profile. You can link to your friends. You can even copy the meal you shared from or to your friend so you don't have to re-enter the information. My wife and I do it ALL the time.

I'm not getting paid for this blog and I get nothing for referring you to them. But I have to say if you are serious about getting your health in order, you need to be using MyFitnessPal.

It's been an integral part of the adjustments I've made in my life. I set my goal at 2lbs a week and have not missed a week yet. February 1, 2015 my weight was 309lbs. As of March 21, 2015 I weighted 294lbs.

Truthfully I've learned so much about what I can, should and shouldn't eat. I can even go big at times. Last Saturday I did an extra hour in the pool, cut down  on my breakfast and a few snacks by just a little and had enough calories for a Little Caesars Bacon Wrap Deep Dish Pizza to literally fill me up!

And I didn't even go over my calorie limit for the day!  That is the way to live my friends!

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