My plan for the summer is to hopefully maintain a weight at or below my goal weight (focusing on one day at a time). I'm going to continue to count my calories as I've been doing, because it's working out very well. I'll run for exercise, even though I'm not "training" for anything right now. I'll also do other things to stay active (bike riding, walking Joey, etc.).
It feels kind of odd not to be training for something. I've always been working toward an end goal (whether it's a race or particular mileage or something like that); and right now, I'm just concerned about the here and now. It's actually pretty refreshing!
This morning, I went for an easy run and cut through the marsh to get back home. I love running back there! I didn't go back there all winter because of hunting season, but it's pretty safe now. I was getting ready to take a photo while I was running, and I accidentally took this one--I think it actually looks pretty cool! I was out early, so the sun was still really low.
A few days ago, when I was logging my food into My Fitness Pal (like I'd been doing every single day since August), I noticed that MFP put ads right in the middle of my food log. They've always had ads on the home page, and I was fine with that... it's a free app, and they have to make money somehow. But by putting ads in the middle of my food log, every time I logged a food item, the ad refreshed, causing a delay of a few seconds. It was so annoying!
My Fitness Pal has a premium version, which is $50 per year. That will get rid of ads, but there aren't any other features of the premium version that I am interested in, so that would be very expensive to just get rid of the ads. If they had a one-time fee to eliminate ads, I wouldn't mind paying that; but, it's not an option. I was bummed, because MFP was a great app! But I just couldn't deal with the ads in middle of my food log refreshing every time I tapped something. So, I started researching other options...
SparkPeople is another popular one, and I wrote on the blog about trying it out for a week. There are several things I don't care for with that app, so I didn't want to use that one. I finally ended up choosing Fat Secret. And I love it! So far, I actually like it even better than My Fitness Pal. Here is a brief rundown...
- Free app with no ads.
- Very clean looking; not cluttered or flashy.
- Customizable to show the nutrients that you are interested in. Since all I focus on is calories, it's nice to eliminate the clutter of seeing carbs, fat, fiber, sodium, etc. Here is an example--one is with several nutrients selected, and the other is just the calories. You can choose what and how much it displays:
- The database is MUCH less confusing than MFP. On MFP, there are hundreds of entries of the same item (submitted by users), and many of them are incorrect. It takes a lot of sorting through to find what you're looking for. On Fat Secret, there is only one item listed, and so far, they've all been correct for me (I'm guessing they are verified? I don't know this for sure.).
- Easier than MFP to enter food by weight instead of dry measurements.
- Barcode scanner.
- Weight tracker.
- Support community.
- Ability to invite your dietician, trainer, doctor, or health professional to access your food, exercise, and weight info.
- Recipe builder.
- Large database of user-submitted recipes with photos.
- To submit a new food to the database, you have to take photos of the package, the ingredients, the nutrition label, etc. I think this may be for verifying the info. I like this!
- You can't connect to Fitbit, Garmin, or any other trackers (you have to manually enter exercise).
- To share foods with others, you have to use the desktop version, not the app (Jerry likes to copy my entries for dinner, for example, so that has to be done on the desktop version).
- There is no "1/3" or "2/3" measurement when entering food. This hasn't been a problem for me yet, because I like to enter food by weight, but if you use measuring cups, it may be an issue.
- As far as I know, you can't import recipes from the web; they have to be entered manually.
It's actually kind of fun to use something new! I had never heard of Fat Secret before, but I'm glad that I checked it out. It's exactly what I am looking for in a calorie counting app.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!