May 06, 2016

Fat Secret

After thinking about it all week, I decided that I'm not going to set a big goal to work on this summer. I talked to my therapist about it yesterday, and she agreed that it was a good idea. I'm going to try and focus on the present, instead of always looking into the future. There is nothing wrong with setting goals, but when I constantly focus on a goal in the future, 1) I'm missing out on the present; and 2) I feel very let down and lost after the goal is over with (like I don't even know what to do or think about anymore). That is exactly what happened after the 10K--I felt kind of lost and unsure of where to turn next.

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:

Fat Secret app

  • 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!


  1. Thanks for recommending fat secret! I was using the premium MFP but it's expensive to just track macros more closely and then not have some ads. I'm fed up with the cluttered database. I put today's food into fat secret just now and I like the interface. I'm doing TDEE based calories so the fact it doesn't connect to my garmin vivofit isn't that big a deal.

  2. That app sounds cool! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I'm going to try it too! I know what you mean about MFP, yesterday I wanted to log strawberries and it gave me strawberry poptarts, strawberry yogurt, etc.

  4. Fitbit is the same way with adding new foods - you have to submit three pictures - of the package, nutrition info and ingredients and then they add it to the database.

    I think it will be refreshing to have a summer where you aren't concentrating on some big goal - just the goal of living in the present and keeping the balance in your life. When you think of it, that is probably one of the most valuable goals you could achieve. :) Enjoy!

  5. Thank you for the review on this! I agree, I was getting soooo annoyed with the MFP ads too. It's ridiculous. I downloaded fat secret and I'm going to give it a try. The only thing I noticed, the recommended calories it gave me seems really high. I wonder if that's more accurate too? I put that I'm lightly active on both apps. MFP suggested 1400 and fat secret suggests 1900. I I sisal don't pay too close attention to the recommended calories anyways but it was interesting to see how different they were

    1. Wow I also don't know what the word "sisal" means lol. I think I meant to type don't. I did this on my phone. Oops!

    2. Yes, Jerry and I noticed this, too! I actually think it's much more realistic. MFP wanted Jerry to eat 1400 calories a day, which is crazy for a full grown man. Fat Secret gives him 2200, which is about what he was eating despite MFP's suggestion.

    3. I agree with it being realistic. MFP had me at 1200, Fat Secret at 1600. Totally doable. 1200 calories would surely set me up for a binge.

    4. MFP and Fat Secret use different formulas. MFP uses NEAT meaning you're supposed to eat some or all of your exercise calories back. Fat Secret uses TDEE which incorporates calories burned through exercise in the daily goal.

  6. Thank you for the review of this app! I installed it and started to set up my account. Much to my surprise I already had an account. Must have been from a long time ago because my weight was 16 lbs lighter ��

  7. I used Lose It to lose 75 lbs about 4 years ago. And kept most of it off through running! When I start to creep up I know it's time to start logging again.

  8. Thanks for sharing...

  9. Thanks for the review of Fat Secret- I had used it years ago....then staring using MFP. However, the ads and constantly refreshing my app was not working for me. Starting Fat Secret and doing good !! BTW love your blog!!! It has helped me so much! :)

  10. MFP has been quite annoying. I will try out Fat Secret! Thank you!

  11. AnonymousMay 09, 2016

    Katie, I know one of your weekly goals is to to try new recipes, have you thought about taking the summer to go to a farmer's market (assuming you have one near by or not too far) and trying new veggies or at least incorporating them into your cooking or grilling. I know I always say I'm going to go to the farmers market and just don't do it enough over the summer.


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