Welcome back. So, you’ve decided to follow my second Golden Rule as you pursue BodyWHealth? Congratulations! You’re well into an inspiring journey. You’re already tracking your steps as you strive for 10,000 on five days of each week (Golden Rule #1). Now, how can I help you to count your calories?
On this imperative, simplicity is key! I’ll be honest, counting calories is not fun. In the beginning it can be difficult. And even when you get better at it, it’s a bit tedious. Let’s face it, as you sit down to a delicious meal, the last thing you feel like is dissecting it into minute scientific detail! You just want to dive in and enjoy it. And after the meal, when your insulin starts kicking in and you feel that delicious post-prandial droop, the last thing you want is to dredge up the wrappers to check the nutrient score. But you MUST do it. Not forever, and not necessarily every day. But you MUST do it enough so you can get very good at it. If you ever get despondent, remember that the taste of BodyWHealth is highly addicting! Worth every bit of this hard work. Once you’ve tasted it, you’ll never want to let it go.
When I started my own quest for BodyWHealth in earnest, I downloaded 7 apps, and signed up for another 5 online self-help services. In my enthusiasm, I wanted to find the best one. I knew this was important. Today I use 2 apps, and I’d recommend them both to you. You will find a large number of these available, and it really doesn’t matter which one you use as long as you are counting your calories.
My daily resource is MyFitnessPal. I like it because it is simple and integrates both my diet and exercise. Data entry and read-out is simple and intuitive. You can sign up for a host of supplemental services through on-line registration, but for my purposes the power is packed into my mobile device. To start, you enter some biographics including current and goal weight (we’ll talk about these in another blog). The app will tell you your daily calorie goal. With simple menu’s you are able to select the foods you eat to estimate your total calorie intake. You can input your exercise too, and the exciting part about this experience is that you see your total calorie burden for the day dropping right in front of you. There are many days now when I see by lunchtime that I will be able to afford some of my favorite chocolate after dinner, because my exercise has opened up space for it!! For the app developers that read my blog, please keep working on the tool that takes a photo of my plate and does all the input for me – that’s the next WHealthTech frontier. Until then, I hope you will explore MyFitnessPal and will dedicate yourself to counting calories.
The second app I use is Fooducate. The company has evolved a simple grading scale for food quality. The app is most useful as you shop. When you scan in the bar code of the item you want to buy, the app will present you will a quality rating. Like the simple system you remember from high school, each product scores from an A+ (denoted with an encouraging green) down to a D (with red lights warning you away). So, in addition to counting your daily calories, you will hopefully be able to steer yourself towards less processed food with higher intrinsic nutritional value.
One final note of warning! Some of you may be surprised that I didn’t advocate that your most important gadget (after your step counter) is your bathroom scale? This is very deliberate. In many ways, this odious necessity is actually your greatest enemy. I’ll tell you more when we discuss Golden Rule #5. But until then, weigh yourself only as often as you really need to. I don’t tell anybody to lose weight. I will urge you often towards BodyWHealth. There is a subtle, but immensely powerful difference.