Christmas is an exceptional period: you get more gifts than usual, you meet with family and friends more than usual, and... you usually end up eating more than you should.
Then come New Year's with all those good intentions about losing weight and exercising more often. But there's no need to set yourself a pie-in-the-sky goal. Just add small steps to your daily routine to improve your lifestyle.
One of the best things you can do is start tracking your diet and your physical activity. It isn't hard to do. You don't really need expensive gimmicks for that. You already have a smartphone, right? Well, turn it into a nutrition and fitness tracker with a single, free app: MyFitnessPal.
MyFitnessPal helps you keep track of what you eat, what you drink, how much exercise you do, and the resulting changes in your weight. Thanks to its user-friendly interface, logging your activity and nutrition couldn't be easier. You can set goals, check nutrition facts, create recipes and workout routines, and get overall stats about your progress.
Just before the inevitable Christmas blowup is the perfect moment to start keeping an eye on your nutrition. Are you ready to watch your gingerbread intake this year?
No more excuses for overeating: workout routines and nutrition fact tables in MyFitnessPal will put you on the right track.
2. Sign up (or login) to start using the app. Take a look at the welcome tour, which gives a quick overview of the app's main features.
3. The first time you use the app you'll have to enter your age, weight, height, physical activity level, and overall goal. That will determine the amount of calories you have to consume everyday.
3. Tap the + button in the lower-right corner and pick the activity you want to log: water, food, exercise, weight, or status.
4. The latter (status) will post a status in your MyFitnessPal timeline, which is used to keep motivated with the help of a supportive community tracking your progress.
5. For the rest of events, you need to enter a specific value: cups of water, type and quantity of food, kind of exercise including weight and reps, etc. The more you log, the better: MyFitnessPal automatically generates stats and reports about your habits.
6. The main page shows a calorie counter dashboard to give a quick hint about how much food and exercise you need to reach your daily goal.
7. Food logging can be done manually or by scanning barcodes from products. There's even a homescreen widget for a quick access.
8. From the sidebar menu you can add entries to your diary, set new goals, connect third-party apps and devices, check progress about your nutrition and activity, and add reminders.
Have you ever tried logging your food and workouts? Tell us about your experience in the Comments section below.