Have you made New Years resolutions to get healthier like many others in the world?
Maybe you want to lose weight, or even just maintain your weight. Or maybe you want to start exercising more.
Did you know there are two powerful tools you can use to ramp up your progress? They’re simple apps that, when linked together, can help you lose weight and get healthier.
Those apps are Fitbit and MyFitnessPal, and I swear by them whenever someone is interested in getting healthier. They both work together to change your mindset of healthy living and give you steps toward a better life. I’ll show you how to use Fitbit and MyFitnessPal together to get the most out of these apps!
Why use Fitbit and MyFitnessPal together?
If you’re serious about weight loss, using these two apps is one of the best ways to stay motivated and see your progress. I first started using both in May 2015, when I had about 20 pounds of baby weight to lose. Using both these apps, I was able to lose all 20 pounds by January 2016 and then some! It really works, as long as you have the diligence to keep up with it every day.
Create both accounts, then link them together
If you don’t have accounts yet for either Fitbit or MyFitnessPal, here are the pages to create an account. Do this first:
Next, hop over to MyFitnessPal and click on “Apps” on the top menu bar. It’ll take you to a list of different apps and accessories. Scroll down to “Fitbit Tracker” and click “Get”. You’ll then need to log in to your Fitbit account to confirm the sync, and that’s it! Now MyFitnessPal will grab your Fitbit’s data and give you more exercise calories if you’ve worked out hard that day (More on exercise calories below).
Enter your food in MyFitnessPal
This is the part where a lot of people just give up. Logging your food, every single meal and bite, seems daunting and just way too hard. I totally get it! To be transparent, I gave up after about 2 months of logging and stopped caring for another 2 months or so. Then when the weight came back on, I realized I had to get serious about this.
Entering your food isn’t too hard. If you have the app, you can actually scan the barcode of whatever you’re eating and it’ll automatically be put into your food log. For recipes, you can either guess (Which could be way off), or use the Recipe Builder which I do all the time. You just enter the ingredients, how many servings you want out of it, and the app will calculate the number of calories per serving.
Once you enter your food for the day, you’ll see at the bottom where you stand calorie-wise. Do your best to stay within your calorie range and don’t be too over or under!
Exercise using your Fitbit
Whether you walk, run, or do any other form of exercise, your Fitbit will track your workouts. Some Fitbits are better than others; those with the heart rate monitor, like my Fitbit Blaze, will give you a more accurate calorie burn. But if you have one without a heart rate monitor, like the Flex 2 which is much cheaper, the counted steps work just as well. The important thing is that you move!
Decide on a daily step goal and stick to it every day. I use the standard 10,000 steps which works well; I’m usually way over on running days, and I just barely make it on most non-running days.
Use up your exercise calories
When your Fitbit syncs with MyFitnessPal, you may see some extra calories at the bottom of your screen after you’ve done some exercise. The amount depends on how much exercise you did and the activity level you’ve set yourself at. These exercise calories are good and are meant to be eaten.
When you sign up for MyFitnessPal, you set your height, weight, activity level, and how much weight per week you want to lose, and the app will give you a calorie amount. Eating that every day should get you to your weight loss goal, provided you track accurately. Eating those exercise calories will still make you lose weight because your daily calorie allotment does not include exercise. Meaning, if you go for a run that day, you’re entitled to eat a little more because you need that energy to fuel your workout!
Now that you know how to use these two powerful tools, don’t let yourself slip away! Make friends on both apps. Join Fitbit challenges; read the forums on MyFitnessPal for inspiration; and most importantly, don’t give up! I’m active on both apps, so feel free to add me:
Have you used either of these tools, or anything else, to help in your weight loss? Share your success stories below in the comments!