My Fitness Pal - any tips from successful users, going to start tomorrow

(25 Posts)
LaVitaBellissima Mon 26-Aug-13 19:56:17

I really want to be healthier, fitter and Slimmer and have heard MFP recommended many times. I can see about entering all my stats but am a bit unsure of how to work out meals, calories etc.

Any good tips on MFP and weight loss in general? smile

MiaWallace Mon 26-Aug-13 20:29:35

My tip would be to be patient with it when you initially start to use it.

It takes a while to find and log food to begin with but it gets easier. It will save the foods you eat most often so they are easier to log next time.

I lost just over 5 stone using MFP. I now use it to maintain my target weight.

My tip would be to be honest with your logging. Log everything that passes your lips, and measure everything rather than guessing at portion sizes.

Also take some of the advice on the forums with a pinch of salt. Some of the posters think they are the next Dr Oz grin

SolomanDaisy Mon 26-Aug-13 21:16:14

Watching this thread with interest as I just started using mfp. I'm finding it quite easy to use so far, the logging is definitely getting quicker. I'm trying to stick to low GI food generally, which I've done before, this is the first time I've ever tried tracking calories.

You've done brilliantly jemima, how long did it take you?

ImATotJeSuisUneTot Mon 26-Aug-13 21:34:54

Ive lost 21lbs. Agree with logging everything, you're only cheating yourself if you dont.

Roughly 12 months. I lost about 2-3lbs a week for the first few weeks, then it settled down to roughly 1lb a week, which was slow and boring but hopefully will mean that it is easier to keep off.

I started at 210bs and now weigh 136lbs (15st 0lbs to 9st 10lbs).

heidihole Tue 27-Aug-13 09:23:20

Weigh your pasta/rice portions. Don't just guess. You'd be amaaaazed how small 75g of pasta really is!

Log your whole days food in advance as much as possible. That way you know what you have spare for snacks rather than getting to dinner time and only having 300 cal left!

LaVitaBellissima Tue 27-Aug-13 09:26:05

Jemima that's fantastic! You should be so proud!

I have started his morning, I realised there are training videos to watch so need to do that, fingers crossed, I just need the will power and dedication to carry on with this.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Wed 28-Aug-13 18:19:25

I lost a stone with MFP last year and tried switching to Slimming World after finding calorie counting a bit tedious and restrictive, but my weight just yo-yo'd with SW, so I'm back to MFPing after this week. I've lowered my intended weight loss to 1lb a week rather than 2lb and also switched out white rice and pasta for wholegrain as well as tweaking breakfast options, etc. So far, so good and I've got more than enough calorie allowance to keep me full up!

1 stone (and 2lbs!) down, 3 stone to go...

LaVitaBellissima Thu 29-Aug-13 08:21:39

Smite, that's fab!

I love how it gives you more calories if you exercise, it really encourages you to get active doesn't it!

I am just getting to grips with the logging, I'm sure it gets easier!

Thanks for all the tips everyone they are really helping smile

firstpost Thu 29-Aug-13 15:12:55

I lost 2.5 stone in 3 months last year on mpf. Got pregnant and then had exactly the same amount to lose again smile

I re-started on 24th July and to date have lost 20 lbs.

My top tips:

Don't drink your calories, I have tea or water or diet coke but not orange juice, café latte etc

Log everything, if you cheat you only cheat yourself.

If you cant find your exact "meal" choose the most similar but with the highest calories not lowest. Worst case scenario you lose a bit more weight smile

Weigh yourself every day.

If you have a bad day look at your weekly average, and if you can still achieve your 1,200 per day.

Prepare to be amazed, for me it has been life changing. I ate cheese on toast nearly every day first time around, but all weighed and logged. This time I have been eating more calorie counted ready meals (toddler + newborn so no time to cook) But much prefer the fact I eat real food, of my own choosing just as long as I stay within my limits.

Good luck smile

LaVitaBellissima Thu 29-Aug-13 22:07:54

Thanks Firstpost great advice smile

MrsBertMacklin Thu 29-Aug-13 22:22:56

Weigh and measure absolutely everything, including your drinks. What I thought to be 175ml of wine turned out to be nearer to 250ml, for example.

MFP allows you to set 'guided' goals, where MFP works out for you how many calories you can have, depending on how much weight you want to lose per week. Start out using these, but if MFP starts recommending you eat 1200 calories a day, consider using the BMR/TDEE method to set 'custom' goals. This post explains better than I ever could, exactly what this is and why a lot of MFP members use this.

Don't cheat yourself. If you have a shit day and eat an entire tub of ice cream, log it. Seeing the calories you've consumed might give you the shock you need to re-set your motivation the next day. Also, if you do go over on one day, if you know by how much, you can use the next few days to claw back some of your calorie expenditure, so it balances out.

Take and log body measurements when you begin and re-take these fortnightly. They can be a better indicator of progress.

LaVitaBellissima Fri 30-Aug-13 22:55:41

Thanks MrsB I have to admit lthough I've been so much better than normal I've eaten pretty much a whole big bag of Walkers crisps, the calorie content is 750 shocking really. But I think logging and flagging it definitely makes me more aware, I think it's a fabulous ap so far?,

MadMadamMim Mon 02-Sep-13 21:32:58

Hey, I'm using MFP and finding it pretty good. It definitely makes you more aware of the calorie content. I agree with weighing/measuring everything - food seems to be deceptive!

I've also got the STRIIV app on my phone, which is a pedometer app. I've linked it with MFP so it automatically adjusts my calorie allowance which is great!

SunshineBossaNova Mon 02-Sep-13 21:36:56

I've just started it smile

Newrowsees Mon 02-Sep-13 23:52:12

My big tip with MFP is to not necessarily eat back ALL your exercise calories. You burn calories by just sitting and breathing, so you only want to eat the equivalent of the extra calories expended. I found that worked for me (42 lbs lost, now maintaining). It might be different for you though, just something to bear in mind once you start.

LaVitaBellissima Tue 03-Sep-13 22:21:34

Unfortunately dropped my iPhone in the loo so don't get a new one until my contract updates next month but I will definitely download the pedometer ap.

I do find that I am guesstimating a bit, I expect I'll get better with practise.

Drank too much wine and ate a giant bag of crisps last week so only lost 1/2 pound, but better than nothing. It's making me aware of my cycle of stresses out, tired wine and snack addiction.

Tips are helping though!

FeijoaVodkaLovesHokeyPokey Thu 05-Sep-13 21:30:15

Use the recipe function. It's especially good for baking as you can work out how many biscuits there are in the batch or how many pieces a cake will be cut into and it will tell you how many calories etc are in each portion, therefore allowing you to build it into your total for the day.

It can be a PITA for things you cook a lot, but tweak each time, but worth it to eat what you want grin

Also don't assume choosing the option to lose the most amount of week each week will work long term. I've come across a lot of people who started out on 1200 cals a day and after a while stop losing anything. Without fail, they set their goals lower (upping their calorie allowance) and they start losing again. It is about finding what works for you and being sensible with it.

I've been on for over a year and a half and have lost over 20kgs. I'm currently on maintenance while I recover from an injury (because I cannot stick to 1400, let alone 1200cal a day!), then I only have a couple of kg left to go.

Congratulations for starting and good luck grin

KatoPotato Fri 06-Sep-13 13:08:33

I've lost 62lbs so far using MFP. add me katoabes if you like!

Will do smile I'm FabulousOscar

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Sat 07-Sep-13 09:17:07

Almost exactly one year using MFP, 26kg gone!! grin

Artandtravel Sat 07-Sep-13 16:54:30

I think I should download this app. I go to the gym, I cycle, I am quite active I think but sometimes I must be secretly eating giant chocolate bars and soft French cheeses without my knowing it. I like to go into my kitchen and have little bites of everything: cheese and tomato on ryvita with basil pesto, vanilla greek yogurt, kiddy cereal, icecream, a little Kahlua swooshed into the icecream, instant thai soup, lemon garlic fish, a peach... Often odd combinations in modest quantities when I feel like it.

A guy at the local supermarket has used it and looks noticeable different. I never thought of him as fat or overweight but now he is skinny thin. I think he was warmer and more jolly before. He has de-jollied.

The only downside is that the data is not private. They sell the data to insurance and healthcare companies. That is what has deterred me from starting... That and having to spell Kahlua all the time.

FeijoaVodkaLovesHokeyPokey Sat 07-Sep-13 18:16:52

If you input kahlua from scratch it will always be listed under your foods and therefore you only ever have to spell it the once winkgrin

I didn't realise about the third party selling.

Artandtravel Sat 07-Sep-13 18:52:48

Yes. It's right there in the user's agreement and I also heard about it on the news. People trying lose weight is a huge consumer target market... A very lucrative list for some people to have. Still, there are so many people using the app, there is some anonymity in being one of the masses you could say. Only have to spell Kahlua once? There's a bonus. wine

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