Resources that helped me lose weight

09/05/2012 at 1:44 pm | Posted in weight loss | 4 Comments
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We’ve arrived at the final post of my little weight-loss series. The one where I list every single resource that helped me. Not those I tried and ditched. The ones that really (really) helped.

Here we go! >> I can’t say enough good stuff about MyFitness Pal. When I joined, it asked me how much I wanted to lose and how quickly. Then it set me up with a daily calorie goal. And boom. I logged my meals every single day from December to June, when I finally broke up with MFP after hitting my goal and wanting to venture out into the calorie-counting world on my own.

Little did I know I’d lose 10 more pounds. And it’s because of the mindset that resulted from using MFP every single day for seven straight months: consume fewer calories than you burn. Simple math, right?

Now I generally know the calorie range for every meal I eat, and I keep track without even really knowing I’m doing it. Yes, there were frustrating days when I just didn’t feel like deconstructing a turkey sandwich or a massive salad. But once you do it one time, it saves your entry for future reference. One word of warning: many of the meals in MFP are posted by fellow users, so the calorie counts can range pretty drastically. So I’d usually just try to log an average, if all else failed.

I love you, MFP! Always will. >> Another awesome app that really came in handy while eating out. You can look up pretty much any food brand, restaurant chain or type of food. CalorieKing and MyFitnessPal should date. They’re that good together.

BMI Calculator >> This really helped me understand a healthy weight range to aim for. There are a ton of calculators online. I just used this one because it always popped up first in a Google search.

The Mayo Clinic Diet >> My mom gave me this book at the beginning of my journey, and for that I will always be grateful. It was my bible. It starts with a realistic “get going” plan, and details everything from portion sizes to “good” fats. I actually read it cover to cover at night before bed (occasionally sniffing the pages because hello new textbook smell), then dog-eared the pages I’d need most. Highly, highly recommend.

Fix-It and Enjoy-It Healthy Cookbook >> So many good recipes! With calorie counts! Also? Spaghetti pie. Enough said.

Cooking Light magazine >> Easy, delicious recipes, gorgeous photos, and a realistic, healthy approach to some of my favorite “splurge” meals, like mac and cheese, hamburgers and pizza. I heart Cooking Light. >> Huge recipe database with a “light” version of pretty much any dish you can dream up.

YOU GUYS >> I’m serious. I could not have done this without you. My cheerleaders, advice-givers, foodies, humorists. All-around kick-ass readers. Thank you. A million times over.



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  1. Can I ask you a question? When you logged into MFP, did you account for exercise, or did you strictly eat a 1200 calorie diet? Did you add food/calroies based on the amount of exercise you did?

    Thanks, Elizabeth

    • Yes, I logged my exercise so that each day equaled out to about 1200 calories. So if I worked out and burned 400 calories, I’d allow myself to eat at least 1600 calories that day. MFP isn’t the best with calorie estimates for exercise, so I had to look around the web. But once I logged a particular type of exercise once, it stayed in my account for future reference. Good luck to you! And definitely let me know if you have any more questions!

  2. Suzanne…
    Did you use the info on the machine to calculate calories burned, MFP, or your internet research…I’ve been on it for several months now, but have been using the estimates in the system. I’ve lost over 15 pounds since I started using it.

    • Good question! I had to use a combination of resources to calculate calories burned b/c it never failed that the numbers clashed. After a jog, my pedometer would say one thing and MFP would say another. So on most occasions, I ended up using averages. 🙂 Congrats on 15 pounds! That’s awesome!!

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