For those of us not getting paid millions to lose weight, keeping track of calories and exercise can be an exhausting and somewhat daunting task. You have to track down nutrition labels, record your meals, and try to guess the amount of calories you burned while exercising. Usually, the process is not only time-consuming, but also requires you to use several different tools (pedometer, calorie guide, calculator, etc.) to get the job done. Eating out with friends and co-workers becomes especially challenging as it’s hard to gauge just how many calories are in a seemingly innocuous menu option; for example, while the Grilled Chicken Wrap from Ruby Tuesday is a moderately healthy option at 436 calories, ordering a BBQ Chicken Wrap at T.G.I. Friday’s would set you back a whopping 1,540 calories! You could carry around a copy of Eat This, Not That! to know the difference between the two, but who wants to lug around a tome dedicated to all things dietary everywhere they go?
Enter the beauty of MyFitnessPal, a free app that helps you track your caloric intake alongside your various fitness activities. The app’s creators recently partnered with Sodexo, a global food service who produces Simply To Go meals, a line of healthy, pre-packaged dining options for cafeterias and vending machines. Sodexo will now offer nutrition information for the items it sells at 1,800 corporate sites nationally. Using the MyFitnessPal app, diners will be able to simply scan a code on the items, which will give them nutritional information and automatically program the calories into their daily log– no more wondering if the ‘healthy looking’ chicken wrap is secretly hiding a generous slathering of full-fat mayonnaise! In addition to having access to nutritional information for the Simply To Go Meals, app users can access MyFitnessPal’s existing database of 1.8 million foods to easily keep track of everything they eat.
The app also allows users to enter the type and amount of exercise they’ve completed into the database, which tracks how many calories they’ve burned based on their body weight. Options are incredibly specific, distinguishing between light and heavy cleaning, walking between 5-8 mph or even competitive vs. recreational badminton.
Other categories on the website and app include a blogging feature for cataloging your experiences, activity feeds created by other members and participation in user communities, all aimed at building a more holistic experience and support network. To track your progress over time, you’re also able to view past activities, charts and even diary entries. To read an interview about the merger with Sodexo’s national director of consumer technology solutions, click here.
For more information and to sign up for the program, visit the MyFitnessPal webpage.
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