The demand for fitness apps like MyFitnessPal has created a growing industry of devices and trackers designed to help you meet your fitness goals.
In fact, more than 80 per cent of dieters forgo help from nutritionists and trainers in favour of do-it-yourself options like diet and fitness apps, according to a market data report.
But with 29% of UK adults classified as obese, can modern technology really pave the way to a leaner future?
With slogans like: "If you use more, you lose more", we wanted to find out what you can learn from signing up to MyFitnessPal.
How does MyFitnessPal help me achieve my goals?
We all know that MyFitnessPal has been one of the largest success stories in the fit-tech space, but why is it so successful and how can it help you get lean?
Well, the makers claim that keeping a food journal can double your weight loss, which is why the app lets you track your calorie input and output in the form of food and exercise. It's free to download and allows you to upgrade if you need more support.
You simply enter a goal weight and the app calculates a daily calorie intake. Whenever you eat anything, you enter it into MyFitnessPal – either manually or by scanning a barcode – and it knocks those calories off your total. Then, when you exercise, you enter the number of calories you’ve burned and it chucks them back onto your total, creating a simple tally of calories consumed and burned.
Without trying, the app makes you want to exercise (so you can consume more calories!) and eat better in a simple way. It also helps you to make healthier choices about what you eat, so you can replace high-calorie foods with lower-calorie alternatives.
So now you know how it works, who should use it and for what reasons?
Using MyFitnessPal to lose weight
If you're overweight, MyFitnessPal can help you get the total number of calories consumed under control.
Your body is an energy store and the reason you end up gaining weight is usually overconsumption. This normally occurs in small amounts over long periods of time.
This is natural.
As part of our evolutionary history, we are designed to over-consume calories because the food was scarce when we were “hunter-gatherers”. This changed with the arrival of the agricultural and industrial revolutions when mass farming became an option, and huge supermarket chains arrived on the scene. 100 years ago our calorie-laden diets were needed to support a more manual lifestyle, with physically demanding jobs and no cars. However, the rise of a more sedentary lifestyle during the Information Age means we need to switch our diets, so our bodies can adapt to our new environment.
By using the MyFitnessPal app you can get your calorie consumption under control. This may be a bit of a shock at first because our bodies are pretty efficient at burning energy – you won’t need as much food as you think.
The key is to stick to calorie counting for a decent amount of time, so you see change happen. And by ‘decent amount of time’, we mean 8 weeks or more.
Related: Drop a waist size plan
Track your macros with MyFitnessPal
If you're in relatively good shape then the macro tracker is probably going to be your main focus. It allows you to play around with the ratio of carbs, fats and protein in your diet. This is crucial if you want to take your physique to the next level. Methods like carb cycling can really push you into a new level of the physique; only macros can help you achieve enviably lean abs.
What are your thoughts on calorie trackers and the suggestions we have made? Where can you implement it to help you with your training and nutrition program?
Got a question? Email [email protected] and we will get someone from our team to answer you.