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My Fitness Pal -- Don't Diet Alone

By HERWriter
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Obesity related image Photo: Getty Images

If you do not like to diet alone, a support group and coach is just a few clicks away at MyFitnessPal.com. This virtual weight loss tool allows users to come up with a target weight loss goal, complete with a calorie counter, food choices, reports on your progress as well as tools. There are also mobile apps for you to track your progress on the go.

To get started your goals are calculated by your current weight, height and how many pounds you would like to lose. For example, a 155 lbs. active woman who wants to lose 10 lbs. at a rate of 1lb. a week should consume an estimated 1,640 calories a day inclusive of 226 grams of carbs, 55 grams of fat and 62 grams of protein.

It is also recommended that she work out six times a week for 50 minutes to burn 1, 710 calories. Her calories burned due to just normal daily activity, is also calculated into her weight loss goal. For this particular “virtual participant” she will burn an estimated 2,140 calories a day. The calorie deficit per day then equals 500 allowing her to lose a steady 1 lb. a week.

If she wanted to be more aggressive with her weight loss, her caloric goal would be lowered to 1200 calories, allowing her to lose 1.9 calories a week and reach her 10 lbs. goal sooner.

How she reaches that goal is dependent upon plugging in her food choices in the daily calorie tracker. For example, if she decides to have a regular flavored instant oatmeal packet for breakfast, she can do a search for that and the calorie counter will plug in the numbers.

The oatmeal packet will be 100 calories, 19 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fat and 4 grams of protein. If she adds a ¼ cup of almond milk, that is another 23 calories. Most American breakfasts are not complete without coffee. However, if she decides to put creamer in her coffee she must be prepared for an additional 15-30 calories for one tablespoon.

I used the creamer as a specific example on purpose, because many mindlessly dump it into their coffee each morning. The MyFitnessPal calorie counter is very specific, and makes you mindful of the little things that add can add significant calories.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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