Calorie Counting With MyFitnessPalPosted: January 22, 2013
Aside from the occasional night out or the slightly-more-frequent chocolate craving, this whole Paleo eating thing really hasn’t been that difficult for me. In general, I tend to gravitate toward meals surrounding meats, fruits, and vegetables anyway, so staying away from things like rice, bread, oatmeal, milk, and cheese hasn’t been that much of a challenge for me. (Of course, staying away from things like chocolate chip cookies has been more of a struggle but, hey, that’s where the “balance” part of The Megan Plan comes in. I never claimed to be 100% committed to Paleo, and I still don’t!)
The thing that I have been wondering about lately though is how my caloric intake has been looking on an average day. By staying away from some of the more calorie-dense foods (like the aforementioned rice, bread, and oatmeal), I feel like I may not be taking in enough. Even though it’s definitely possible to overeat even if you’re only eating meat, fruits, and vegetables, I’ve been feeling hungry at night, which tells me I’m probably not eating enough during the day.
That said, this weekend I downloaded the iPhone app called MyFitnessPal that my aunts told me about, and I’m planning on tracking my calories for a while. I really like the app because entering the foods you eat is super simple, and I can even manually enter the amount of calories I burn during my workouts. (My new Garmin watch tells me how many to enter.) They also have an online website component of the program (see link above), but I haven’t used it yet, and I don’t know if I will or not.
A lot of people think calorie counting is just a tool for weight loss, but it’s also important in knowing if you’re giving your body what it needs. Besides calories, the app also gives me the metrics for fat, protein, sugar, sodium, etc., and I think it’s definitely interesting to know all of that so I can make changes if I see fit. It’s so easy to not even know that you’re over- or under-eating, or taking in way too much or too little of something in particular. I like to know what I’m putting into my body, and I want to make sure I’m eating enough for my activity level so that my body can be functioning at it’s best.
Tracking calories can be onerous and it isn’t something I plan on doing over the long-term, but I’m hoping that a few days or weeks of it will help me to better gauge what the “right” amount of food (for me) looks like right now. Once I know better, I won’t have to keep track of every little thing I eat, and I’ll be better equipped for making sound decisions about what I put into my body on a daily basis.
Last night for dinner, I decided to go with cilantro-lime chicken with peppers. I started by squeezing the juice of three limes into a big pan…
And threw in some boneless chicken, cilantro, and a dash of crushed red pepper.
While that was cooking, I chopped a red and an orange pepper, added them to the pan, and let the whole thing cook down on low for a while.
The whole meal took no time and barely any effort and was wonderfully delicious!
The flavors of the lime + spices were pretty strong, so I also had a few almonds on the side for a little bit of healthy fats to balance things out.
Overall, another great meal to add to the rotation!
Do you ever count calories? If so, why?
What are some of your favorite health + fitness apps?