This Fit Club post is late because I was at the Milblogging conference in Washington, DC this weekend. A great time was had by all (I think) but it sure is easy to get off schedule when you are out of your element.
I have to give a huge shout out and thank you to Penny, who mentioned MyFitnessPal.com in her Fit Club comment last week. I checked it out, signed up immediately, and I think it may have changed my life. My Fitness Pal is an online food and exercise diary, with great interactive tools and numerous discussion boards to ask questions, learn, and make a few fitness buddies, too.
Here's how I'm using it: I've entered my height, weight, and goals. Each day, I put in my food (before I eat it when I'm smart) and exercise. The program does the calculations and already has most food values in it's database. The really motivating part is that it tells you each day "If every day were like today...You'd weigh XXX pounds in five weeks." Obviously, it is just estimating, but I think it is cool and it helps keep me on track.
That said, this weekend was a disaster nutritionally. On Saturday, I had a healthy but protein-deficient breakfast, followed by a unhealthy (and gross) lunch and a mediocre restaurant dinner. On Sunday, I had a huge restaurant breakfast, followed by a lunch my sister had picked up from Red Hot and Blue (which I love) and then dinner at IKEA due to an accident on the beltway. When I got home and put them all in the computer, I was distressed to discover that despite my "better" choices, I'd still eaten nearly 4000 calories on both Saturday and Sunday.
Since I can't undo those days, I can learn from them. Looking at the online food diary is pretty revealing. On Saturday, my big culprits were the beers and a enormous, restaurant sized serving of steak fries. On Sunday, I would have been somewhere in the vicinity of OK if I'd passed on the potato salad. Who knew that you could eat six sides of cole slaw for one side of potato salad? I guess I need to check these things before I eat them.
The other thing I really like about this online tool is that it gives me instant gratification for the exercise I do. I love going for a walk, then entering it into the computer and seeing that I've burned XX number of calories. I'm definitely squeezing in more bonus exercise because of that motivation.
I'm sure that there are lots of good online food and exercise calculators, this just happens to be the first one I found. If you're doing Fit Club with us, you might find an online tool helpful like I have. Let's hope it works!