I love me some nutrition graphs
My last post was about how MyFitnessPal actually improved my eating habits. And I’m happy to report that by using this app, I managed to (relatively easily) lose the extra 4 pounds that somehow materialized over the holidays. Seems my last post was aptly titled, “I heart My Fitness Pal.”
So I’ve been using – and loving – this easy-to-use app for a few months, but hadn’t realized until today that it also boasts some very cool reporting tools! (Many will feel that ‘cool’ and ‘reporting tools’ are oxymoronic, but I am proudly nerdly.)
You may recall that one of the things I loved about MFP (I just really can’t keep typing the word ‘pal’ with a straight face) is that it showed how much cholesterol I consumed in a day, without me making any effort – none at all- to find this measure. Probably I was happy because I was pleasantly surprised at my results.
But today I found a new level of analysis that made me grin. On the web version of MFP, I hit ‘report’ and was stunned to find that MFP tracks & graphs things like cholesterol and total fat and fiber. It shows all of what I’ve eaten in the past 2 months – in a bar chart. How cool is that?
And while my ingest-able cholesterol (I am sure that’s not a term, but I’m going with it) is better than I expected, my graphs pointed out a few…um…areas for improvement.
Let’s start with the Nutrition – Cholesterol Guidelines posted on The Cleveland Clinic’s well-done site. I’ve excerpted their daily guidelines here – this chart below is based on an 1,800 calories per day diet; my goal’s more like 1,200-1,500 but I’m ignoring that and using these daily recommended figures anyway:
Here’s why I’m happy – check out MFP’s graph of my cholesterol – other than 3 outlier days, I was way, way lower (OK, just lower) than the 200 milligrams/day recommended!
So I was feeling pretty good. Until I downloaded graphs for ALL of the measures in the guidelines above. Some were good, some not so good. I won’t bore you with them all. Here’s the topline: though I’ve lost 4 lbs and am not eating a lot of dietary cholesterol (yay), I am eating too much fat and protein, and nowhere near enough fiber (sad face).
The fiber graph is particularly sad – goal is 20-30 grams and I’m under 2o nearly every day. Sigh.
So, MyFitnessPal has been a big help in changing my habits and losing some weight – and ‘forcing’ me to exercise daily (so I get to have my glass or wine with dinner without exceeding my daily calorie goal.) But now that I’ve used the ‘reports’ function, I see I need to make some further dining modifications.
Looks like I’ll be heading to WalMart for some more Metamucil.
And trying to add more leafy greens (ugh, salad) to my dinner plate.