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Monday, January 5, 2015

Miss Ginger Grant's Consumer Product Review®: MyFitnessPal® Calorie Tracking App

Miss Ginger promised you some Consumer Product Reviews on things she has used in her latest quest to a healthier life, so here's the first!  The MyFitnessPal app is a free download to any smartphone or computer, and is a great place to keep your fitness game on track!  It has some great features that make it easy to use, and it's web-based, so you can enter information into your smartphone, tablet, or computer, and it all syncs seamlessly! 

After you enter a little personal information about your physical dimensions, the app will give you a calorie goal appropriate for your gender and age.  Throughout the day, you enter the foods you consume, and the exercise you accomplish, and the app let's you know where you stand.  It's really quite easy! 

Entering foods is easier than it sounds because the app does so much of the work for you!  Once you've clicked the "add food" button, the meal chart pops up, and you click "add food" again under the appropriate meal.  Type the name of the food in the box and the app will search through thousands of foods to find a match, including brand-named products and restaurant foods!  

From your smartphone it's even easier to add grocery store products, because you can simply scan the barcode on the product with the camera and it will automatically add that food for you! Foods are always being added to the app, and in the odd case that you come across a food that isn't there, you can enter the item from the product labelling to add it to the app.  

You can also add your own recipes, so the things you cook often are always there in the app.  This works great for "make and freeze" meals, so you can fill your freezer with healthy, home-cooked meals and enter them as you eat them, as easily as you can enter packaged foods.  The app also remembers what you've eaten in the past, and give you those in a drop-down for fast entry. 

The app will also track your activity, and you add exercise in much the same way you add food.  You can select from a list of hundreds of different activities, then tell the app how long you did them, and it will give you those calories back, in effect allowing you to eat more when you are more active!  It even syncs with some of the most popular fitness apps and devices, entering those activities automatically as it is tracked!  

This was the "second" step in Miss G's journey, a fast, easy way to hold herself accountable and keep track of what went down her gullet! Several friends use the app as well, and by linking up with your friends, you can keep each other accountable as well! 

Check it out, download for free (the app shows you some relatively unobtrusive ads to cover its cost,) and add Miss Ginger if you decide to join up! MyFitnessPal definitely gets Miss Ginger's highest rating: 


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Miss Ginger is Back! Again!

Miss Ginger apologizes for her long hiatus, but this girl had to spend some time taking care of herself.  After her last attempt at weightloss got waylaid by boredom and monotony, she had about all but given up!  As you can see by the pic at the left, her rosy cheeks were getting a little too plump, and quite frankly, she grew tired of the limited selection in the big girls' section

Rather than looking for a "diet," she started with a couple of simple shopping tips, and before you know it, she's working out 2x's a week and and feeling better than ever.

Miss Ginger is certainly no expert on weight loss (perhaps the opposite!) and she's not recommending this program for anyone but herself, but she has had so many people ask "what are  you doing" that she thought she would share her experience. Trust, she still has a long way to go, but so far this has been working! 

#1: Start SOMEWHERE!  Find one thing you can commit to changing, and change it.  For Miss Ginger, it started at the grocery store. She looked into her cart and saw beef, sausage, more beef, frozen foods, and carbs.  Salt, fat, and carbs: her three favorite food groups! She decided the buck stops here with one simple rule:  no more beef.  It had become her default protein, and that's not healthy. So she put it all back, and got turkey instead. 

#2: Be TRUTHFUL and REASONABLE with yourself.  Miss Ginger knew that if she said "I will never eat beef again" she would be lying.  And she certainly knew that to say "no more salt, fat, beef, or processed food" would not only be a lie, it would be unreasonable!  So she refined her commitment to say what she really meant: "I will no longer buy beef as my default protein when shopping, and I will eliminate fast food hamburgers from my diet."  So there.  No more cooking a steak 2 nights a week "cuz it's too nice not to grill" or "I'm gonna swing through McD's cuz I don't feel like cooking."  So, when she's in a restaurant and she's in the mood for a steak, she'll make the decision to indulge.  

#3: MASTER #1 before moving on.  Whatever commitment you made, get it solidified before you start making more demands on your already scarce self-discipline! 

#4: USE CRUTCHES! (Even a hottie like this needs a little help now and then!)  In future posts Miss Ginger will tell you more about some of the tools she used to keep on track, but whether it's a Fitbit, a food diary, or a cheat day, make crutches part of your plan so you can control how frequently you use them, rather than grabbing them all the time! 


#5: ASK FOR HELP!  This was the hardest part for Miss Ginger:  she's an independent soul who likes to do things alone!  Her history with exercise and weight loss has been to take on the world, and then quit due to boredom, injury, or lack of results.  This time, she enlisted the help of a personal trainer, whom she sees twice a week, to help her keep moving forward without hurting herself or giving up.  This was not an easy decision, but one she doesn't regret! 

So now Miss G is moving more, eating less, and changing her body.  She's less focused on losing pounds and more focused on losing inches at the waist. She's feeling better, sleeping better, and has more energy and more stamina.

She also has lots of Consumer Product Reviews® coming your way to help you benefit from her experience and shopping prowess!!! 

How's everybody doing? We have a lot of catching up to do!  Drop me a line in the comments below and let me know what you've been up to! 


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