3 reasons why my fitness pal may not work for you
Tracking IS proven to be one of the best methods for accountability to ensure long term success. I’ve met plenty of people over the years who tracking has worked extremely well for, namely athletes and ‘normal’ eaters.
During this time and in closely working with chronic and yo-yo dieters, I’ve also seen this tool work terribly. This is who this blog post is for.
The scars of my past addictions to food, busy-ness, control, perfectionism and black and white thinking run deep. While I am grateful they have crossed the path on my journey, I am even more grateful for the many gifts they left me with. One of the most important being burnout—the part of my story that continues to shape me today.
After a year of walking the road to recovery after burnout, I started using My Fitness Pal to check in with my food habits and take inventory.
I tracked for two weeks, on and off, not perfectly, that wasn’t the intention. As I’ve spent years learning to tune into my own body’s needs, I noticed I was high in a few areas and low in others. (Then of course there was the unnecessary snacking habit I picked up without realizing.)
Mission accomplished. I found new ways to improve. I adopted a new stepping stone routine to stop the unnecessary snacking habit and turned to My Fitness Pal to balance out the highs and lows.
Then it turned on me… rather, I turned on it.
I was blindsided by an old friend: Control.
Sneaky bastard slipped into the driver’s seat again.
Here’s what happened…
1. I lost touch with my own innate hunger and satiety cues.
Fitness pal said I had this 200 more calories left, I’m probably hungry. I should eat.
I know, very well, in my body when I’m full or hungry, when I need more food or less food. I allowed control to take over and the tracker to tell me when I was hungry instead of listening to my body.
2. There was no ebb and flow for my body’s needs.
Fitness pal said I had 50 more grams of protein to reach for the day, I better have a chicken breast for dinner.
I didn’t want just a chicken breast. I wanted a veggie salad.
I’ve experienced first-hand my body’s cry for different and specific foods during periods of healing in my life. I listened and it worked. EVERYTIME. This little app can’t tell me that, only I can.
3. Continue to take on other people’s rules instead of learning to create your own.
As Control used and manipulated Fitness Pal, it was calling to it’s old friend… Perfectionism.
My body knows what it needs today. It will know what it needs tomorrow.
For chronic and yo-yo dieters, rules wreak havoc. Where there is perfectionism, there is black-and-white thinking and wagons to fall off of.
Eat real food. (If it didn’t grow from the ground or have a mama kinda thing…)
Eat when you’re hungry.
Stop when you’re full.
Those are my own personal boundaries for eating food. It’s simple, but not easy.
If you are using a food tracker, use it with intention and watch carefully for control and perfectionism. It’s a great tool… until it isn’t.
As you develop healthy habits, you’ll learn to tap into your own innate ability to understand your body and its needs. You’ll learn to get quiet so you can listen. That’s what I teach in the Behavioral Nutrition Program.