Calorie counting

I’m on a fitness push right now and have started running a small experiment with Calorie counting to try and get a rough idea of the size of my Calorie surplus so that I can try and turn it into a deficit.

I started by creating a My Fitness Pal account and installing their iPhone app. After getting up and running and entering the day’s worth of meals and snacking, two things struck me right away:

  1. Calorie counting has gotten a lot easier since the last time I tried it 5+ years ago. I’d attribute the difference to the invention of the native iPhone app, which has streamlined and sped up mobile interfaces, making immediate entry easier.

  2. My diet is appalling. Not thinking about food very much leads me to take a lot of small, bad decisions over the course of a day, and those add up to daily intakes on the order of 3-4k Cal. I occasionally am able to offset that number with exercise (provided I bike and run that day), but usually don’t.

After only a day of tracking foods I’m already far more honest about the food I eat. It’s also made me more thoughtful about what I eat (and maybe more importantly, drink). That doesn’t mean that I’ve had much luck building a Calorie deficit yet, but that should come after ramping up exercise for the week.

I doubt I can keep up this sort of dietary micro-management over a longer time horizon, but I’m hoping that it can build some good habits given only a few weeks of improved practices. Time will tell.

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