You learn something new every day!
Livestrong’s MyPlate app is a great tracking and progress monitoring tool, but no tool is valuable unless you actually use it.
Yesterday, as I was taking screen shots to illustrate how to use the app, I discovered some features that I hadn’t seen before. I’ve been using the app for three years now!
The point is, if you are excited and interested about life, there are cool things to discover around every corner. Just don’t be afraid to try something new!
First, you will be asked to create an account.
You can use any email account to open a free MyPlate account, so you may want to use one of your “junk” emails for this. To further protect your privacy, you may want to use a nickname.
The next screens will ask for your physical information and your goals.
After you’ve entered this information, you will see the daily tracker screen. This is where you’ll record what you ate (or plan to eat) and the exercise that you complete.
Notice the hamburger menu bar at the top left of the screen. This is a quick way to get to the menu options. By default, the app will open to the tracker
To add food, press the big blue plus (+) button, and search for the food you want to add. The more specific the search, the more accurate your tracking will be.
Let’s say we are getting ready to eat breakfast and have decided on egg whites and a banana.
You will see this screen. Search for egg whites and then select the item that best matches. Put in the servings you will eat. Then, press “Done.”
Now, the screen will show you the nutritional value of your choice.
Click “I Ate This” to add it to your day’s food intake.
The next screen will show the food you just entered. You can now click on “Add Some Food” to, well, add some food!
Continue until you’ve added all of your breakfast, including oils and other fats, beverages, sugar, etc.
When you are done, go to the upper left corner, click on the back button, and you will be back to the tracking homepage.
You enter exercise the exact same way, by clicking on the big blue button from the tracking homepage and then selecting “Exercise.”
Keep playing around with the app. Get familiar with its features. Then, make it work for you!
Planning What You Will Eat
If you want to set up a meal that you eat often, go to the menu on the orange bar and click “My Meals.” Follow the directions to save items that you normally eat together. This will save you time, and can also be used to pre-plan meals.
Also, for planning, you can put in what you are going to eat each day as if you already ate it. For me, this is an easy way to track because I often decide what I’m going to eat based on what is still in the refrigerator!
And yes, you can go back and edit what you actually ate. You can change the portions, delete the item, add exercise, and on and on.
Try the tracker and see what affect it has on your choices. I think you’ll be happily surprised at how being mindful of what you are putting into your body will lead you to health and contentment!
This post is not intended to offer medical advice. Check with your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise plan.
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