Friday, 25 May 2012

Listful thinking

I hate being a cliche, well - who doesn't? And in the main I think I avoid being one, and being a blogger one. However, on closer inspection there are certain tell tale signs that I'm pretty sure lots of bloggers will read and think; yup; that's me; I do that; same!

Let's examine the evidence...
  • You love anything that looks retro and vintage
  • Cupcakes and baking are often whipped up and admired where ever spotted
  • Continual photos/instagram snapping
  • Dip dyed hair
  • A sense of irritation/irony about anything emoticon/lol related
  • Massive rage with your and you're
  • List writing
All those things. ALL those things - that is me. Sigh. Have I become so predicable? Some of these have developed over the years, some are fads and phases but there is one that has always been intrinsic and that is really what I want to talk about today. Hello list writing.

I bloody love a list. And I'm guessing most of you reading this do too. What's not to love. Order, tidiness, aesthetic joy and the simple pleasure of ordering everything in your mind while seeing it reflected on the page. Bliss.

Something I've been a big fan of, which is another form of listing is keeping a food diary. My best results, without a doubt, have been when I've been logging every morsel that has passed my lips. I've always done this in some sort of notebook. There's nothing like the feel of ink on the page. Your handwriting, your memory.

A few times I've tried online websites such as Weight Loss Rescources but they just haven't appealed to me. You know, trying to find the right foods from a crappy list, inputting the nutritional info - boring and BORING. I gave up with them years ago... until now. Just a few days ago I stumbled across Mynetdiary. It's a food diary app/website which quite frankly is fricking amazing. You can use it online or as an app on your phone/ipad, whatevs.

First up you log your stats. Weight, height, target weight and date. It then tells you how many cals a day/week your should be consuming to get there (not really paying full attention to this as I really doubt I could eat as much as they suggest and lose weight). You then input what you have for each meal and snacks. Not so ground breaking but this where it gets good. I wanted to input that I had two slices of ham - but what would that be listed under? Instead of searching different permutations of the word I just used my phone to scan the barcode and boom - all the nutritional info came up. The same for an Asda own brand couscous!

 You can then get a break down of how much of your daily intake is from fat, carbs, sugars etc. etc. On top of that you can input exercise to see how many cals you are burning. And there is a menu to log your water intake. Short of being able to do my washing for me this app is AMAZING! And this is the free version.

I'm not a calorie counter but this is a fantastic way of seeing just how many grams of fat/protein etc. you are consuming as you get a full break down. I thought it would be interesting to log my intake for a week just to see roughly how many cals I am actually eating - and the last two days have been a bit of an eye opener.

We had a barbeque the other night and the food I had was what I would usually, if I was trying to be mindful. A lamb chop here, a burger there, some salad and some couscous. I also had a lamb kofta and a wee bit of grilled halloumi (approx a mouthful!). Jesus Christ-  the kofta and the halloumi sent my daily fat intake through the roof!

Last night it was left overs for dinner and the lamb koftas were on the menu again. Before we had dinner I put everything I was planning to eat into the app - and weighed it. Thank god I did. I looked at my daily overall analysis which tells you the good highlights and the bad highlights. The kofta came up straight away as a saturated fat no no. And so I made the decision to just have half of one. Simples.

The thing I REALLY like about it that it tells you what you are on track to lose for the week based on what you have been eating. I know this isn't gospel but it really helps me to see the numbers there in front of me.  If I eat well then I can see the prediction for a good loss. I doubt I will lose as much as predicted but to even think - yes, if I have another day like today then there is a loss in the post, is brilliant.

Don't read too much into the stats in the pic above - this was before I had eaten dinner that night, hence the low number of cals. 

I can't see myself using this app forever, unlike my trusty notepad and pen but it is a really good way to get info and remind yourself just how much you are actually taking in. I'm looking forward to eating a couple of my usual meals and seeing how the numbers stack up. I'd also recommend having a good pair of scales to hand. I've got a salter electronic set which are ideal for weighing out just a few grams of something and it's been easy to sit my plate on top and then just add the food, note the weight and enter it into the app.

I might be really late to the party with this and you're rolling your eyes at how behind the times I am - but don't care....I love it!


  1. Oooh I've been using My Fitness Pal these past couple of months coz I've been sharing my diary with a friend (to kick each others arses!) but the Daily Analysis part of this one looks mega cool. Must check out. Do you compulsively scan barcodes? Hehehe :)

  2. Ha! Yes, yes I do! Even TB has been at it! I'm actually obsessed with it. I binned 4square (as you know) and this has taken over - and then some! x


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