It’s that time of year again. The weather isn’t quite so frightful, the New Year’s Resolution Get-In-Shapers are leaving the gyms less crowded and those serious about fitness are getting back in the swing. I can relate because I’ve been both serious and a New Year’s Resolution bunny. I’ve struggled with weight problems and good fitness habits most of my life. The past few years, I’ve tried to take control of my lifestyle and curb my appetite, but I continue to relapse. I’ve taken inspiration from several friends who have also struggled with weight loss throughout their lives. Two of my friends in particular have lost a 20 pounds over a two month period and the other 70 pounds since July. What is their secret? Well, any good nutritionist or weight management specialist will tell you that it’s not just one factor that contributes to healthy weight loss. It’s a combination of diet, exercise and healthy habits. One of the tools that they have been using — and that I am not utilizing religiously — is MyFitnessPal.

MyFitnessPal is a website, iPhone and iPad app that assists users with daily logging of eating habits, exercise and weight loss goals. The system even helps users determine a daily caloric goal based off of your personal weight loss desires. I can highly recommend this app/website for anyone who wants to keep track of their diet/exercise habits. It’s easy to input your food intake and exercise progress and the database of searchable foods is enormous. I’ve heard many, many, MANY times from doctors, fitness gurus and trainers that keeping a journal or diary of the foods you eat helps to get you on track. This tool really helps to open one’s eyes to how many calories are being consumed and what percentage of your daily diet is protein, carbohydrates and fat.

MyFitnessPal isn’t the total answer for weight loss — you have to want to make a change. MyFitnessPal can help you along the right path.