It is an unfortunate truth that sometimes, despite a true desire to improve yourself, life can get in the way of diets. So, while this last fortnight has seen me looking at MyPlate (iOS | Android), let’s not expect it to have had any real impact on my weight.
What went wrong? Well, unexpected visits and St. Patrick’s Day happened, all of which saw MyPlate tracking my failures in wonderfully approximated detail.
The most damaging of my issues was my friends’ (very welcome) visit from the UK. It has been eight months since I last saw them, and I owed them a good time, which meant lots of rum, paella, and cheese. None of which proved helpful in keeping me to the 2456 Cal diet recommended by MyPlate.
Let’s have a look at Saturday night, or more importantly the post-paella cocktails. Six mixed drinks left me struggling to follow exactly how much alcohol (and thus calories) was in each – especially living in a country that doesn’t seem to adhere to strict measures (this is not a complaint).
If I were to guess, the zombies we drank (pictured) were close to half of a pint of near neat spirits. I used MyPlate to create a rough translation of this in calories, a staggering 450 Cal. And I had two. On top of this there was red wine, a Missionary’s Downfall, a White Russian, a Negroni, and a Bloody Mary (feel free to be impressed that I remember all that).
What really impressed me was that, even when drunk, approximating all of this was simple. MyPlate offered good “natural” options that allowed me to estimate the amount I consumed, even when lacking in formal measures. I could measure rum by the measure, the ounce, the milliliter, or the glass – and sometimes was even offered the ability to choose between brands. Once I had selected my unit of measurement, I could then choose the number of servings to be added. Easy to understand, even when drunk.
This was far more natural than my previous attempts with Mango, allowing me to assess my eating without the need to carry scales everywhere I went. Plus, with more foods incorporated in the base app, it also felt easier to find a match for what I was eating.
The bottom line, however, is that in one night I had a calorific intake of 4802 Cal. That’s nearly two times the prescribed calories suggested for weight loss. Not a great result for my diet, but a pretty good one for the usability of MyPlate.
Exercise was similarly streamlined, and utilized my iPhone’s gyroscope to measure the energy I burned passively throughout the day. This was another massive advantage over Mango because I walk a lot but don’t think to count it as exercise.
MyPlate certainly felt more suited to what I wanted than Mango. While offering a similar feature set, this week’s app gave a tighter calorie restriction that I (generally) managed to be comfortably within 50 cal of. It also gave a clearer view of my progress, with clean bar graphs instead of more stylized illustrations.
Not a good week for me then, but MyPlate certainly stands out as a great calorie tracking app. Next week I will be back on training apps, with Fitivity Home Exercise Program (iOS | Android) while also getting to grips with Noom Coach (iOS | Android) to keep my eating on track.
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