MyFitnessPal – A Review

If you’re anything like me, you will find dieting difficult and rather boring. It will mean that you can’t enjoy as many treats and you probably can’t enjoy that Friday night curry. You will be hungry and you will generally want what you can’t have.You will then give up after a few months and then moan about your lumps and bumps. However, when I started using MyFitnessPal as a tool towards losing weight and eating healthy I’ve found losing weight an enjoyable experience and, quite frankly, easy. If you’re wondering why a TTC blog is writing about fitness, you can read the reasoning behind our weight loss here.

Now, I’m not going to be one of those fatties that lecture on healthy eating like smoker-turned-non-smokers do but it is so important that you start off right and eat healthy. It will not work if you think that by just having a snickers bar for lunch (even though it may mean you stay within your calorie limit for the day) will be ok. It won’t, as your general “Fat” limit for the day, and probably the week, will be over. You will not lose weight – you must eat healthier for it to make a difference.

Firstly, MyFitnessPal will work for you as long as you’re willing to weigh out certain foods. Although it comes with a HUGE database of food; so that when you scan the barcode of the item it will appear with all the nutritional details – so all you then have to do is input how many, or how much, of said item you had, you will sometimes have to physically weigh out the item. You can just guess and put a rough estimate in if you’re good at weights, but if you want to get a realistic view of your daily intake, then I suggest weighing food out.

This will become a lot less tedious after a while as the app will remember previous foods used. After a while, you will also know how much 30g will look like, for example. You will also know how many calories will be in something, which will help you decide whether or not to have it. On top of this, you can also create “receipes” which enable you to input a whole meal and select how many it should serve (not how much of it you want). Once created, you can then select the receipe over and over without having to input each separate ingredient over and over everytime.

From the healthy point of view, the app also gives you a run down of how much of a particular group (carbs, fat, protein, etc.) you eat as well as how much of a certain vitamin you’re eating – which I think is really useful for someone TTC. This can be selected as a weekly or daily view. On top of this, you can record your weight as well as your general measurements.

MyFitnessPal

I really like this app, and it’s definately been the contributing factor to me losing weight. I could have given it a go without it, but I wouldn’t have realised that certain things were still bad for me, not to mention the amount. It may not work for you, as weighing your foods can be rather tedious, but after a while you will get used to it, especially if it means you can have that extra Yorkshire pudding. The app is clear and easy to use and it can link to hardware such as the Fitbit or RunKepper.

So, by logging what you’re eating and what exercise you’re doing you really find out how good (and how bad) certain foods are. You also see how easy it is to gain calories back into your “pot” by doing simple exercises. It’s not rocket science to know that a biscuit, for example, is unhealthy; but for me, finding out that wholegrain bread with fancy seeds in it is 124 calories a slice, broke my heart as I thought it would be a good alternative to normal brown bread, so it’s worth doing your research when you do your next food shop.

K.

If you would like to join me and/or S on MyFitnessPal, feel free to pop us a quick message to get our details to add us – the more the merrier!

Are we there yet?

So the two week wait (TWW) was over on the 26th January and my period/Aunt Flo (AF) was due on the 25th January according to the fertility app and is due tomorrow according to my period app (I trust my app more to be honest).

Ask me what I’m thinking right now and I will not be able to tell you in plain english. One half of me (which increases by the day) is excited and is hoping that something has worked, another quarter of me is nervous as hell and the other quarter believes that I’m not pregnant at all.

The reason we’re starting to believe I’m not pregnant follows on from taking about half a dozen tests and none of them showing as positive – simple – and we’re fine about it. We were fully expecting the first try to be unsuccessful as we haven’t read many blogs or experiences whereby after first the AI at home the couple have fallen pregnant. So we were fully expecting a negative, but there was always a little glimmer of hope still inside.

That said, with help from friends on Twitter and several forums, there is a suggestion that I don’t have enough HCG (google it – don’t ask me) running through me yet. Apparently the sticks at home read from 10mIU (again, google it) and apparently it takes a while for the HCG hormone to actually show in urine and women within the TWW only have from 5-50mIU at best if pregnant and apparently it can sometimes take longer than two weeks for implantation. So there is hope still.

Now, before anyone starts; I know – it sounds like I’m clutching at straws. I may very well be, but the things that I’ve felt over this TWW have been strange to say the least. I’ve felt random little pains down below and I’ve (not to mention, S) have suffered from major PMT (something that I don’t usually suffer from at all) and if you think that perhaps it’s all within my head; my BBT (Basal Body Temp) has been going nuts. So something is obviously going on inside. Look!*

revG3RLbi

Crazy graph for January.

I have never wanted (and not wanted) to see AF so much – at least if AF visited we could start again and restart the process, but this waiting is worse than knowing that we’re not. It’s awful. If only I could see what my future looked like and see whether we were successful – at least then I wouldn’t be so impatient. I would happily wait if I knew that one day we would have a child, I really would, and at least then I would know that right now is just not our time.

If AF doesn’t visit me this coming week then I will be booking myself into the doctors to have a blood test. If it is still negative then I will want an explanation (as if it’s the doctors fault. Ha!) why AF was late and why my BBT was having a disco on the graph.

K

*The attached graph is from our FertilityFriend account via www.fertilityfriend.com. I would recommend using the website rather than the app for detailed information regarding your data. It really has been an eye-opener.

Review – Fertility Friend (mobile iOS app)

When we first started the process of having a baby we were advised to record things such as temperature, cervical fluid and OPK tests (Ovulation Tests) as well as other things like mood, appetite and other similar things so that we know a good day to then inseminate.

With this, it was all well and good writing it down in a notepad or on the chart we were provided with that came with the basel body temperature thermometer, but we weren’t seeing what all the data, once together, really meant. So we needed to find something that stored and then analysed the data.

As we both live by our iPhones whether it is communicating via Facebook or Twitter, or doing our food shop or using latest photography app we thought it would be best to find an app suitable to record our fertility journey. I knew something would be out there as I already used a similar app (P Tracker) to record my periods as I have odd cycles, as mentioned previously, and it’s nice to know in advance (especially when booking holidays!) when the decorators are likely to be in.

In no time, we found an app called “Fertility Friend” or “FF Mobile” as it’s called on the app. *Please note that (at the moment) it is only on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc).

Looking at it, it looks very basic and very much like a “Free App” that hasn’t had much effort put into the appearance. However, once we started using it and entering data we found that what the app lacked in looks it made up for in quality as well as how easy it was to use.

The app has two main features. The calendar and the chart.

The Calendar

Exactly what it says on the tin, the calendar marks and predicts up and coming ovulation dates, fertile dates as well as your period – all in nice clear colours.

Clicking on each date brings up the “Profile” for that day which you are to fill in. Details such as temperature and cervical fluid, to how you are feeling and what medication you have taken that day. It looks very scientific.

The Chart.

A little less technical than the calendar, the chart simply marks your temperature in a graph style as well as shows dates in which you are fertile/on your period underneath it. What I like about the chart feature, though, is the fact that once it has enough data collected it will then show you via a red crosshair the EXACT date in which you have ovulated. It does this based on the temperature & OPK information recorded (BBT – 3 consecutive increases, shows that ovulation has taken place and the progesterone is in your blood stream as this raises your temperature. This will drop dramatically once you start your period again as progesterone is needed to allow the fertilized egg implant in the uterus. If fertilization doesn’t occur, your body starts the cycle again . Later on once it has identified ovulation, and providing you have had sex or inseminated in the fertile days leading up to ovulation, it will tell you when to take a pregnancy test this is usually 2 weeks after ovulation.

What we also like about the app is that it links in and uploads to their main website (which we didn’t know existed until our phones crashed and we lost all our data on the app) a tool I find most reassuring as within 3 months we had a lot of data stored which is something I didn’t particularly want to lose. Furthermore, if you then want to download the app onto another device, you simply download the app, log in and it will sync the new device to the current device – very helpful.

The only main issue we have had with the app is that if you update the app by the way of different devices (I, for one, want to update my cervical fluid myself) it has a habit of not saving or overwriting the previous data with blanks. So, if S was to update my temperature on her phone first and then I were to update my phone with my fluid a few hours later, the app has a habit of overwriting the current data with the new data (i.e if I left the temperature blank, it would save blank). It seems to be able to have one main “profile” but it can’t seem to handle the use of it oh several devices. Very annoying. So our advice would be to only use it on one device, and access via this and the website.

So that we don’t finish on a negative, we want to simply say that the app is very good and we would recommend it to anyone trying for a baby. It doesn’t look very pretty and it can’t generally be used on several devices but it really is spot on – even more so than my period tracker (it predicted a later period date than my tracker as it took my temperature into account – very clever). It asks you to track things that you never thought to track which later contributes to the correct date of ovulation.

K & S

*We downloaded and purchased (the upgraded version) this app with our own money. The free app has all the above qualities, the only difference between the free version and the purchased version is that the purchased version has more details prediction details and assistance.