So with the cooler weather here I have been feeling the need to tend to my health needs. I’m not one for cycling during the dog days of summer. I am much happier when I ride in the spring or autumn, with autumn being my absolute favorite. I was able to get two good sized rides in this weekend and I feel quite pleased about it. I am planning a longer ride this coming weekend.

As I hit the trails and roads with my bike I find myself trying to eat healthier. I have to have a somewhat structured or regimented approach to all of this for it to make any sort of impression on me. Though some swear that it’s foolish, I track my calories in and out on a daily basis. I had been using the Livestrong app and website to accomplish this and while it worked, I never felt that it was a great fit for me. The website is overloaded with advertising and the app didn’t feel intuitive. Plus, there was no barcode scanner built into the app. Barcode scanners are wonderful because you can scan the barcode with your phone’s built in camera and it’ll look up the nutritional information for the exact item. It takes away from the guess work and it keeps you from having to enter search words just so.

Enter the MyFitnessPal app and MyFitnessPal website. Tracking food intake, exercise and weigh-ins with MyFitnessPal is extremely easy. Both the iPhone and iPad apps are intuitive and very fast, which is important for those of us who might have an ADD issue. Plus, the app includes the aforementioned barcode scanner and the database is huge. I was able to scan the milk cap from a glass bottle of Byrne Dairy Skim Milk (a local favorite) and it found it with ease. The database is also crowdsourced, so folks are always adding and editing information as warranted.

It has made being healthier with a structured approach much easier.

I have weight and fitness goals to obtain by the end of the year and I’m pleased to say that I am well on my way to where I want to be. This structured approach is psychological for me but instead of analyzing it I’m just going with it. Why mess with success?

If you’re looking for a good website and/or app to track your fitness goals, I highly recommend MyFitnessPal. I don’t have any experience with the Android version of the app, but if the iOS version is any indication, it’s a sure winner.