Calorie counting is something that I’ve given a wide berth for many years. The start of my journey back to healing my relationship with food and my body involves being secretive about weighing myself a couple of times a day and becoming obsessed with the number of calories that my food contained. Consistently scrutinising the back of a packet was a daily norm for me, until I decided to change my life for good.
One of my major goals to transform my relationship with food was to enjoy my meals again, regardless of how many calories it contained or saturated fat. I wanted to eat freely and be at peace with what I was putting into my body. Not to say that it was easy, but forgetting the numbers has been crucial to the change in my mindset.
Given my history, I was more than anxious when I was contacted to review the Fitatu Calorie Counter app for the blog. Of course, I’m now thankfully miles away from the person that I was and in a better place with my relationship and my body. Not completely healed, I still have my days of body image woes, however, I handle them better than I did in the past. So, the opportunity to track my calories again did make me wonder if I would slip into my unhealthy habits again.
With a small business that in the health and wellness world, I have a deep interest in nutrition and the impact that the food we eat has on our bodies. Consequently, now in a better palace in my head with food, I was curious to find out more about my own calorie consumption and eating habits. Starting to track my calories again wasn’t with the intention to be restrictive, but to check that I was nourishing my body correctly and ensuring it was well and healthy.
The app is FREE to download, simple to set up on your smart phone and impressively has one of the largest food product bases among all apps for IOS in the UK (has 85, 675 products available in England) . Some of the apps key features include:
- a built-in search engine that allows you to search for specific products or ingredients
- handy kitchen measurements (e.g. teaspoon, tablespoon, cup, slice)
- a daily meal planner
- recipes including traditional British meals
- dishes from popular chain restaurants
- summary of all the nutritional values
I found the apps interface easy to navigate and control, which is great considering the amount of daily use it will get. On set up, you enter your weight (which I had to guess), target weight, height, level of daily activity and workout activity. For each day, there is a section to add to breakfast, lunch, dinner and 3 snack times, which is generally how I eat most days.
Depending on what you enter, the search engine will bring up some preinstalled meal combinations associated with that ingredient. For example, if you type in porridge it will suggest things like porridge with banana with the calories already calculated for that dish. One problem that I found with the pre-calculated meals is that my portions may not be exact as I tend to judge things by eye or free pour, so not exactly correct. Also, despite its large database of products, some of the ingredients I ate it couldn’t find so I had to use the closest match. However, there is a function that allows you to add things manually, which was very helpful.
Getting into the routine of tracking my calories was difficult at first, simply because I’m not used to doing it. When tracking my healthy habits in my bullet journal I made it part of the routine to complete the app and catch up then and it became much easier.
One of the main things that I thought was very positive is that I always came close to the recommended daily allowance for women (2000 Kcal). On some days I even went stupidly over this, but I wasn’t worried because I know that I eat a lot of healthy fats which the app doesn’t take into account and these tended to be on days where I didn’t exercise. Also, I knew that it would all eventually balance itself out by the end of the week.
Would I track my calories again? Perhaps, with a healthy mindset I can truly see the benefits of being aware of your calorie consumption. However, I’ve found a happy place and a pattern of eating that leaves me satisfied and it doesn’t involve counting calories. I’ve just started keeping a food journal that I fill in every day, which next month I’m hoping to merge into a bullet journal, which is working great for me.