Monday, January 26, 2015

MyFitnessPal at Disney

Welcome to the next stop on the Blogorail. Today we are discussing fitness apps. 

Are you still committed to your resolutions? If you are, congratulations. I've struggled with my weight my entire life, and because of that I know about the agony of having to stick to a diet on vacation. A trip to Disney Parks can be particularly trying, given the wide array of delicious food and treats available in the parks and resorts. 

Luckily, technology may help us stick to our diets or simply make sure we aren't getting out of control. One app that I find particularly helpful is MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal is a wildly popular calorie counter, diet and exercise journal. The best part about MyFitnessPal - it's free and easy! 

Are there limitations to using MyFitnessPal at Disney Parks? Yes, unfortunately. In New York where I live, any food establishment that has more than five locations must post calorie information on menus. Thanks to Obamacare, this has been expanded nationally to any chain restaurants with more than 20 locations. At this time, Disney is not required to post this information.

This does not mean you cannot use MyFitnessPal during your Disney location. Here are some tips:
  • You can find generic entries for most items. For example, you can search scrambled eggs and use the information already provided in the app.
  • If you do not want to estimate, full nutritional information can be found at any quick service restaurant upon request. Caution: you may be handed a physical binder and it may take a manager a few minutes to get it to you.
  • If you have a FitBit, which the next blog in our loop will cover, be sure to link it with MyFitnessPal. All that walking that you're doing crisscrossing the Magic Kingdom will give you a few extra calories to play with just in time for a Dole Whip. 
As more Americans get used to having calorie counts at local restaurants, there will be more pressure on Disney to provide this information. Newer restaurants are making it easier for patrons to obtain this information. For example, calorie information is available on the kiosks during lunch at Be Our Guest. 

Also, keep in mind that you are likely significantly more active at Disney Parks than you are on your average day. Does this mean you have a blank check to eat whatever you want? No. But if you do "cheat" a little bit, remember it's not the end of the world. Pick one or two snacks that you want on that day and stick to your calorie counts otherwise. For example, if you've been craving a churro since your last visit, go for it. But for your other meals, try and make healthy choices.

Have you used MyFitnessPal at Disney? What was your experience like?

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Blogorail Loop is Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere.

Here is the map of our Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop - Sparks of Magic - Nike+ Running 
2nd Stop - The Disney Point - MyFitnessPal (You are here!) 
3rd Stop - Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere - FitBit