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


lori ketcherside said...

I haven't used the My Fitness Pal app, but I am acquainted with the binders. They bring those out for food allergies too! We love splitting meals at Disney; it keeps us with wiggle room for Dole Whips!
What is your favorite snack at Disney?

TheDisneyChef said...

Thank you for sharing this... I always mean to try this app, but I never do. No good excuse, really. I think it's the piece I really need though to be accountable.

Camille {Sparks of Magic} said...

I like MyFitnessPal! My issue has always been consistency. I do so much better when I meal prep. With a gluten allergy, I often bring my own snacks to the park and it helps save a few dollars, too. Thanks for sharing! I definitely am motivated to try this app again after all these fitness posts! :) Did you know that MyFitnessPal also links with iPhone iOS 8's Health Kit app, which allows data upload from Nike+ Running? :) I love it!

Kimberly said...

I love MyFitnessPal. I've found that for me, just being more aware of what I'm eating works far better than any specific diet for losing weight.

Capturing Magical Memories said...

I haven't seen this one before. I may have to try it at work. I seem to keep accidentally eating things.

Rosanne Mottola said...

Agreed. I'm not into fad diets at all...MFP allows me to just simply be aware of what I'm consuming and when I have to slow down.

Rosanne Mottola said...

I didn't know that Camille! That's great. One of my favorite parts of MyFitnessPal is that they are always updating and integrating with new technology.

Rosanne Mottola said...

My favorite part of this app is that it's so easy. One of my favorite features is the ability to scan barcodes and import food information.

Rosanne Mottola said...

Splitting meals is a great job! My favorite snack is a tie between the classic Mickey ice cream bar and a churro. I'm always down for one or both!

Rosanne Mottola said...

Ha I know the feeling! It's really very easy and they have a great desktop interface if you're on the computer all day long like I am!

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