Establish a New Eating Habit – Counting Calories with the MyFitnessPal App

Disclaimer: I am not a certified trainer or nutritionist. The posts I share on weight-loss come from personal experience. Please consult a doctor before starting any diet plan. 

I lost 20lbs and plan to maintain my weight. Counting calories helps me plan everything from meals to gym routines. But this habit comes with patience and the ability to look past the shame of eating a surplus of calories some days.

I want to help you get started on your journey. Friday is the perfect time to practice a new eating habit. Download the MyFitnessPal App on your phone and then come back to this page.


Congratulations! You just crossed the starting line and are on your way to losing weight. Set the “Weekly Goal” meter to “Lose 0.5 lbs per week”. Why? Because starting a new lifestyle requires patience.

What is the difference between practicing a Diet and a Healthier Lifestyle? 

A diet delays weight gain.

A lifestyle change will help you lose weight by choosing healthier eating habits. By setting the meter to “Lose 0.5 lbs per week” you give yourself time to understand food choices.

I incorporate chocolate into every meal because it makes me happy. Chocolate protein shakes and Lenny & Larry’s Double Chocolate Cookies help maintain my daily calorie count. Rewarding myself with something sweet at the end of each meal keeps me motivated to stay on track!

On Monday you’ll review your food choices. Which ones made you happy? Which ones did you eat out of convenience over preference? The answers will help you create a meal plan specifically designed for your appetite. If that doesn’t sound bougie I don’t know what does!

Practicing New Food Behavior

In 2018 Forbes republished an article from Quora called “The Science Behind Adopting New Habits (And Making Them Stick).”  By Monday you will have completed Steps 1-4 of the 5-step process for creating any habit.

You will have established a small goal, built a foundation, and repeated the process more than twice. Great job! Reward yourself with something just as valuable as the time spent logging in each meal. It can be watching your favorite movie, going for a walk, or even food shopping. Because what matters here isn’t losing weight yet although that will happen. What matters is that you’re creating a relationship with food through the app. 

I remember starting and quitting the app several times over the past four years. Yes, it took me four years to create this habit. Why? Because no one told me that losing weight was about starting a new lifestyle. No one said the app would help me acknowledge food behavior and the shame that came along with it in the beginning.

I am here to help you get past some of the shame by saying it’s okay if you ate a surplus of calories over the weekend. Consider each meal a lap around the block. Soon you’ll be ready to run the marathon. As soon as you build the habit of logging in your food you’ll then learn how to balance your macros.

What are Macronutrients?

“Macronutrients are the three categories nutrients you eat most and provide you with most of your energy: protein, carbohydrates and fats. What is not a macronutrient? The other aspects of your foods—micronutrients—are the vitamins and minerals your body needs in smaller amounts,” says Elena Donovan Mauer in “What Is the Macro Diet—And Can It Help Me Lose Weight?” of Cooking Light.

I suggest you track macronutrients after getting into the habit of counting calories. Until then, keep this article in mind. Tracking macronutrients will equip you with the knowledge to start working out effectively. I will discuss my journey in finding fitness gurus both on and offline in my next blog post.


I hope this post helps you set a small goal of losing “o.5 lbs per week” when using the MyFitnessPal App. Remember it’s okay to eat a surplus of calories the first few times you use the app. I still eat a surplus every now and again. But that encourages me to stay active.

If you found this post helpful or if you have any questions please leave a thoughtful comment below. 

All the best,

Benjamin Gallagher

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