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MyFitnessPal Food Record Journal


The purpose of doing a second food record using MyFitnessPal (food tracker app) or NutriCalcPlus (NCP) is:

  • to give you a more accurate picture of what you’re eating
    and drinking (dietary intake) so you can determine if it’s too much or
    too little based on your personal weight and health goals as well as
    factoring in your activity level.
    A diet and activity log can
    help identify if you are eating too much or even too little of less
    nutritious foods as you learned doing the first journal. Eating too much of less nutritious foods and beverages typically results in not meeting your calorie and vitamin and mineral needs.
    This can result in negative health effects, such as, feeling tired,
    difficulty concentrating, and being more vulnerable to getting sick as
    well as other potential health issues, and not eating less nutritious foods may indicate you are being overly strict with food rules which can be unhealthy,
    The My Plate meal plan does not provide specific details on your
    macronutrient and micronutrient intake. A food and activity tracker
    such as My Fitness Pal or the e-text’s NCP diet analysis tool DO provide
    a detailed breakdown of nutrient intake. I require you to report the
    following nutrients: macronutrients should be reported in percentages,
    saturated fat grams, sodium milligrams, sugar grams, fiber grams and
    calcium %. In MyFitness Pal this information is found in the
    “Nutrition” > Nutrients and “Macros” section. In NCP it is found in
    the Nutrients Report. More info below.
  • to experience the use of a food and activity tracking app as
    a tool that was chosen to provide convenience, and easy access to
    analysis of your dietary intake. MyFitness Pal

    just happens to be a popular one, but there are many available that
    some of you may already be using. You may use another app, but it will
    need to provide the nutrient information that is required for this
    assignment as indicated on the journal template and mentioned above.
    Your subscription to the McGraw Hill etext also includes a diet analysis
    app called Nutri Calc Plus. Many of you used it for the MyPlate Food Journal assignment. It
    is a very user-friendly diet analysis tool. A benefit of using this
    one is it does provide the information regarding your progress in
    meeting My Plate Plan goals AND nutrient information. MyFitness Pal
    does not report progress with My Plate meal plan goals, but I wish it
    did. However, NCP does not have an app and so some of you likely prefer
    using an app vs online access only.
  • to help you identify factors that influence your diet decisions
    such as how often you eat, where you eat, physical hunger and fullness,
    mood and or emotions you are in while eating and making food decisions,
    and others factors that influence your food choices as discussed in
    Chapter 1.1 (What Influences Your Food Choices?). It also
    requires you to specify your physical hunger and fullness using the
    Hunger/Satiety Scale that was introduced to you in chapter 1.
  • is to help you identify your personal assessment of doing the food journal and identifying your food behaviors.

Complete a 4-question subjective survey. The survey is listed as a separate item in this module.

As you go about your day to day activities, this assignment may help
you better understand if your diet is an obstacle to your healthy eating
goals or supports not just your health goals, but additional goals you
have set for yourself including academic and other wellness goals. The
food journal template provides you the experience of using 3 different
approaches to weight management and meeting nutritional goals.

1) calorie counting (MyFitnessPal, NCP),

2) meal plan (My Plate)

3) mindful eating (Intuitive eating using hunger and satiety cues as discussed in chapter 1).

You may find that you prefer one approach to another OR, you may like
taking a little from each approach and adapting aspects from each to
meet your own personal diet approach. It is completely up to you, but
it needs to support BOTH your physical and mental health needs.

MyFitness Pal app includes articles you can read that may be
informative and useful. However, they may include information that is
confusing, that you or I disagree with and raise questions about
accuracy with nutrition advice and what is best for you. I encourage
you to ask your questions in Zoom live meetings or Inbox. We can also
create a Discussion about it.

Student Learning Outcomes addressed in this assignment:

  1. Identify your nutritional needs and goals.
  2. Identify nutrient deficiencies and excesses.
  3. Identify the relationship between your basal metabolic rate and net calories.
  4. Identify controllable vs. non-controllable factors that support or hinder your nutrition goals.
  5. Experience different approaches available to individuals to identify
    nutritional needs and ability to meet nutrition goals by utilizing
    calorie counting (MyFitnessPal, NCP) vs MyPlate (meal planning), vs
    mindful eating (Hunger/Fullness Scale).
  6. Identify personal preference to support a sustainable and healthy diet approach.

This next statement is VERY important. Using a calorie counting method is NOT recommended if you have an eating disorder or think you have an eating disorder.

    1. If you have or are working with a dietitian and are currently using a
      meal plan, then continuing to use that would be appropriate for this
      assignment. I have had former students disclose to me they have an
      eating disorder or may have an eating disorder, or they struggle with
      food issues and they have appreciated being able to use an alternative
      approach to the assignment. Part of the purpose of this assignment is
      for it to meet your needs. So, if you
      have ANY concern or unsure about whether you have an eating disorder it
      could be very helpful to speak with me and find an approach that best
      fits you. If you do not have an eating disorder, but are concerned with
      using a calorie counting method, please talk to me about your concerns
      and we can work on an alternative approach also
    2. You must use a food and activity tracker app or NCP to receive credit for this assignment. I
      will not accept a food journal with any other method unless you have
      made arrangements with me prior to submitting your food journal. You
      will be graded 0 for this assignment if you do not use one of these
        1. Download the FOOD JOURNAL.
    4. You are now ready to begin entering diet and activity
      information AND record in real time additional information on the food
      journal template. It is important to have the template available to you
      whenever you eat and/or drink.

      For example, the food journal includes the
      Hunger/Satiety scale that was reviewed in Chapter 1 lecture slides. You
      will not find it in the e-text. Prior to eating your meal/snack you
      should identify your hunger/fullness cues and associated number using
      the Hunger/Satiety Scale handout (link provided below). You are asked
      to again check your fullness cues after you finish eating. You are
      also identifying your mood, reasons for eating, time and location.

      1. In both MyFitness Pal and NCP, the first thing you will be asked to do is set up a Profile.
      2. Follow the directions to create your Profile by entering
        your age, weight, height, gender, activity level. Choose your weight
        goal. Weight maintenance is recommended for the purpose of this project.
        However, you may choose weight loss or weight gain if that is your
        current goal.
      3. As you enter the foods you eat and drink throughout the day,
        calories are subtracted from your daily calorie goal and you will
        observe the “remaining” calories you have for the remainder of the day.
        If you exercise, please add this also because calories will be increased
        or added to your calorie goal. The goal is to have zero
        ‘calories remaining’ at the end of the day in order to meet your weight
        goal. However, this does not mean you will have met your nutrient goal.
        1. MyFitnessPal (useful tips)
          1. In ‘Home’ section, at the top of the screen, you will be able to see your daily calorie goal. ‘Diary’ section
            gives a view of what you eat per meal, water intake, and exercise log.
            Pressing the ‘+” button will enable you to begin adding your food,
            beverages, including water that you consume, and exercise. You can also
            add your daily weight (lbs. or kg) information (optional). When
            you enter dietary intake, you need to input specific amounts (cups, oz.,
            grams, i.e. mathematical units) of what you eat and drink. This is the
            area where there is a lot of room to mistakenly estimate how much you
            ate or drank.
            Therefore, to get accurate information,
            measuring how much you eat is the most accurate way to determine
            calories, and vitamin and mineral intake. If you do not measure food
            and beverages, then your nutrient numbers will not be very useful
            because it does not accurately reflect what you are doing.
            Alternatively, when you bar code scan dietary intake or select nutrition
            information as reported by fast/casual food restaurants, you will not
            be measuring and in this way that can be an easier way to get more
            accuracy with nutrient reports.
        2. It is important to understand that NONE of these methods is
          100% accurate, including measuring your food. What you select in the
          food database may not match what you ate. Therefore, please consider
          this when you finish recording and are reviewing your nutrient reported
          amounts for that day.
          There is a learning curve to using
          tracking app in order to achieve greater accuracy. You will be doing a
          total of 3 days of food records spread out during the semester.
          Ideally, your second food record will be better than the first and the
          third day will be better than the first two-day records. ‘Better’ can
          mean more accurate, but also you get more useful information about your
          food behavior, habits that can be applied to improving your diet
          approach that supports your lifestyle and goals.

          Criteria For Success

          See rubric for grading criteria and/or read below:The following information that should have already been
          collected and recorded at and during meals/snacks: time, location,
          hunger/fullness, and reasons for choosing that meal/snack.

          1. For hunger/satiety cues, use this file Hunger/Satiety Scale.

          Additional info to INCLUDE ON YOUR FOOD JOURNAL TEMPLATE:

            • AT the VERY TOP of the food journal template (located in the header),
              transfer your calorie goal, calories eaten, exercise calories and
              remaining calories, This information is provided exactly in that order
              in your MyFitnessPal Diary Food Log.
            • Calculate net calories (calories eaten – exercise calories). Circle if your net calorie intake is greater or less than your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
              • To calculate your BMR, see page 237 in the textbook. Net calories in most cases, should be greater than BMR even if weight loss is your goal. If net calories is less than BMR, ask yourself, why?
                If weight loss is your goal, you are approaching it too aggressively by
                either cutting back calories too much and/or exercising a lot and not
                eating enough to compensate for your activity. If net calories are about
                equal to your calorie goal then you are working towards achieving your
                weight goal regardless of what you choose for your weight goal.
                Negative effects of net calories less than BMR is greater muscle loss
                and your metabolism slows down making weight loss even harder to
          2. IF YOU USED NCP:
            1. You will need to look at 2 different reports to retrieve and report calorie goal, calories eaten, exercise calories and remaining calories.
              1. In the Reports section, select Calories Assessment to report calorie goal, calories eaten.
              2. In the reports section, select Activity Summary to report exercise calories.
              3. Follow the formula in the header to calculate calories remaining.
          3. Transfer ALL your food and beverage intake directly in
            Column 2 on the food journal template. This should be all the food and
            beverages you consumed on that day AND the quantities that you entered
            into the database.
            The quantity of the food and beverages listed should be exactly what you selected in MyFitnessPal. (i.e. 1 cup) or NutriCalcPlus.
          4. Indicate the My Plate food groups included in that
            meal. This is what you had to do in the first food journal. However, I
            do not require you list the servings according to MyPlate, but for those
            using NutriCalcPlus, you can do so by viewing the MyPlate report.
          5. State the amount added sugars
            in your food and beverages (if any) located on Nutrition Facts panel.
            If you can’t find added sugars on the Nutrition Facts Panel and you know
            your food has added sugar due to the name for instance, i.e. chocolate
            granola bar, you should then look at the ingredients list for sugar or
            some version of sugar. This information must be listed in the
            ingredients list on food packaging. State the name of the sugar used. You
            will not get credit if the food listed clearly has sugar, but you do
            not list it as having added sugar. If there is no added sugar, you need
            to put 0 grams. See Chapter 4 lecture slides for list of foods that are added sugar (besides table sugar).
          1. Your reasons for that food choice. Review Chapter 1, Reasons for food choices.

          Located at the very bottom of the form (in the footer area): Report the nutrient info as indicated.

          1. To find this information in MyFitnessPal,
            1. From ‘Home’ view click on More > Nutrition > find the following information:
              1. Click on ‘Macros’ to find macros (must report in percentages to get full 3 points)
              2. Click on ‘Nutrients’ to locate and report other nutrient totals.
          2. To find nutrient info in NutriCalcPlus:
            1. Click on Reports.
            2. Click on Macronutrient Report to report macro splits (% Carbohydrates, % Fat, % Protein)
            3. Click on Single Nutrient Reports to report other nutrients (fiber, saturated fat, calcium, sodium)
          3. Now you are ready to submit your assignment.
            1. Upload your file the food journal template that you have now filled in (must be in word document file format) by clicking ‘Submit Assignment’ at the top of the page. Attach file.
        3. Before YOU submit your food journal:Did you use the rubric and these instructions to double-check your work?
          Food Journal Day 2
          Criteria Ratings Pts
          Recording food intake
          2 ptsComplete1.5 ptsMissing beverages1 ptsMissing quantity0.5 ptsMissing beverages and quantity0 ptsNo entry / 2 pts
          Food groups
          2 ptsComplete1 ptsIncorrectincorrect food groups0.5 ptsUnsatisfactoryMissing food group0 ptsNo entry / 2 pts
          1 ptsComplete0.5 ptsUnsatisfactoryMissing or incorrect application of the scale0 ptsNo entry / 1 pts
          Reasons for food choice 1 ptsFull Marks0 ptsNo Marks / 1 pts
          Nutrient Info
          7 ptsFull Marks6.5 ptsMacro-splitsreporting in grams and not percentages as indicated on form by % symbol.5 ptsMacros incorrect3 ptsMacros splits only; nutrient info missing or incorrect0 ptsNo Marksmacros and other nutrients missing / 7 pts
          4 ptsComplete1 point for transferring info from diet analysis tool to template (cal goal, cal eatenm cal remaining and exercise calories1 pt Net calories1 point BMR1 point circling > or <3 ptsMissing/incorrect infoIncorrect reporting of any of the following: calorie goal, calories eaten, remaining calories and exercise calories1 ptsincorrect reporting of any of the following: NET calories, BMR, not circling greater than or less than signs0 ptsNo entryinfo is missing or incorrect for all variables / 4 pts
          Added Sugar 1 ptsList added sugar in meals, if any and gms if available0 ptsNo Marks / 1 pts


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