We all live busy lives, so the thought of keeping a journal of all of your daily exercise as well as logging everything you eat might seem a little unrealistic. This is where the MyFitnessPal app comes in, as it does both of these things and more, making for an ideal one stop shop for all of your fitness needs.
In this review, I’ll start by detailing exactly how you’ll get started when first installing the app. I’ll move on to explain how you’ll input all the day to day information regarding both your food intake and your daily exercise. I continue by looking at the extras you’ll find at MyFitnessPal, before finishing with an overview of the popular app.
When you first download the app you’ll need to register, either through an e-mail address or through a social media site such as Facebook. At the start you’ll be asked to input your current weight, as well as a target weight and your weight loss goal, a good example being to ‘lose 1 pound a week’. You’ll also be asked for your activity level based upon your job – for example a desk job would give you a ‘sedentary’ level, while a mailman would be considered ‘active’. The app will now give you a daily calorie target based upon the info you’ve input.
In the bottom right hand corner of the app you’ll see a large ‘+’ button and this is where you’ll feed it your information. Five options will come up, the most straightforward of which are ‘weight’ where you’ll simply update your current weight and ‘status’ where you can leave a quick update to tell your friends how you are doing. The other three options are the ones you’ll use most regularly.
The first is ‘water’ and every time you drink a glass, simply tap the button and tell the app.
The second is exercise and after clicking this you’ll immediately be asked if it is cardiovascular or strength training. You’ll find a large database of different exercise types, so you’ll choose your exercise type and the amount of time you spent exercising and the app will work out how many calories you burned. The app will interact with other fitness apps, so if you do use another to track your exercise, you can link them, so that the information is shared.
The third and perhaps the best aspect of the app is the calorie counter. To enter your food intake you can search for it manually or scan the barcode on the actual packaging (with over 3 million food entries in the database, I am yet to come across a barcode it didn’t recognize). You can update quantities, so you can scan a carton of fresh soup for example and tell it you only ate half.
The number of calories burned is subtracted from the calorific intake in real time, so you’ll know exactly where you stand at any time of day and at the end of the day the site will tell you your long term weight if every day was the same as today. You can find the different calorie burn rates of different forms of exercise in this Best Fitness Equipment for Fat Burning article.
At the top of the app you’ll find a hamburger button, which brings up a much larger menu. Here you can check your progress, save recipes and foods, link other devices and apps, keep a blog and check personal messages. One of the best aspects of the site is the thriving community with an excellent and very busy message board, with main forums including ‘Introduce Yourself’, ‘Getting Started’, ‘Success Stories’ and ‘Challenges’.
The MyFitnessPal App is a very handy companion in the modern world. The ease at which all of the fitness and nutritional info can be input takes away much of the added effort of logging, while you have a real time calorie count at any time of day. This app works at its best when linked with a dedicated fitness app or device, ensuring the fitness information is entirely accurate. Add in the excellent community aspect and you’ve got a highly recommended and very useful fitness app.
Check out www.myfitnesspal.com for more