If you are trying to lose weight you might want to try the tried and true method of calorie counting. There are a ton of ways to accomplish this from pen & paper to the myriad of online calorie counting tools like My Fitness Pal. Today I’m sharing my review of My Fitness Pal.
My History with Calorie Counting
It’s no secret that I hate calorie counting and have struggled with it over the years.
I always start out well with the best intentions but the tedious process of logging everything I eat eventually wears me down. In about 3 days time. Then I abandon the counting, feel like a failure, and move on. It’s one of my most annoying problems regarding food tracking.
Luckily I think I’ve finally discovered the “secrets” of calorie counting. They are:
- Measure everything.
- Eat the same foods often to make it easier to count.
- Input meals you eat often to “copy & paste” calories.
- Use a tool that makes the process easy.
The first two can be easy and I’ll talk about them another day. Today I want to focus on that last piece: a calorie counting tool that makes the process easier.
I’ve used several like Daily Burn and Lose It and Spark People and have finally settled on My Fitness Pal as my favorite.
Why I’m Loving My Fitness Pal
There are a few reasons why I’m loving My Fitness Pal…
Huge Database of Foods
For a while I used other services because most lacked the brands I used in New Zealand. When I finally looked around at MFP I learned that they had almost all those brands that I’d previously missed and more. The database of foods is huge!
Users can also add foods as well and then also confirm that other entries have the correct nutritional information. I like this feature because when I’m adding foods I can feel sure the information is correct based on confirmations from other users.
I also love the meal feature available in My Fitness Pal. This is great if you eat some meals over and over. I’ve been eating the same egg white english muffin every morning lately so I entered it as a meal on My Fitness Pal. Now instead of entering each of the four elements every single morning, I just go to the My Meals tab and click the muffin meal to add all the calories in one action.
When using the meal function it enters everything for me automatically for that day!
From there you can adjust if you made it slightly different that day. Using the meal feature saves a lot of time and effort if you eat the same meal repeatedly. I highly recommend it because it makes counting calories much easier.
One thing I love about My Fitness Pal is that is doesn’t just track calories and macros.
My Fitness Pal also tracks sugar and sodium. Those are both two things I try to watch as I can easily go overboard with them. This extra function is nice to have because these things can get way out of control. For example today’s tracking so far lets me know I’m doing great regarding sugar but could try to watch the sodium for dinner so I don’t go over the recommended limit after having a high sodium lunch.
It’s really convenient to have that information easily available so it can influence the choices made throughout the day.
Other Awesome Benefits of My Fitness Pal
Beyond the basic benefits already listed, My Fitness Pal has a lot of great features:
- Fitness tracking
- Community with active message boards
- Ability to use with mobile devices
- Recipe calculators
- Weight loss badges
They really do have a lot of neat stuff built into their platform and they are constantly adding new features based on what users need. It’s a bit surprising it’s still free with all the awesome features they include but it appears to be supported by the advertising on the site.
Problems With My Fitness Pal
I don’t have any problems with this calorie counting service actually.
It’s the first calorie counting service I’ve used that doesn’t bother me. Every other service from Daily Burn to SparkPeople bugged me for one reason or another. I’ve been using MFP for a while and I still enjoy it! The only thing that even slightly bothers me is the “News Feed” which basically just tells me whether other people have been updating or not. I could do without that but it’s not a problem as I just look past it since I don’t really care much about a stream of information about what other people are doing.
One thing I don’t do is ever complete my entry for the day (click the green button). For some reason once I am at the end of my day I just leave it. So I used MFP as a counter just for myself for the day and don’t utilize some of the other features like that one or the fitness tracking. Those all look nice but I just don’t personally have a use for them.
If you can’t tell from this review, I highly recommend using My Fitness Pal. It’s great for calorie counting and even better if you want the added features and community too. If you’ve been looking for a calorie counting tool to aid in your weight loss then check My Fitness Pal out!