My Fitness Pal Review

by Mary on June 6, 2012

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:

  1. Measure everything.
  2. Eat the same foods often to make it easier to count.
  3. Input meals you eat often to “copy & paste” calories.
  4. 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!

Database for foods myfitnesspal

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.

Meal Feature

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.

Mmuffin my fitness pal

When using the meal function it enters everything for me automatically for that day!

My fitness pal meals

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.

Tracks Everything

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.

My fitness pal diary

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.

Final Thoughts

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!

{ 10 comments }

1 Eating as a Path to Yoga June 6, 2012 at 9:30 am

My glad you found a tool that works well for you!

2 Tammy June 6, 2012 at 9:33 am

I also love My Fitness Pal! I was really using it faithfully, but with a vacation and being sick, I’ve kind of slacked off. I like being able to track exercise. The thing about completing the daily entry – I usually only do it if I stayed under my calories for the day!!! I also like that if you are eating the same thing every day, you can click on “copy from yesterday” or “copy from date”. It keeps me from having to enter my Quaker oatmeal day after day!

3 Heather@YSP June 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

I LOVE MFP. I have been using it for a while now, for food and exercise tracking, and I really enjoy it. I do “complete” my days, because somehow in my head it keeps me more accountable, but I don’t think it changes anything really. I’ve used just about every other tracker too, and this one definitely has by far the best food database.

4 Ashley June 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I use MFP too! I love it!

5 Viv @ No Sugarcoating June 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm

MFP is what I’ve been using since last August and I love it. It’s fantastic for calorie counting, it makes it so easy too, and I love the support / social networking on it. Not to mention that I met my boyfriend through MFP.
Add me if you like: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/nosugarcoating/

6 Jody - Fit at 54 June 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I look forward to hearing more about what you think after some time using it Mary. Glad you like it!

7 Miz June 7, 2012 at 5:20 am

interesting.
Im not helpful at all with this stuff and have a few friends looking for a gadgetthing like thisone!!

8 The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh June 7, 2012 at 6:50 am

I’m on there on occasion to support a few friends and family members who are trying to lose weight but I’ve spent more than 10 years on FitDay building my database and I can’t abandon it. Thanks for reminding me about the meal function.

9 Carrie @ Season It Already! June 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I use Lose It! and it sounds quite similar. I like it for the most part. The only thing I don’t get into is the “friends” portion and updating, like you. For me, this is private, like a journal and I don’t want to be in on anyone else’s journal either.

10 Alan (Pounds Off Playoff) June 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

Hi Mary! I really like MFP, too. Actually, I’ve never used it on a computer, just on my Android phone. It’s so easy to use.

I really like your 3 things. I’ve recently decided that #1, counting everything, may be the single most important thing you can do to control your weight. I do that and try to finish every day somewhere below maintenance weight (some days I go low on calories, some days I just don’t go over). Seems to be working!

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