Health and nutrition goals are something we've all had at one time or another, and chances are if you're reading this you have one in mind you're trying to achieve. Whether you're trying to lose weight, gain muscle mass, develop healthy eating habits, or live an overall healthier lifestyle, tracking meals can give you valuable data and insight into what works and what doesn't. Tracking other habits such as your exercise and water intake can also bring you closer to your goals.
Over the years, I've found myself wanting to achieve each of these goals at some point. That being said, I've tried several different calorie-counting apps, but I always found myself missing other tools. I wanted an app that could track my food, exercise, and even do random things like give me healthy recipe ideas for a tailgate party or give me meal plan ideas so I wouldn't get off track. MyFitnessPal was an all-encompassing solution that worked well for me since it has so many features and is easy to use, which is why I want to share my success and experience with you in this MyFitnessPal review.
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A Quick Look at MyFitnessPal
- Features: Custom app-generated goals, food and exercise tracking, barcode and food scanning, content featuring recipes and workout plans
- Best for: Tracking food and exercise data to achieve weight-loss goals and other health and wellness goals
- Average User Rating: 4.2 stars on Android, 4.7 stars on iOS
MyFitnessPal was originally developed by Mike Lee, who was tired of tracking his food the old-fashioned way using pen and paper. It's almost shocking to think people did this, given the technology we have today. Now, the MyFitnessPal app that transpired from this modern inconvenience can track your food, exercise, water intake, and weight all in one place. Your goal is customizable based on the information you provide when you set up the app, so it fits into a variety of lifestyles.
I liked how easily I could fit tracking into my busy schedule thanks to the user-friendly interface and expansive food database. Full disclosure: Sometimes sticking to my goals was hard enough, so it was important to me that whichever app I decided to use didn't make it harder. While MyFitnessPal Premium has the most convenient features by far, the free version of this app has awesome features that can also be utilized to reach your wellness goals.
What We Like
- 30-day free trial of MyFitnessPal Premium allows you to try before committing
- Food database has 14 million foods and more are being added daily
- Compatible with other devices including fitness trackers
- Customized goals based on your personal information
- Community content that includes blog posts, recipes, and tips
What We Don't Like
- Foods in the database can be entered by anyone so there may be inaccuracies
- App-generated goals may not be suitable for users with medical conditions or other factors that may affect health goals
How does MyFitnessPal Work?
After downloading the app, you're prompted to answer personal questions about your age, height, current weight, gender, and goals. From there, a daily caloric goal is generated for you based on the information you provided and you can start tracking your food. Food can be logged by searching for it in the database, or if you opted for a MyFitnessPal Premium subscription you're able to scan the barcode. The Premium version also has a Meal Scan feature that uses your phone's camera to scan and locate the food in the database you want to log.
At the end of each day, you'll get a message saying, "If every day were like today, you'd weigh X weight by X date," which is a really helpful insight. If you choose to log your exercise, you can do so manually or you have the option to connect a compatible device such as a Garmin watch to the app. You can also track your weight as often as you'd like to and look at the data to decide if you need to make any adjustments.
Benefits of MyFitnessPal
No matter what your goal is, it can be beneficial to see a log that includes your food, exercise, weight, and other data. That's because this recognition can give you a deep understanding of your habits and how they affect your overall health. I also thought that logging my food helped keep me more accountable since I was working toward a daily and long-term goal. The instant feedback prompted me to make changes and ensured that I was on the right path to accomplish my objectives.
I also really liked that no food is off limits which taught me balance and healthy habits that I utilize in my daily life outside the app. This also works well for people with certain medical conditions or dietary needs since you can choose the foods that best suit you.
Free vs. Premium MyFitnessPal Subscription
The free version of MyFitnessPal will generate a custom calorie goal for you and allow you to track foods using their vast food database. You can also track your exercise, hydration, and weight. The news feed has recipe ideas, blog posts, and limited access to meal plans and workout plans. MyFitnessPal Premium contains all of these tools but has even more convenient features.
For starters, instead of a calorie goal, you can set custom macro goals by meal or for the entire day. You're also able to see a breakdown of your protein, carbs, and fats and a food analysis graph that includes foods that you've logged and their effects on your nutrition goals. This can also help you find potential nutritional deficiencies so you can incorporate the nutrients you're missing. Not to mention the barcode scanning and Meal Scan feature made logging quick and seamless which was great for my busy schedule. The Premium subscription also gives you access to more meal and workout plans than the free version, and the best part is you don't have to fully commit right away. They offer a 30-day trial to see if MyFitnessPal Premium is suitable for you.
Overall, MyFitnessPal is a great tool that can help you reach your health and fitness goals. It's completely customizable and has great features that support any lifestyle. The free version of the app is an excellent way to get started, but if you want to hone in on achieving your objectives and want all the convenient features, MyFitnessPal Premium is definitely worth the upgrade.
FAQs About MyFitnessPal
Does MyFitnessPal really work?
Even though individual needs can vary based on various factors, typically if you are consistent in following your daily caloric goals and staying on track, you're likely to see progress toward your goals.
How much does MyFitnessPal cost?
MyFitnessPal has a free version, but if you decide to upgrade to MyFitnessPal Premium it is $19.99 per month or $79.99 per year. We recommend the 30-day free trial to see if it's right for you.
Can MyFitnessPal give you a meal plan?
There are a limited number of meal plans available in the free version of the app, but with a Premium subscription you'll have unlimited access to their meal plans.