Calorie counting made easy
One of the hardest aspects of losing weight or keeping up a healthy routine is staying motivated. Apps like MyFitnessPal allow you to keep track of your calorie intake by logging in your daily meals (and snacks) alongside the calories you have burned through aerobic activities.
Build up your profile with your current and target weight, and watch your progress towards a fitter, healthier you. The app will calculate your objective daily calorie intake in order to shed those extra pounds. Even if you skip the gym, logging your meals regularly lets you be more aware of food calories.
Track your fitness and monitor your calories with MyFitnessPal
Your pocket gym buddy and calorie calculator!
MyFitnessPal offers two main features. The calorie calculator which has an enormous and comprehensive list of meals, recipe ingredients or drinks, and their calories. After each meal or at the end of the day you can log your intake. Find everything from “half a kiwi” or “slice of Gouda cheese” to entire restaurant meals. You can either select foods from a drop-down menu or use the barcode tool and simply scan them in. The app tracks your intake and remembers previous entries. The more you use it, the faster it becomes. Just click yesterday’s breakfast again or input a weeks’ worth of snacks.
A less well-known but equally useful feature of MyFitnessPal is the exercise tool. The in-built pedometer allows you to see exactly how many calories you burned during anything from your 10-minute power walk to the office to a 2-hour session at the gym. You can choose to track your progress by uploading photos, sharing your exercise or weight-loss achievements with your friends on social media, or joining the MyFitnessPal community.
You can sync your MyFitnessPal with your Fitbit or Apple Watch, although the app has been known to have some compatibility issues with the former. The app can be connected to over 50 apps and has a database of over 11 million types of food, making it hard to beat.
MyFitnessPal is not the ultimate authority on nutrition and exercise, however. Do bear in mind when using the app that most of the estimated calories are based on user entries. There may be a discrepancy between options: a “medium apple” can be anything from 30 to 120 calories. Also, remember that a bag of potato crisps or a whole avocado may be identical in calories but hugely different in nutritional value.
All the information is stored in the cloud so your progress will be synced across multiple devices. MyFitnessPal was accused of leaking user data last year, although developer company UnderArmor has claimed that the latest version is much more secure.
Where can you run this program?
The MyFitnessPal app is available for Android and Apple. If you have an Apple device, it will run on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch though you will need i0S 11.0. The latest version requires 210.3 MB of space on your device and can be used in conjunction with the Apple Watch.
Android users will need just 81.17MB of space. You can also run the app without enabling permissions like camera, contacts, or location.
Is there a better alternative?
As healthy lifestyles continue to surge in popularity, the market for health apps is huge. RunKeeper has been around for over a decade and for simple fitness tracking and exercise logging, it is user-friendly and reliable. It also gives you in-depth stats about your run and even lets you track the mileage of your running shoes. RockMyRun is good for motivation. This niche app creates playlists based on your running speed. You can even sync the app to a heart rate monitor so the music complements your own beat!
As calorie counters go, there are alternatives like Loseit! and CalorieCounter by FatSecret -- both of which offer the same features as MyFitnessPal. In the case of Calorie Counter, the database is arguably even bigger.
If you are looking for something to complement a grueling exercise routine and map your fitness, then an exercise watch like the Garmin or a Fitbit might be better. You can track your distance and calories burnt without potentially sweating onto your cellphone!
If it is a calorie calculator to go alongside a weight-loss regime, then MyFitnessPal is a good choice. The database is vast, and logging your meals is made easy with the barcode scanner. Also, keeping a regular food diary will help you become more calorie-conscious.
Should you download it?
Yes. MyFitnessPal is a handy app that will complement your health kick. It is particularly useful for watching your weight. Do download it if you are looking to journal your food and drink intake. Be cautious of over-trusting the figures, however. Remember that the calorie entries are often user-generated and subject to errors, so take them with a pinch of salt (not sugar!).
- Food database
- Motivational exercises
- Information stored in cloud
- Previous entries are recorded for easy repetition
- Calorie amounts not always accurate
- Issues syncing with the Fitbit