For those who follow my work, you’d already know how I feel about MyFitnessPal. But for those who are on the fence on whether or not to utilize this free weight loss tool to help lose weight, I’m going to break it down for you – and then you can make your own decision for yourself.
For starters, MyFitnessPal is an app available on both Apple and Android devices. It is 100% free to download and use but does come with some payment options if you chose to upgrade and unlock certain features. Would I recommend you upgrade to the paid version? Absolutely not. I feel like what you get in their free platform is more than enough to help you see results with your weight loss efforts.
It’s a Numbers Game
At the end of the day, weight loss comes down to being a numbers game. If you consume fewer calories than your maintenance number, you lose weight. If you consume more calories than your maintenance number, you gain weight. It doesn’t get any more complicated than that.
Let’s toss some numbers out there. Let’s just say MyFitnessPal tells you what your maintenance number is (assuming you haven’t figured it out yourself and plugged in those numbers within the app) and that number is 2,000. At 2,000 calories a day you will maintain your current weight. Now, if you want to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than that.
Again, you can either tell the MyFitnessPal app how much weight you want to lose and they will do all the calculations for you in terms of where your new daily caloric intake should be, or you can simply reduce the number MyFitnessPal provided as your maintenance by 250 or 500 calories in order to lose 0.5 – 1.0 pound of weight each week. You also have the ability to modify your macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats) to where you set how much you want to consume each day. For instance, if you want 40% of your calories coming from protein, you can set that and then adjust your carbohydrates and fat until the percentage reaches 100%. It’s very user-friendly.
Why Should You Use MyFitnessPal?
Other than the fact that more than likely you have tried various “diets” without success, what exactly do you have to lose? However, when you think about all of the diets you have tried in the past, what did they all have in common? The single thing that they all had in common was that they put you in a caloric deficit. It just so happened that the diet itself was not sustainable with your lifestyle as it drastically changed your nutritional behaviors (which isn’t a bad thing – it’s just with diets it tends to be put to the extreme).
No one wants to remove all carbohydrates from their nutrition. No one wants to cut all fat from their nutrition. It just doesn’t make sense. You’re removing an entire macronutrient from your nutrition. That’s hard to stick to. And for that very reason is why I don’t have any of my clients utilizing fad diets. In fact, they don’t need to really change what they are eating at all. It just comes down to making better overall decisions to make your macronutrients work for you and within your daily requirements.
But Why the App?
You don’t know what you don’t know and when you start guessing on your nutrition and calories, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You want the facts, right? And the ability to actually see results, no? Then this app can help you.
With over 11 million foods in the database, you can quickly search for food items or if the packaging has a barcode, simply scan it and it will register the food with all of the nutritionals already entered – the only thing you need to do is set your servings consumed. This even works for foods found at common restaurant chains – you just need to use the search feature in the app.
The MyFitnessPal app is there to help you stay motivated and progressing towards your goals by providing you with detailed numbers and reports on a daily basis. It makes logging and tracking your food simple. All you need to do is input your food data and the app does the rest (you may need to weigh some food if it does not have a serving size that is easily portioned out).
The app also connects with over 50 different health and fitness apps so that they can work together to log your activity and health statistics. Getting healthier and helping you lose weight has never been easier than right now with the MyFitnessPal app. When you exercise, it records it directly into MyFitnessPal. If you have an Apple Watch, it can even take your exercise and input it directly into the app without the need to even push a button. It’s simple and effective!
After you log your meals for a while, as well as input your weight when you check it on a scale (there are scales that also automatically sync with MyFitnessPal to plug in your weight), you will be able to view a chart of your weight loss progress and how you are trending. That visual also helps determine if you’re on the right track or if you need to make any changes to your nutrition plan and/or calories in order to start seeing results again.
Can MyFitnessPal Help You Lose Weight?
The answer is absolutely. When working with clients, having them do weekly logs that they email me is tedious. With MyFitnessPal, clients can connect me into their platform where I can monitor their progress. You can also join their community on the app to find other likeminded individuals who are going through the same things you are. Having the ability to chat with other people and discuss things you are going through with your peers is a great way to stay motivated and not feel like you’re doing it on your own if you don’t have a coach or nutritionist working with you.
You don’t have to go through this process on your own. MyFitnessPal is an amazing app and platform where you can take the necessary steps to better your health and your life. No longer do you need to be guessing if you are doing the right thing. With the app, you have numbers to look at and analyze. At the end of the day, the only thing the app won’t do for you is the work. Other than that, this is a tool I feel everyone should be using to reach their health and fitness goals.