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Fit Healthy Momma Rating: 9/10
MyFitnessPal is a meal tracking app that includes a ton of features and resources that can help you to lose weight or achieve any other health and fitness goal by allowing you to become aware of the foods you’re eating and in what quantities. MFP makes tracking your meals simple, easy, and convenient thanks to its industry-leading food library and free access.
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Tracking your meals can feel like an arduous task. But the truth is, if you want to optimize your health and control your weight, you need to be aware of what you’re eating and how much of it. So unless you’re willing to go the old-fashioned route and take out a pen and paper and start pouring over nutrition labels, you will need some tools to make the process easier and less stressful.
Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, lower your BMI, or improve your overall health, tracking your calories and/or macros can help you accomplish your goals.
MyFitnessPal is by far the most widely used and highly recommended meal tracking app on the market. I myself used MyFitnessPal for years before switching to using the 1st Phorm App, so I have plenty of experience and insight to share with you.
In this article, I’m reviewing MyFitnessPal so that you have the information you need to make an informed decision regarding whether this app is the right fit for your lifestyle and goals.
Quick Summary of MyFitnessPal Review
MyFitnessPal App for weight loss, exercise, diet, food tracking and more
Food tracking, measurement options, barcode scanner, personalized workouts, goal tracking
Weight loss through diet and exercise
Yes, but be prepared for ads
$9.99 per month
Avg. User Rating:
4.7/5 (Over 1.4 million reviews)
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What is MyFitnessPal?
MyFitnessPal is a meal tracking app that allows you to take control of your nutrition by making logging your food quick, easy, and convenient. For MyFitnessPal users, the app acts as your personal guide on your journey to better health. Users have access to daily calories, macronutrients, and micronutrient targets, all personalized for you and designed to help you reach your goals.
One of the best features of MyFitnessPal is its massive database of searchable food items. With over 300,000,000 available and more being added every day, this is the largest database among all the best macro tracking apps. Plus, users can download and use the app for free and utilize some of the most important key features, making this a very attractive option for those who want to track calories and/or macros.
- User-friendly app
- A huge database of foods
- Can track various types of measurements (i.e. grams, ounces, teaspoons, cups, etc.)
- Quick tools to help make logging quick and easy
- Educational resources and community features are available
- Many recipe creators enter their recipe calories and macros into the app
- There’s a version that’s completely free
- The app takes into account your daily exercise (which is not accurate, so you’ll need to turn that off)
- The baseline calories are often underestimated (so make sure you get an accurate count from a nutrition coach)
- Users can enter their own foods into the app, which means there’s room for error and inaccuracies
- Macro breakdowns are missing unless you upgrade to premium
- The free version is filled with ads (they gotta make money somehow!)
Go to MyFitnessPal
How Does It Work?
If you’re brand new to tracking your food, it’s important to have at least a baseline understanding of how MyFitnessPal works so that you can have an idea of how the app operates.
Here’s how it works:
- When you first sign up for MyFitnessPal, you will be guided through the app to set up your fitness profile by inputting your basic information.
- Based on your information, MyFitnessPal recommends a daily net calorie target for you to achieve your weight loss or weight gain goals.
- As you eat and exercise throughout the day, you will lose your meals and your exercise in the food and exercise diary areas.
- MyFtinessPal will then calculate the number of calories that you have consumed through food and burned through exercise to give you an estimate of how many calories you have left for the day.
- When you follow the guidelines given to you by the app, you should be able to reach the goals you are striving for.
- The more consistently you log, the easier the process will get because MyFitnessPal remembers your common foods and exercise habits and makes them easy to add to your diary each day.
- MyFitnessPal recommends that you weigh yourself and log it into the app at least once per week so that you can track your progress and adjust your calorie goals to reflect your new weight.
One of the biggest challenges with using MyFitnessPal for tracking your calories is the fact that they account for your movement in your day and essentially ask you to “eat back” the calories that you burn. This is not an ideal scenario as the calories burned during an activity are highly dependent on the individual and almost impossible to estimate. Therefore, users should NOT account for calories burned during exercise and should simply track their total daily calories.
There is a setting in the app that will allow you to turn this feature off. Your total calories per day should include your exercise already as it will be based on your average fitness level as identified in the steps you took to set up your profile.
Key Features and Benefits
MyFitnessPal is a well-thought-out food logging app that’s designed to set you up for success. By providing you with the tools you need to reach your goals, you’ll have access to everything you need to succeed. Take a look at some of the key features and benefits of MyFitnessPal below:
A Personalized Action Plan
MyFitnessPal curates a personalized action plan for every single user so they can get start on their journey to health on the right foot. With your action plan, you’ll have access to daily calories as well as your personal macronutrient and micronutrient targets.
You Realize the Power Of Tracking
Tracking and logging your food is about so much more than just counting calories. It’s a way for you to become aware of and take control of the foods that you’re eating. Awareness is always the first step to improvement.
The more you log, the more MyFitnessPal will get to know you and your preferences to help streamline the daily process of tracing and logging. This feature saves you a ton of time and energy and makes tracking more doable in the long term.
You Gain a Better Understanding of Food
Understanding what the foods that you eat are made up of is an incredibly impactful tool in your journey. This is especially true for beginners tracking macros. The simple act of logging your foods and then reflecting on how much of each macro and micronutrient are in them can help
you build the knowledge and tools you need to start optimizing your nutrition to reach your goals.
Access to a Giant Library of Foods
A calorie or macro tracking app is only as good as its library of foods to choose from. With MyFitnessPal, you have access to the largest library of foods, meals, and recipes available anywhere.
Speaking of accessing a library, MyFitnessPal allows you to quickly and efficiently scan the barcode of your food and the information will populate into the app for you.
Some people like to measure things in grams, others in ounces or cups. There’s no right or wrong way to measure and log your food, as long as you are consistent and accurate. MyFitnessPal allows you to customize your unit of measurement per food so that you can log how you wish.
Free vs Premium Membership
MyFitnessPal offers two types of memberships: free or premium membership. For most beginners, the free version will have plenty of features to allow you to get your feet wet with tracking calories and macros. However, for more seasoned trackers or for those who want to get more granular and specific with their goals, the premium membership can unlock another robust set of features that increase the app’s customizability and flexibility.
The free version of the app contains all of the features and benefits listed above, but MyFitnessPal premium offers even more, including;
- Ad-Free for fewer distractions and clutter
- Macronutrient breakdown by grams or percentage
- Food analysis to see which foods are best and worst for you
- Quick add macronutrients to calorie entries
- Set custom goals for different days of the week (perfect for carb-cycling)
- Exercise calorie settings so you can track exercise without impacting your calorie or macro goals
- Premium customer support
- Data export (nutrition details, progress history, and exercise history)
- Macros by meal so you can see the macro breakdown of every meal inside your daily log
- Calories by meal
- Food timestamps to track how the timing of your meals affects things like energy, workouts, and more
- Plan available for the coaching and content you need to reach your goals
- Recipe discovery for logging and bookmarking your favorite recipes
- Workout routines
- Net carbs can replace total carbs for convenient and accurate tracking
As you can see, there are a lot of convenient and compelling reasons why upgrading your MyFitnessPal membership to the paid version might make sense as you navigate your health and wellness journey.
How Much Does the Premium Version Cost?
Upgrading to MyFitnessPal Premium costs either $9.99 per month or $49.99 for a full year of access.
Go to MyFitnessPal
Is MyFitnessPal Good For Weight Loss?
Yes, MyFitnessPal can provide an excellent tool to be used on your weight loss journey. Nutrition plays a critical role in your weight, and awareness of what you’re eating and in what quantities is the first step towards optimizing your nutrition to help you reach your goals.
The tools and resources found inside the MyFitnessPal app will help those who would like to lose weight gain a better understanding of food, nutrition, macronutrients, and micronutrients and how they affect not just your weight but how your body looks and feels. With an understanding of how many calories you need to consume in order to be in a caloric deficit (which equates to weight loss), you can use MyFitnessPal to track and log your meals to ensure that you’re staying within your specific weight loss range.
Is Paid MyFitnessPal Worth It?
Yes, upgrading to the paid MyFitnessPal version is definitely worth it if you want to take your health and fitness to the next level. The upgrade to premium will allow you to make tracking your food and exercise much easier, which is critical, especially for beginners.
Plus, at just $9.99 per month or $49.99 per year, it’s a small investment to make into your health and fitness. Skip a trip to Starbucks each month and the app has paid for itself!
Go to official website to learn more.
How and Where to Sign Up
Getting signed up for MyFitnessPal is really simple and can be done from your computer or by downloading the app on your phone. Once you’ve accessed the getting started page, you’ll be prompted to enter your information regarding your goals (weight loss, weight gain, or weight maintenance), your baseline activity level, gender, birth date, height, current weight, goal weight, and weekly goal so that the app can calculate appropriate calories and targets for you.
Once you’ve completed your profile, you can proceed to the app and start familiarizing yourself with its functionality.
Go to MyFitnessPal
Real MyFitnessPal Reviews and Average Rating
MyFitnessPal has generated over 1.4 Million reviews with an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 stars on the apple app store. Most people that use it love the free and the premium versions, with the free crowd only complaining about the ads they receive when using the app. There has been plenty of transformations and a lot of before and after success stories that back up the high rating MyFitnessPal has earned.
One person left a review saying,
"During the time I used the app, I lost 11 lbs."
Another customer reviewed the app noting,
"I use it for calorie counting and it gets the job done."
As with any product or service, we strongly encourage you to do as much research as possible before purchasing. Make sure you read through all the positive and negative reviews of MyFitnessPal so you feel good about going with it or not.
Read more reviews here.
Alternatives Compared to MyFitnessPal
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not MyFitnessPal is going to be a good option for you and your health and fitness goals, here are some other options you can consider.
If you’d like to take your journey to the next level and have access to a one-to-one coach and mentor, an app like 1st Phorm will be incredibly helpful. The 1st Phorm app includes all the same features as MyFitnessPal when it comes to tracking calories and macros, but they include a whole wealth of additional resources to help you feel like you’re not on your journey alone. From on-demand chats with your personal advisor and daily educational live streams to a library of workouts, 1st Phorm is an all-in-one lifestyle app.
Go to 1st Phorm App
Read our 1st Phorm App vs MyFitnessPal comparison to get more of a feel of which is better for you.
If you’d like a more guided approach on your fitness journey, Noom might be a good fit for you. With Noom, you can get personalized feedback and guidance regarding the foods that you eat as well as your habits so that you can tailor them to suit your specific needs and goals.
Go to Noom
Lastly, if you’re ok with tracking your food but want more of a diet-type approach, Weight Watchers (WW) is a good option. WW offers more guidance than just tracking macros and calories. With the WW program, every food is assigned a point value and you are required to track and eat in a way that helps you fit your points as opposed to your calories or macros
Final Thoughts: Is MyFitnessPal Worth It for Meal Tracking?
MyFitnessPal is the number one food tracking app for a reason; it works for meal tracking and weight loss. In my opinion, MyFitnessPal is 100% worth it for meal tracking, especially for those who are brand new to tracking calories.
However, for those who are tracking macros, I recommend that you upgrade to the premium version of the app to unlock some key features that will be super helpful from a macro perspective. The free version of the app can only get you so far, but will certainly get the ball rolling for you at the beginning of your journey.
I used and enjoyed MyFitnessPal for years and only switched when I fostered a deeper connection with 1st Phorm and got to know and understand the 1st Phorm app, which I believe is the most comprehensive macro tracking lifestyle app on the market.
Go to MyFitnessPal
Tips and Tricks for Success
If you’re serious about tracking macros, go ahead and invest in the premium version of the app. Not only will you get to avoid the ads and clutter that fill up the free version, but you’ll have more tools and streamlined simplicity to help you on your journey.
If the calorie and/or macro targets you receive from the app feel way off, consider hiring a coach or nutritionist to help you get more accurate numbers that are based on a more in-depth analysis of your lifestyle, diet past, and goals.
Purchase a food scale (I have this one) and weigh your food. Guessing and estimating your meal portions might work in the beginning, but you will eventually need to become more precise to achieve your fullest potential.
Don’t get too caught up in the numbers! If weighing, measuring, and tracking your food is triggering for you, consider researching some macro basics and then utilizing more of a “build your plate method” where you take the knowledge you have about macros and portion sizes and use that to build your meals.
About the Author
Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist
Tami Smith is a certified Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!
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Is the paid version of MyFitnessPal worth it? ›
Yes, if you're interested in a simple way to count calories
But if you want the most streamlined and user-friendly calorie counting process possible, then the Premium version of My Fitness Pal may be worth the upgrade.
While MyFitnessPal allows people to scan the barcode of a food product to go into their digital diary (and record all nutritional information), sometimes the scanner will not find the product, and needs constant updating. Additionally, the program does not let members edit certain amounts of consumed food.What is the criticism of MyFitnessPal? ›
In recent years, however, MyFitnessPal has attracted controversy, with critics alleging that the app exacerbates eating disorders for some users. Researchers at the University of Louisville conducted a study that surveyed 105 diagnosed eating disorder patients.How much is MyFitnessPal premium 2023? ›
Subscribe to MyFitnessPal Premium monthly for $9.99.Is there a better app than MyFitnessPal? ›
Is there a better app than MyFitnessPal? Our pick for the best overall nutrition app is MyPlate Calorie Counter. It has a simple, straightforward interface, and it offers nutrition tracking, meal plans, recipes, and workouts. Plus, there's a community forum to help keep you motivated.What is the difference between free and premium MyFitnessPal? ›
MyFitnessPal Cost: Free vs Premium
The free version of the app will net you all of the basic features you'll need for meal planning, keeping a food diary and calorie tracking, while MyFitnessPal Premium gives additional bonus features well-suited for those seriously tracking their diets and workouts.
There's no easier way to track your food, activity, steps, water, weight and measurements than MyFitnessPal. That's why more than 200 million people use the app to to achieve their health and fitness goals. All of our features are designed to set you up for success.Do people lose weight using MyFitnessPal? ›
MyFitnessPal can be a genius weight loss tool—especially if you have a tendency to munch mindlessly or have no idea how many calories you're eating in the first place, says Christy Brissette, R.D., president of 80 Twenty Nutrition.What is not very active in MyFitnessPal? ›
Fewer than 1,000 steps a day is sedentary. 1,000 to 10,000 steps or about 4 miles a day is Lightly Active. 10,000 to 23,000 steps or 4 to 10 miles a day is considered Active. More than 23,000 steps or 10 miles a day is Highly active.What happened to MyFitnessPal? ›
MyFitnessPal account with other fitness apps like Garmin Connect, FitBit, Samsung Health, and Apple Watch. In February 2015, Under Armour acquired MyFitnessPal. In 2020, Under Armour sold MyFitnessPal to Francisco Partners, a private equity firm. The app is free with extra features available purchase.
Why are the calories wrong on MyFitnessPal? ›
If your calories burned for exercise are extremely high or extremely low, this could be due to an accidental weight or profile entry. Your calories burned are derived from your weight and other profile information. We recommend double checking your entries.When was MyFitnessPal hacked? ›
The MyFitnessPal data breach occurred in February of 2018. The hackers obtained usernames, passwords (hashed), and email addresses. A year later, this data by the MyFitnessPal hack was found on the dark web being sold for around $20,000.Is MyFitnessPal free 2023? ›
Is MyFitnessPal Free? MyFitnessPal is free to use. You can use the website, iOS app and Android app for free.Can I get MyFitnessPal premium for free? ›
Can I try Premium for free first? Yes! If you've never upgraded to MyFitnessPal Premium or never started a Premium trial before, you are eligible for a 1-month free trial. Start your free trial now.Does MyFitnessPal premium get rid of ads? ›
If you'd like to use MyFitnessPal without commercial interruptions, consider upgrading to Premium. The Ad Free experience is one of many beneficial features that are part of MyFitnessPal Premium.What is the number 1 fitness app? ›
- The 10 Best Fitness Apps for 2023.
- Beachbody on Demand.
- Nike Training Club.
- Strong Workout Tracker.
- Best Calorie Counting Apps of 2023.
- Calorie Counter + (by NutraCheck)
- MyPlate Calorie Counter.
- My Macros + Diet and Calories.
- Nutritionix Track.
- Calorie Counter by MyNetDiary.
- YAZIO Fasting and Food Tracker.
If you want to count calories, track your food intake, weigh your macros, lose weight fast and have a higher risk of weight regain, you can consider MyFitnessPal or WW. In our opinion, WW might be the better option as they have more educational resources and support from coaches that can be motivating.What is the best way to use MyFitnessPal? ›
- GET IN THE HABIT OF TRACKING EVERYTHING. ...
- SET REALISTIC GOALS. ...
- BE HONEST AND CONSISTENT. ...
- MAKE FRIENDS IN MYFITNESSPAL. ...
- VISIT THE MYFITNESSPAL FORUMS. ...
- FIND THE BARCODE SCANNER. ...
- USE THE CHARTS AND GRAPHS. ...
- SET REMINDERS.
- Ad-Free. Focus on meeting your goals without distraction.
- Macronutrients by Gram. Set macronutrient goals by either gram or percentage.
- Food Analysis. ...
- Quick Add Macronutrients. ...
- Different Goals by Day. ...
- Exercise Calorie Settings. ...
- Home Screen Dashboard. ...
- Priority Customer Support.
What do you get when you pay for MyFitnessPal? ›
The premium version allows you to customize calorie goals as well as track how many you burned off on the treadmill this morning. Not only can you track your calories, but you can set fixed calorie intake by days of the week and each individual meal.Who is the target audience for MyFitnessPal? ›
Customer Segments: MyFitnessPal is designed for anyone interested in improving their health and fitness. People who are interested in tracking their calorie intake and physical activity levels. The app is particularly popular with people trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or eat healthier.What can people see on MyFitnessPal? ›
Your actual weight is for your eyes only, this is always kept private. If you add a friend, they will be able to see your News Feed updates, including the amount of weight you've lost, but never your current weight.How many people use MyFitnessPal? ›
MyFitnessPal annual users 2015 to 2021 (mm)
REEVALUATE YOUR DIET
Use an app like MyFitnessPal and take a good, hard look at what you're consuming throughout the day. Everything counts, including liquids and small snacks. If you're eating more calories than you're burning each day, your body can't shed excess pounds. Conversely, you could be eating too little.
Calorie needs are highly individualized and depend on many factors, including body size, age, and activity levels. A 1,200-calorie diet is inappropriate for most adults, including smaller women.Should you eat all your calories on MyFitnessPal? ›
The vast majority of us who are trying to shed a few pounds or maintain our weight need not be concerned about eating back all of our exercise calories, but those trying to gain weight, and/or who are training heavily several times per week should be mindful about getting in enough calories–both to fuel physical ...How many calories does 10,000 steps burn? ›
Have you been power walking your way to 10,000 steps a day? Good for you! It takes 20 steps to burn 1 calorie, therefore walking 10,000 steps burns off about 500 calories, which can then be added to your total calorie budget for the day.Can MyFitnessPal be wrong? ›
For the most part, our members are just as precise as we are. However, there may be some entries that are inaccurate or incomplete. At this time, the only way for a user to manually update foods in our database is on our website.How many steps is sedentary on MyFitnessPal? ›
Sedentary is less than 5,000 steps per day. Low active is 5,000 to 7,499 steps per day. Somewhat active is 7,500 to 9,999 steps per day. Active is more than 10,000 steps per day.
Why is MyFitnessPal no longer compatible with my phone? ›
If you have an Operating System version lower than 9.0 (Android) or 14.0 (iOS), these versions are no longer supported, but may temporarily offer limited access.Can you no longer scan barcodes on MyFitnessPal? ›
As of October 1, 2022, Barcode Scan will be available only with a Premium subscription. Read more about this change here. In order to use the barcode feature, you will need a Premium subscription, along with a device that has a rear camera option.Does MyFitnessPal automatically adjust calories? ›
MyFitnessPal will offer to recalculate your calorie goal with every ten pounds of weight loss you record. If you missed the opportunity to recalculate your calorie goals when the site or the app recommended it, you can recalculate your calorie goal based on your current weight, at any time.Should I eat my exercise calories on MyFitnessPal? ›
According to MyFitnessPal nutritionist Elle Penner MPH, RD, it's not necessary to eat back the calories you burn through exercise. As she states, “The main reason is this: It's easy, and fairly common to overestimate calorie burn (both from everyday activity and from exercise) and underestimate calorie consumption.Why does weight fluctuate on MyFitnessPal? ›
Water loss is a big factor in quick weight fluctuations. Many athletes succumb to dehydration during long, hard workouts, especially in hot and humid conditions. Dehydration of 2% body weight that isn't replenished before weighing in results in a 3-pound 'loss' for a 160-pound adult.Can people see my info on MyFitnessPal? ›
When you join MyFitnessPal you are joining a community-based program, and other members can view some of your information. If you add a friend, they will be able to see your News Feed updates, including the amount of weight you've lost, but never your current weight.What information was stolen in the MyFitnessPal? ›
The delicate nature of this data, and the fraudulent uses it divines, means it's a popular target for hackers. During the MyFitnessPal data breach, hackers accessed usernames, passwords, and email addresses.Does MyFitnessPal sell your info? ›
“Sold”and“sale”in this case doesn't mean providing Personal Data In exchange for money—we don't do that. “Sold”instead means passing Personal Data, including technical device data, to another company that might use that data for its own purposes, such as for advertising.How much does MyFitnessPal cost a month? ›
The MyFitnessPal Premium costs $9.99/month, whereas their annual subscription costs $49.99. While the free account lets you track calories, activity, and weight, the MyFitnessPal Premium offers several other services.How long is MyFitnessPal free? ›
Download and start your free 30-day Premium trial to access exclusive food tracking, fitness logging tools, and expert guidance.
When did MyFitnessPal start charging for barcode scanning? ›
Starting 1 October 2022, you will need to subscribe to MyFitnessPal Premium - the app's ad-free subscription tier - for $19.99 a month if you want to use the barcode scanner. For years, users with free accounts could use the feature to scan packages and easily log their meals.Is the premium version of MyFitnessPal worth it? ›
Yes, if you're interested in a simple way to count calories
But if you want the most streamlined and user-friendly calorie counting process possible, then the Premium version of My Fitness Pal may be worth the upgrade. Still, whether it's worth the extra cost depends on what you value.
MyFitnessPal Premium eliminates advertisements and adds macronutrient and other nutritional information. It also lets you further customize the app.Does MyFitnessPal overestimate calories burned? ›
In 95% of cases, the app (A) overestimates calorie needs, because it overestimates calories burned from activity, and (B) underestimates protein needs. In other words, if you use the app's suggestions, you'll experience frustration and disappointment.Does MyFitnessPal adjust calories as you lose weight? ›
MyFitnessPal will offer to recalculate your calorie goal with every ten pounds of weight loss you record. If you missed the opportunity to recalculate your calorie goals when the site or the app recommended it, you can recalculate your calorie goal based on your current weight, at any time.What is an alternative to MyFitnessPal? ›
- Google Fit. Compare.
- Fitbit. Compare.
- Apple Health. Compare.
- Wellable. Compare.
- Sprout. Compare.
- GoVida. Compare.
- Virgin Pulse. Compare.
- Bravely. Compare.
If you enter your exercise in the app, MyFitnessPal will alter your daily calorie targets. If these are overestimated, which is likely, then you may end up eating more calories than you burn and increase your size.Why does MyFitnessPal minus exercise? ›
If the adjustment is negative this indicates the partner's reported calorie burn is lower than what MyFitnessPal's has already provided for you. By default, MyFitnessPal will show you only positive calorie adjustments.