Are you ready to take your food tracking, water intake and measurements a step further? Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, lean out or feel more energetic throughout your day, the free app, MyFitnessPal is a user-friendly tool to help you reach your goals and set you up for success. On this post, I’m going to dive into some insider tips on how to use MyFitnessPal effectively.
In my role as a Sports Nutritionist, I relish the ability to monitor my clients’ dietary choices and hold them accountable. As an athlete, I appreciate the foresight it provides in planning and optimizing my macronutrients to meet my performance goals. The beauty of MyFitnessPal is that it caters to individuals of all levels, ages, and aspirations.
But the key to success, like most things, is being consistent with your tracking.
Why Track Food
Food journaling, or food tracking, is a method of mindful eating. According to the American Society for Nutrition, studies show that mindfulness has a great influence on how much we eat, how we feel when we eat and when we choose to eat. It can also help you gain valuable insights:
- Keeping a food journal helps you remember what you’ve consumed throughout the day.
- If you’re working towards a specific objective, it’s a useful tool to identify areas where improvements can be made.
- It allows you to gauge whether you’re eating excessively or not enough to meet your nutritional needs. Portion control!
- By tracking your meals, you can identify when you typically experience hunger, aiding in adjusting your eating schedule for optimal results.
- Food tracking can reveal whether you’re eating out of genuine hunger or simply out of boredom.
12 Tips on How to Use MyFitnessPal Effectively
With a handy barcode scanner, recipe importer, custom reminders and progress charts, MyFitnessPal makes food tracking a breeze! Here are 10 tips to get you going!
Tracking your food, water intake, and measurements can be an incredibly effective way to practice habit consistency which leads to motivation. Every entry, every meal logged, and every workout completed is a step toward your success. The sense of accomplishment you gain from seeing your progress is a powerful motivator to keep you on track.
Honesty is key. Track everything, from the olive oil spray you put on the pan to the breath mint you grabbed from your coworkers desk. The more transparent you are in your tracking, the more accountable you’ll be, and the faster you’ll progress toward your goals.
Remember, not logging that bite from your kid’s plate doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
Track Ahead of Time. Then Adjust.
One of the best things I love about MFP is the ability to plan my day ahead. Whether it’s the night before or the morning of, map our your day of meals and snacks to balance out carbohydrates, proteins and fats and refine nutrient timing.
As your day throws you unexpected curves (like most days), simply adjust accordingly.
Learn to eyeball portion sizes. With time, you’ll become more proficient at estimating portions.
The more you weigh and measure your food, become aware of how those portions look using your hand as a guide. This is extremely helpful when you’re eating out, at a friends house, holiday party, etc.
As you start this new tracking method, you can set up custom reminders through the app to be reminded throughout the day if you forget to track a meal or snack.
When you log your meals, make note of the time of day you are eating and how you are feeling. Keep your thoughts concise—there’s no need for lengthy entries unless you want to reflect more deeply.
Save Your Meals.
Do you eat the same thing for breakfast nearly every day? Save the foods as a favorite meal so you can add all items to your diary with one simple click.
Copy Your Meals.
Flip back to yesterday’s entry and click “copy meal” to copy those foods to today (or tomorrow…or any other date). It’s a quick and simple time-saving trick.
Scan the Barcode.
Can’t find the right item in the search bar? Simply hit the barcode button and scan your package then adjust portions accordingly.
Don’t have Premium? Try changing your location and you could get it for free! Go to the app’s settings and change your location to Canada or the UK.
View Nutrition Progress.
While on your diary, flip your phone horizontal and scroll to the bottom to view macro breakdown. Or click the menu bar and then the Nutrition tab to view that day’s nutrients.
MyFitnessPal isn’t just an app; it’s a community of individuals on their own health and fitness journeys. Joining groups and connecting with like-minded people can provide an extra layer of support and inspiration. You can share your progress, ask questions, and gain insights from others who have faced similar challenges.
Start with the free app as you’re getting started. If you feel this is a helpful tool to keep you on track, you can go with Pro, but the free app works well, too!
In the Premium version, you can rename your meals. So instead of Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks, you can get creative. Personally, my meals are Meal 1, Meal 2…Meal 6. Here’s how: Once you’ve logged in, click “My Home”, then “Settings”, then “Diary Settings.” There you can change your existing meal names, and add meals to the two optional slots.
Add Your Coach.
Gain an extra layer of accountability by adding your Nutrition Coach or a friend to have access to view your food diary. You get to decide the level of privacy they can see.
Remember, it’s not just about what you eat, but how you use the tools at your disposal to transform your lifestyle and achieve lasting results.
There you have it: my top 10 tips on how to use MyFitnessPal effectively. Take your goals to the next level with one-on-one nutrition coaching. With ultimate accountability and guidance, we’ll help you achieve your goals.
Isn’t it to time to take care of you? Let’s chat!