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MyFitnessPal: A Review

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 4/30/2010

MyFitnessPal is an online weight loss tool that is free of charge. It allows you to track the food you eat, the amount of water you consume, and your weight loss or gain. It's also an exercise tracker.

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    MyFitnessPal is a simple and easy-to-use site. It is free to use and it boasts many of the same features as the popular Sparkpeople, without as much extraneous information. In addition, MyFitnessPal allows you to track the particular nutrients that are important to you. While there are many elements that make MyFitnessPal stand out, whether it is suitable for your needs or not is another story. As the program is free, you can always try it out, but you can save some time and aggravation by understanding the unique aspects of MyFitnessPal. In deciding whether the program will work for you, consider the following advantages and disadvantages.

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    Advantages

    • MyFitnessPal is free to use and it does not promote the sale of anything.
    • The interface is very user-friendly.
    • It has a blog integrated into the system just for your use. You can keep it for your eyes only, allow just your friends to see it, or make it public.
    • MyFitnessPal projects your weight loss. Every time you finalize your entries for the day, a status is listed at the bottom that indicates what your weight would be in 5 weeks if every day were the same.

    • It allows you to select your target distribution of carbs, fats, and proteins.
    • You can track whatever nutrients are important to you.
    • It lists your target calories and target calorie deficit through exercise for the day, as well as the week.
    • It clearly displays your net calories throughout the day. The value is updated at each entry.
    • MyFitnessPal also incorporates a community element, encouraging message board posting and intra-program emails.
    • You can keep track of your calories burned, exercise minutes, calories consumed, net calories, and progression toward your weight loss goal.
    • The system includes diagnostic tools, as well as badges and stickers, for your website or blog to display your weight loss.
    • MyFitnessPal also offers a free iPhone app that integrates with your account.
    • The forum structure is simple. For example, if you want “support," there is one forum for that.
    • The program is very precise on nutritional information and it provides a wide variety. Additionally, user-contributed values are only included if you enter them, an aspect which avoids duplicates, thus saving you time.
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    Disadvantages

    • There are no pre-set diet or exercise plans in MyFitnessPal. As such, you have to understand how to lose weight, know what to eat, feel comfortable exploring exercises just by the name they are given in the Exercise Diary area, etc. This may be outside of some people’s comfort zones. (For many people this is a positive because the diet they want to follow is the one that came from the doctor, a personal trainer, their best friend that just lost a bunch of weight, or a diet they pulled from the newest book or magazine.)
    • It takes time to enter everything you eat and every exercise.
    • Some of the exercises listed are very general, such as only one type of yoga is listed.
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    Resource

    1. MyFitnessPal: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

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