In our interview with Christen, our BUFF BRIDE, we talked about nutrition and how she’s handling nutritious and sustainable eating while getting in her best shape ever. Christen and her trainer, Jordan swear by the tracking website and app- “My Fitness Pal”. It’s a simple way to track how much you’re taking in verses how much you’re burning off every day. The end result is a better understanding of how much your body truly needs to have a great, energetic day and fuel the workouts that you’re doing.
We reposted this very nice review and explanation of My Fitness Pal from about.com. , which tells you exactly what it offers, how it works, and it’s pros and cons.
Check it out yourself at www.myfitnesspal.com
- A food diary and searchable nutrition database that includes thousands of common foods
- A diet analysis that shows a breakdown of calories, carbs, fat and protein
- A recipe builder that allows you to create your own recipes and even submit them to the My Fitness Pal database
- An exercise log with a searchable activity database and the ability to add your own exercises
- Quick Tools that allow you to easily enter calories or copy meals and workouts from previous days
- Downloadable reports showing your nutrition and fitness progress
- A variety of helpful tools including a smartphone app and BMR, heart rate and recipe nutrition facts calculator
- A community forum to share experiences and get advice from other exercisers
Food– The Food section includes your diary for the day, listing your meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Entering foods is as easy as clicking on a link and searching the database, which includes a wide variety of foods. The calories are immediately added to your chart, along with a breakdown of calories, carbs, protein and fat. The standout feature here is the Quick Tools option. In this menu, you can opt to add calories to your diary without having to enter other information, which is a godsend if you’re like me and wait until the end of the day to track meals without your labels handy. I also like the ability to remember meals or copy all your meals from the day before.
Exercise– The exercise section is a bit spare, showing your cardio and strength training workouts for the day. Adding exercises works the same way as in the food section. You click on the link, search the exercise database, enter the minutes you exercised and the activity is added to your list along with estimated calories burned. The set up here makes it easy to add strength exercises, which can get tedious if you have long workouts. Once you enter a strength exercise, it pops up on the screen the next time around, so you can easily add the moves you do frequently.
Tools– The tools section is also a bit spare, offering fitness calculators (BMI, BMR, heart rate and nutrition) and other things like weight loss tickers and badges for your website.
Community – My Fitness Pal offers several forums where you can post questions and answers about weight loss, success stories, motivation and more.
Pros and Cons
- Easy to Use– My Fitness Pal is one of the easiest tracking sites I’ve tried. I love the ‘Quick Tools,’ which allow you to enter just the bare bones or copy meals and workouts without having to go through the databases.
- Simple– I also loved the simplicity of My Fitness Pal. Plenty of fitness websites offer so many tracking and reporting options, it can get overwhelming. My Fitness Pal allows you to track the basics without a lot of extras.
- Straightforward Tracking – My Fitness Pal is great for getting a broad view of how many calories you’re eating vs. how many calories you’re burning.
I don’t have many complaints about My Fitness Pal, but people looking for more detailed reports and analysis of diet and exercise goals may find it falls a bit short. There’s no real information about what exercises and workouts you should be doing, which may be a problem for people who need a bit more guidance. You also won’t see a breakdown of your diet – no details about fiber, vitamins and minerals, etc., although you do see calories, carbs, fat and protein.
Overall My Fitness Pal is one of the easiest diet and fitness tracking websites out there. It only took minutes to sign up, add a few meals and exercises and get a quick breakdown of my calories in vs. calories out for the day. For people who don’t want to spend a lot of time entering details or looking at reports, My Fitness Pal is a great choice.