Should You Use My Fitness Pal?

A review of this popular app and website

Woman using the computer. Morsa Images

My Fitness Pal is a straightforward, simple diet and fitness tracking website and app perfect for the person who wants basic features without a lot of bells and whistles. The mobile app is available for Apple iOS, Android, and Microsoft devices.

This free fitness tool offers a food diary, an exercise log, a few simple tools, and a community forum for asking questions and getting advice. For exercisers who want the basics without much detailed analysis of diet and fitness goals, My Fitness Pal is a good choice.

MyFitnessPal Features

My favorite feature is the 'Quick Tools' option which allows you to quickly enter calories, previous meals, or recent exercises and workouts. But this fitness tool has other features:

  • 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 BMR, heart rate and recipe nutrition facts calculator
  • A community forum to share experiences and get advice from other exercisers

Food Tracking

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 wait until the end of the day to track meals without your labels handy.

Its ability to remember meals or copy all your meals from the day before also makes logging your meals easier.

Logging 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.

MyFitnessPal Extras 

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. It will also graph your progress to your weight goal if losing weight (or gaining it) is your desired end result.

In addition, My Fitness Pal offers several forums where you can post questions, tips, and answers about gaining, losing, or maintaining weight, your success stories, find motivation and more.

The Bottom Line

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.

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