How to Use MyFitnessPal Effectively
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. In this post, I’m going to dive into some insider tips on how to use MyFitnessPal effectively.
As a Sports Nutritionist, I love having the ability to see what my clients are eating and hold them accountable. As an athlete, I love having the ability to plan ahead and maximize my macros for performance goals. It works for all levels, all ages all goals.
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
- Remember what you have eaten that day.
- Find out where you can improve if you are trying to achieve a goal.
- See if you are eating too much or NOT enough.
- Notice what time of day you typically get hungry and help you adjust your eating schedule.
- Realize if you are eating out of boredom rather than hunger.
10 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!
Track everything, from the olive oil spray you put on the pan to the breath mint you grabbed from your coworker’s desk. The more honest you are in tracking, the better you’ll be able to stay accountable to your actions…the faster you’ll achieve your goals.
Not tracking that bite off your kids 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 hone in nutrient timing.
As your day throws you unexpected curves (like most days), simply adjust accordingly.
Learn to eyeball portion sizes.
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 short and sweet – no need to write a novel, unless you want to.
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). Quick and simple.
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.
View Nutrition Progress.
Either flip your phone horizontally and scroll to the bottom or click the menu bar and then the Nutrition tab to view that day’s nutrients.
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!
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.