I have been using MyFitnessPal for around a year now. Last year I decided I wanted to start tracking what I eat and to make sure I was getting the right macros each day. To start with, I was shocked to find just how unbalanced my diet was. So, after a bit of research, I was on track to get the right amount of proteins, carbs and fats each day. At first this was hard but it got easier after the first week or so. I am by no means trained to give you any fitness and dietary advice, I'm just telling you what I know.
So, why use MyFitnessPal?
It's a great way to track calories
Calories are one of those things you either consume too much of or too little of. Very few of us can nail eating the perfect amount each day. The recommended daily calorie intake for a fully grown male is around 2,500 calories a day (2,000 for the average woman). This is just to allow your body to function. Obviously, this will change depending on whether you are wanting to lose weight or build muscle but the majority of people should stick to around 2,000. This is why MyFitnessPal is such a great app. It allows you to scan your foods into the app using your phone's camera. It will then tot up the calories for everything and give you a readout at the end of the day.
You can also set a maximum calorie intake level on the app which will warn you when you go over your daily calories, fat, sugars or carbs allowance.
You know exactly what's going into your food
Have you ever wondered what you are actually eating? McDonald's chicken nuggets for example, are full of things you wouldn't want to know of, yet they taste just so damn good. The Spicy nugs are good too, discuss. But that a side, MyFitnessPal allows you to see in more detail what actually goes into what you eat. Think of it as a behind the scenes extra to the movie that is your life.
It goes hand in hand with fitness
Don't be this guy...and no. This isn't me, we just look very similar...
If you are a fitness freak or want to get into it then MyFitnessPal will be your best friend throughout it all. I have used it to help lose weight as well as build muscle and it works very well at doing this. But the one thing you must not do, is lie. Do not lie to the app and do not lie to yourself. This is where you will fail. If you make sure to log everything you eat, even that shortbread biscuit on the sly, all will be well. Just don't become too obsessed with it either. If you want a cheat meal, have a cheat meal, just not too often.
You can connect with friends
No, I don't mean you can get in contact with Jennifer Aniston, so you can put it away right now. I do mean however, you can connect with friends on Facebook and track each others progress. This is a great way to encourage one another to eat right even if you may not be up to it. You can even challenge them to see who can eat the best food...But if it's fitness tracking you are after, I would suggest using a Fitbit or Apple Watch as these are great for that and connecting with friends. I'll leave that for another article.
It's super easy and free
Yup, it is completely free to download and use. You simply just scan every food item you eat and it does the rest for you. You log breakfast, lunch and dinner and see what it tells you at the end of the day. What I find most useful is at the end of each day it says 'If every day was like today you would weigh XXX in 6 weeks. This is a useful and rough guide to see if you are on track or not.