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My Fitness Pal is a completely free food and exercise tracking site. Utilizing several useful apps and an easy-use interface, members can update their profile and monitor their weight loss progress. Results can be viewed as time-sensitive graphs and members can also talk with one another using the site’s forums and private message boxes.
There are several key features to MyFitnessPal which make it worth considering. The first is the tracking software. When you start out, you will be asked a series of questions about your weight and targets. This includes how often you aim to exercise and how much weight you’d like to lose each week. The system then calculates if this is possible and how many calories you’ll be allowed to eat in order to achieve your goals.
The user interface shows your “calories remaining”, with a basic calculation of Food minus Exercise. You then click “add exercise” or “add food” to see the results. The idea is that you can work out if you’re over eating, and where to cut down or adapt your diet.
This was generally easy to use, although we did find that some foods were hard to pinpoint in a search. This was because users can update the database, so sometimes you’ll find multiple entries for a single food, and it’s not clear which one you should pick.
The second notable feature of MyFitnessPal.com is its range of apps. You can quickly find useful apps to help you track your exercise (and subsequently the calories burned), scales, heart rate monitors and more. There are also links to apps such as Pact (which is reviewed in our Fitness Websites section), whereby you can earn money by working out. These apps can really help you to keep accurate records, as well as motivate you to keep going.
Finally, we were pleased to see the site maintains a forum area and groups for members with similar interests. This can be a big help in keeping you motivated. There are also blog posts to explore, and you can invite your friends to join you in your attempts to become healthier.
You can track your food consumption using a food diary, allowing you to record breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Although the site doesn’t have many recipes itself, you can find recipes online and then copy the link. MyFitnessPal will then calculate the calories per serving based on the information on the website, although it does not track nutrients. This is a great feature as it takes a lot of the hassle out of having to find each ingredient and work out how much each one will weigh to fit your calorie allowance.
Over all, we were really impressed with My Fitness Pal. It offered a practical way to monitor your exercise and diet, whilst also having a few apps and extras to make your life easier. What’s more, this is all free! Whilst it’s not perfect in all areas, we feel it has plenty to offer anyone who wishes to keep a better eye on their activities and eating.
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