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Say hello to your new gym buddy: MyFitnessPal

Say hello to your new gym buddy: MyFitnessPal

I’m following my own weight loss programme right now, and I’m a fan of having something motivational that allows me to track my progress.

I’ve tried a number of diet-checker apps in the past – including Nutracheck, and Garmin Connect, but I find MyFitnessPal offers a lot for anyone hoping to stick to diet and exercise goals.

Firstly, MyFitnessPal is free

That’s 100 per cent free, rather than just a free trial period which some of the other apps offer. All you need to do is sign up with a valid email address and away you go.

You set your target weight, enter details on your current weight, level of activity, gender, and age. I’m aiming to get to my target weight in one month.

The app asks you how much you’d like to be losing each week. 2lb, I optimistically tap in. “Are you sure?” It asks me, “this may be too aggressive to start with”. I opt for 1lb each week to lose – it’s already giving me sage advice.

Go for Goals

Once you’ve entered your statistics and goals, it calculates how many calories you need to be consuming on a daily basis. Bear in mind also, that if you add your daily exercise levels to the stats that this will reflect the daily calorie target. My target is to consume no more than 1,540 calories each day.

The idea is that each day you add all the foods you’ve consumed and all the exercise you’ve done so the app can calculate your daily calorie intake and keep track of your goals. Weigh yourself regularly to gain motivation to reach your target. This is where you have to be honest with yourself, but strangely, I’m admitting everything to MyFitnessPal – it seems to have quite a hold on me.

The great thing about MyFitnessPal is that it’s really user-friendly. You can search for foods, or scan the barcode. If the exact food isn’t on the list, just choose something similar. It saves your frequently chosen foods so you can add them quickly, and uses a predictive text facility for ease.

Get Connected

You can also connect other devices to the app, so I’ve connected my Garmin Connect account so the app can also see how many steps I’ve done each day.

If you want to add some, you can store your recipes and the app gives you a nutritional breakdown on both a daily and weekly basis, so you can see what percentage of carbs, fat and proteins you’ve consumed.

You get the option to create a profile and interact with other users, and there are regular blog posts on the MyFitnessPal blog Hello Healthy, with health and fitness topics, such as “5 Steps to Break Free From Binge Eating”, handy recipes and nutritional information.

I’m finding it addictive. It really makes me think about how many calories I’m consuming and it’s motivating me to keep active and log my exercise.

This is an app I can definitely recommend for anyone looking to lose weight. 

the author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running ultra marathons. In addition to training for her epic runs she finds time for strength training, Pilates and Yoga. .