Does My Fitness Pal Really Work?

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Does My Fitness Pal really work?My Fitness Pal is one of many weight loss apps and websites to come out in recent years promising to help you keep track of it all. By putting your focus on the progress you’re making, and seeing it broken down in different ways, the thought is you’ll naturally lose weight and stay motivated. But if these sort of weight loss and diet tracking services actually work?

Overview
My Fitness Pal is a free service and allows you to sign up and access all of features without paying any money. You can use it in conjunction with any of the most popular weight loss and fitness programs on the market, and it will keep track of all of your progress in a very clean and efficient manner, showing you just what you need to know in order to stay motivated and keep up with your training and dieting.

The Claim
Many people compare My Fitness Pal to Weight Watchers because both involve counting and tracking the calories that you consume each day. Even though Weight Watchers has moved to a point system, it still based on the calories that you are consuming, it just goes about it in an easier to track way.

My Fitness Pal gives you a more accurate look at what you’re really consuming, because it has detailed information on the most common foods people eat. This makes it easy because you don’t have to be the one trying to do all the calculations, and skinny nutrition labels to see how much fat, carbs, and proteins is in the things you’re eating.

They also claim there are success stories of people that have used their app and site to successfully lose the pounds, but there’s no real way to know if anyone has anyone lost weight by using it. Most likely they have, because caloric-restriction works in the short term. However, the real question is how well this works as a long-term solution for you.

The Hype
Web 2.0 has a bunch of hype with it, because many of the sites don’t really have a sustainable business model, and it’s unknown how long each will stay in business as more more people use their service, but they aren’t able to pay for things like servers and bandwidth. A site like My Fitness Pal which offers a solid service for free, most likely has a tough time converting their user base into money.

The Cost
My Fitness Pal is free to sign up and use. Many people ask how do they make their money, it’s the same way that Facebook makes their money. There is value in having members at your site, especially if they are all targeted towards having the same interest, in this case losing weight.

They can sell perspective advertisers on the fact that their membership base is interested in dieting and weight loss. There are thousands of cross-promotions they can set up with any number of companies in order to make money. Currently they’re using Google AdSense to monetize their site, and they have advertisements placed next to the charts and graphs.

The Commitment
Even though My Fitness Pal tracks everything you eat, you still have to be the one that eat the right things. Tracking can be very de-motivational if you don’t actually have anything good to track. The good news is that the more you do eat well, the more you’ll be motivated to keep the good trend going. However, when you have a slip up you’ll have to look at the evidence again and again as it shows up on your charts and graphs. Sometimes it’s best just to forget about a cheat meal rather than keep being reminded of it again and again.

You also have to be the one that enters in the information into My Fitness Pal or else it won’t do a very good job. This can be hard you never recorded what you’ve eaten before, as it’s a hard habit to pick up. If you forget, you might have to rely on remembering what you ate hours ago or even yesterday. You have to commit to carrying around a little notebook to jot down what you eat and so you can transfer it to My Fitness Pal, or just use your smart phone with one of their apps.

Evaluation
By entering your basic information, including your current weight and height, and birth date My Fitness Pal would give you a target calorie range, how many grams of carbs you should consume, how many grams of protein you should have, and how many grams of fat you should shoot for. The best feature they have is the reports that you can run that will show you a glance how good you’ve done with your nutrition, your workouts, and what progress you made since he started.

It’s a good idea to combine My Fitness Pal with a workout program, so that you are motivated to stay with it, and you can add advanced tracking to your progress. Popular workouts that mesh well with the MFP interface are the Insanity workout, Crossfit and P90X. It also works great with workouts that are more aerobics based like Zumba, and hot yoga. By adding the element of tracking to these exercises, combined with smart eating, it makes it a sort of game and gets you excited to see visual progress not just in the mirror but also on a graph.

Combining Different Programs
A good way to use My Fitness Pal is to combine it with a service like Fitbit or Daily Mile, that way you’re tracking both your fitness and your dieting, so you can see the progress in both spheres of your life and see how one effects the other. They do have a section that allows you to track your fitness goals at My Fitness Pal, but it is not as fun to use as these other two programs, so we recommend using them in conjunction with each other.

A Sound Theory
There’s a theory originating in Japan that says if you just weigh yourself every day you’ll automatically and naturally start to lose weight. The thought is that your mind knows you’ll be having another way in every 24 hours so you start making better eating choices without even knowing it consciously. My Fitness Pal promotes the same kind of thought, the very act of tracking what you eat causes you to eat better foods. This is definitely an intriguing concept, and is worth checking out.

How Does It Compare?
My Fitness Pal isn’t the only free weight loss tracking service out there. In fact there are several, with different features, benefits, and drawbacks. Here are some of its competitors, let’s see how it stacks up:

Vs. Noom – Noom provides the same sort of service, also for free, but their big drawback is that it’s only an app, and it’s only on the Android network. My Fitness Pal wins this battle because they have an app as well as a site, so you can use both, keep them synced up, and have access to everything wherever you go.

Vs. MyNetDiary – MyNetDiary is not as easy on the eyes as their competitors, and you’d probably want to go with My Fitness Pal or another service like Lose It!, or FitDay. They are just more savvy and easy to use.

Vs. Lose It! – Lose It!, FitDay, and My Fitness Pal are basically all the same site, just with slightly different features in different ways of presenting the data. Give them all a whirl and see which one jives with you most.

Vs. FitDay – FitDay is basically a clone of My Fitness Pal or vice versa. You can use one or the other, or give them both a try to see which one you like better. They have different interfaces but basically are trying to provide the same exact service. It’s a matter of your personal preference which graphics you like better.

Vs. FatSecret – FatSecret is nice because they give independent advice without pushing you towards specific products, meal bars, dieting shakes, and whatnot.however, My Fitness Pal provides better tracking, more eye-catching graphs, and a better overall look at your dieting snapshot.

Vs. The Daily Plate – Brought to you by the folks at Livestrong, this is a online-based system that will help you decide what you should eat, which is nice because My Fitness Pal doesn’t really give you a menu planning option. The Daily Plate is also well integrated with Facebook so this might be the better choice if you enjoy sharing your good news with friends.

Final My Fitness Pal Review

My Fitness Pal works as described, but there are some problems that they should address in the near future. There is no Facebook integration, so it’s not as easy to sign up as a could be if they would just connect through Facebook. Also, they don’t allow you to post your success stories to your Facebook profile so you sort of feel like you’re on your own here, and you can share your accomplishments with your friends. However if your private person, you’ll appreciate that you get to lose weight incognito.

Our Recommendation
Since My Fitness Pal is free to use, there’s really no harm in giving it a try and seeing what sort of results you get. While we don’t think that calorie counting is necessarily the best way to lose weight, and reduced calorie diets rarely work in the long term, it is good to be conscious of what you’re eating and this consciousness alone can lead to better food choices, which in turn will lead to natural weight loss.

What do you think? Does My Fitness Pal work or not?

29 Customer Reviews on “Does My Fitness Pal Really Work?

  1. I have been using the MFP app. for a month and have lost 12 lbs. It really helps me to keep track of my carbs because I’m diabetic .

  2. I started using MyFitnessPal on January 29, 2018. It is now March 9, 2018. So, it has been 5 weeks and 4 days. I’ve lost 13 pounds! And that’s on the low side. I am a 5’8″ female. I started at 200 pounds, and I’m now down to 187. The scale has said 185 pounds a couple of times, but it bounces back and forth, so I’m sticking with the 187 number. That’s an average of 2.5 pounds per week. What you need to understand, though, is that that is an AVERAGE. I went two full weeks without the scale moving one pound. Then literally one day I wake up, and BOOM, down three pounds. That’s how weight loss works. It’s not a perfectly linear process, so avoid getting discouraged when you don’t see a change for quite some time (no matter how many mathematicians say you’ll lose 2 pounds per week). It’s really a fantastic app. Free, too! I track every single thing every single day. I weigh all my meats and measure everything. 4 ounces of baked chicken breast is my go to for lunches and dinners. I put it on a roll with some fat free Italian dressing, and boom, a delicious, filling 290 calorie lunch. You’d be shocked at how many things you can actually eat and still be within your daily goal. You’d also be shocked to see how much meat you actually get with 4 ounces! I’ve always been the “eat what you want, eat what you love” type of person. But it really wasn’t as hard as I thought. My spouse has joined me on this journey, and that is the key I think. To have someone to encourage you, and help you, is priceless.

  3. I started on May 22 with 62.5 kg (138 pounds) and my first goal is 57 kg (126 pounds). Today I am 58.7 (~130 pounds). Maybe my goal is not big but i consider myself as one of those ‘skinny-fat people’ and my food choices weren’t really the healthiest before MFP, but since I started using it I cook 90% of my meals at home and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and I don’t have to starve myself for the sake of the goal. MFP has been great help for my weight loss journey, just add some light activities and your body will start changing immediately!

  4. I’ve lost 84 pounds in 10 months using Myfitnesspal. It’s literally been the only thing that has worked for me. Everyone should definitely try it if you’re looking to lose weight.

  5. I started using MFP on 10/8/15. It’s 12/29/15 as of this review,and by combining the app with one it it’s family of apps called “Under Armour Record” I have managed to lose 55lbs so far. I added in the Fitbit Surge this past week to better monitor my workouts and stats and cross- connected all the apps to speak to one another. I have found that MFP has been great at helping me understand the true value of foods we eat, how to think about the body as a machine, and what foods best serve that machine. It helped spark that interest in the chemistry and biology of food for me. I went from a guy that just ate when he was hungry and ballooned in weight after a bad knee injury, to a guy that is completely in control of food intake, how and when to eat non- healthy foods you might enjoy, and still maintain. I am looking forward to where the apps will help guide me, now that I have converted to a healthy eater, rather than a simply consumer of what tastes good. best app installs I have ever done. I also have to say that I only eat organic, grain- fed, and low salt food varieties, while also monitoring all the other bad and good ingredients. Its a lot of work and restraining for the brain but worth it to feel this good and have this much energy that I now feel.

  6. I’ve lost 19 pounds in a little over nine weeks using myfitnesspal. It really works if you work it! I’ve also made friends on the site that I share my victories with and support them as well. Its simple and easy to use and a lot of support. I would’ve never lost this weight without starting with MFP.

  7. I love MFP! It’s made me so aware of what I eat and has motivated me to eat highly nutritious wholefoods and limit my portions. I love seeing my progresd on a graph and the support from other users and forums. I have lost over 50lbs using it whilst also working out and am approx 12lbs away from my goal weight. Highly recommended!

  8. This site does work for people who work at it. I’m a success story. I’m real. My highest weight in my life was 298. I was 250 in March of 2015 after getting out of a toxic relationship I realized I needed to do something for myself. First app I found on my phone and I tried it out. Today October 2015 I’ve now lost 82 pounds. All from eating better foods. I didn’t do it fast it went slow. I started at a high calorie count and put myself lower every two-three weeks until I hit 1200 calories. My body is full and healthier now. I can’t thank enough for this app coming in my life. My only issue I have is getting to the gym to tone parts that are sagging. That’s my fault not the apps. anyone wants to add me on the app by all means it’s ashley_ann24. I would be happy to give any advice

  9. I just started the program a week ago and have lost 8 pounds. I am sure most of this is the initial water weight loss from the decrease in processed foods high in sodium. But this is still very motivational. I would recommend the program. Having the program synced with my Fitbit also helps me stay motivated to get my daily exercise and be active as well.

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