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Weekly Review: My Fitness Pal

We live in a technology driven world with smart phones and tablets that assist us in our daily wants and needs. So why should our dietary and fitness needs be any different? In this installment of our weekly review I choose an application I have used for the past year to help me track my dietary intake. Enjoy and as always we would love to hear any thoughts and comments you all have!

My Fitness Pal app: This is an app you can find for any phone. It is a dietary tracker that can help you keep a running count of your caloric intake for a day. It’s designed to be an easy to use calorie counter and can give you information about the composition of your diet.

The Good: I will just come out and say it; I love this app and you will probably be able to tell from this review. This app is really all-inclusive. You personalize the app for your needs by imputing your height and weight and fitness goal; you also input whether you would like to lose, gain or maintain your weight. It has a bar code scanner you use in conjunction with your camera and you scan the UPC code on the back of the wrapper or label of anything you buy. It will pull any and all dietary info for your food and add it to your running total of calories consumed for the day. If for some reason the scan doesn’t find your food, you can search for food in the search bar provided by the app. Also it doesn’t just track your calories, but it tracks sodium, fat to include polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, fiber and carbs. You can also review your weekly and monthly averages. Plus, you can view all your stats in a bar graph if you find that easier to follow. You can also set your serving size because, let’s be honest, who ever ate just one recommended serving size of goldfish crackers?

 

The Bad: It takes a little time to get used to pulling out your phone every time you grab a snack. You may find yourself trying to remember everything you ate that day at 9 pm. Also, this app, like all apps, will sometimes crash or fail, but it almost always is fixed right away and I have never lost my past data due to a crash

 

The Ugly: Obviously, this will make you feel tied to your technology and in this case it means you have to have a smart phone or tablet to be able to use this app. But other than that, it really is a great tool for keeping you informed about your dietary habits.

 

Have you all found that smart phones and tablets have improved your health?

 

-Kevin

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4 responses to this post.

  1. I think this app is pretty good and tested it for a few days, but I ultimately decided on a different app. This one had more features than the one I selected…but I’m sure I’ll switch to it (or a similarly functional one) once I’ve got into a solid habit of tracking everything. For now, though, I wanted to keep it simple…

    This kind of technology has certainly helped me. While it ties me to my phone or web browser, as I enter all the data, the results of the data are really important to seeing progress and managing my activities.

    For example, my weight loss stalled this week and I know *exactly* why because I can see it in the logs in the app and can go do something about the specific things I’m doing to sabotage my plans.

    Reply

  2. […] Track your progess. Keep a food diary or use an app to track your food intake. (We reviewed MyFitness Pal) If you know exactly what you’re putting in your mouth, you can make some objective […]

    Reply

  3. I lost 20 pounds last year with this app. I love it! Now, I’ve realized I can’t live without it in order to maintain a healthy weight.

    Reply

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