If you have been reading my blog recently, you know I started a new diet about a month ago and so far have seen decent results (11+ pounds and counting). One of the biggest parts of the diet is counting calories and watching what I eat.
One problem I ran into was an easy way to keep track of what I was eating, my weight and my physical activity. Keeping a journal was not going to work with my schedule, I needed an easier solution.
Because I work in the telecom industry, I tend to stay on top of the latest apps across all the major platforms (iOS, Android and Windows Phone specifically). However, this time it was my fiancée introducing me to the app, MyFitnessPal. With her using an iPhone, my first thought was that the app wouldn’t be available on my Nokia Lumia 900, but something similar would be. I was wrong.
The MyFitnessPal team gets huge props for making their app available not only on iOS (both iPhone and iPad) and Android, but also on Blackberry (blah) and Windows Phone devices (Awesome!). Oh yeah, you can also access the platform via their Website on any desktop computer as well. They have all of their bases covered – a sign to me that they are serious about their product and know what they are doing.
So let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of MyFitnessPal.
I will start by saying that I have tested the app on iOS (both iPhone and iPad), Android, Windows Phone and played around on their actual Website from a desktop. The app seemed to be very fluid, bug-free and a consistent overall experience on all platforms.
However, I must say the Windows Phone App is the prettiest and most well-organized of the bunch (I might be a little bias).
Here is a quick run down of the good and the not as good:
- Running daily diary of your food intake, exercise, water intake and weight.
- There are three ways to add in the nutrition facts for the food you are consuming. A) You can search the index of already entered items (75% of what you need you will find in there. B) If you are eating something packaged with an easy-to-use bar code, you can use the built-in bar code scanner and it will automatically pull in the nutrition facts including serving size. or C) You can manually enter the nutrition facts of the item.
- Additionally, you can save your favorite recipes, foods or meals for quick access.
- The app also has a multi-add feature so you can add in multiple items at one time to save you time.
- If you want to track more than weight, go to the Web site and add-in anything else you want to log on a regular basis such as BMI, Body Fat%, Waist Size, Neck Size, etc.
- Entering your exercise is easy. Just search your activity and enter how long you performed the activity and it will apply a rough estimate of calories burned to your daily total.
- After every 10 pounds lost, it prompts you for permission to re-calculate your caloric and nutritional needs.
- The iPad app and Web site offer a ton of charts and graphs to help visualize your patterns and progress.
- You can export your data to Excel for your records or to make your own charts and graphs.
- And oh yeah, it’s free.
The Not As Good (but still not that bad):
- The caloric total provided to you based on your profile information you enter when signing up seems to be a bit off. You can manually adjust to a preferred caloric intake if you would like. I previously did a caloric intake calculator through another trusted Web site and found that I needed to consume 1880 calories or less a day. I chose to go with 1650 or less. The app suggested 1250 (way too low) for pretty much any adult.
- Adding friends to your network could be easier. The only way to find and add a friend for now is to add a / and their user name after the Web site URL. Since they have provided some social integration, they need to develop that area a bit further to make it easier to find and interact with other users in your social circles.
- That is pretty much it.
MyFitnessPal is a fantastic health app that everyone who cares about their health should be using. The only con’s to the app really aren’t major flaws. This app has a ton of upside and guessing by how thorough they have been so far, it will only get better.
Do you use MyFitnessPal? What is your favorite feature? What would you like to see improved on?
Share your thoughts in the comments below: