MyFitnessPal: Best features, how to & why you need it!

To say that the app MyFitness Pal has saved my nutritional life (and some sanity) is an understatement. Mainly because as a bikini competitor where I'm often counting macros, before I had MyFitness Pal, I was doing everything by hand in a journal. Which meant every time I ate something I had to manually find the nutritional info and keep a log in my macro tracking journal (where I kept all my nutritional info) and then ADD UP EVERY MACRO... It was super time consuming, wasn't exact (which killed me), and I didn't track micronutrients like sodium or potassium, or things like the TYPES of fat I was eating. MyFitness pal does that with near zero effort!

There are quite a few awesome and SUPER helpful tools inside this app, and while I'm listing them in written form here, the video above explains it in more detail and you have a visual to follow along! So I highly recommend watching it!


1. Setting Daily Macro Goals (or calorie goals)

2. SCANNING The Foods In

3. You Don't Have To Add Up Your Intake Manually

4. Visual Tracker For Weight Loss (with the option to put in progress pics)

5. Stores ALL Food Info You Have Ever Input (so you aren't searching for nutritional info)

6. Setting Different Goals By Day (Best for people who carb cycle)

7. Planning Ahead

8. Creating Meals and Recipes With Nutritional Info Built In

9. Sharing With Others

10. Finding Restaurant Nutritional Info

1. Setting Daily Macro (or calorie) Goals

The free version of MyFitness Pal is set up to count calories as your home page, but also tracks macros and micros for the entire day. If you get the premium version however, (which is super cheap and 110% worth it!) you can set and see macros by the meal, and see your remaining macros as your home page. It makes it so easy to see what you can eat the rest of the day and takes the stress out of trying to figure out "what should I eat?" "what fits my macros I have left?". You can set the exact amount of protein, fat, carbs (all in grams), calories, and all micronutrient amounts as well.

2. Scanning Your Foods In

This is absolutely the best feature in this app! Before this feature, I was half in and half out on using this. But picture this. You grab something that has ANY scanning label on it (what you would scan at the grocery store to pay) and it AUTOMATICALLY inputs ALL the nutritional info! WHAT?! No more googleing "5oz sweet potato nutrition facts"! After you scan the food, you can then adjust the serving size you ate. For example, you scan in granola. It automatically inputs "1 serving" which is 1 cup. But lets say you only ate 1/4 cup. You can adjust the serving size to 1/4 cup with a little toggle! This took my macro tracking time from 35 minutes in total a day, to 5 minutes a day. No kidding. I timed it. By scanning your foods, it's also SO much more accurate.

3. You Don't Add Up Your Intake By Hand

Okay, so the biggest problem with tracking by hand in a notebook was trying to add everything up. Example: after meal 5 (which is dinner for me) I would have to take the time to manually add each macro and then see how many I had left to eat for the day. The adding of my meals and subtracting from my daily total took a ton of time. MyFitnessPal does it for you. Now I can just click on the app, see what I have ALREADY eaten and what I have LEFT to eat, and then pick a dessert or snack that fits what I can still eat. This is one of the few times I'll say I love technology.

4. Visual Tracker For Weight Loss (with the option to put in progress pics)

This is also kind of cool. Who else gets discouraged if they don't see the scale drop after a few days of being AWESOME!? Me... I do. BUT! Its really cool to have a graph that shows my overall weight loss to remind me I'm still making progress overall, and It's going to be okay. I need that reminder sometimes. You can input your weight whenever you want, as well as progress pics for people like me that take them (and if you don't you should. Even before you think about stepping anywhere near a scale!). And it automatically creates an awesome graph of your weight loss.

5. It Stores ALL Food Info You Have Ever Input (so you aren't searching for nutritional info)

This was another huge issue for me when I was tracking my hand. Even If I had the same food a few times a week, I would have to go searching through an entire notebook to find the nutritional info, or google it, or write it down AGAIN after looking at the package. MyFitnessPal stores all the foods you have ever eaten. So Lets say you ate something 2 weeks ago, you can now just type it into the search bar and click on it to add those nutrition facts! Super easy, super simple, and super quick.

6. Setting Different Goals By Day (Best for people who carb cycle)

When I am prepping for a show, there are at least 8-12 weeks that I am carb cycling. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a method of dieting where you eat less carbs for a few days, and then more carbs one day. This promotes fat loss by being in a larger caloric deficit on low carb days, and then spikes leptin levels (the hormone that makes you feel full) on high carb days. Over-all, it creates a great atmosphere for fat loss, while preserving or increasing muscle mass, keeping the metabolism running as fast as possible and also eating more awesome foods on high carb days for your sanity. Okay, anyways, back to MyFitnessPal....

You can set macro goals based on the day! So You can automatically SET Mon, Tues, and Wed to be 120g of carbs and Thurs to be 180g of carbs. It just keeps everything organized and so you don't have to remember as much.

7. Planning Ahead

I love planning my meals ahead (sometimes). If I know Im going to have a busy day, I can go in and add in all my foods and snacks for the day so I know exactly what to prep, bring, eat etc. Which in turn makes me less likely to binge on something I "shouldn't" be eating. The point with MyFitnessPal is you can be sure all the foods add up to your macro or calorie goal for the day.

8. Creating Meals and Recipes With Nutritional Info Built In

You can add full meals or recipes by using these features! By adding each ingredient or food, you can account for everything you put in your food or recipe! Then, you can divide that full recipe into serving sizes (example: you put in the ingredients for a cookie recipe that makes 24 cookies. You can adjust the serving size to 1/24 of the recipe to get the macros/micros for ONE cookie!).

9. Sharing With Others

This is an awesome accountability tool, and something I recently implemented in my Custom Meal Plan Coaching! You can choose to share (if you want) your FitPal with others! Example: you and a friend are trying to eat healthier, you choose to share what you're eating to keep each other on track! Or, if you are a coach like myself, you can publicly share yours to show other what you eat daily!

10. Finding Restaurant Nutritional Info

If you go to the little location pin after you go to add a food, you can search restaurants and add in the food you ate at that place! Example: type in burger king, and their menu list pops up, and the nutrition info is in there for everything on the menu! However, they do not have every restaurant, so you MAY still have to google the nutritional info for that place and add it in manually.

I hope this was helpful! This app is a great tool to track and to learn what is in a food! And also, to get used to serving sizes! I BEYOND HIGHLY recommend upgrading to the premium version, or at least doing the 7 day free trial to see if you love it like I do!

For meal plans, exercise plans, personal training and wellness program info, contact me! Id love to go over what you are looking to achieve and help you overcome your road blocks!


Nikelle Perry

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

This very well may be the most uncertain time in our life. We have no idea when life will "go back to normal" or it even will. We have no idea what the "new" normal will look like, like if we have to

During this pandemic, any momma who is trying to keep up with their exercise is doing it with their kiddos. This can be both frustrating and challenging. We don't actually get that time to focus unint