Have you ever tried to keep track of every calorie you put in your mouth? Every calorie you burned through exercise? I think back to the days when our parents tried to diet, having to keep a physical food journal. Food journals can be great to help you keep track of the foods you’re eating, but online journals nowadays make it so much easier.
My Fitness Pal (you’ve likely heard of it, if not used it before) is an online fitness journal, designed to help you easily track both calories taken in, and calories expended through exercise. On the food side, it also tracks several elements about the food you’re eating–protein, fat, sugar, salt, fiber. Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, you can track something like fiber, if you’re trying to make sure you’re taking in enough everyday. Or, for someone like me, you can track iron. I have low blood iron, so making sure I’m taking enough in through food is important to me.
Adding food to your diary in My Fitness Pal is a breeze. Their database is really extensive, so if you search for it, you’ll likely find it. Plus you have the ability to create your own recipes, so you can get the calorie count on the favorite foods you make from scratch.
Where the food tracking really shines on My Fitness Pal though is through their app. It’s free to download (oh, did I mention signing up for My Fitness Pal is free?), and it has this incredible tool for adding food. It uses your phone’s camera to scan bar codes, so you can quickly add any packaged food you’re eating. My Fitness Pal also tracks your food and keeps record of it, so when you to to add a food a convenient list of your commonly consumed foods is listed for you to choose from.
Exercise is also easy to add. The database is extensive, and it challenges you to look at your daily activities in a new way. Clean the house for an hour? Log it. Those are extra calories for the day so you can eat more, or a calorie deficit that will help you lose weight. Once you start logging exercises, My Fitness Pal will track it (like food), so those exercises will be suggested to you automatically when you log in to track exercise.
There are other cool features to the My Fitness Pal website and app. Reports, forums, and a blog. There is also a community feature, where you can find your friends who also use My Fitness Pal, and encourage them to keep up the good work. And the best part about it? It’s free to use!
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain weight, or just track specific aspects of your diet, My Fitness Pal is one of the easiest tools out there to get it done.