Apps, News, Reviews

App Review: MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal

Today is so fast-paced that it has become difficult to find balance in one’s life. For the sake of convenience, we have become accustomed to fast food, sedentary work lives, and quick-fix workouts. Two arms and two legs suggests to us that we were meant to move – not sit down for 12 hours at work and then rest when we get home. A lifestyle change is needed to bring us back to balanced, prioritize, and in proportion lives.

Many of us struggle with fitness. So many products have lied to us – from detoxes to convoluted machines, we have been on a steady diet of misinformation. The key to keeping fit is lifestyle change through commitment and accountability. MyFitnessPal is one such app that links people who are committed to similar goals and equips them with motivation and the means to do so.

How It Works

The MyFitnessPal app is a simply designed online diary, calorie counter, and fitness tracker for smartphones. The basic idea is that the user sets tailored weight loss and fitness goals, progress is then tracked and support (community and/or technical) is provided. Enter your current weight, gender, nutritional parameters, your level of activity, and then desired weight to set your fitness goals.

The app then calculates the user’s daily caloric intake, allowing the user to journal exercise activities and meals on a day to day basis. MyFitnessPal has an activity database of over 350 exercises and a food database of 5 million customizable food entries. You may even scan in your regular food items and develop custom exercises to add to your own personal database.

Features

Calorie Counter

MyFitnessPal works by tracking calories against the users caloric allotment. As you enter the food items you have eaten, MyFitnessPal subtracts the equivalent caloric value from your allotted daily calories (e.g. 2500 calories for the average six foot tall male). For every activity performed (e.g. cardio, interval training, cycling, etc…) MyFitnessPal credits the burnt calories to the user’s daily allotment. This allows the user to see the quantity of calories consumed against the number of calories burnt. In my opinion, this is the greatest benefit of MyFitnessPal’s calorie counter – reinforcing that weight loss is only achieved when calories burnt offsets calories consumed.

Instant Feedback

The crux of remaining committed to lifestyle change rests on self-monitoring and self-motivation. MyFitnessPal is an electronic tracking program where users may observe their progress and correct mistakes through instant feedback. This goes far beyond just counting calories. MyFitnessPal provides both a specific and summarized breakdown of food eaten. Depicting the amount of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates consumed by the user. The user then is able to recognize slip-ups and the adjust accordingly.

Community

The social and community aspect of MyFitnessPal allows the user to be encouraged by others users and earn awards for meeting goals. Where self-monitoring and self-motivation weakens, accountability and encouragement energizes. The MyFitnessPal community is full of cheerleaders, trainers, and fellow suffers to spur its users onto sustainable lifestyle change.

Conclusion

MyFitnessPal is a leader in the fitness app market that has a good track record of helping its users in achieving their health goals. The drawback is that some users may haphazardly use the app without consulting their medical practitioner, and without constructing a proper fitness plan. This hampers the effectiveness of the app. The MyFitnessPal app should be used in conjunction with a well-crafted fineness plan. Whether your goal is to maintain fitness or weight loss, MyFitnessPal provides a good partner in achieving them.

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