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My Fitness Pal Review - Does This Calorie Tracker Work?

By Summer Banks on Oct 27, 2016
My Fitness Pal Review

Why are people talking about My Fitness Pal? We wanted to know more so we looked at the clinical research, customer service, ingredients, and side effects. Then, we went on to look at reviews and comments to see how people really felt about the service. We summarized and condensed everything to make it easier for you to get the bottom line.

EDITOR'S TIP:

What is My Fitness Pal?

To begin with, My Fitness Pal is an online community where you can track your food intake and exercise frequency to help you reach your weight-loss goals. In addition to the website, there are also apps for iOS and Android devices so tracking on the go is easy.

My Fitness Pal, Inc. is the company behind the app. According to website copyright information, the service was first made available in 2005. The basic account is free, but there is the option to upgrade to a paid version for more features. We like the longevity and how it’s available on the web and on smartphones, but read on…

Issues With Portion Size – “Customer Is In Control”

The first issue we noticed is it is easy for users to track a serving size, when they could easily (accidentally or on purpose) eat more than what they tracked. “Users really have to focus on accountability here, or else they won’t get the full benefit of tracking. And it takes consistent tracking to see real change,” said our Research Editor.

One upset user complained, ”It’s hard to take the time measure every little thing, then go track it in the app.”

”Too easy to trick the system into thinking you ate well for the day,” said another.

Not everyone sees the problem with this.

“You should be measuring your portion sizes anyway, as this can help you learn how much you should be eating,” claimed a happy user.

“If you want to fudge your results for the day, that’s easy to do, but in the end, you’re not accomplishing anything that way, ” said another user comment.

Time Requirements – “Serious Dedication Required”

Our next concern is that even with the ability to track on the app while you’re out, it still takes time and dedication to stop what you’re doing and keep track of everything that goes into your mouth over the course of the day.

”I hated having to spend 10 minutes after every meal getting it all in the system,” said a customer.

”Tracking with the app is ore of a pain than it’s worth,” according to one review.

Others maintain it has helped them tremendously.

“I plan my meals in advance, and sit down once a week to get the recipes for the week setup in the tracker, which makes it easier to track daily. Yes, it’s a bit effort at once, but makes it easier to handle when I’m busier through the week,” said a reviewer.

“With such a large food database, it’s really just a few clicks and you’re done,” said another.

Over the years, we’ve learned that all it takes is one small thing to send dieters off track. If they’re eating more than they are tracking, it’s easy to misunderstand your actual calorie intake, and if they don’t slow down to take the time to track, it offers nothing of value.

The Science – “Anything Backing My Fitness Pal?”

There is science to support counting calories can help with weight-loss. And there’s more science to support that losing weight with friends is easier to do than going at it alone. At DietSpotlight, we want to see science before we can recommend any product, but we also know how impractical some approaches can be. We’re glad to see that it works well for some, but can’t expect that it would work well for all.

The Bottom Line – Does My Fitness Pal Work?

What’s the real deal with My Fitness Pal? It’s a good tool for people who feel better tracking calories, and can remain dedicated enough to use it every day. But, for people who don’t want to take the time o accurately measure their food intake, or won’t be able to track day in and day out to watch their progress, it won’t help.

If you’re ready to lose weight, we suggest using a supplement with clinically tested ingredients, alongside a nutritionally balanced diet and regular exercise program. It can help you lose more weight compared to just eating well and working out.

Among the best products we’ve seen in 2016 is one called Leptigen. It’s made with a unique blend of four key ingredients all of which have been shown in clinical studies to help boost the metabolism so you lose more weight. Plus our research into customer feedback showed no side effects or negative product mentions, letting us know users are happy with their results.

Also, there’s a Special Trial Offer currently available from the manufacturer for anyone who’s interested, which is always a good thing to see.

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About the Author:

Summer Banks is an ISSA-Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist and has reviewed over 2000 diet products. She has years of nursing training, experience as a manager responsible for 15 supplement brands, and completed coursework on Food and Nutrition from Stanford University. full bio.

How Does My Fitness Pal Compare?

Previous My Fitness Pal Review (Updated August 10, 2013):

What You Should Know about My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal is a community based website that allows dieters to track calories and progress online. The community is free to join and use without a credit card. More than 500,000 foods are included in the database and users have the ability to add foods to their daily records as needed. Mobile applications are also available for the iPhone and Android based systems making calorie counting on the go easier. The idea behind communities like My Fitness Pal is to provide support through use of integrated tools and peer communication. There are several websites like this one including Spark.com and all offer the same general support. Active communities tend to be more viable than inactive communities.

List of Ingredients

Peer based community with calorie counting and tracking.

Product Features of My Fitness Pal

If a dieter wants to lose weight, the best solution is to keep a food journal and tracking caloric intake. This has nothing to do with taking a proven fat burner as a fat burner will do nothing if the dieter continues to eat a large number of calories. When tracking calories, some dieters find it easier to track progress online and that is where My Fitness Pal comes in handy. With a free mobile application, users can update progress on an Android based cell phone or iPhone and all information is synced with the online account. This is a huge benefit for many dieters who don't want to write everything down throughout the day and spend an hour or more tracking calories at night when its too late to change what's already been eaten.

Websites like My Fitness Pal, however, do have a downside. Dieters need to be dedicated to tracking foods in order for the free tools to work. If foods are not tracked, there is no benefit to the system at all. There is also a huge room for error as foods not included in the database need to be added by dieters. Serving sizes are also a problem as many dieters have no idea how much of something they ate and guess when entering foods dramatically decreasing the real total caloric amount.

My Fitness Pal is a free service, so dieters can use all tools without fear of being charged for the service. This is a great choice for men and women who have the time to track foods and keep up with logging foods daily. The community based peer support can also help dieters stay on track. Some dieters even choose to track proven weight loss supplements and daily vitamins on sites like My Fitness Pal.

Advantages of My Fitness Pal

  • The service is free.
  • Tracking calories is proven to increase weight loss.
  • Peer based support could help some dieters stay on track.

Disadvantages of My Fitness Pal

  • Tracking calories online requires time and dedication.
  • Portion sizes are determined by the dieter, which could flaw total calories consumed.
  • Dieters still need to make good food choices and exercise.

Conclusion

We like My Fitness Pal as a mobile / online tracking application. Any free tools dieters can use to keep up the hard work to reach weight loss goals is a benefit in our book. Proven weight loss supplements will only support faster weight loss when combined with healthy, low-calorie eating and a daily exercise regime.

57 User Reviews About My Fitness Pal

Leave comments below (moderated by Leptigen)
  • 1
    m c, dunham

    The yesterday’s date came up a day later—-Thur, 10/20 instead of Wed. 10/19

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  • 2
    Marshall

    Lose weight every time I’m faithful about entering everything. But, how do you add foods? Can’t find on my Android app.

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    Anna (Editor)

    Hi! For detailed product and usage instructions, please refer to the My Fitness Pal official website for more information.

    [Reply]

  • 3
    Billie Jean

    I like fitness pal because it helps you to eat less. I’ve only been on it for 2 days. But after putting in my food intake, it stops me from eating because I knew I only had so many calories and fat remaining for the day and I didn’t want to go over. So instead of having a ham and cheese sandwich, I had vegetables and a yogurt. I do zumba aerobic classes, walk, and I’m on my feet at work.

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  • 4
    Debra

    It has been a huge asset. I love this program. I have lost 25 lbs in 2 months. This involved a complete revision of my grossly unhealthy diet which included a generous amount of beer. I track every single thing I eat online on my phone.Quick and easy. I chose to be extremely anal retentive about weighing meat portions until I got the hang of portion control and how important that is for accurate macro logging. I chose to follow a ketogenic eating style and am very happy with how I feel while in ketosis. I check blood sugar and serum ketones twice daily and log it on my fitness pal along with activiy. This program has been an invaluable tool. FYI…this is the lengthiest review I have ever written..I want to give credit where it is due.

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  • 5
    diet sites

    This plan worked for me. It’s not complicated. It talks about increasing your dietary fiber; decreasing carbohydrates, lactose, and sucrose; and limiting portion size. It’s not rocket science, but it worked for my much better than South Beach did.

    [Reply]

  • 6
    Davylee

    I have been using Fitness Pal since Early January. I also started exercising 5 days a week 30 minutes each and now am up to 40 minutes. Age 55 and I am a male that started at 299 lbs 6 ft 3 in height. I put into fitness pal that I was sedentary and wanted to lose 1.5 lbs/week. I figure the exercise would roughly equal 3500 calories and provide another pound of loss per week. So at the 13 week mark I have now lost 38 lbs, still have another 38 or so to go. Fitness pal works well. The only flaw I have seen so far is that it does not update your allowed calories based on your current weight. It started out at 2060 and would have stayed ther if I had not gone in and changed my goal weight by a pound, when I did the calories/day dropped currently at 1890/day so if you use this for long term weight loss, update your goal weight by a pound every time you lose about 10 pounds or so. Good luck for those trying to lose weight and I would highly recommend this app if for nothing else then to realize how many calories are in the food you are eating. It has caused me to eat healthier, only because I want to eat more, so opt for vegetables and protein vice breads and sweets.

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  • 7
    Melissa

    When I updated to the new configuration, I am unable to get past the terms and conditions page.I am not very happy with this AP based on that

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  • 8
    Beth

    Wont let me in the link to reset password

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  • 9
    Gail Lotts

    Tell us your thoughts about My Fitness Pal.i used my fitness pal last week , it’s easy to use , but I didn’t lose no weight , I did est a lot of pepperoni hot pockets and fish filled with lots of veggies for lunches I keep my calorie under 1200 a day . Need help

    [Reply]

    Stephen (Editor)

    You sound like you are taking the right steps, Gail. Have you held this regimen for long? It could be that you may have plateaued. Are you open to taking a fat burner?

    [Reply]

  • 10
    Janette Dotter

    Just trying to make sure I have the free app and that I won’tbe seeing any monthly charges?

    [Reply]

    Stephen (Editor)

    You’d have to call and confirm they didn’t subscribe you to monthly auto-billing, Janette.

    [Reply]

  • 11
    Dawn

    How can I send a before and after pic of my son, because of fitness pal, my son has lost 170pounds,

    [Reply]

    Stephen (Editor)

    My goodness! Send it to us or the company? info@dietspotlight.com

    [Reply]

  • 12
    Maggie

    Right now I’m totally disgusted with your program. For the last 2 weeks I can’t enter my information without huge problems !! One is “long running script” Now the Internet tries to fix 2 times and then quits. I have used your site for over 400 days and now it feels like a waste of time and effort. I had high hopes and now they are gone. Thanks a lot !!!!

    [Reply]

  • 13
    Priscilla

    I have been doing fitness pal since march 2015 I have lost 27lbs I am toning 2 time a week and water aerobics 2 time a week and I have not lost any weight in 2 weeks I am not cheating on my program please give me some pointers in what to do

    [Reply]

  • 14
    Your Name

    I love my fitness pal. But what happened to the diary section?

    [Reply]

  • 15
    Brenda

    How can I see the calorie amount before entering food in food diary.

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  • 16
    Bob chaney

    Excellent app been using it for 475 days lost 76 lbs in 12 months and still using the app to track everything! Thank you My Fitness Pal!

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    jacqui

    that’s FANTASTIC well done!! I just started. Your success makes me inspired

    [Reply]

  • 17
    Tammy

    How do I set up to see total weight loss?

    [Reply]

  • 18
    Victoria O.

    This app has helped me recover from an eating disorder, taught me how to eat healthy, and live a healthy life style!

    [Reply]

  • 19
    Joanne

    The app is messed up every time u update it now it’s receding today on tomorrow if it’s not broke don’t fix it was better before !!!!

    [Reply]

  • 20
    Brian

    One month and 6 pounds down. I love this app and the accountability it brings.

    [Reply]

  • 21
    leslie

    Its a lot like weight watchers but when it doesn’t work it is frustrating! I cant seem to make it work all the time and how do you know the calorie count on most foods when you don’t have a container, it so frustrating most times! I want to use it but I feel so dumb! Can you use the app from my home computer? Help!

    [Reply]

  • 22
    Your Name

    How do you add measuring fibre in journal?

    [Reply]

  • 23
    5Gigi

    My Fitness Pal sure beats Weight Watchers as far as Ap sites go. I have lost 9 lbs. since starting approx. 2 1/2 weeks ago. I am 5’3″, weight 130, and have a goal to reach of 123 lbs. I am on the 1200 cal diet, and keeping a food diary is the only way to see what you eat. Love this program.

    [Reply]

  • 24
    Steph

    Since the I phone update I have been unable to search foods. I want to cancels account and start over but the programs is not set up to do that

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  • 25
    Dottie

    My Dr. told me to use this site but I was able to log in but don’t know how to get around from there so it’s doing me no good. Some one please help me.

    [Reply]

  • 26
    Jo Makely

    Loved app for I phone but for the last week the daily weight graph has gone crazy. Will not remember past weights, does not graph and graph coordinates are now bizarre

    [Reply]

  • 27
    Amanda

    I’ve been using this for 1 month it’s the best thing I’ve ever used. I’ve already lost 24 lbs all I’ve done is cut out fried foods sweets and switched to diet I excercise 3 times a week and never use all my calories. If anyone needs any support add me amandapadgett12.

    [Reply]

  • 28
    pfeifferrjp

    I know how to edit my profile but I want to refigure my allowed caloric intake to make sure it is correct I have been at 1200 since April 1 and exercises 5-6 times a week and am not losing even 1 pound per week

    [Reply]

  • 29
    Estelle

    Why did you stop putting sugar content of foods in the nutrients section? This is important for diabetics

    [Reply]

  • 30
    mary

    Actually, no. My fitness pal recommends 26 grams of sugar per day. If you actually research online this is the daily recommended amount of ADDED sugar you are spotted per day. Fruits don’t fit into this category. Just having one cup of skim milk is 12 g of sugar, eat an orange too and you’re already at your allowed amount that day. That’s ridiculous, and needs desperately to be fixed on this application.

    [Reply]

    mayra

    so ive been on this app for a week, and with milk and a banana i already consumed half of my sugar intake.

    [Reply]

  • 31
    Estelle

    Why did you stop putting sugar content of foods in the “add foods”section? This is important for diabetics

    [Reply]

  • 32
    Jada

    I decided not to use this app..Majority of the people there are not there to support but to cause problems. Reading some forums and this is dated back a couple years up to 2013 I see a lot saying they don’t post because of people going around to cause arguments. MY suggestion…there are other friendlier apps to use where you would get good support.

    [Reply]

    ohzee64

    Humana map my fitness it’s free and accurate with calories and exercise I love it

    [Reply]

    Levita

    Jada, you are 100% correct in your statement. I made the mistake of trying to help someone out and others came out of the wood work with judgments, belittlement, and bullying because I said that a calorie is not a calorie, it’s the substance of that calorie in how in interacts with the body, hormones, etc. I quickly was ostracized and treated like Quasimodo. Images and comments of mockery came quickly without even warranting that behavior.

    [Reply]

  • 33
    gin

    So far in just over 3 months I have lost 23 pounds! I do cardio 3 times per week and weight training 2 times per week… sometimes I go over my calories but most of the time I don’t.

    [Reply]

  • 34
    Sylvia

    Love it for convenience
    Like Bobbi F wonder source of info My potassium packed tomatoes don’t compute Makes me question other info
    Works well as iPhone app

    [Reply]

  • 35
    Sylvia

    Love it for convenience Like Bobbi F where does info come from I get NO READ for my potassium filled tomatoes Makes me question other info
    sbl

    [Reply]

  • 36
    Ellie

    (that was in reply to “k”)

    [Reply]

  • 37
    Ellie

    This is flat out wrong. Weight training, especially metabolic conditioning (crossfit style training) is excellent at burning calories during and after the workout. Get a heart rate monitor watch (like a polar-w the chest strap) to approximate your calories burned during weight training.

    [Reply]

    Your Name

    Everyone who’s ever studied macro nutrition would say you are half right.

    [Reply]

  • 38
    Neicey

    Im trying register to my fitness pal.
    I was at a Restaurant today and he told me about the AP.
    It does not like any of the usernames I put in there. It says the username is already taken. I’ve even tried using helpme and added different numbers to it and it wont let me sign up for the sight.

    [Reply]

  • 39
    Hendy

    A sugar is still a sugar no matter if you eat a fruit or white sugar. Research that and get more nutrients and less sugar from vegetables.

    [Reply]

  • 40
    lnavarrot

    My workouts are only showing calories used in aerobics not weights. Am I inputting incorrectly. How do I get the weight training to show calories used?

    [Reply]

    K

    Weight training doesn’t burn calories. It is great for toning and converting fat to muscle, but no calories are counted. Bummer, huh?

    [Reply]

    fitnessgal

    fat doesnt convert to muscle and muscle doesnt convert to fat you either burn fat or build muscle and weight training does help o burn calories aerobics just burns more

    [Reply]

    gin

    You should be able to calculate your calories for weight lifting under the cardio tab… you just have to input the exercise (ex: dead lift) individually. In addition, during the actual wieght lifting you burn less calories than doing cardio but you continue to burn a higher rate of calories longer.. up to 3 days longer than when you do cardio. Muscle wieghs more than fat but looks much sexer and smaller

    [Reply]

  • 41
    LelaPark

    Do you need a cell phone to use this?

    [Reply]

  • 42
    judi

    how do i sign up?/get started using this?

    [Reply]

  • 43
    Bobbi Farrand

    WHo is the author of My Fitness Pal? Where does the information come from on the website?

    [Reply]

  • 44
    Mai Rogers

    Where do I find how to calculate what my normal weight should be?

    [Reply]

  • 45
    joe

    My plan allows me 42g of sugar a day. Sugar from fruit is included in this. An Orange has 14g of sugar. If I have 5 fruit a day it takes me over. I avoid sugar but am always over what my plan recommends. Does it matter? Also my vitamins are always red because I am over that by lots too. Is that a problem?

    [Reply]

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