I Can’t Believe It’s Free: My Fitness Pal
I hate diets, so logging what I eat and how much I exercise has been my go-to strategy when I need to drop a few pounds. For several years, I’ve really liked The Daily Plate at Livestrong.com on my computer, which works great and is free. The drawback is the lack of portability.
Last week, I decided to give an app a try, but the Calorie Tracker by Livestrong.com app is $2.99. I’m cheap, so I decided to give My Fitness Pal a try. And I’m so glad I did.
It’s simple to use, takes just minutes a day, and I think I may like it better than my old standby Daily Plate site because it runs much faster. You start by recording your current weight, your goal weight, your general activity level, and how many pounds you’d like to lose each week. The app sets a calorie intake goal for every day. You can enter items and check your progress on the app or on a companion web site. The two sync effortlessly.
The food diary is a breeze to use and, so far, contains everything I ever eat. The app even calculates whether you’re getting your daily dose of things like protein, potassium and iron. (Confession: I’m not.)
Tip: Several months ago, I had considered and dismissed My Fitness Pal because I thought it allows you to record strength exercises only as individual exercises. I couldn’t be bothered with that, and wanted to log something like circuit training, 30 minutes or yoga, 60 minutes and be done with it. Weirdly, these activities are in “cardiovascular exercises” a list that also includes things like gardening and housecleaning (helper if you’re a desk worker like me whose general activity level is “sedentary.”
App’s Neatest Feature: After you’ve finished logging for the day, the app says “If every day were like today, you’d weigh [number of pounds] in five weeks.” That little calculation every night from your pal inspires you to stay on track the next day too.
My Fitness Pal
FREE, My Fitness Pal LLC.
Runs on Android, iPhone, Blackberry
5 out of 5 stars