5 Tips To Make MyFitnessPal Easier To Use

5 Tips To Make MyFitnessPal Easier To Use

 

If you ask me, or the millions of other nutrition coaches out there, the real difference in nutritional success is accountability.  Writing down, documenting, and recording your intake leads to nutritional success. This is nothing new and I see it in my own clients daily. MyFitnessPal has become one of the most popular, simple to use tools for increasing both nutrition and fitness accountability.

I have all of my clients use the MyFitnessPal app.  I love its ease of use, its flexibility, the huge food database and the cost…FREE.  It also allows you to opt for an upgraded option for $10 a month with access to more features. It syncs with some of the most popular fitness tracking devices such as the Fitbit that allow you to track your day-to-day fitness expenditure. Many of my clients love the convenience of having their food and fitness all come together through one simple tool.

After working with hundreds of clients, I’ve discovered that there are a few features of MyFitnessPal that many clients just don’t know about.  I know there have to be thousands of others out there missing out on these same awesome features that will make its use much more simple.  These features can offer some reprieve from the tediousness of tracking in the beginning and are guaranteed to make your tracking more efficient. Not to mention, you may become an MFP expert and share these tips with others.  Short on time?  Download these tips HERE in pdf form to save for later.

 

5 MyFitnessPal Tips to Make It Easier To Use

1. Turn It Sideways

When new clients begin with me, one of the areas they tend to struggle with is learning how to balance their meals.  I provide them with some general macronutrient meal goals in the beginning in order to help give them some guidance and targets.  This helps to provide them a greater sense of balance throughout the day so they aren’t left feeling glutinous before bed, with too much food left, or starving from not enough food.  Balanced meals also help improve satiation and regulate hormones throughout the day.

While looking at your diary, a quick turning of the phone sideways allows for you to get a great view of the meal breakdown.  You can see how many grams of each nutrient you took in or have planned for in order to work towards meal balance.

 

To get the meal break down view below.

 

2.Tap The Top Toolbar

I’ve noticed that I was spending so much time clicking several buttons to go between my diary and my daily totals.  Then viola–I discovered the most simple of all hidden features: the top toolbar tap. This quick tip allows you to move back and forth between your diary and nutrients views with one quick tap.

Simply tap the toolbar on your running totals for the day and it will take you right to your macronutrient goal screen.

Boom…You are welcome!

3. Change Your Diary Headings

Many of my clients have performance goals so we spend time working on nutrient timing and pre and post-workout ratios.  This might be my favorite option in MFP because it allows you to really zone in on where you are budgeting which macros. By naming meals specific for your goals, lifestyle or habits, you can assess where you are spending your macro budget. If you aren’t sure what macro tracking is then you can download my Macro Tracking Beginners Guide HERE.

You can change your diary meal descriptions from a desktop ONLY by going into the settings option.

 

Select “Diary Settings”

From there you can rename each meal description to your liking.  I like to have my clients add pre-workout and post-workout to the already existent breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Ultimately, it is up to you to select meal names that make this lifestyle, not a “diet.”

 

4. Copy Meals

Using MyFitnessPal can be tedious at first. I totally get it.

But utilizing some of the features geared toward efficiency, you can easily eliminate some of the tediousness.  One of those features is the ability to copy meals.  I use this feature often in many situations.

For example, I always over prepare dinner.  I like to make more than enough at dinner to create lunch for the next day for both my husband and I.  I call it “double prep.”

The copy feature allows me to copy my dinner into tomorrow’s lunch.  This saves me the time of having to enter each meal item again when I eat my leftovers for lunch.  I love efficiency and planning ahead! Why reinvent the wheel?  Copy and save yourself time and sanity.  You can also save these tips in pdf form for later by clicking HERE.

 

First, tap the small dots in the meal you wish to copy from.

 

Next, select the option “Copy From” or “Copy To.”

You will then select the meal you wish to copy to.

 

 

The copy feature also allows my husband to copy my meal into his diary. He can go into my diary and follow the same steps as above.  He can then adjust his portion sizes to fit his needs.  This is awesome if you are at a party or a friend who uses MFP has to input a recipe that you can copy into your own.  One note to remember is that you must be “friends” with the person you are copying from or to in order to access their meal diary.

5. Create Recipes

Do you have a favorite morning coffee routine?  

A weekly go-to staple in your dinner rotation?  

MyFitnessPal allows you to create a recipe of your own so that you can enter it one time and utilize it over and over again.  This saves you time from entering each ingredient manually every time you enjoy it.

First, go to “Add Food”.

You will notice the recipe option on the far right.

Then select “Enter Ingredients Manually”

You will then type in your recipe information and the number of servings.

 

My example is a simple morning coffee combo that will serve 1.

I have a major morning coffee ritual.  I include several ingredients in my coffee including:

Coffee

1/4 Cup 2% milk

1 teaspoon pure Maple Syrup

1/3 teaspoon of Kerrygold Butter

1 Scoop Vital Proteins Collagen (this adds some protein and health benefits and is awesome).  You can read more about Vital Proteins here along with their awesome products.

 

 

Select “Add Ingredient”

 

You will then search for each ingredient that will be included the recipe.  You will select each ingredient and confirm its nutritional validity. It will add that ingredient to the recipe along with the nutritional values.

 

 

Continue to add all ingredients and quantities for the recipe.

 

 

Once complete, you will be able to see all macronutrient values for the set serving size.

When the recipe is done you will be able to view the name, servings and all nutritional information to confirm its contents.

You will then notice it adds that recipe to your Recipe tab for future use.

You can also add recipes similarly from your desktop.

 

I hope these not-so-obvious MyFitnessPal tips help make your journaling and tracking experience even easier. You are already accomplishing the number one variable of nutritional success…accountability.  Using MyFitnessPal is an extremely valuable tool in food awareness but can be a bit overwhelming initially.  Give yourself time to learn the technology and use these very simple MyFitnessPal tips to make your journey much more user-friendly and download them here for reference later.

 

 

Did I miss your favorite not-so-obvious feature on MFP?  Comment below and share!

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

 

Click the link below if you are ready to begin your nutritional transformation to make a healthier you!

 

This post may contain affiliate links to products I love, believe in and use every week.  By purchasing them through this link, I may receive a small commission.  I appreciate your support in continuing to support the addition of valuable content to my blog.
16 replies
  1. Chris Peach
    Chris Peach says:

    Wow! I wish I would have known a few of these a year ago. I didn’t even low about turning the phone sideways. This is perfect- bookmarking this post 🙂

    Reply
  2. Janis
    Janis says:

    Thank you so much! Turning the phone sideways will help my mom (insulin-dependent diabetic) adjust her insulin. We’ve been trying to figure this out!

    Reply
  3. Heather E
    Heather E says:

    Wow! This is very very helpful as I just signed up with a macros coach and started using fitness pal a little over a week ago.

    Reply
    • awalkmacros@gmail.com
      awalkmacros@gmail.com says:

      I am so glad you found my tips helpful! Wishing you so much success on your macro journey! I feel confident you will love the flexibility and sustainability. If you need any additional support, feel free to reach out!

      Reply
  4. Alicja
    Alicja says:

    Wow! I had no idea! Don’t get me wrong, but I’m truly surprised how helpful reading this post is!! I thought I was using MyFitnessPal right, but I was in the dark.. THANK YOU!

    Reply
    • awalkmacros@gmail.com
      awalkmacros@gmail.com says:

      I am so glad you learned more about MyFitnessPal! These tips make tracking your intake a bit more simple and I am so glad you found them! You are most welcome!

      Reply
    • awalkmacros@gmail.com
      awalkmacros@gmail.com says:

      Hi Kay! Yes–I’d love to help you. When you are in your diary select edit on the top left corner. You will then notice circles appear to the left of each meal nickname and each food item included in the meal. You can tap (select) the meal or each food item individually that you would like to delete. Once they are selected, chose “delete” in the upper right-hand corner. Feel free to email me if you still have questions. I hope that helps!

      Reply
    • awalkmacros@gmail.com
      awalkmacros@gmail.com says:

      Hi Mary! I searched the exercise options and found one I think will be a great substitute. If you search “stationary bike” you will get a like of options to chose from that vary in the intensity of workout and length. I think this would be a great way to record your workout. Keep up the great work!

      Reply

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