MyFitnessPal App introduction

Ruud Kappelhof

After you have calculated and written down your macronutrients, you can start with flexible dieting. An important part of this is the ability to actually track your macronutrients. This means that you keep track of how many macronutrients you have consumed daily and how much you have left.
Fortunately, a handy app has been developed for this called MyFitnessPal, which can be downloaded on both IOS and Android devices. With this app, it is possible to scan the barcode of foods and their macronutrients or to enter them yourself and puts them in your ‘diary’. The app then extracts the macronutrients from the imported foods and puts them in a overview.
In addition to this functionality, the MyFitnessPal app offers even more options, which we will be discussed in this article. At the end of this article there will be an instructional video about how you actually use these functionalities.

Registration & getting started.

After you have installed and opened the app, you will be asked to register or to log in. If you already have a username and password, you can log in and start tracking, if you do not have one yet, you must register first.
When you register a new account on the app you can sign up with an email address or with Facebook, our preference is to sign up with an email address.
If you have chosen to register with an e-mail address, you will be asked to enter a number of details. The first details will be data that MyFitnessPal uses to estimate your macronutrients, but because we at FITIMPROVE have more accurate calculators for this, these data are not important.
At the end of the registration you will be asked to enter an e-mail address, password and username, these are important because you’ll use this to log in to the app. To complete your registration, you must agree to the privacy policy and conditions.
you have successfully completed the registration, you can log in and start tracking macros!

User options.

MyFitnessPal has a large number of user options, which can be found through the menu at the top left of the screen. We will briefly discuss these options below.

When you open the app you will be taken to this tab. This tab gives an overview of how many calories you have consumed and how much you have left, if you provided a calorie goal in the ‘goals’ tab. If you click this overview, you will end up in your ‘diary’. You can also find the activities of friends here such as how many they have gained or lost weight, how many consecutive days they have logged in, diary logs etc.


In the ‘diary’ you can enter what you eat. It is also indicated at the top of the screen how many calories you should consume according to your goal, how many you have already consumed, how many calories you have burned during your training and how much you can still eat. The number of calories you can still eat is based on the calorie goal – consumed calories + calories burned with your workout.

When you open the diary you can see that it is divided into different meal moments. If you want, you can change the name of these meal moments at settings.
By clicking on ‘+ Add food’, you can add a food item under each meal moment. You can find and add a food item by entering a search term or, if your phone or tablet is suitable, by scanning the barcode. If you have found the right food item and the macronutrients match the food that you have eaten, you can enter how much you have eaten of this food.

After entering a meal, you can save or copy this meal to another day. If you save the meal, you can use it later to quickly fill in your diary. Another way to quickly add a meal is to first create a recipe at ‘recipes, meals and foods’.

In addition to meals, you can also add activities. You can indicate what you have done and for how long. The type of sports you can choose from are divided into endurance sports and strength sports.


At ‘progress’ you can monitor the changes of a number of data over a certain period. This data can include your bodyweight, circumference of your neck, waist and hips. You can enter today’s value by clicking on the ‘+’, it is not possible to retroactively enter values from other days. After you have entered the values of a number of days, the data will be shown in a graph so that your progress is clearly visualized.


If you are just starting out with Myfitnesspal you can have the app calculate your goals based on your activity level, gender, date of birth, height, current weight and target weight. You can adjust this data under ‘goals’.
You can also adjust the desired ratio of your macronutrients under ‘targets for calories, carbohydrates, proteins and fats’. With the free version of the app, this can only be based on percentages, with the paid version you can manually adjust the number of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.


At ‘nutrition’ you will find an overview of the macronutrients and other nutrients that are consumed per day. This shows how many carbohydrates, fats and proteins you have to eat to meet your goal, how much you have consumed at that moment and how much you have left.
The ratios between the number of calories per meal and the ratios between the macronutrients can be seen in a separate overview.
It is also possible to view this data per week, for which the average of all days is used. Instead of pie charts, the ratios between the number of calories per meal and the ratios between the macronutrients are visualized in bar charts.


Extra options.

Recipes, meals and foods
If you often eat the same meals, you can save time by entering these standard meals in ‘Recipes, meals and foods’. You can do this by clicking on ‘Make Meal’ and adding food. You can then put this meal in your diary.

The app has the option to add friends. You can then follow each other’s activities and copy food diaries from each other. Losing weight together with friends can be motivating, making it easier.

Here you can send messages to your friends and other users of the app. To do this, you must know their username.

If you often forget to track your diet or enter your bodyweights while you were intent to do so, you can set reminders under ‘reminders.’ These reminders then give a warning if you have not entered a meal or bodyweight before a certain time. You can do this for one day, for three days or for seven days. You can add a new reminder by clicking on the ‘+’.

The ‘settings’ menu item contains all possible settings in the app. You can update your profile here: you can see your username, add a photo, and change your height, gender, date of birth, location and email address. You can also indicate here which units you want to use for your weight and height, distances and the amount of energy used and absorbed.

There are also settings for your diary and for sharing information with others. For example, you can set that you want to share your diary with just your friends or everyone. You can also set the events from which you want to receive notifications.

Instructional video.

  1. (2016, 17 augustus). Afvallen met een app: MyFitnessPal. Geraadpleegd op 3 februari 2020, van
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