How to Track Meals With My Fitness Pal App
This will show you how to track meals using My Fitness Pal App to ensure that you are headed to your fitness goals.
A lot of people in their fitness journey one main goal: to live a healthier and happier lives. If you want to lose weight, build muscles, or just have a healthy relationship with your body and food, there is one skill I recommend you learn especially as a beginner in this fitness world — learn how to track meals–and it could be confusing as hell at the beginning!
I don’t like restriction and love love love my creme brulee, ice cream, and cakes (your girl has a sweet tooth ya know 😉 ), and if you’re like me, I suggest you learn the art of flexible dieting. With this lifestyle, you just meet your daily carbs, protein, and fat targets and you can still reach your fitness goals without sacrificing your fave foods!
How do you know if you are meeting those targets? Use a food log tracking app like my favorite, My Fitness Pal.
How to Track Meals in My Fitness Pal App
Why I Love My Fitness Pal
There are a lot of food tracking apps available out there but my favorite so far by far is my fitness pal. It is one of the first ones that are out there that became really popular and it’s just the one that I used since day one. Reasons to love MFP:
1. It’s FREE! Nothing else to say here.
2. It has a huge database of every types of food you can think of, from branded foods to generic foods to raw foods (fruits and vegetables).
3. It has foods from different restaurants especially the chained branches such as fast food, Chili’s, Marie Calendars.
Why Learn How to Track Your Meals?
It is a great tool in terms of achieving your fitness goal especially if you are a beginner. Whatever it is, whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscles, or do body recomposition tracking your food is an essential tool for you to learn.
If you are a client of mine, you are usually required to get on it and start logging your food the first day because…
1. It’s going to help you determine how many calories you usually eat typically eat in a day. Plus I want you to familiarize yourselves with the app and learn how to use it.
2. You won’t be using the app forever. After a while of food tracking and using this app, you will eventually know your portions, how much calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat a certain food has. It’s a great beginner’s tool!
3. It will help you learn your eating habits. You will see how much you really eat in a day and you will learn which ones to omit and which types of food you’re more inclined to eating. When you start tracking, you can do your assessment and decide which eating habits you need to improve on (i.e. lacking vegetables or too much fatty foods).
How to Use the App
1. Download the app here: MFP iOS or MFP Google Play and log in to set up your profile. It’s going to recommend how much calories and macros you need in order to meet your goals–PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW IT. It is not accurate. You have to calculate your own macros using a calculator online or the set of macros your coach gave you. If you need a coach to help you determine your macros to meet your goals, check this out or APPLY DIRECTLY HERE.
2. Set your macro goals: From the home dashboard, scroll at the bottom and click MORE → GOALS → NUTRITION GOALS → CALORIES CARBS PROTEINS FATS GOALS. From here, you can change your macro percentages. These should add up to a total of 100% since this is what our foods are made of–Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat.
3. How to add foods: From your Dashboard, go to your DIARY → Choose BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER, or SNACKS → CLICK ADD FOOD → ENTER FOOD FROM SEARCH BAR ON TOP → CHOOSE THE FOOD YOU WILL BE HAVING
DIARY → Choose BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER, or SNACKS → CLICK ADD FOOD → CLICK SCAN BARCODE→ Scan the barcode of your food item if it has nutrition labels.
Place barcode in front of the camera and it’s going to automatically scan all the nutrition information into the app. I love tech!
4. Choose your serving size and number of servings. Feel free to adjust to meet your macro needs. The serving size can come in grams, cups, ounces, etc.
Macro Tracking Tips
Everything in the fitness world is an estimate. But as long as you keep your estimation consistent throughout your logging or your fitness life, then you should be fine. I.e. If you measure your meat cooked, measure it cooked throughout your journey.
Focus on hitting your macros and not the calories. The app’s food database is not 100% accurate because a lot of the food items are user input so the total calories won’t add up to your target even if you hit your macros.
Here’s my challenge to you…
Start your tracking right away and let me know if you if there’s an aha moment, if you learned anything new about your eating habits, or is there anything that’s really eye opening for you.
Did you realize how much sugar you typically consume in a day?
You weren’t eating enough protein?
You weren’t eating enough carbs?
Don’t let tracking consume you. Use it as a tool to learn and build a healthier relationship with food.
Watch it here: