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4 Keys to MyFitnessPal
May 4, 2016, by Rebecca Jackson
Build it for Life supports MyFitnessPal. Whether you are trying to lose weight or trying to maintain your weight, it is a great way to help you be conscious and aware of what you are eating. There are, however, a few tricks to maximize your benefit of using the app.

  1. It is a great way to plan out your day. Perhaps you know there will be an office birthday party, and you would really like to indulge in a piece of birthday cake, with a calorie tracker, like MyFitnessPal, you can account for the cake beforehand and then focus the rest of your day's eating around that.
  2. Follow your friends on MyFitnessPal and show your support to them for logging for the day, or fitting in a workout. The more we get involved in the app, the more we are going to want to use it. You can follow the founder of Build it for Life for some additional support. Her personal email that is linked to MyFitnessPal is [email protected]
  3. Track your workouts, but don't use the calories they suggest as how many we actually burned during the workout. Unfortunately, we can't really know our calories burn for sure without a heart rate monitor. However, we can figure out a lot of "estimations" with apps like MyFitnessPal. The more details you give the app about yourself, such as age, height, weight, and body fat percentage, the closer they will be able to tailor it to you. That being said, it's still an estimation based off other people. (scroll down for more info on tracking your workouts with MyFitnessPal )
  4. It's okay if you aren't sure EXACTLY how many calories are in a home-cooked meal you made, or one you had at a friends' house, or even what you ate at a restaurant. When entering the food, search for whatever it was, for instance, "lasagna" and find one that you think fits what you ate. Did you eat a large super cheese loaded lasagna? Then, maybe go for the one with the most calories. Was it at a restaurant? Again, go for the one with the most calories. Did you have half a serving and no cheese? Put "no cheese lasagna" into your search, and then find one with less calories. The point of logging, is to log. It keeps you accountable. It will hopefully teach you to make healthier choices.
More Information about Logging Workouts and Strength Training Exercise

Most standard weight training activities don't burn many calories while you are performing the activity, however additional calories are burned throughout the rest of the day while your muscles are recovering and rebuilding. To maximize calories burned while weight training, you can add some cardio components to the workout, such as adding in a minute of jumping jacks or jump rope in between sets.
For a really accurate estimation on calories, it's best to look into getting a heart rate monitor and wearing it all day for a few days so it can get your baseline.

Using myfitnesspal? The calorie burn for exercise tends to be WAY off! In using a heart rate monitor, I found that most workout required me to half the time spent. For an hour long run, I would enter it as 30 minutes to get a more accurate calorie count.

Using myfitnesspal? Enter weight exercises and body weight exercises under the "cardio" tab. Try calling them either "strength training" or "calisthenics" and remember to always 1/2 your actual workout time for a more accurate calorie burn estimate.

Have fun & Be Active!

Rebecca from Build it for Life

Written by:

Rebecca Jackson
Rebecca is the Founder of Build It For Life.

Rebecca Jackson is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor. She is a working mom who believes that exercise should be part of everyday living. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Mary Washington.