myfitnesspal.com – my first thoughts

As suggested from a comment on my last post I decided to give myfitnesspal.com a quick try just now. I played with it for about 10-15 minutes; I added some of my food from today and my planned exercise.

Some of my first thoughts –

Based on my weight (182 pounds) and exercising for 60 minutes a day 6 days a week it told me to eat 1200 calories a day to lose 1.5 pounds a week. 1200 calories? THAT’S IT? That seems very very low to me for amount I currently weigh and the amount I plan to exercise. I know it is only a recommendation but it still seems low. But then I went and actually entered my exercise (that I plan to do) and I notice that my amount of calories jumps WAY UP to 1922. I really like how it adjusts your calories based on your exercise and says how much extra calories you ‘earned’, I think one problem I have is not eating enough on days I exercise lots. So that is very cool.

I guess I was kinda confused. I figured the 1200 was based on the exercise already because it asked me that information at the beginning… that was kinda weird. But I am glad it fixed itself when I actually went and added some exercise.

I like how you can ‘Remember a Meal’ – very nice touch! I also like how when you go to add a food it has a list of recently added foods (kinda like fitday.com) – However – I don’t really like their adding food system. There is a ‘My Foods’ section but I can’t seem to add food from there. I have to just search for food and ‘my foods’ then show in the list… I found that kinda weird. I find the search and the way you add food very very bare, there just isn’t a lot there, just a big scrolling list. I also really think there needs to be a search or something for the food you enter yourself.

When it came time to add my own food I was pretty confused. I really like that there was a spot for brand name and then food description. But then it came to entering a serving size. I don’t know how many servings there are in my box of crackers and I don’t want to do any math and it forces me to enter this information! argh, I think it is nice that the option is there but it should be just that; optional. As far as entering your serving for the food… there is just a box that says ‘serving size’ I was so excited and thought this meant I could enter ‘2 slices’ – nope, I was wrong. You have to enter something that their system recognizes – what I ate wasn’t in cups or weight, it was a slice – so then I tried to leave it blank, error – servings, error… finally serving worked. IMO if they have certain words that work, make a drop down and allow people to pick from a drop down. People don’t know what to enter, they need to be shown if they can not enter whatever they want. I make web sites for a living and I know this for fact – give some a box and they will enter what they want – you can’t let something enter whatever they want and than give then an error! If you want SPECIFIC information then you need to be more specific.

Exercise is all search based, there is no list like with SparkPeople but on the reverse of that SparkPeople has no search for strength training exercise just a bunch of dumb pictures that don’t really say much. With the strength exercises you can actually enter what you did, the amount of weight, reps and number in each rep.

Overall (after my very short visit) I think this site is pretty nice and has some nice extra features but I don’t know that I like the food entering system and since that is my main purpose behind using these types of sites, I don’t know how much I will use it… however, I think it deserves more of a chance, because I do like how the calories change when you enter exercise and it tells you how many calories you have left for the day. But it is also a super huge pain in the butt to enter all my custom foods (that are already on sparkpeople) that I eat all the time.

This is the third journaling site I have tried – they all have their strong points and their weak points; I could probably write a whole article just on that! But everything takes time and deserves a chance. I remember I didn’t much like sparkpeople in the beginning but once I got used to it I started liking a lot of the features, like the points and recipes and forums you could start with your friends.

So anyway – thank you to the person who suggested it, I have never heard of this one before and will be checking it out some more as the days go on.

One thought on “myfitnesspal.com – my first thoughts

  1. Hi – I’m the creator of MyFitnessPal. Thanks so much for writing about us! I’m very happy to hear that you checked out the site.

    For serving sizes, you definitely should be able to add something like “2 slices” to any food you enter, and that should work. There aren’t a limited number of serving sizes we allow – you should be able to type ANYTHING in and our system should take it. But it sounds like there is a bug there, so I will check it out and make sure that gets fixed.

    On the My Foods section, I’m going to be adding a button to let you add a food directly to your diary from that section. That’s been suggested by a few members, and it’s definitely on my list of to-dos! But the best part of our system is that, if you add a food enough times, it will appear on your “Frequently Added Items” list so that you never have to search or look for it again. You can just add it with a click.

    Anyways, I really appreciate both your review and your feedback! If you have any more suggestions, definitely let me know – my username is Mike on the site.

    Thanks again, and love your blog!

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