10 Insider Tips for MyFitnessPal Newbies

MyFitnessPal
by MyFitnessPal
Share it:
10 Insider Tips for MyFitnessPal Newbies

Starting something new can feel like an uphill battle—especially when it involves changing your eating or exercise habits. So we set out to find the best advice for new MyFitnessPal users from people who’ve been successfully logging and tracking their health goals for a while.

We asked thousands of current users on Facebook, “What advice would you give someone who’s just getting started with MyFitnessPal?” and the response was incredible. More than 1,200 of you shared your motivational advice, helpful tips for daily logging, and success secrets.

The resulting list of insider tips is great for newbies and long-time MyFitnessPal users alike. It will help you make the most out of the program, so you can reach your daily eating and exercise goals—fast!

1. GET IN THE HABIT OF TRACKING EVERYTHING

  • “My motto: You bite it, you write it.” —Cara M.
  • “If you stay within your allotted calories, are consistent, and track everything you eat, you will lose weight!” —Paula F.
  • “Every day. Every meal. Just keep tracking.” —John D.
  • “Track everything! The good, the bad, and the reallllly ugly.” —Jodi B
  • “Track it before you eat it! You may change your mind.” —Elaine B.
  • “Don’t eat your next meal until you have tracked your previous one.” —Jessica P.

2. SET REALISTIC GOALS

  • “Make small goals. Every small goal reached helps you get to your ultimate goal!” —Jennifer T.
  • “Don’t try to change everything at once. That can be too overwhelming. Baby steps.” —Connie D.
  • “Only record your breakfast. Do that for two weeks. Then start doing lunch, and so on.” —Stephanie L.
  • “Even if you only find time to track one meal per day it will raise your awareness, which is always a good thing. Just start somewhere and stay with it.” ­—Cori Y.
  • “Make little changes rather than trying to do everything at once. Be patient and trust the process.” —Jamie G.

3. BE HONEST AND CONSISTENT

  • “Be honest about every nibble, taste, and bite. You’ll do better because of it!” —Victoria C.
  • “It’s so eye-opening and easy to make changes once you’re completely honest with yourself.” —Jessica M.
  • “If you aren’t honest, you can’t learn.” —Jennifer E.
  • “Be honest with yourself. You can’t pretend you didn’t eat something and still expect to lose weight.” —Blythe E.

4. MAKE FRIENDS IN MYFITNESSPAL

  • “Seek out friends with similar goals.” —Elizabeth C.
  • “Get friends to join—seeing everyone’s progress helps push you in the right direction.” —Jessica C.
  • “Add friends. They’ll keep you honest and motivated.” —Liz F.
  • “The more people you have doing it with you, the more involved you get, and the better you do.” —Jamie W.

5. VISIT THE MYFITNESSPAL FORUMS

  • “Post topics and ask questions in the forums.” —Holly M.
  • “Read the forums for recipes.” —Danielle F.
  • “Use the forums—there is lots of valuable info and support!” —Karen D.
  • “Use the community to give you the courage to do what you need.” —Ian F.

6. FIND THE BARCODE SCANNER

  • “Learn to love the barcode scanner.” —James N.
  • “Scanning product barcodes helps a lot to get exact portions.” —Judy L.
  • “Barcode scan where you can. It’s easier!” —Kerry V.

7. USE THE CHARTS AND GRAPHS

  • “The weekly nutrition summary is great to show you that you’ve done well over 7 days.” —Kerry H.
  • “You can adjust your personal intake of carbs, protein, and fats.” —Kimberly C.
  • “Remember to hit the ‘Complete this entry’ button at the end of the day. Those numbers of what you could weigh in 5 weeks can be a real motivator.” —Camille N.

8. SET REMINDERS

  • “Set the reminder setting on the app to help you be accountable for tracking.” —Holly F.

9. DON’T GIVE UP

  • “Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a bad day. Slip-ups happen and you’re doing something new, heading in the right direction.” —Lynne P.
  • “If you go over your calories, don’t freak out or quit. Remember: tomorrow is a new day.” —Jodi O.
  • “Stick with, and don’t stress over bad days. Coming from a guy who has tracked 680 days in a row, and has lost 81 pounds!” —Kevin M.
  • “Stumble, fall, but don’t ever quit. You are worth it!” —Rob T.
  • “Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.” —Allison D.
  • “When you hit the wall where you stop losing weight, don’t give up. I went almost two weeks without a single pound. Then I started losing again. It’s a process. You have to stick with it.” —Kevin L.

10. CELEBRATE!

  • “Celebrate the small victories because every change is worth celebrating.” —Jennette S
  • “Celebrate when you make progress.” Glenn S.

Did we miss anything? What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author

MyFitnessPal
MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal provides powerful tools that make it easier for anyone to live a healthier life by tracking their meals and physical activity. Make healthy choices and join Under Armour Connected Fitness™, the world’s largest digital fitness community: Visit the MyFitnessPal blog and download UA Record, MapMyRun, MyFitnessPal and Endomondo.

Related

70 responses to “10 Insider Tips for MyFitnessPal Newbies”

  1. DeeDeeK says:

    If you get hungry, have what I call an “even calorie day.” Eat what your normal calorie intake would be for that day NOT dieting. You don’t overeat, but eating normal satisfies any cravings you have and you can get back with it the next day! I do this often and it has worked great for me!

  2. DeeDeeK says:

    If you get hungry, have what I call an “even calorie day.” Eat what your normal calorie intake would be for that day NOT dieting. You don’t overeat, but eating normal satisfies any cravings you have and you can get back with it the next day! I do this often and it has worked great for me!

  3. DeeDeeK says:

    If you get hungry, have what I call an “even calorie day.” Eat what your normal calorie intake would be for that day NOT dieting. You don’t overeat, but eating normal satisfies any cravings you have and you can get back with it the next day! I do this often and it has worked great for me!

  4. EuchreMomma says:

    Weigh or measure yourself at max once/week. I used to weigh myself daily and would get discouraged and forget about the big picture. When you have a week that is full of mostly at or under calorie goals, and one day over, it balances out and you still lose weight. Now THAT is motivating!

  5. EuchreMomma says:

    Weigh or measure yourself at max once/week. I used to weigh myself daily and would get discouraged and forget about the big picture. When you have a week that is full of mostly at or under calorie goals, and one day over, it balances out and you still lose weight. Now THAT is motivating!

  6. EuchreMomma says:

    Weigh or measure yourself at max once/week. I used to weigh myself daily and would get discouraged and forget about the big picture. When you have a week that is full of mostly at or under calorie goals, and one day over, it balances out and you still lose weight. Now THAT is motivating!

  7. EuchreMomma says:

    Weigh or measure yourself at max once/week. I used to weigh myself daily and would get discouraged and forget about the big picture. When you have a week that is full of mostly at or under calorie goals, and one day over, it balances out and you still lose weight. Now THAT is motivating!

  8. Tish says:

    MyFitnessPal is awesome! Lv using it. It has helped me alot. & yes if u scan it b4 u eat it u will change ur mind. & yes i have slipped up a couple of times but the next day right back on track. Thanks 4 who ever made this app. available. I’ve lost 20 lbs so far & intend 2 lose more. Have a great day & keep track of what u snack. 🙂

  9. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  10. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  11. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  12. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  13. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  14. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  15. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  16. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  17. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  18. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  19. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  20. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  21. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  22. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  23. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  24. Greg Miller says:

    Measure your food, especially things which have a lot of calories per unit volume like flour and — most importantly! — fats. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of canola oil and you just splash in an amount that turns out to be 1.5 tablespoons because that’s what it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, that’s 60 calories right there. That’s as much as a square off of a Godiva chocolate bar, which you would have enjoyed a lot more.

  25. Jenny Johnson says:

    Question. I’m sick with bronchitis right now and am having trouble meeting my calorie goal. I’m doing fine with fluid intake. will this put me into starvation mode and impede my process?

  26. kay penny says:

    Can anyone help me on how to set up map my run to sync with my fitness pal. I have tried and it does say connected but I can see the run I’ve done on my fitness pal?? Help.x

    • Keesha says:

      I dont know if you are on the mfp mobile app, it wont let u do it there. But if u go to ur internet browser on ur phone, or on a computer and get on mfp.com, go to the app tab in the blue bar, and alot of the poplar apps that sync to mfp will show. press the connect button, you have already downloaded the app right?

    • Keesha says:

      I dont know if you are on the mfp mobile app, it wont let u do it there. But if u go to ur internet browser on ur phone, or on a computer and get on mfp.com, go to the app tab in the blue bar, and alot of the poplar apps that sync to mfp will show. press the connect button, you have already downloaded the app right?

    • Keesha says:

      I dont know if you are on the mfp mobile app, it wont let u do it there. But if u go to ur internet browser on ur phone, or on a computer and get on mfp.com, go to the app tab in the blue bar, and alot of the poplar apps that sync to mfp will show. press the connect button, you have already downloaded the app right?

    • EuchreMomma says:

      Did you go into mapmyrun settings and sync the workout?

    • EuchreMomma says:

      Did you go into mapmyrun settings and sync the workout?

  27. Darlene Braddy Alabise Augusti says:

    It is so important to get in lots of water. It helps with digestion and carvings. I have learned to schedule my water allowance. 8oz. in the morning; 16oz. mid morning; 16oz. at lunch; 8oz. mid day; 16oz. at dinner and 8oz. in the evening before 7:00pm.

  28. Darlene Braddy Alabise Augusti says:

    It is so important to get in lots of water. It helps with digestion and carvings. I have learned to schedule my water allowance. 8oz. in the morning; 16oz. mid morning; 16oz. at lunch; 8oz. mid day; 16oz. at dinner and 8oz. in the evening before 7:00pm.

  29. Darlene Braddy Alabise Augusti says:

    It is so important to get in lots of water. It helps with digestion and carvings. I have learned to schedule my water allowance. 8oz. in the morning; 16oz. mid morning; 16oz. at lunch; 8oz. mid day; 16oz. at dinner and 8oz. in the evening before 7:00pm.

  30. Lolita Law says:

    Drink WATER WATER WATER!!!

  31. Rinny says:

    I can’t find many of the foods I’m eating on the Fitness Pal, and it doesn’t let me add my own information. Any suggestions, call me frustrated.

  32. Rinny says:

    I can’t find many of the foods I’m eating on the Fitness Pal, and it doesn’t let me add my own information. Any suggestions, call me frustrated.

    • Lily says:

      When you’re about to enter a food, one of the tabs at the top is called “My Food”. Click that and then it will allow you to enter in your own nutrition information for the food you’re eating.

    • Lily says:

      When you’re about to enter a food, one of the tabs at the top is called “My Food”. Click that and then it will allow you to enter in your own nutrition information for the food you’re eating.

      • Mimilee says:

        I do not eat pre packaged food. My diet consists mostly of fresh and homemade. How do I enter that? So far it requires me to do research on line to get the calorie etc and I find that very time consuming.

        • HC in CT says:

          If you are making recipes use the recipe tab which allows you to input ingredients and save it for future tracking. Depending on how complex the recipe is it can be somewhat cumbersome but once you save it, it makes it so much easier later!

  33. Anne Pike says:

    I record my favourite dishes as recipes, which makes it so quick to tick ‘Anne’s Salmon Bake’ or ‘100g yoghurt with 10 almonds’. I also have MFP on my phone, tablet, and desktop so I can make entries anywhere anytime.

  34. Sally says:

    Can you track more than one person ?

  35. Greg Dahlen says:

    for a while now I’ve been pushing the masai diet. The Masai are a people in Kenya who are famous for living only on products from the cow: milk; beef; and blood that they extract from their cows without killing them. The Masai also follow an important rule: “If a man eats meat and drinks milk on the same day, he is a glutton.” Therefore every day, I, who follow the diet, have to choose whether it will be a milk day or a meat day (so far I haven’t found a source for blood.) While I like meat, I prefer milk, so basically I’ve been living on fluid milk products for the last six years. Most days I drink perhaps a gallon (3.5 liters) of some kind of milk, usually skim, and that’s all I eat or drink. Sometimes I have some cream, or half and half, or some other kind of milk: 1%, 2%, or whole. I have done very well on this diet, I am six feet, one inch and this morning weighed 151 pounds. On my last physical, my PCP told me I am in the top 3% of people my age healthwise, which I attribute to the diet (my PCP is very aware of my diet.) I believe this diet would be excellent for everyone, and am particularly interested to see if it might help people with various diseases, including biggies like cancer and AIDS, and have been pushing the medical establishment to test it.

  36. Janetdsb says:

    Just downloaded MyFitnessPal and love the barcode scanner, but can’t find the best way to add fresh fruit. I would prefer not to add all the calorific and carb values and thought the add might do this for me as it does with barcoded items. Could anyone point me in the right direction. Cheers

  37. Tristan says:

    There is one thing i need help with, when i workout i wanna input my routine but it seems like im not able to or it just lets me put in one workout, is it a way that i will minus some of the calories ive gained in order maintain a accurate calorie intake É

  38. Oceanah says:

    Why when you remove something you decided not to eat it does not subtract it from the total?

  39. Hank Lazar says:

    It’s all very interesting and innovative…how do I add up my calories and enter my data into the system so that my pal can tell me how I’m doing? I see everything else but not that which seems to me to be the most important feature of this site. I’m sure that it is obvious for people who are regular users.

  40. April Wilomon says:

    Do not get too involved in the community message boards.
    Use them to get answers only.
    Some people seem angry and will attack anyone. Maybe hangry. Or just brutal and mean. Not a positive place to visit on a routine basis. Lots of picking on people.

  41. Mike says:

    You probably gained the weight over many months and probably years, don’t expect to lose it all in three or four weeks. Be patient and have fun with the app – just learning about what you’re eating can be so enlightning and motivating.

  42. Clinton Mckinney says:

    cool info.

  43. Susan Patrica Hovancik-Luna says:

    I just started this app and realized I was putting more in my body has me thinking

  44. Judy Cruser says:

    I want to delete my breakfast information and start fresh how do you do this?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Never Miss a Post!

Turn on MyFitnessPal desktop notifications and stay up to date on the latest health and fitness advice.

Great!

Click the 'Allow' Button Above

Awesome!

You're all set.