MyFitnessPal Works if You Use It

Mike & Al, MyFitnessPal Co-Founders
by Mike & Al, MyFitnessPal Co-Founders
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MyFitnessPal Works if You Use It

You may have seen some news regarding a study MyFitnessPal recently did with UCLA.

I wanted to take a minute to address this study, since we participated in it directly. We are excited that we got to work with some very smart people to answer a question we also wanted to know the answer to. We jumped at the opportunity to find out—is having your physician introduce you to the app and help you sign up enough to kickstart a health journey?

What we learned is that just introducing people to MyFitnessPal wasn’t enough. People have to be ready and willing to do the hard work.

The app itself does work—if you use it. Our own data and the data from the study show that the more you log on, the more you use the app, the more success you will see. Users that logged in the most lost the most weight. In fact, we already know that 88% of users who log for 7 days lose weight.

We make tools designed to make it as clear and simple as possible for you to see the path to achieving your fitness goals. We are not, however, making a magic bullet—because there is no magic bullet. Ultimately, you’re the one who has to do the work.

And my, how much work you guys have done.

You have:

  • lost over 180 million pounds
  • logged over 14.5 billion foods
  • burned 364 billion calories
  • supported each other with over 82 million status likes in the last year alone
  • and much more!

The first thing I say when people talk to me about MyFitnessPal is that user success is our true North. We are relentlessly focused on user success. We believe that if you are succeeding at reaching your goals then we will succeed as a company. We’re going to keep working to make our app even more accessible, simple to use, and motivating so we can help even more people succeed.

Of course, it’s our job to make the app as engaging and easy to use as possible. It’s not exactly where we want to be, yet. But we’ll keep working hard to get there. To that end, we’ve made lots of updates since this study was done. From a product perspective, in the last year and a half we’ve:

  • streamlined the logging experience
  • made logging streaks more visible
  • added more ways to get push notifications and reminders
  • added insights to help you get more out of logging
  • made a recipe tool that allows you to quickly log recipes from anywhere across the web

As long as you keep working on your goals, we’re going to work on better ways to help you get there.

Thanks for everything you do, making the MyFitnessPal community so amazing, and helping us toward our vision of making an even healthier world.

About the Author

Mike & Al, MyFitnessPal Co-Founders
Mike & Al, MyFitnessPal Co-Founders

Mike Lee is co-founder of MyFitnessPal, the leading health and fitness platform. Prior to founding MyFitnessPal, Mike co-founded NextC, a venture-funded startup focused on building online communities., During his 20 year tenure in the technology industry, Mike has held leadership positions at several other top start-ups in Silicon Valley, including Palm, Handspring, Beyond.com, and Regis McKenna.

Mike graduated summa cum laude from Princeton with a B.A. in economics.

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47 responses to “MyFitnessPal Works if You Use It”

  1. Avatar Michael says:

    Except that right now MyFitnessPal is only half-functioning. *All* you can do is track food with it at the moment. It’s not syncing properly with BodyMedia, FitBit, etc, to see how many calories you’ve burned, which is just as important as the food tracking. This has been broken for days. Maybe re-title the article “Sometimes MyFitnessPal Works if You Use It”.

    • Avatar MyFitnessPal says:

      We are so sorry to hear you have been having an issue with using MyFitnessPal and one of our integration partners such as Fitbit and BodyMedia. Unfortunately, we are currently investigating a problem with BodyMedia and hope to have a fix in place with them soon. For more information on the BodyMedia issue please see: https://myfitnesspal.desk.com/customer/portal/articles/1755914–bodymedia-not-syncing-11-3-14

      All other integration partners should be working. However, if you are experiencing an issue with Fitbit or anyone else, please contact us at https://myfitnesspal.desk.com/ or send us an email to support@MyFitnessPal:disqus .com so we can further investigate.

      • Avatar Michael says:

        Thanks for the reply, however it’s been over a week since the article you linked has been updated. Questions:

        1) How close are MFP and BodyMedia to resolving the issue? And/Or do you have an ETA?

        2) What steps are being taken to fix the sync issue?

        3) Would it help if BodyMedia users were to apply some pressure to BodyMedia tech support? If so, what specifically would you like us to ask of them?

        Anything you can do to resolve this sync issue ASAP will be greatly appreciated. This functionality is central to my fitness plan, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

      • Avatar FitFroglet says:

        I’ve had two real-life MFP friends have problems syncing their apps, both were using android and hadn’t updated their os recently or downloaded the recent app updates.

        Once I got everything up to date for them, everything worked fine again.

        If you haven’t tried this it’d be worth a go.

        I use runkeeper and occasionally it has problems syncing but closing both apps properly then resending the activity to run keeper fixes it – are you able to do similar with BodyMedia/FitBit?

        Hope some of this helps people.

  2. Avatar SKC says:

    Mfp has been a very big blessing to my life. Two years ago I lost 65 pounds, and gained it all back, plus more. I did paper and pin back then to track my calories, which was extremely time consuming. This app has been wonderful for me on so many levels. This time I’m losing my weight for life, and this app is making that possible. Thanks!

  3. Avatar amy says:

    200 days straight logging… 63 lbs down… syncs great with my Edomando app!

    • Avatar JojoEffeckt164 says:

      totally aggree. Started in December 2013, 62 lbs down and keeping it off! MFP is a gift from heaven!
      I also use the endomondo app! Works perfectly fine!

  4. Avatar skellybobs says:

    Trying to lose weight for my wedding this app is so helpful but I’m a gannit and need lots of help :/ but it does work if u keep at it got 2 stone to lose in 5 month ;(

  5. Avatar Rachel says:

    Mine isn’t syncing with my new, fit bit charge. Only reason I bought one was so it could help me track. Hope this, issue, gets, fixed, soon.

  6. Avatar Cheryl Tataryn says:

    That’s great news, congratulations! I’m enjoying using MyFitnessPal!

    Just curious…I’m having difficulty meeting my calorie goal every day. I’m coming up short. In your experience, will I lose weight or will my body simply store the calories I am taking in?

  7. Avatar autrement says:

    Three weeks that I am stuck at the same weight. I am tired and a little bit lost.

    • Avatar KevinTimmons says:

      It all depends. To lose weight you need a calorie deficit, this should be max 500 calories of your RMR (resting metobolic rate) which you can find by taking your weight times 10% now, if you are trying to lose alot of weihht, your caloric balance may be higher than it should. In my experience, I would never go for more than a two pounds per week. Also remember that at times you will plateau in weight loss if you are beginning a new training, also it takes a little time for your metabolism to figure out it is going through a real change. By balancing your diet, your body has to make adjustments. Never go below 1200 calories in a day, MFP will warn you if this happens. Try to make up calories with high calorie snacks such as nuts. If you have no known allergy of course. Don’t go crazy of course, but it won’t take much to fill those calories with nuts. Do keep in mind though that early on in weight loss you may plateau for a short period. Weight isn’t as important as physical visual change.

  8. Avatar Irene says:

    I have been using the app since July and have lost 24lbs, the integration with ihealth scale is really good, now the integration with garmin is working well but sometimes there are negative adjustments that are not correct, will be nice if you can check why mfp do this adjustment, it really simply take what garmin says I have trained with no changes. Also will be nice if you can see how much weight/days are pending based on your goal and the 5 week calculator considered this info… just a thought. But in general I love mfp is a great tool.

  9. Avatar sangela says:

    Started using it around 2 years ago to lose 23lbs. Reached my goal weight, and stopped logging and maintained fairly well for some time, as I was able to keep a rough tally of my daily calorie intake in my head and knew what my usual input was. Then I started to notice the poundage creeping up again about a couple of weeks ago. I had slipped and was starting to go a bit overboard on snacking.
    I started logging on Friday.. I had gained 5 lbs and it wasn’t going away. With the holidays coming and short days that make me want to hibernate and EAT EVERYTHING, I decided to come back and start logging. Already dropped a bit over one pound, don’t have much to go, just 5lbs or so, but better to nip it in the bud, NOW. I am grateful for MFP, awesome app and awesome community! Thank you, great work on this app! 🙂

  10. Avatar KLMircea says:

    I love you 😀 I use it since March 2014 and I have lost 30 kg (around 60 lbs). Yes it works if you use it 😀 I live in Romania!

  11. Avatar Karen says:

    I love love love my fitness pal! Such an awesome inspirer

  12. Avatar Delightful Debs says:

    Logging keeps me on the straight n narrow and helps me focus on a well balanced diet!

  13. Avatar Lori Thorne says:

    I for one am totally satisfied with MFP. It is true what you said; it will only work if you use it and are honest and faithful to logging in everything you are eating and not guessing. Measuring is a big part as well to make sure you are only eating the serving size that is logged.
    It has made my life so much easier with the ap as well for my cell phone and my tablet, there is no excuse, I can use it anywhere.
    Thank you for such an awesome and motivational tool.

  14. Avatar DanaPy says:

    I love MFP! I completely agree that, if I honestly log my intake and output, the results are amazing!

    THANK YOU for adding the import recipe! It’s so quick and easy! Makes my life so much simpler!!

    Thanks for the amazing MFP app that helps my friends and I stay on track!

  15. Avatar momtoomany says:

    Agreed! MFP is an awesome, easy to use tool. I have only lost a few lbs, but logging in every meal every day for the last six months has enlightened me regarding my poor eating and nutritional habits.
    MFP has definitely changed my health for the better! I look like I have lost much more than the scales show. Most importantly, I FEEL 10000% better, and that is no typo! What a blessing this little powerful app has been 🙂
    Thanks MFP staff / community, and congratulations on the results published in the study.

  16. Avatar DebR says:

    My weight loss coach wanted me to use this app so she could watch my progress. She is able to print my diary and then make comments on my weekly visits. I also use a Fitbit and it makes my calorie adjustments, which I almost never use. I love the app and the website. I have been importing recipes for several weeks now via the website AND I love that the recipes from Hello Healthy have the option to import and log right from the page. Easy, Easy, Easy! I’ve lost over 40 pounds since May and I’d say using this tool has made me a success!

  17. Avatar Dqmaine says:

    It works if you consistently use it and log even the “bad” calorie days. Success happens when you have the internal drive to make it happen. Down 67 pounds this year. Not every day is perfect. One thing I love is the “if every day were like today, you would weigh __pounds” message. It is a motivator!

  18. Avatar Anne says:

    I was just diagnosed as Prediabetic. The nurse said, “eat less carbs, more protein and try to lose weight.” Gulp! The first thing I did was open MyFitnessPal and adjust my nutrition goals and calorie limit. I’ve lost 6 pounds while I’m educating myself about complex carbs and blood sugar spikes.
    I love the little ‘insights’ that pop up when I log a food! Thank you for a wonderful app!

  19. Avatar Scott says:

    Have been on it for about 4 weeks and it help with the tracking, but I still get those night time craving. Anyone have any ideas

  20. Avatar Sarah says:

    I’ve been doing the Weight Watchers program for about 2 years, and have lost 100 lbs. I have been struggling to lose the last 20 lbs to my goal, and decided to give MFP a try. It allows me to take a better look at my macro nutrients and make changes based on my numbers. First week I lost 3.3 lbs! Couldn’t be happier!

  21. Avatar baha says:

    I just start using this application, it looks good for now, but I still don’t know how to control the adding food meals, not all the food in the search.. so how can I control the calories ?
    Thanks

  22. Avatar Kal900 says:

    I’ve logged on each of the 41 days since I found the site! It’s on all day, every day… it’s even got me counting calories alongside my lowcarb life. Because of the constant attention I’m more aware of what I’m eating and it’s helping loads… lost 39lbs since july 1, 18 of those since joining MFP. Every intention of carrying on for the next -90lbs! Love the blogs and articles too… part of my daily life now 😉

  23. Avatar morning_forge says:

    I LOVE this app! Today is my 30 day streak and have lost 11 lbs so far (2 lbs. a week plus 2 more) I never realized how much I was eating until I started logging my food intake. 27 more pounds and I’ll be at my goal! I’ve seriously felt so healthy and haven’t had this much energy in a long time. Thank you do much MFP!

  24. Avatar Mike says:

    I lost over 50 lbs. because of My fitness pal. I am now motivated to keep the weight off (which I feel is just as important) because of this app.

  25. Avatar LER says:

    If you diligently use MFP you will lose weight.As the old management saying goes “whatever is monitored is managed”. Been using MFP steady now for 3 months and I’ve lost 20 pounds-20 more to go.

  26. Avatar Ian Rambo says:

    Myfitnesspal is helping to keep me in Nutritional Ketosis with instant Carb, Protein and Fat ratios, thank you for that.

  27. Avatar Xtine0326 says:

    I absolutely LOVE the recipe addition! It makes it so much easier when I make a one-pot dish to only have to enter ingredients once!

  28. Avatar Stacie says:

    Can anyone help me with entering “negative breastfeeding calories”. When I used this app 2 yrs ago- I could search for “nursing” or “breastfeeding” as a “food” and choose the option for how many negative calories I wanted to give it, and MFP wouid subtract that calories from food log. I just tried this after about a year, even using the same option that was already in my log from a year ago, and it no longer will subtract the negative breastfeeding calories. Any reason for the change and how can we remedy this?

  29. Avatar Lindsay says:

    MFP has helped me find balance between those days when I overeat compared to the stress days when I don’t eat enough calories. Slowly but sure I’m learning to eat enough but not too much. I LOVE the blog and I’ve tried a few recipes from it and read all of the articles which keep me motivated. The recipe import tool is super helpful now that I’m finally willing to try cooking.

    My only requests would be to partner with Adidas micoach to import my runs and to fix the “if every day were like today you would weigh __ lbs” piece after I complete my daily log which now locks up my app instead.

    Thank you MFP for getting me back on track!

  30. Avatar Lindsay says:

    MFP has helped me find balance between those days when I overeat compared to the stress days when I don’t eat enough calories. Slowly but sure I’m learning to eat enough but not too much. I LOVE the blog and I’ve tried a few recipes from it and read all of the articles which keep me motivated. The recipe import tool is super helpful now that I’m finally willing to try cooking.

    My only requests would be to partner with Adidas micoach to import my runs and to fix the “if every day were like today you would weigh __ lbs” piece after I complete my daily log which now locks up my app instead.

    Thank you MFP for getting me back on track!

  31. Avatar L Jones says:

    40 days logged and 14 lbs diwn!

  32. Avatar Tiki says:

    Need to count carbs. Please add

  33. Avatar nazysh says:

    Bst app ever . I reduced 3 kg in 23 days. I hope i ll continue my journey vid tiz app. Only thing i realy didn’t knw how to put my exercise in it

  34. Avatar disqus_wvMLVA1hDr says:

    began using it one week ago, after my daughter set it up on my phone, and taught me how to use it. 5 lb down in one week. And it’s EASY. The first and only time I’ve ever been able to stick to any diet at all. I can definitely see being able to continue this for the rest of my life.

  35. Avatar wiselies says:

    My Fitness Pal totally saved my Health! Was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes June 2014. A friend encouraged me to take another look at MFP as I had used it several years ago…9 months & 45 pounds later…A1C is 5.1, so perfectly normal…thanks to daily food logging and the carb counting that MFP does for me!!! Thank you, thank you! Another thing that would help me would be if the recipe tool would count carbs, it currently only shows a little dash where the carbs should be. Love My Fitness Pal!

  36. Avatar Renee-Ann says:

    You bet Fitness Pal works. I never learned to balance my carbs/fats/proteins properly, so never really ate like I should. I also got sick and tired of seeing these “lose 10 lbs in a week” magazine covers. But then, a friend told me about My Fitness Pal in Dec 2014. I have logged in EVERY single day since, have followed the recipes from your site (loving every one of them too) and have since dropped 13 lbs. I don’t remember the last time I was in a size 2 but it fells so very good.

    Thank you for all the goodies you have on this site. I now spend more time in here than on social media (that’s a good thing!!), searching for more awesome recipes and eating healthy.

    Best app I ever downloaded. Thank you!

  37. Avatar Shelby says:

    Does anyone else have problems with My Fitness Pal Not Showing you Lost weight but yet you get on the scale and use the appl every day and your scale shows ya have lost weight and you enter it into My-fitness pal but still says you lost 0lbs but on your diary it says you lost 1lb this week or something like that.

  38. Avatar Sajohnson68 says:

    Started 4/15/15…need to drop 40 pounds.
    SW-175. Please help me get to goal…with
    this app. Goal date is 9/4/15.

  39. Avatar Jen says:

    How do i log only half of a serving? We went out tonight to IHOP for their short stack special. I ate half of the pancakes, with a couple tablespoons of syrup, and half of an order of egg beater eggs with cheese. I just installed MyFitnessPal tonight. I searched for my meal, but only find where I check it off. I don’t want to claim I ate twice the amount of calories! Is there something I can do to fix that?

  40. Avatar FitLizIsTheBiz says:

    This works too! Get rewarded for your hard work and dedication. Check out this new app the FitCoin download now. App synchs with your calorie tracking device i.e. fitbit, and converts your calories into virtual money. Thats it! Its that simple yet genius. Purchase gift certificates, discounts or promotional items with your calories burned. Now thats my idea of motivation and support for being fit and health conscious. Happy Tracking!

  41. Avatar Ellen Cantarow says:

    I want to look at my food diary for last year and MyFitnessPal won’t let me.

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