MyFitnessPal (MFP) is a popular diet and fitness tracking app trusted by millions of weight watches around the globe. This diet tracking app has the largest food database than any of its rivals, such as Calory and Lose it. This calorie-tracking app is available in both web and mobile versions (iOS, Android), making it one of the most accessible calorie-tracking apps out there.
Besides, it integrates with many popular fitness tracking devices and apps, including Fitbit, Google Fit, Nike+, etc. As a result, with MyFitnessPal, you can get your calorie intake and calorie-burned data on a single platform. But the question is, How Accurate is MyFitnessPal?
Well, to understand the accuracy of any calorie tracking app like MyFitnessPal. It is essential to know how does MyFitnessPal tracks your calorie.
How Does MyFitnessPal track your calorie?
MyFitnessPal allows you to manually enter the food into their database or by scanning the barcode. It also allows you to set daily goals for calorie intake and monitor your progress, and this helps you to have a closer look at your eating habits.
The best part about the MyFitnessPal app is its food scanner! It allows you to enter the food you eat by scanning their barcodes. For this, you need to open the app, click on the “Add Food” button, and then select “Scan Barcode.” After that, you can point your phone’s camera towards the food item’s barcode, and the app will automatically add it to your diary.
If you don’t find the required food in their database, you can add it manually. For this, you need to click on the “Add Food” button and then select “Create a New Food.” After that, you can enter all the relevant information about the food item, including its calorie content. You can get this information from the food label or simply by doing a quick Google search.
“In general, you will gain weight if you take more calories than you burn. Similarly, you will lose weight if you burn more calories than you consume.“
Now you have your food/calorie intake data in the MyFitnessPal App. But if you want to get the net calorie intake, you can sync it with any of the best smartwatches for MyFitnessPal in 2022, such as Apple or Fitbit wearables. It is easy to do and takes only a few taps.
How accurate is MyFitnessPal?
Many factors can affect the accuracy of any calorie tracking app. Now let us have a closer look at some of these factors:
1. Basic Data about you
While creating an account, MyFitnessPal will ask you to enter basic details about yourself, such as age, gender, height, and weight. It is essential to enter accurate information about yourself because it will help the app estimate your calorie needs. If you don’t know your exact weight, you can weigh yourself at home or go to the doctor for a checkup.
It is also important to correctly enter your age and gender because they affect your calorie needs. For example, a 25-year-old man will have higher calorie needs than a 25-year-old woman. If you take more calories than you need, you will gain weight. Similarly, you will lose weight if you consume fewer calories than your body requires.
2. The quality of the food database:
The accuracy of MyFitnessPal depends on how accurate its food database is. If the app does not have a particular food in its database, you will not be able to track it accurately because you do not know the calorie content of that food.
Plus, an app like MyFitnessPal has a user-generated food database, which is not always accurate. This means that the calorie information for some foods in the MyFitnessPal app may not be correct.
Another factor that affects the accuracy of calorie tracking is portion size. If you do not accurately enter the portion size of your food, your calorie intake will be inaccurate. For example, if I eat 1 cup of rice but only enter ½ cup in the app, my calorie intake will be half of what it actually is. I hope you understand how important it is to be accurate while tracking your food intake.
3. Inaccuracy in Tracking Activity
It is essential to enter the activity information into MyFitnessPal accurately. If you do not accurately track or enter your activity, it will be hard to calculate your calorie expenditure accurately.
For example, your calorie expenditure will be underestimated if you only track your walk but do not include other activities such as jogging or biking. Similarly, if you do not accurately enter the duration or intensity of your workout, your calorie expenditure will be inaccurate.
The best solution to avoid these inaccuracies is wearing a fitness tracker or smartwatch that automatically tracks your activity and syncs it with the app. Not every fitness tracker works with MyFitnessPal, so you need to buy the best accurate calorie trackers that work with MyFitnessPal.
What Researchers Say about the MyFitnessPal Accuracy?
Research has shown that MyFitnessPal accurately tracks your daily calorie intake and macronutrients like protein, fat, carbohydrates, sugar, and fiber. However, the MFP app is not as accurate in measuring cholesterol and sodium. This is likely because these nutrients are not as easily measured in foods as other nutrients like fat or carbohydrates. While the app may not be perfect, it is still a helpful tool for people to get an idea of their calorie and nutrient intake.
MyFitnessPal Free vs. Premium Comparison
Many people wonder whether they need to upgrade to the premium version of MyFitnessPal, or if the free version is good enough. The key difference between the MFP free and premium versions is that the upgraded version gives you access to additional features, such as detailed nutrient data, custom meal goals, and personalized workout plans.
The premium version also removes ads from the app, which can be helpful if you find them distracting. So, if you want to gain or lose weight and get in shape, MyFitnessPal Premium could be a good idea. Otherwise, the free version is still excellent for tracking your daily calorie intake. I recommend trying the MyFitnessPal free version first to see if it meets your needs before deciding whether to upgrade.
Fortunately, MyFitnessPal offers one month’s free trial! So you can test it before making a final decision.
Is the step counter on MyFitnessPal accurate?
The step counting feature of MyFitnessPal is not as accurate as you track it via a fitness tracker or smartwatch. The step counting feature in MyFitnessPal is only available for iPhone users. It uses your phone’s accelerometer to count your steps, just like Google Fit step tracking, which can be inaccurate. So, as mentioned, using a MyFitnessPal-compatible fitness tracker is the best way to track your steps and calorie expenditure accurately.
Does MyFitnessPal (MFP) help you lose weight?
Yes, MyFitnessPal is a free app that helps you lose weight by tracking your calorie intake and daily physical activity. The app lets you set a goal weight and then provides you with a daily calorie budget based on your current weight, height, age, and gender. You can then track your progress over time and see how many calories you need to cut back on or burn off each day to reach your goal.
It has a database of over 2 million foods, so you can easily find and record the calories for everything you eat. Plus, while connected to a compatible activity tracker or smartwatch, the app can track your daily physical activity and easily give you credit for any calories you burn off through exercise.
MyFitnessPal is a simple and easy-to-use calorie tracking app that is great for people who are serious about losing or gaining weight. The MyFitnessPal free version is enough for you to get started, and I highly recommend the free version of MyFitnessPal. Its 2 million food database is one of the most comprehensive ones out there, and it connects to a variety of fitness trackers and smartwatches to accurately track your physical activity.
I hope this quick guide has answered your question How Accurate is MyFitnessPal?
Saneesh VS is a tech and fitness enthusiast. He has been reviewing smartwatches and fitness trackers for the past few years and is passionate about it. He writes about the latest news in the industry, helpful tips, and buying guides. You can find him working out or spending time with his family when he’s not writing or reviewing gadgets.