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MyFitnessPal Tip: Updating Your Food Diary Meal Names

For a variety of reasons, many people aren't on a three-meal-a-day schedule. Perhaps your job doesn't allow time for it, or you choose to eat many small meals throughout the day for health reasons. Regardless of the cause, if you're not one of those people who eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack, you probably struggle to file your meals under those titles in your MyFitnessPal food diary.

We've heard your questions on how to change your meal titles to reflect your actual meal plan, and today we're going to share a tip on how to make this update in your account! To get started, go to the MyFitnessPal website, You must go through the website, not the app. Remember your login on the website uses the same username and password as the app.

Once you've logged in on the website, click on "My Home", then "Settings", then "Diary Settings". On this page you can change your meal names, and even add two additional meals! For instance, if you take a Hobbit-like approach to food, you can change your meal names to Breakfast(s), Elevensies, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Supper, and Dinner. Or, if you prefer to chart your meals by scheduled time, you can update the names to 7AM, 10AM, 1PM, 4PM, and 7PM.

Don’t forget to save your changes when you’re all done. The next time your MyFitnessPal app connects to the Internet, your name changes and/or meal additions will be instantly reflected. Please note that once this change is made, it will be reflected on every day in your diary. Also, it is not currently possible to have different meal names on different days.

We hope this tip improves your MyFitnessPal experience and makes your account more accurately reflect your daily life and fitness goals. Be sure to stay tuned for upcoming posts offering more tips and tricks on getting the most out of your MyFitnessPal account!

Featured Partner: Les Mills - Les Mills workouts have been added to the exercise database!

After hearing many requests from you, we are excited to announce our newest partner — Les Mills. Their exercise data has now been added to the MyFitnessPal exercise database. No longer will you have to log a similar exercise and guess at your calories burned; Les Mills has provided calculations to estimate the calories burned by their various workout programs. This makes it easy to log whenever you attend classes and reflect your correct net calories for the day.

Not familiar with Les Mills? The workout program was created by New Zealand athlete (and four time Olympian) Les Mills and has grown to become one of the world’s most popular group fitness classes and team training programs. With over 90,000 licensed instructors worldwide, Les Mills is there to guide you through a hugely motivating workout set to fun music. Les Mills wants you to fall in love with fitness.

If you are interested in joining a class go here to find one near you. And don't forget to log into your MyFitnessPal account to keep track of your Les Mills calories burned!

Losing Is For Winners: MyFitnessPal Users Lose 100 Million Pounds

We have some really exciting news to share with you: MyFitnessPal members have collectively shed over 100 Million pounds! That is an incredible achievement, and we stand in awe of you.

Since 2005, we here at MyFitnessPal have been helping folks achieve a healthier lifestyle by empowering them to reach their personal health and fitness goals. It's been great experiencing the challenges and triumphs alongside our members. Now, we all have something to crow about!

We love knowing that our program was a part of your success, but it really is YOUR success. Sure, we provide helpful tools and guidance, but when it comes to providing the crucial ingredient of willpower, you guys did all the heavy lifting (pun very much intended).

So how did you do it?
Diet - MyFitnessPal members stuck pretty close to our suggested meal guidelines and recommended food items: lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats, and of course, instant inspiration, aka coffee.

Exercise - MyFitnessPal members exercised regularly and easily tracked their workouts on their profiles. As a matter of fact, you guys powered through an impressive 17.2 billon minutes of cardio. That's a lot of sweat-drenched laundry loads.

Just what were the top five exercises?
  1. Walking: You just have to love this old standby, especially when you walk right past the vending machines.
  2. Elliptical training: The one time when going in circles feels like progress.
  3. Running: Hit the trail, asphalt, or grass aboard the Shoe Leather Express.
  4. Strength training: Everyone gets pumped for getting pumped.
  5. Stair treadmill: Rain or shine, you’re going to exercise. And maybe watch some TV.

All of this hard work by members burned a staggering 125 BILLION calories. That's like seven fast-food milkshakes, right? Kidding ;)

Check out our cool infographic to see even more fun fitness factoids. You can even print it out and hang it up for a quick hit of inspiration! And again, congrats to all of you healthier Fitness Pals. This isn’t the end, or even the middle. It's just one more (big) win on the journey toward a healthier lifestyle. Great job!

To your good health,
The MyFitnessPal team

Eat Smarter Using Your Hunger Cues

By Elle, the MyFitnessPal R.D.

We all know the unpleasantness of feeling hungry. Even the slightest grumble has the ability to send many of us into a panic, searching for whatever food we can get our hands on. This sense of urgency was likely advantageous back when we were hunters and gatherers, when finding a meal took far more time and energy than it does now. But with snack bars in our purses, fast food on every corner, and scheduled mealtimes these days, it's entirely possible, and probably quite normal, for many of us to go an entire day without feeling hungry. Go a few days, a week, or month without feeling hungry and it's easy to understand not only why we fear this foreign feeling, but also why we gain or are not able to lose weight.

The truth is, a grumbling tummy is nothing more than a gentle reminder that our body needs some fuel. It plays an important role in helping us maintain a neutral energy balance, which basically means we burn as much energy as we consume. That being said, there are different degrees of hunger, some we certainly want to avoid. A small grumble of the tummy is good! It's when we start to experience shakiness, difficulty concentrating, or nausea that it becomes a problem, because allowing ourselves to get too hungry is unhealthy and can lead to negative outcomes.

Hunger is a communication within the body that should be respected and embraced, not feared. It might seem easy but resisting the urge to chow down until you actually feel a bit hungry can be tough, especially if you're not used to it or you're on a schedule, bored, stressed, tired, or out socializing with friends. Here are some tips to help you understand and embrace your hunger cues:

  • The next time your stomach growls, smile! Your body is telling you it's ready to eat.
  • Try to eat something within 30 minutes of first feeling hungry. This will stabilize your blood sugar and fend off the urge to overeat.
  • After a meal, wait to feel hungry before eating again. Don't just eat simply because mealtime rolls around.
  • Feel hungry but not sure you should be? Grab a glass of water. Thirst can also be misinterpreted as hunger.
  • When food comes to mind, decide if it's a need or a want. You need food when you physically feel hungry. If you're not physically hungry, distract yourself by taking a walk, phoning a friend or doing another activity. Sometimes it takes just a few minutes to take your mind off of eating when you're not really hungry.
  • Take time to enjoy your food. It takes about 20 minutes to feel satisfied once you begin eating.
We hope you find these tips helpful and that the next hunger pang you feel will be pleasant, not panic-inducing. Feel free to share any other hunger cue tips you have in the comments below!

Photo: iStockphoto

Meet our new Registered Dietitian

As you know, we are constantly looking for ways to improve your experience with MyFitnessPal. So without further ado, we are excited to welcome Elle into the fold. She's a Registered Dietitian and healthy lifestyle blogger who recently graduated with her Master of Public Health in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina. Elle's a foodie at heart — she loves cooking as much as eating and enjoys staying active through running, yoga and hiking. She will be helping us add more actionable information to our website and blog to help you more easily achieve your goals. So stay tuned for some useful tips and tricks, courtesy of Elle.

We look forward to making your summer a happy and healthy one!

The MyFitnessPal team

Good-for-you Grilled Leftovers

Got a fridge full of July 4th leftovers? Don't let those charbroiled hamburgers, grilled steaks, chicken, and fish go to waste. Here are some of our favorite, healthy ways to use up the remains of yesterday's festivities.

Fish – Shred a cooked tuna steak and whip up this avocado tuna salad (pictured) or substitute grilled salmon for smoked in this delicious, veggie-filled salmon wrap.

Chicken Breasts – Try this drool-worthy chicken salad or these tasty Asian lettuce wraps.

Steaks – Slice thin and add greens and fresh pineapple to make this delicious salad.

Burgers – Crumble beef or turkey burgers into a pot of homemade veggie chili or reheat with some taco seasoning for taco night. Top with leftover grilled veggies, fresh avocado, cilantro, and plain Greek yogurt.

Enjoy those leftovers, and have a great weekend!

Photo: Sharon Rhodes

4 Cool & Healthy Treats for July 4th

We all love an ice cream cone every so often but if you'd rather indulge in a charbroiled cheeseburger or second helping of potato salad this Independence Day, these four light and refreshing treats will help satisfy your sweet tooth. As if that’s not enough to love, they’re packed with water to help keep you hydrated in the summer heat, and lots of antioxidants.

Firecracker Berry Frozen Yogurt Pops – A festive yogurt & berry dessert both kids and adults will love

Berry Green Smoothie – A great way to mix some green into your red, white and blue

Watermelon & Berry Fruit Salad – Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to give your watermelon a little patriotic pizazz.

Berry Ice Cubes – Perfect for dressing up a glass of sparkling water or a club soda cocktail

Have a cool, happy Fourth of July!

Windows Update - MyFitnessPal is Available on Windows Phone 8

We're excited to announce that we’ve updated our app for Windows 8 phones. This release includes all the newest features members love on iOS and Android, including the ability to:

  • Sign up and log in with Facebook
  • Add and invite friends from your Facebook contacts
  • Add and invite friends from your Windows phone contact list
  • Enjoy type-ahead food filtering
  • Follow your news feed from your MyFitnessPal home screen

This new app also offers some great live tile features that are specific to Windows Phone 8. For instance, you can pin live tiles to your home screen, including a summary tile with a meter for tracking your daily progress. You can even pin a quick link to the "add to diary" screen to make the tracking process faster than ever.

So if you're a Windows Phone 8 user, we encourage you to update your MyFitnessPal app as soon as you have a moment. And if you encounter any issues, please let us know and we'll investigate ASAP.

MyFitnessPal Summer Shape-up Meal Plan - Part 2

As promised, here is the second half of our summer meal plan, featuring some delicious, nutritious dinner and snack options for you. Remember to download the printable meal plan, when you have a moment, to help you with planning.

And when you're ready to log each meal in MyFitnessPal, just search the Database by the food name as written below.

  1. Food Network – Grilled Steak with Barley Salad
    Recipe Details: 500 calories per serving using 1 ¼ pounds sirloin steak and ½ teaspoon salt
  2. Skinnytaste - Grilled Salmon Kebabs
    Recipe Details: 267 calories per 2 kebabs
    Pair with freshly roasted veggies and a side quinoa.
  3. Eat Live Run - Tomato & Feta Stuffed Chicken
    Recipe Details: 287 calories per ~6 ounces chicken breast
    Make a salad with homemade vinaigrette dressing to enjoy on the side.
  4. Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth – Southwest Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
    Recipe Details: 391 calories per pepper made with regular (not reduced-fat) cheese.
    Does not include simple guacamole, but feel free to add some!
  5. Kashi - Black Bean Mango Entree
    Product Details: 340 calories per entrée

  1. How Sweet It Is – No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bites
    Recipe Details: 160 calories per oatmeal peanut butter ball
  2. Homemade - Frozen Grapes
    Food Details: 62 calories per 1 cup
    Pull individual portions from the freezer and pair with a cup of low-fat yogurt for a cool, high-protein snack.
  3. The Curvy Carrot – Peanut Butter Banana Quinoa Muffins
    Recipe Details: 334 calories per large muffin
    Try baking as mini muffins for a smaller snack to tide you over.
  4. Smitten Kitchen – Baked Kale Chips
    Recipe Details: 100 calories per serving – recipe makes approximately 2 servings with ¼ teaspoon salt.
    A perfect partner to any sandwich.
  5. Kind Bar – Assorted Flavors
    Around 200 calories per bar and packed with protein to keep you satisfied.

We'll be creating more nutritious, healthy blog posts this summer, so stay tuned for more on that. Have a great weekend, and happy eating!

MyFitnessPal Summer Shape-up Meal Plan - Part 1

We're excited summer is finally here — but eating healthfully takes some planning, so to kick off the season right, we compiled some delicious, healthy recipes and created a printable meal plan for you to try. We even added the foods for you, to make logging your daily nutrition in MyFitnessPal easy. Just search the MyFitnessPal Database by the food name as written below.

There's a lot of content here, so we’ve decided to break it up. We're sharing a few breakfast and lunch options today and will post our dinner and snack options on Friday – so check back just before the weekend for the second half!

  1. A Sweet Simple Life - Muffin Cup Baked Eggs
    Recipe Details: 80 calories per egg cup, prepared without cheese
    Pair baked eggs with a slice of whole wheat toast and a cup of fresh fruit. These can also be frozen and microwaved for a quick and easy weekday breakfast.
  2. Motive Nutrition - Breakfast Egg Sandwich with Crispy Prosciutto
    Recipe Details: 393 calories per satisfying muffin sandwich
    Enjoy with a small piece of fruit on the side.
  3. Homemade - Cottage Cheese with Pineapple and Walnuts
    Recipe Details: 270 calories per ¾ cup 2% cottage cheese, ½ cup fresh pineapple chunks and ¼ cup walnut halves
  4. NatureBox - Breakfast Taquitos
    Recipe Details: 180 calories per 1 taquito prepared with small corn tortillas, regular pork sausage and cheese (not reduced-fat)
    Grab an apple or banana and take these to go.
  5. Garden Lites - Spinach Souffle
    Recipe Details: 140 calories per souffle
    Perfect for heating up when you’re running late in the morning!

  1. Good Life Eats – Cucumber and Avocado Sandwich
    Recipe Details: 404 calories per sandwich made with hearty 100% whole wheat bread (110 calories per slice) & 3 tablespoons mashed avocado
    Tastes great with kale chips on the side
  2. Eat Yourself Skinny – Summer Quinoa Salad
    Recipes Details: 270 calories per 1 cup
    We love having some strawberries afterward for dessert!
  3. Food Fitness Fresh Air – Sweet Pea and Garlic Soup
    Recipe Details: 200 calories per serving topped with 1 tablespoon 2% plain Greek yogurt
  4. The Kitchn – Tuna Cabbage Salad
    Recipe Details: 159 calories per serving made according to directions with 2% Greek yogurt and 1 pinch of salt & pepper
    Great for sandwiches or mixed into a bowl of leafy greens.
  5. PJ Organics – Chicken Enchilada Meal
    Product Details: 440 calories per entrée
    Keep some in the freezer at work!

We hope this proves useful and inspirational as you embark on a healthy, happy summer. Again, stay tuned for the dinner and snack portion of the meal plan this Friday—just in time for your weekend grocery shopping!
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