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Our New Partner: Saga

An app to help you track your habits and write your digital autobiography!

Today we want to introduce you to our newest partner, Saga. Saga is an intelligent phone companion app for the iPhone that keeps track of the places you’ve been and the things you’ve done without ever having to check in! Saga captures data about your life from a variety of sources to build a unique profile of your habits and preferences, allowing you to set meaningful goals.

So how does Saga do all this? The app uses the sensors on your phone to determine your current location, then stores that location and the duration of your visit, creating a rich lifelog of your activities. Additionally, Saga allows you to connect other services like MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper and Fitbit to provide more data insights about your day. With MyFitnessPal’s new integration with Saga, as you enter items into your Food and Exercise Diary the information will automatically sync with Saga and send data to their lifelog.

Your Saga’s lifelog captures a history of the places you’ve been, trips you’ve taken, events you’ve attended, and more. With this data Saga is able to offer you relevant content precisely when you need it. For example, if it’s lunchtime, Saga will remember your past choices and suggest a nearby restaurant. Or if you usually go to the gym on Wednesdays, Saga will prompt you when you miss the trip.

Interested in learning more about Saga and getting started tracking your habits? Check out their website. To sync your accounts, just visit the app gallery!

Website Update – gets a facelift

We're excited to announce that we’ve updated our website, This release offers a much cleaner user experience including:

  • The addition of "add food" and "add exercise" buttons to the home page to help you get logging even more quickly!
  • The addition of a smart calorie meter on the home page to see where you are against your goal, how much exercise you've earned, and where you've netted out with regards to calories.
  • Removal of the left-hand column on the home page to allow for more space to view content
  • Streamlined re-styling including a new navigation bar.
  • Improved reporting:
    • We're now using HTML5, not Flash, so you can even view your reports on your phone.
    • You can hover over the chart to see actual values.
    • Instead of having to go back-and-forth between pages to view different charts, you can now see them on a single page.
    • We've added your goals to the relevant charts, as a reference point!

Ultimately, we hope these changes will significantly improve your experience with the website. So take a look and let us know if you have feedback! And if you encounter any issues, please let us know and we’ll investigate ASAP.

Kindle Fire Update: Version 2.7.3 is Available

Get excited, Kindle users. We're thrilled to announce that we’ve updated our app for the Amazon Kindle Fire. This release includes all the newest features our members love on their Android devices including:

  • Improved navigation: Including the latest sliding menu, which makes it easier than ever to access the features you care about. For example, App Gallery and Messages are now easily accessible from the new menu.

  • Improved user experience and design: We've worked hard to ensure that MyFitnessPal provides an experience that meets and exceeds your expectations – no matter what device you're using. A new toolbar at the top of each screen focuses you on the most important actions, including Add to Diary.

  • Cleaner screen structure: We made the user interface as clean as possible, so you can scan information and digest data more easily on the go. Graphs are now easier to view, update and understand.

We’ve also added:
  • French, German and Spanish language support to make it even easier to use MyFitnessPal for our international friends
  • Expanded unit support for weight, height, distances logged, and energy consumed and burned
We encourage our Kindle users to upgrade to the newest version to take advantage of all the latest enhancements. As always, if you run into any issues, please let us know and we’ll investigate it right away.

Mike, Al and the MFP Team

MyFitnessPal Tip: Customizing Your Nutrition Goals

Does your doctor or nutritionist have you following a different recommended plan than the settings in your MyfitnessPal account? Good news – you can customize your nutrition goals!

To get started customizing your goals simply login to the MyFitnessPal website - Mobile users, your login on the website uses the same username and password as the app. Once you've logged in, click "My Home", then "Goals", then "Change Goals", and choose the "Custom" option. On that page, you can change your individual nutritional goals. When you have finished make sure you click the "Change Goals" button at the bottom of the page to instantly update your account. If you are also using a MyFitnessPal mobile app, the next time your app connects to the internet your customized goals will be reflected immediately.

Please keep in mind that MyFitnessPal distributes fat, carbohydrate and protein calories based on a percentage; these percentages can be adjusted in five percent increments. If you customize your macronutrient goals, all three goals (fat, carb and protein) will adjust to total 100%. If you have a very precise goal -for example, eating 70 grams of protein each day- you may only be able to set that goal to the nearest percentage. MyFitnessPal Tip: If you're looking to hit a specific nutrient goal in grams or milligrams, we recommend monitoring the "total" value in your diary for this nutrient, rather than the "remaining" total.

We hope this tip about customizing your nutrition goals helps make using MyFitnessPal a more personal experience to help you stay healthy. Feel free to leave some ideas in the comments below for more MyFitnessPal Tip posts you’d like to see!

An important update about your MyFitnessPal account

Recently, we learned of reports of MyFitnessPal users receiving spam at the email address tied to their MyFitnessPal account. We take security and privacy very seriously and as a result, we immediately formed a security task force and hired a professional security firm to conduct a thorough investigation to see whether our systems had been breached.

As of today, here’s what our investigation has yielded: we did not find any evidence that passwords or other personal information were compromised. However, we did find a way through which someone could have obtained user email addresses. We worked quickly to fix the issue, and put several additional security measures in place to help prevent similar incidents in the future. We will continue to be vigilant to protect your information.

As always, please be careful about responding to email communications from people claiming to be employees of MyFitnessPal. In particular, remember that no MyFitnessPal employee will ever ask you for your password or other sensitive information. If you wish to change your MyFitnessPal password, you may easily do so by following these instructions.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our security team at

Achieving Weight Loss Success Without Exercise

By Elle, the MyFitnessPal R.D.

Any number of things can prevent us from exercising — injuries, medical conditions, lack of time or motivation, or simply disliking exercise altogether — the list goes on. While we encourage all of our members to eat healthfully and be physically active, we know for some it's neither possible nor realistic to do both. As a result, we're frequently asked, "Is it possible to lose weight without exercising?"

The good news is yes, it is possible to lose or maintain weight without exercising. Weight loss, at its core, is about creating a calorie deficit — that is, burning more calories than are consumed. This can be done by eating less, moving more, or doing a combination of both. For those who are unable to exercise, weight loss or weight maintenance success relies on making smart food choices and consistently staying close to those daily calorie goals.

Here are our top 6 tips to help you achieve weight loss or weight maintenance without exercise:

  1. Log diligently – Logging foods daily creates an awareness of the energy foods provide in relation to the energy our bodies need.
  2. Listen to your hunger cues – Decide if eating is a want or a need. If it's a want, try to save those calories for when you physically feel hungry.
  3. Eat nutrient dense foods & balanced meals – Get the most nutrition out of the calories you eat by consuming more whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and reduced-fat dairy – foods that will provide protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals at every meal. These will leave you feeling satisfied longer than foods that are high in calories but not much else – like sweets and sodas.
  4. Plan & prep meals for the week – Jot down some healthy breakfast ideas, brown bag lunches and spend some time cooking up a meal to reheat for dinner during the week. This will minimize the impulse to grab take out or make poor choices when hungry. Check out our Summertime Shape-up Meal Plan for a handy, printable planner!
  5. Work in any activity you can do – Small things like walking meetings, parking farther from the grocery store, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, creating a standing work station or doing chores while watching television add up! Take advantage of burning a few extra calories whenever you can.
  6. Be realistic – The truth is, dropping pounds will likely take longer without exercise. By setting a realistic weight loss goal of ½ to 1 pound per week, you’re less likely to feel deprived or discouraged and give up. Improving our health should be a life-long journey, not a race to hit a certain weight or fit into those skinny jeans.

We hope you find these helpful! Feel free to share any tips you might have for other members who aren't able to exercise but still want to maintain or lose weight. Have a great weekend!

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
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