Your Simple Beginner’s Guide to Myfitnesspal

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How to use myfitnesspal effectively

This is a beginner’s guide to Myfitnesspal.

Have you ever wondered how people use the Myfitnesspal app to count their macros? 

myfitnesspal app

I bet you ask yourself how the heck do people not find it time-consuming or complicated.

Is this worth learning how to use it?

In this post, I’ll go over how myfitnesspal works for weight loss, the simplest way.

I’ll let you know whether you can get away using the free version, how to use myfitnesspal properly, and add your food.

And finally, how to not obsess over the app.

Let’s begin.

what does myfitnesspal app do?

Myfitnesspal is an app, and to put in simpler terms, its basically a food journal. A food journal where you can log in whatever it is you ate to keep track of how much or how little you ate during the day.

If you’re reading this or thought about tracking macros, you likely have a couple of pounds that you’d like to work off, and actually that’s how I started using the app too.

Is myfitnesspal good for weight loss

Have you been following “healthy trends” like eating everything organic, only protein bars, going for granola, and yogurt instead of the usual salted caramel ice cream? And still not seeing any progress – myfitnesspal is going to let you in on a whole lot of new things.

Some of those “healthy foods” pack on more calories than if you would’ve just gone for the glazed Krispy Kreme donut. But you would’ve never thought that because doesn’t a protein bar sound healthier than a donut?

Am I saying only focus on calories and not nutrition? But myfitnesspal is going to give you the answers as to why you haven’t been losing weight

Related: Crash Course in the 9 Benefits of Counting Macros for Anyone Who’s Sick of Hearing About Macros

Do you sign up using the free or premium version?

When you first sign up, you’ll be prompted with a series of basic questions, but to be honest, I’ve never let myfitnesspal calculate my macros. Why? Because I like to use this method instead. So when you get to this part, I recommend setting your calories to maintenance and not for your goals.


Once you’ve finished signing up, myfitnesspal will give you the option to try the premium version free for 30 days. Is anyone else every guilty of forgetting about subscriptions? Set Siri a reminder if you do decide to give it a go.


But first, let me tell you why I use the free version and why I have never used or see myself using the premium version in the future.

  1. I use the app to log my food – I can do that for free
  2. I use myfitnesspal to keep track of how much food (calories) I’ve eaten for the day – I can do that for free

The app seems to offer many great features, but these are the only two things I’ve ever used myfitnesspal for, and I’ve been able to lose over 27 pounds by using the free version.

myfitnesspal app

How to properly use myfitnesspal

Setting up your goals can be motivating and inspiring, which is why I recommend setting up this portion of the app, and as a beginner, it can help you remember what your calorie goals are.
So here are the only two things I suggest changing:

1. Goals
Goal weight:

Setting up a goal to lose 20 pounds harder to reach than 5 pounds and quite honestly discouraging when the goal feels so far away. So shoot for small goals like 3 or 5 pounds, and as you reach your goals, you can keep changing them.

I don’t recommend setting a timeline for yourself just yet because we want to create a healthier lifestyle, and myfitnesspal is just an app that’s going to help you reach those goals, not give you a deadline.


2. Nutrition Goals
Calorie, Carbs, Protein, and Fat Goals:

The only reason I recommend changing this is because, sometimes myfitnesspal will set your calories low on the diary home screen, and it can throw you off a bit.

Do you have to change this at all? Nope. But here’s what it will look like.



how to add food to myfitnesspal app

Myfitnesspal lets you add food through the main screen or by going to your food diary and clicking “add food” under whichever category you’d like.

Adding food is where people can get a little hung up sometimes.

The easiest way to add food to your diary is to scan the barcode of whatever food you’re eating, but what happens when you don’t have that option?

For veggies or fruit, I recommend typing in the name of the food, for example, peach and then typing USDA after it. So it will look like this.


After you weigh, your peach type in the weight amount and click the checkmark o the top right-hand corner.


Yes! You’ve just made your first journal entry.

Don’t obsess over the app

After years of tracking macros, and you as a beginner reading this guide for myfitnesspal the number one rule I recommend to follow, is, to be honest with what you track and not obsess over tracking everything. 

Remember, myfitnesspal is just a tool that’s going to help guide you in the right direction. 

If you’re a beginner, don’t lose sleep over not being able to hit your macros because you can’t set up the exact percentages in the app to match your macros. 

Are you having trouble remembering your macros or calorie goal? Write them down under your notes app on your phone.

And if you’re eating out or having a home-cooked meal but cannot track your food, check out this post on how to track your food when you don’t have a food scale.

Related Articles: How to Easily Use a Food Scale to Track Your Macros

benefits of counting macros

To keep things simple, at the end of the day, look at these two numbers.

  1. The amount of calories you ate for the day
  2. How much protein you ate for the day


Conclusion to using myfitnesspal for macros

Myfitnesspal is just one of many calories and macro tracking apps you can use. And if you’re a beginner in your fitness or weight loss journey, I hope this beginner’s guide to myfitnesspal simplified it for you.

Myfitnesspal app will be a huge help to see what a typical day of eating looks like for you.

Dose myfitnesspal work for weight loss? Yes.

Do you have to pay for the myfitnesspal app? No.

And is it easy to add your food to the app? Yes.

Let me know have you used myfitnesspal before? And if so, what are some features you did and didn’t like about it?

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