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A good SMARTPHONE calorie diary for your pocket!
MyFitnessPal (iPhone Application)
Member Name: abbiej1711
MyFitnessPal (iPhone Application)
Date: 13/07/12, updated on 13/07/12 (86 review reads)
Advantages: Useful at recording calorie intake.
Disadvantages: Not reliable in many ways.
The assumption that all applications are iphone applications angers me, as we have not all been swallowed into Apple's iphone craze.
I have used this application on three different phones, all which have been android and I have been pleased with the process of this application throughout all.
I have used this application on my old Samsung Galaxy S, the Samsung galaxy ace- which has a smaller screen, and now on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S.
*Who is this application best for
In my opinion, this application is not only suitable for those wanting to watch their calorie intake as a controlled diet, but it is also useful for those who are wanting to understanding better how many calories are in which foods.
Using this application has helped me and enabled me to understand better which foods I should avoid, and which are best for eating whilst I am on a diet.
I don't think this application is suitable for people who are not that serious about dieting, as I have found myself that when I am having a break from dieting- or also known as, giving up for a while- I also give up using this application, as it just makes me feel worse seeing how many hundreds of calories I have gone over! And as I have learnt to be able to memorise and count the calories in my head, I no longer need to keep track as its easy for me to have a mental count on a day to day basis.
*Is this application addictive?
I have mixed opinions as to whether this application is addictive or not, and I do really think it all comes down to individual personalities.
I have read some people arguing that counting calories can cause eating disorders and cause people to become obsessed with calorie counting, but this hasn't happened to me, and I have been using this application on and off for about two years now!
When I first began to use this application, I did find I was constantly thinking about inputting my food into the diary every time I ate, and I was constantly thinking about how much I could eat, but that is just how I am when dieting, and it is also why 9 times out of 10, I cannot reach my diet goal!
My Fitness Pal allows you to input personal details, such as your height, current weight and goal weight, gender and age etc. It is also asks whether you would like to gain weight, stay the same or lose weight which means it is suitable for various people. My partner actually used this application for a few weeks when he was trying to gain weight, and he learnt a lot about the foods he was eating and which food was best for him.
When the application loads, it will show you how many calories you have remaining for today. If you have already eaten and recorded, it will show you the nutrient details you have consumed from that food, and if you have gone over your goal it will appear in red with a minus sign. This can also be viewed as a Daily or Weekly view, so you can see the areas you need to watch or eat less of.
HOWEVER- This may sound useful, but if you consider the facts that anybody can add new foods to the food diary, meaning you can select foods which have been added by anybody, I don't see how reliable these food facts can be.
When adding foods, it often happens that the food with say N/A across all areas, which I expect means whoever added it couldn't be bothered or didn't know the nutrition facts- but this means this food item will not be counted in your daily nutrient consumption.
As many people understand, whilst dieting it isn't advised to eat less than 1200 calories per day. Although when I first added my age, height, weight and goal weight, the application created an automated goal of 1200 calories for me to reach my goal within a set time. I didn't like having the lowest advised calories as a goal, so I altered this up to 1300- which is a useful setting to be able to use.
The application also has a set goal for each area such as saturated fat - 40g. Although surely if you are on a diet, 40g of fat is still too much?
The goal also says 45g of protein, and if you go over that, it will appear in red with a minus sign which irritates me as I try to eat as much protein as I can when on a diet.
Although it may be useful for some people to have set goals for things like salt and sugar, I think there should be an option to change the goal for things like protein.- If you are on the Atkins diet whilst using this application, it won't be happy with you.
The best thing I like about this application is the ability to add and record the amount of calories you have burnt at the gym. There are many exercises to choose from, including a range of walking and running speeds along with other common exercise machines.
HOWEVER- The calories burnt on this application are NOT reliable. If you add '30 minutes' into the Elliptial trainer, it will show up with 310 calories burnt. I don't understand how the calories can be guessed as everybody is different, and there are many different levels on each machine. My exercise machines always show a completely different measurement, I usually half the calories shown as burnt and add these- as the application allows you to add your own calories burnt instead of using there estimates.
Fitness Pal have also recently added the option to connect with others using this app, which means you can add your friends. Although I don't use this as I don't like the idea of my friends being able to see how many calories I burnt at the gym that day, or whether I met my calorie goal or not! I personally think dieting is a personal goal.
The application also has a 'water' area for you to add the amount of water consumed, which enables you to track your fluid intake.
I have always found it easy to add food to my diary, although I have never created my own food. If the diary doesn't have the food item available, there are other options of inputting the calories.
When adding foods, you can either scan the barcode from your phone, search for the food name manually or input the amount of calories yourself.- Which is sometimes easier and quicker.
I found when using the application on my Samsung Galaxy S that after about a year of use, the application became quite slow and when adding new foods it often froze or took ages! Although since using it on my new Xperia Arc S phone, it has been fine!
When adding foods, you can add them into 4 different areas!
This is a useful way of tracking the amount of snacks you have and be able to see what time of the day you eat the most calories.
What I love about this diary, is that it doesn't just have the everyday food items saved, it also has Mcdonalds, KFC and the popular fast food restaurants! It also has Toby Carvery on it, although I'd love to know who is able to count the amount of calories in a carvery? I've never trusted the calorie content for this!
I do think this is a very useful application to use, but I do think you need to have some level of knowledge of dieting and nutritional information before using it.
Somebody I introduced to this application was over the moon that she had burnt 400 calories walking home from school- I didn't dare tell her that the application was not reliable for calories burnt. But if somebody genuinely wanted to use this application solely for dieting, it could miss-inform and cause confusion across many areas!
Thank you for reading, I also post on Ciao.
Summary: Worth using- its free!
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