If you are trying to lose weight and shed some pounds, chances are you have downloaded MyFitnessPal to help count your calories and track your diet. Perhaps you have read good things about the app, or perhaps you know people who have benefited from it, but have you also considered its disadvantages? In this article, we explore the features of MyFitnessPal as well as discuss the drawbacks associated with using it in your quest to lose weight and improve your overall health. The Not-So-Sweet Side of MyFitnessPal
Users Are Harder to Reach
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Sure, it’s easy to find people who can log food in a database for you. But are those people truly invested in your health? Likely not. More likely, these passive calorie counters didn’t stick around long enough to help you achieve your goals. For that reason, it’s better to invest your time into reaching out to other users personally and working on becoming an active part of a community (rather than just logging).
Slow Customer Support
One drawback to having a million users is that you will inevitably get complaints. When you consider how many people actually create profiles, it’s possible that a large number are created by people who won’t use them at all. We can only hope they don’t complain to us when they don’t like something on our app…but we take every complaint seriously and try to handle each one carefully. If your concern is valid, then great—we want to be able to fix issues as quickly as possible. On the other hand, if your concern isn’t really an issue (it happens), we will work with you in a constructive manner and make sure you understand why we have made our decision about your request or comment.
Ineffective Data Tracking
MFP users enter food, weight, and exercise data. The problem with data collection is that it can be very easy to cheat without even realizing it. For example, you could log a few minutes on your treadmill and enter that as your full exercise for today, or you could round up your daily calories eaten to meet your target so that you don’t have to try too hard tomorrow. If MFP were better at tracking food/weight/exercise without user manipulation, then we’d trust its data more. But until then…you have been warned!
Doesn’t Assess Blood Glucose Level
This popular food and fitness tracking tool doesn’t provide any guidance for people who are checking their blood glucose level. Without information about blood glucose levels, you could end up consuming too many carbs, which can lead to hypoglycemia, or too few carbs, which can cause hyperglycemia. This can cause your insulin to either go too high or plummet. Either way, it’s bad news because high insulin is linked to certain types of cancer. As a result, if you have diabetes and want to use MyFitnessPal as part of your health regimen, you should always consult with your physician before adding extra sugar (or skipping it).
Does Not Account for Personal Macros
The MFP app does not have a built in macros counter. This is a major disadvantage for those who follow a ketogenic diet, because it is difficult to calculate your precise macro goals without manually counting every single calorie you consume. For example, my estimated daily fat intake from MFP was 33% when I was following a strict keto diet (that’s roughly 180 grams per day). However, when I went on vacation and decided to eat whatever I wanted, my actual fat intake ended up being significantly lower than what MFP predicted (closer to 15%). As you can imagine, that’s frustrating!
Difficult to Manipulate Food Database
One of our employees tested out MyFitnessPal, and noticed that adding items to your food database is a very manual process. For instance, you can’t just add chicken to your database; you have to type in roasted chicken breast. If you’re trying to be precise with what you eat, it can get tiring. And while other diet apps let you scan barcodes for some foods, such as packaged dinners and desserts, MyFitnessPal doesn’t offer that capability. This makes it more time consuming and difficult than other apps if you are trying to lose weight quickly by cutting calories but maintaining a high level of nutrition.
Poor Meal Planning
Even though MyFitnessPal allows you to input your food, there is no way to input your daily schedule. If you work odd hours or have a crazy schedule, it’s hard to accurately plan your meals. This can lead to overeating and weight gain over time. Additionally, since you don’t have control over what foods are assigned by default for each day, it may be easy to accidentally binge eat unhealthy options. In other words, even though MyFitnessPal makes calorie counting easier, if you’re not careful, it could also make things easier when it comes to regaining weight.