App review: MyFitnessPal

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iTunes: Yes
Google Play: Yes
Price: Free
Developer: myfitnesspal.com

This is a very user-friendly, easy entry app. With first-time registration, the user enters basic facts, i.e. name, date of birth, weight, height, etc. If weight loss is a goal, the user puts in actual weight, goal weight, how many pounds per week of weight loss desired (pre-set at one pound weekly, which is what most experts recommend), and how many times the user is going to exercise weekly, for how many minutes. After this registration process, the app opens to a summary page with the number of calories left for the day, a pie graph of what type of calories have been consumed (carb, protein, fat) and any “news” from followers the user has. All entries can be made from the opening page. Food entry can be done through text entry or scanning. There is an extensive database to choose from. Exercise entry is easy with multiple types of exercises, both cardiovascular and strength training. The progress button gives the user a graphical illustration of how they are doing from a weight loss perspective. There are buttons for messages and information on how your friends are doing.

Self-tracking is the up-and-coming fitness movement. For patients who want to track calories in order to lose weight, this app offers one of the most, if not the most robust nutritional information in an app. Journaling exercise and finding a community to encourage the user is also possible with the app.

After using this myself for a number of months, I would recommend it but warn everyday dedication is required to accurately track weight and diet.

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