MyFitnessPal is a free app with various features to aid users trying to live healthier lifestyles. Once I had created an account, the set-up process prompted me to set goals and the app helped keep track of my progress. Main features of the app include a food diary, weight log, step log, and the data from each can be translated into a graph for a visual representation of your progress towards your goals. I also had access to articles, workouts, and recipes on the MyFitnessPal blog located on the home page of the app. 

The food log has been great because there are a wide variety of foods from many recognized brands, and this has allowed me to log quite efficiently and accurately. This has helped me log even when I’m on the go and don’t have a lot of time, which is great for any nurse that feels that there is not enough time in the day. If the specific brand is not listed, I can either pick from the foods that are not brand specific, or I am able to create a customized entry based off of the calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein.

One of my favorite features is that the app takes your height, weight, age, your personal goals, and activity level to calculate a recommended intake of calories. As you log your food intake, it calculates how many calories you have left for the day based off of your goals. The number of calories you have available changes throughout the day depending on how much exercise you do. Since the app synchronizes with my Fitbit app, my steps and additional activity data is transferred between the two apps which helps give me an accurate recommended caloric intake for that particular day. As we know, nurses are often on their feet for long periods of time, and the synchronization of the MyFitnessPal with the Fitbit app is an easy way to become more aware of your eating and fitness habits to help make healthier choices and encourage us to exercise.

An upgrade to premium offers more in depth food analysis with nutrient information, optimal times for eating based off of your workout habits, and allows you to set calorie goals for each day or each meal. It also allows you to export your data as a PDF and gives you access to current and previous reports about your progress. Premium plans can be purchased for $13.99/month or $69.99/year which works out to about $5.83/month. A 1-month free trial for Premium is offered upon download of the app.

For more information, check out the MyFitness Pal website here: