Starting something new can feel like an uphill battle—especially when it involves changing your eating or exercise habits. So we set out to find the best advice for new MyFitnessPal users from people who’ve been successfully logging and tracking their health goals for a while.
We asked thousands of current users on Facebook, “What advice would you give someone who’s just getting started with MyFitnessPal?” and the response was incredible. More than 1,200 of you shared your motivational advice, helpful tips for daily logging, and success secrets.
The resulting list of insider tips is great for newbies and long-time MyFitnessPal users alike. It will help you make the most out of the program, so you can reach your daily eating and exercise goals—fast!
1. GET IN THE HABIT OF TRACKING EVERYTHING
- “My motto: You bite it, you write it.” —Cara M.
- “If you stay within your allotted calories, are consistent, and track everything you eat, you will lose weight!” —Paula F.
- “Every day. Every meal. Just keep tracking.” —John D.
- “Track everything! The good, the bad, and the reallllly ugly.” —Jodi B
- “Track it before you eat it! You may change your mind.” —Elaine B.
- “Don’t eat your next meal until you have tracked your previous one.” —Jessica P.
2. SET REALISTIC GOALS
- “Make small goals. Every small goal reached helps you get to your ultimate goal!” —Jennifer T.
- “Don’t try to change everything at once. That can be too overwhelming. Baby steps.” —Connie D.
- “Only record your breakfast. Do that for two weeks. Then start doing lunch, and so on.” —Stephanie L.
- “Even if you only find time to track one meal per day it will raise your awareness, which is always a good thing. Just start somewhere and stay with it.” —Cori Y.
- “Make little changes rather than trying to do everything at once. Be patient and trust the process.” —Jamie G.
3. BE HONEST AND CONSISTENT
- “Be honest about every nibble, taste, and bite. You’ll do better because of it!” —Victoria C.
- “It’s so eye-opening and easy to make changes once you’re completely honest with yourself.” —Jessica M.
- “If you aren’t honest, you can’t learn.” —Jennifer E.
- “Be honest with yourself. You can’t pretend you didn’t eat something and still expect to lose weight.” —Blythe E.
4. MAKE FRIENDS IN MYFITNESSPAL
- “Seek out friends with similar goals.” —Elizabeth C.
- “Get friends to join—seeing everyone’s progress helps push you in the right direction.” —Jessica C.
- “Add friends. They’ll keep you honest and motivated.” —Liz F.
- “The more people you have doing it with you, the more involved you get, and the better you do.” —Jamie W.
5. VISIT THE MYFITNESSPAL FORUMS
- “Post topics and ask questions in the forums.” —Holly M.
- “Read the forums for recipes.” —Danielle F.
- “Use the forums—there is lots of valuable info and support!” —Karen D.
- “Use the community to give you the courage to do what you need.” —Ian F.
6. FIND THE BARCODE SCANNER
- “Learn to love the barcode scanner.” —James N.
- “Scanning product barcodes helps a lot to get exact portions.” —Judy L.
- “Barcode scan where you can. It’s easier!” —Kerry V.
7. USE THE CHARTS AND GRAPHS
- “The weekly nutrition summary is great to show you that you’ve done well over 7 days.” —Kerry H.
- “You can adjust your personal intake of carbs, protein, and fats.” —Kimberly C.
- “Remember to hit the ‘Complete this entry’ button at the end of the day. Those numbers of what you could weigh in 5 weeks can be a real motivator.” —Camille N.
8. SET REMINDERS
- “Set the reminder setting on the app to help you be accountable for tracking.” —Holly F.
9. DON’T GIVE UP
- “Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a bad day. Slip-ups happen and you’re doing something new, heading in the right direction.” —Lynne P.
- “If you go over your calories, don’t freak out or quit. Remember: tomorrow is a new day.” —Jodi O.
- “Stick with, and don’t stress over bad days. Coming from a guy who has tracked 680 days in a row, and has lost 81 pounds!” —Kevin M.
- “Stumble, fall, but don’t ever quit. You are worth it!” —Rob T.
- “Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.” —Allison D.
- “When you hit the wall where you stop losing weight, don’t give up. I went almost two weeks without a single pound. Then I started losing again. It’s a process. You have to stick with it.” —Kevin L.
- “Celebrate the small victories because every change is worth celebrating.” —Jennette S
- “Celebrate when you make progress.” Glenn S.
Did we miss anything? What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.