The app I use for tracking my food is My Fitness Pal. I know there are a lot of other options out there but this is the one I use and prefer. To be honest, I haven’t tried the others because I am already familiar with My Fitness Pal and if it’s not broken, why fix it? Keep reading because I am going to show you exactly how to set up My Fitness Pal (MFP) for tracking your food and your macros.
#1- Download the My Fitness Pal app. Once you’ve download the app, open it up and set up an account. After you’ve done that, open the app and this is what your screen should look like. You’re going to click in the bottom right hand corner where it says more.
#3- If you enter your weight, goal weight and weekly goal into the app, it’s going to try to give you some different macros numbers than the ones you already have. We don’t want those. They tend to be WAY too low! You want to use the numbers you already have so click down below where it says Calorie and Macronutrient Goals.
#4- This is where you’ll enter the numbers you have. Put in your customized calories in the top where it says calories. Then click in the general area of your screen where it says carbohydrates.
#5- This screen will pop up. Adjust these percentages until you get as close to your numbers as possible. (A downfall of the free MFP version is you can’t put in your own numbers, but I’ll show you a way around that in a minute) I personally use the free version but if you think the paid version, where you can put in your exact numbers, will make your life easier, by all means, go for it!
#6- Now you’re going to learn how to log your food. Go back to your home screen and click on the top where it says Calories Remaining
#7- This is where you’ll log your food (We’ll come back to this in a minute) But first, to view your macros, click on the top of the screen again.
#8- You’ll want to be in the nutrients tab and your screen will look like this. Don’t go to the Macros tab. That will show you percentages of your day and it’s honestly just way too confusing that way. We are more concerned about hitting your macro numbers. Each of those numbers under goals, are your daily intake in grams of each macro. There are only 4 things you’re worried about on this screen for now. Protein, carbs, fat and fiber. If you used the macro calculator, it gave you a fiber number. You’re going to want to hit that along with your protein, carbs and fat.
Now this is where you can look for your exact numbers that the mfp free version doesn’t let you put in. If you have specific numbers you want to hit, look here and hit those numbers and don’t worry if it says you go under or over grams. For instance, I want personally want to have 145g of protein a day but I could only put it in at 137. So after I am done logging for the day, it will tell me I am -8 on protein assuming I hit my protein goal for the day 🙂
#9- Now that you know where to see your macros for the day, go back to your home screen. To log your food, click on the blue circle with the plus sign in the bottom middle of the screen.
#10- Click on food. Side note…DO NOT add in your exercise! It is already accounted for in your macros and if you add in exercise calories, you will basically be eating at maintenance if not more! You can, however, use mfp to keep track of your water intake!
#11- Select your meal.
#12- Click in the search bar to find your food. MFP has a database of so many foods you can usually find it by searching but if you have the barcode, it’s so much easier to scan it! You can do that on the right side of the search bar. Also, I eat a lot of the same things over and over again. Once you enter something in, it stays in the system. so usually all of the foods I eat every day are right there at the top. MFP also has a lot of restaurants macros as well, so it makes it super easy to eat out and stay on track!
#13- Once I start to enter my food, it will recognize what I am looking for and see the top 3 things that popped up on the top are exactly what i was looking for! Easy Peasy! However, make sure what it brings up is the same as what you’re eating. Sometimes the food doesn’t have the correct macros listed or isn’t quite the right thing, so always double check before logging. If it has a green check mark by it, it is verified by the food manufacture as listed correctly. So always choose the verified version if that’s an option.
#14- One last thing…. This is what it looks like when you pull up your food in MFP. Pink arrow is showing you how much of each macro is in the food. Green arrow-Serving Size….if you click on that you can change it if there are multiple serving sizes available. Blue arrow- Number of Servings, you can change this if you need to. Yellow arrow- click on the down arrow for a more detailed look at which micronutrients and fiber are in the food.
I hope that was simple enough but if you have questions, feel free to leave a comment!
Now you are ready to start tracking! Don’t forget to sign up for my email list——–> for weekly challenges and to do’s to help you get started on your macro journey!