Do APPS like MYFITNESSPAL work?

Everyone wants a quick fix, and easy way to lose weight and most of all they want to it with the least amount of effort. Sorry folks. The magic pill is to get lots of rest, exercise and eat a nutritious diet of whole foods. MYFITNESSPAL is a great tool to help you stay on track but like any health and wellness app, it doesn't DO the work for you. 

Benefits:

  1. Just about any food can be found! And if you can't find what you're looking for, you can create the food and insert the nutritional information on your own.
  2. Share your tracking with friends (or your personal trainer). This helps people with accountability of not just making healthy choices.
  3. You can track your workouts! (But don't forget to read Downside #3)
  4. Allows you to evaluation patterns in your eating and possibly help you to identify foods that you're sensitive to.

Downsides:

  1. There is no way to track the foods that you DON'T enter. For instance, you've posted all of your hard work and wonderful healthy days, but fail to enter the night of binge drinking, pizza and potstickers. 
  2. By tracking your fitness the app will give you MORE calories during the day and prevent weight-loss.
  3. The breakdown of macro-nutrients, specifically CARBOHYDRATES doesn't tell you much unless you are mindful about where those sugars are coming from. 60 grams of a snickers is not the same as 60 grams of spinach... you see what I mean? 

There are are more benefits and downsides to an app like MYFITNESSPAL, but understanding how the tool works and knowing that you still have to do the work is critical.