5 Reasons You Should Stop Using MyFitnessPal

By Jessica Mahmoud on May 25, 2015

MyFitnessPal is a meal tracker. It counts the nutrition facts in all the foods you eat, tracks your weight, and exercise. While it is very popular, it is really meant for people who want to lose weight. It can be very easy to get carried away with the numbers and charts, trust me. I suggest you stop using if if you have it, and here’s 5 reasons why.


1. You start off with goals, which can really go to your head


The biggest problem with the idea of counting calories and nutrition facts is that all the numbers can really go to your head. MyFitnessPal lets you put in your weight and then gives you a goal for all the facts on a nutrition label. These numbers can often be at an unhealthy amount for the typical college student, but it really depends how you set it. Like I said, if you’re looking to lose weight, this app might really help you reach those goals. But having these “limits” can really make a person feel very, well, limited to the foods they can eat so they don’t mess up their log. It can make you become very fixated on numbers and your weight, which is not always needed if you’re just trying to be healthy.

2. Your future estimated weight is shown to you everyday

In a society where appearance is so important, many times people opt to weigh themselves to see their progress. This can really make one’s appearance and happiness with how they look be based on a number, rather than their actual appearance. While I can’t say I have completely accomplished this, I admire the people who choose to not weigh themselves, but rather base their feelings off what they see in the mirror instead of what number is down on the scale. MyFitnessPal suggests users weigh themselves every so often and track it in the app. The other problem with the estimated weight is that you gain weight when you gain muscle, which the app does not account for. Plus, you see this number everyday after you finish an entry.

3. Everything needs to be accounted for

MyFitnessPal is a meal tracker, which means you are tracking your meals, plus snacks. But this is where things get tricky. I mean am I supposed to track the sip of my friend’s latte I had or the piece of gum I chewed? Almost everything has calories, making it very easy to go over these limits or goals, which can leave one feeling guilty or bad about themselves. The fixation with the tracking can become an obbession, that can lead to more serious problems and body image issues. The desire to not going over can cause one to not want to eat in order to stay within this goal.

4. Exercise is also tracked

Another feature on MyFitnessPal is tracking your exercising and the calories you burn. When you exercise, all the calories you burn lets you eat more. So if I burn 200 calories on my run, I can eat 200 calories more for that day. This math can make exercise become an obbsession in order to eat that cookie or snack. This idea can lead one to develop the disorder of over-exercising in order to achieve their fitness goals on the app. While it may not sound that way, this is a serious disorder that can really cause harm to the body if it goes unnoticed. This is what I mean by the app going to your head.

5. Your life becomes charts and numbers

Like I said, MyFitnessPal is a meal tracker. The tracking lets you view everything at a glance, like above, which can be nice for someone who is seriously on a weightloss journey. However, for students or individuals trying to just be healthy, these charts can be disappointing, even after just gaining .4 of a pound. It makes your life and this obbession just a chart on a screen, which can really cause harm to one’s self esteem or even self worth. Body image and feelings on one’s appearance can easily be harmed by mistakes made in tracking if one becomes fixated on it.

These screenshots are from the past because I’ve stopped using MyFitnessPal. While I know people have a lot of success in their weightloss journey using this app, it is also very easy to get a little carried away and fixated on numbers and food when using it. If you’re not on a path to losing weight, I suggest you make sure you’re not falling into this trap of self harm and body image issues. We’re all young and as long as you’re not stuffing your face with icecream watching Netflix 24/7, I think you’ll be fine.

Do you use MyFitnessPal? What are your views on it? Let me know in the comments below!

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