How to Use My Fitness Pal for Beginners (Video)

Hi guys!  I hope y’all are waking up today feeling refreshed and energized from a good ‘ole long weekend!  We had a great time in Austin, but three people in one bed, including one wild monkey, did not make for the best sleep. I swear I fear for my life when I sleep with James because he seriously does somersaults in his sleep!  Even when you have a great time out of town, it’s always so good to come home to your own bed!

Last Monday, I gave you the low-down on my 6-months post baby body and my new goal of losing some body fat in the next 40 days, my 40-Day Challenge.  I loved hearing that y’all are on board with me and are trying to get in shape too!  Maybe September marks a fresh start with back-to-school and back to giving our bodies some attention since the lazy dessert days of summer.

Today, I’m giving you a quick update on the 40-Day Challenge and showing you how I’m using the My Fitness Pal app to track my macros because I know a lot of you want to use it but don’t know how.  I figured the easiest way would be to show you in a video of me actually using the app, so I hope it’s helpful.  I’ve never done a video tutorial like this, so I was kind of nervous, but I tried to just picture if you were sitting next to me what I would tell you, so that made it easier.

I went through the MFP app kind of quickly since it was just a beginner’s tutorial and so you wouldn’t to have to watch a super long video (it’s about 7 minutes already), so if you have any questions, leave them in the comments so I can answer them for everyone.  Chances are, if you have that question, other people do too! 


Starting Stats 8/22/16:  Weight 109.7, Body Fat 22.7%
8/29/16:  Weight 106.3, Body Fat 21.7% (lost 1 whole point in a week! Fantastic!) 
Goal Body Fat: 19% 
I weigh myself first thing in the morning when I wake up.  By the time I weigh in at the gym, I’m always up a couple pounds.

Up until this weekend, I’ve been in strict compliance with my nutrition goals eating only one cheat meal a week.  I actually found it hard to get in all my calories and fat at first, but now I’m good.  I’m a little nervous to go get my body fat tested on Wednesday because while we were out of town I certainly indulged, but I gave myself that opportunity with no guilt and just came back home ready to get back on track.  Let’s do this friends!! 
old Lulu shorts (similar here & here) | similar tank (25% off) | watch | visor | shoesJordan’s swimsuit 

I created a YouTube channel yesterday so I could share this video, but so far it’s the only video there since I really have no idea what I’m doing yet!  You can see everything better if you watch it on YouTube or in full screen mode.  I do plan to do more videos in the future on everything from fitness to fashion to beauty, home organization/productivity, decor and more.  

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  1. September 6, 2016 / 11:31 am

    I'm using this as my motivation to start tracking calories in MFP again! Thanks for the encouragement! Quick tip though-there is a shortcut to Nutrition at the very bottom of the Diary screen. Saves a couple of clicks.

    • September 6, 2016 / 4:18 pm

      Thanks for letting me know! I found it! Does save some steps!! 🙂

    • September 6, 2016 / 4:18 pm

      Oh that would be a good one! I'm not all that proficient at it, but I could share what I know so far.

  2. September 6, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    I have committed to 30-45 minutes on my elliptical 6 days a week in September. Thanks for the inspiration to get back on the MFP app. I liked your video. Thorough enough to get someone started. When I do log my exercise, it adds to the calories I should eat. What are your thoughts on that?

    • September 6, 2016 / 4:20 pm

      Thank you Beth!! I would think your calories burned through exercise should create a deficit on what you eat if you're trying to lose weight/burn fat.

  3. September 6, 2016 / 1:25 pm

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE My Fitness Pal! I have used it daily for almost two years to keep myself on track. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

    • September 6, 2016 / 4:20 pm

      I didn't realize how user friendly and helpful it could be until I started really playing around with it a couple weeks ago, but now I'm hooked. I wish I wouldn't used this when I was on bikini prep!

  4. September 6, 2016 / 2:37 pm

    Loved the video! I'm going to download that app today! I just finished a 21 day cleanse with hubby and now am looking for ideas for a consistent calorie conscience 5 meal a day plan. I have a couple more lbs to lose for my goal and I think this app would really be helpful! Thank you Megan!

    • September 6, 2016 / 4:21 pm

      Let me know what you think! It's actually really easy to use once you get started!

  5. September 6, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    Love MFP!! Thanks for the video and inspiration. I started using MFP recently and love it. Keeps me accountable and is helping with getting back in shape!

    • September 6, 2016 / 4:22 pm

      Isn't it interesting to see what you're eating?! It's actually letting me eat more fat and calories than I would've thought!

  6. September 6, 2016 / 7:52 pm

    I used to use MFP, but I've gotten out of the habit. Thanks for the nudge. I'm pregnant with my 4th and wanted to know if you have any insight into reducing body fat during pregnancy. I started this pregnancy heavier than I would have liked and with a higher percentage of body fat. I've also almost reached the point where I don't want to gain any more weight, and I still have a trimester remaining. Since I can't focus on losing weight, I wanted to really focus on my nutrition and exercise, but I can't find anything credible on reducing body fat (not weight loss) while pregnant. Thanks for sharing any insight or experience you have!

    • September 7, 2016 / 12:36 am

      Congratulations Victoria! I totally understand what you're saying. What did your doctor recommend? I did continue working out and eating relatively healthy during my pregnancy, but I never tested my body fat, so I'm not sure how much my fat went up- I only know where I am now. What I would say is talk to your doctor and figure out how many extra calories you need a day during that last trimester and stick to it. You might be surprised that it's not that much, but I'm sorry I can't offer more in terms of how to lose body fat during pregnancy. I'd hate to say anything that would negatively affect that precious babe!

  7. September 6, 2016 / 9:26 pm

    Loved this video 🙂 I have been using MFP for about 2 years (off and on) and never knew I could add Meals 4 & 5. I was adding them under "snacks" and the OCD part of me was annoyed every time! Thank you so much!

    • September 7, 2016 / 12:32 am

      That was how I was last year! It totally drove me crazy! I had to google it to figure it out!

  8. September 6, 2016 / 10:40 pm

    did you use mfp's recommended calories for yourself? or how did u determine your calories ?

    • September 7, 2016 / 12:31 am

      That's a great question- I chose 1400 calories because I know my BMR is around 1250 and I know about how many grams of carbs and protein I need, so my calories ended up about 1400.

      Your BMR is the number of calories that reflects how much energy your body requires to support it's vital functions if you were resting all day. You can calculate your BMR with an online calculator, but I'm not sure how accurate it will be. I've had mine tested with a machine at the gym, called the InBody Analyzer.

      I can't tell you where your macros should be, but one way to help you find out is to use MFP to track every single thing you eat for at least 5-7 days to find your average calories consumed. You have to track it all and not diet for it to be accurate, but once you do, you can start by cutting your calories by 15-20% to lose weight.

  9. September 7, 2016 / 1:21 am

    Loved your video!! I'm always nervous to hear my favorite bloggers voices. You were GREAT!!

    • September 8, 2016 / 6:25 pm

      I'm always nervous hearing myself! You never sound in a recording how you hear yourself in your head! Thanks for the kind words!

  10. September 7, 2016 / 1:55 am

    Thanks for the video. It motivated me to dust off my app and recommit to give it another go. Thanks again.

    • September 8, 2016 / 6:25 pm

      I should have showed how you can change serving sizes, ect. Glad it motivated you!

  11. September 7, 2016 / 10:57 am

    Great job on the video, Megan! I look forward to seeing more. How do you calculate body fat? All I have is weight and I would love to know what my body fat % is.

    • September 8, 2016 / 6:26 pm

      Great question! There are scales you can buy, but my trainer measures me with cailpers- a 9 point pinch test.

  12. September 8, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    Thank you for motivating me! I really needed a little kick in the pants to get going:)

    • September 8, 2016 / 6:26 pm

      Good for you! It helps me knowing you are out there working on getting in shape too!

  13. September 8, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    I have been using My Fitness Pal for almost a year now and you taught me a few new tricks! Thanks! I've lost 30 pound and hope to lose 10 more. Good luck on your goals!

    • September 8, 2016 / 6:26 pm

      Congratulations, that's amazing!! Glad I could help!

  14. September 9, 2016 / 3:55 pm

    Hi, I use &love mfp, however I notice I'll be high on carbs or sugar , etc by mid-day if I'm just logging in what I've eaten if I don't meal plan &prep well, so would love to hear about your meal plan for ideas. I'm vegetarian so have a hard time getting enough protein, maybe you or your readers have some good reference suggestions?

    • September 21, 2016 / 1:03 am

      I have heard that before from vegetarians, do you get protein mostly from beans? Quinoa is also high in protein.

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