Achieve Your Resolutions: MyFitnessPal
Over the next few days, as people draft their New Year’s Resolutions and 2012 predictions, I’ll be providing tools to help you Achieve Your Resolution – valuable webapps and web sites that I’ve found in the past year that help achieve popular New Year’s Resolutions.
Most attempts at fitness fail because there’s a lack of accountability. No one will call you out if you don’t have anyone to call you on that donut, and that’s where MyFitnessPal fits in.
MyFitnessPal combines diet and exercise tracking with social media. Other diet tracking sites – MyPlate on LiveStrong.com (formerly The Daily Plate) and Tim Feriss-backed DailyBurn did the same thing, but in a much less effective way.
MyFitnessPal provides a News Feed-esque ticker of your friends’ activity – their exercise, their daily food diaries, and how long it’s been since they’ve logged in for those who’ve been lapsing. I’ve used this in conjunction with Reddit’s LoseIt! community to great success. I personally know none of my “friends” on MyFitnessPal, but they’ve been able to help keep me accountable and on my plan.
There are sufficient mobile options – an iOS app and an Android app to track food and exercise, and unlike its competitors, there’s no premium plan. MyFitnessPal is 100% free with no features saved for premium users, which works ideally for those on a college budget.
If Fitocracy makes exercise a game, MyFitnessPal plays, too, for food tracking. It forces you to keep up with the Joneses by trying to match the losses (or gains) of your friends, and keeps you accountable to yourself and those you’ve called friends.