How to Use My Fitness Pal

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Scan your Barcode

This one is my absolute favorite feature. While I am preparing or pulling out my food, I can just scan the barcode off of the packages as I go. I technically don’t even have to look at the information myself. Scan it and log it. Really couldn’t be easier than that. Well, outside of replicator on a spaceship, where your food materializes in front of you.

Meals and Recipes

Photo by Daniela Constantini on

When you are in the app at the bottom right corner there is the three dots that signify more options. You have a whole list of resources here, but I want to focus on the one labeled My meals, recipes and food. In this tab, you are able to save things that you have regularly. I love and use my meals and my recipes all the time. So, let’s break it down.

My Meals

When you go into “meals” you can create a meal like a sandwich. You can scan the barcode on your bread, lunch meat, cheese, and mayo. Once you have everything that you want to add to your sandwich you can name it and add a picture if you like. Now, whenever you would like to have a sandwich, you can just add the meal and not have to scan all ingredients every time. Well, what if you have some avocado one hand? What if you buy a different kind of lunch meat and the calories are different? This is where having the sandwich as a meal instead of a recipe pays off. When you add the meal, it adds all ingredients separately. This means you can easily add an extra ingredient to your sandwich, and just scan it straight into your food diary. It also means you can remove one single ingredient out of your food diary.

My Recipes


You also have the ability to create a recipe. If you have something you make for the family in a big pan and it’s a waste of time to try to break down the calories every time you make it. These you don’t edit in your diary. You can always edit it in your log of recipes if something changes. Anyway, so now you just follow the prompts. Create a recipe, how many servings, and scan or add in your ingredients. The app will do the math for calories per serving. You never have to do it again! Just how many serving you ate and log it.

The second way to add a recipe is straight from a web page. You put in the URL and the app searches for the recipe format and copies it right in. I always look over the list and adjust if there is a specific ingredient that I don’t put in or if it couldn’t find a particular item. However, the tweaking is minimal, and you save the recipe for the future. I’ve had times where I couldn’t find the URL anymore so went into my recipes to see what ingredients it had. I was able to make the recipes based on the list of ingredients.

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