MyFitnessPal 101 | Tips, Tricks, Words of Wisdom

Post By: MeKenzie Riley & Kirsten Wilson

In the following guide, we'll cover: 

  • Don't Log Exercise (...in MyFitnessPal)
  • How To Copy Meals
  • How To Copy Meals From Friends
  • "Complete Entry" = Not Necessary

Note for Readers: The MyFitnessPal interface & functionality may vary depending on the device you are accessing your account from.  We tried to take this account when writing these articles, but if you find yourself "stuck," don't hesitate to reach out to your M2 Coach for help.

  DON'T LOG EXERCISE

...in MyFitnessPal

Don't use the app to track your exercise.png

But seriously, we have already considered your activity level in your macro prescription. While we are big advocates of logging training in general, logging activities within MyFitnessPal will modify the goal numbers you have already inputted.

HEADS UP: having something like an Apple watch might also alter this, as those sorts of devices log steps and link to apps like MFP. The technology is nice, but try and keep activity out of the equation, on your end.

 

How to Copy Meals

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TIME SAVING TIP:

If you are someone who frequently eats the same meal and/or snacks OR if you're eating leftovers, you probably want to utilize the "copy meal" feature. 

This feature allows you to essentially "copy & paste" previous meals to another day within the diary. 

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Steps to Copying a Previous Meal:

  • Find the meal you wish to copy, in your diary
     
  • Click the "menu" button

    (typically three dots below the meal)
     
  • From the pop-up menu, click "Copy Meal"
     
  • From the pop-up menu, select the date you wish to "paste" the meal to

 

 

How To Copy Meals From Friends' Diaries

 

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Click the _diary_ icon to view your friend's diary.png

TIME SAVING TIP:

Eating the same meals and tracking with someone else?  If so, then you will likely want to use the MyFitnessPal feature that allows you to copy meals from a friend's diary. 

Steps to Copying Meals from a Friend's Diary:

  • Utilizing the Main Menu > Click the "Friends" tab
     
  • Find the Friend you wish to copy a meal from
     
  • Once on your Friend's "profile" > Click the "diary" Icon

    (typically located below the profile picture)
     
  • Once on your Friend's diary, locate the meal you wish to copy & complete the steps from above 

 

 

"Complete Entry" = Not Necessary

_Completing Your Diary_ is not required for your coach to see your diary.png

TIME SAVING TIP:

You don’t have to remember to “complete entry” at the end of the day in order for your M2 Coach to see your diary.  Your M2 Coach can see your information as soon as you enter it, so there is no merit to officially “completing” entry.

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Additionally, if you are someone who can't break the habit of completing your entry, then please make sure you ignore the summary at the end telling you how much you will weigh in 5 weeks! :) 

  

MyFitnessPal 101 | Tracking Your Daily Macro Budget

Post By: MeKenzie Riley & Kirsten Wilson

In the following guide, we'll cover how to: 

  • Track Your Daily Macro Budget

Missed our guide on how to set-up your daily macronutrient goals in MyFitnessPal? >> Click here for instructions on how to properly set-up your MyFitnessPal goals. <<

Note for Readers: The MyFitnessPal interface & functionality may vary depending on the device you are accessing your account from.  We tried to take this account when writing these articles, but if you find yourself "stuck," don't hesitate to reach out to your M2 Coach for help.

How to Track Your "Macro Budget"

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Think of your daily macro goals like a bank account; you have "X" amount of P/F/C grams (Protein/Fat/Carbohydrate) prescribed as your daily allotment.   Unlike your normal bank account, the goal of your "Macro Account" is to break even at the end of the day - we don't want to be undereating or overeating as both have consequences.  In order to come out even at the end of the day, you are smartest to monitor your balance as the day goes to ensure you are consuming within your means,

Thankfully, within the MyFitnessPal app, there is a way to track your "ongoing balance" or otherwise known as the "Nutrients" tab under "Nutrition."

Steps to Using the "Nutrients" Tab:

 

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Tip_ Click the _pie chart_ icon to quickly access your _macro bank_ within diary view.png
  • Click the "Main Menu" button > "Nutrition" > "Nutrients" (top center of the screen) 
     
  • Here, you will see the “bank account” representing your intake for the day compared to the goal you are working to meet.
     
  • The blue line will adjust accordingly, representing your progress towards your daily goals, as you add food throughout the day. 

    We encourage you to check this balance frequently throughout the day, as you plan and consume your meals to assist in your food selections.  

    Tip: There are numerous ways to access the "nutrients" tab in the diary portion of MFP, depending on the device you are utilizing.  Typically, the icon used within the app to represent this screen is a "pie chart" icon.  

MyFitnessPal 101 | Using the App to Log Basic Food

Post By: MeKenzie Riley & Kirsten Wilson

In the following guide, we'll cover how to: 

Use the App to Log Food

  • Steps to Logging Basic Food
  • Steps to Logging Food - Barcode Method
  • Steps to Logging Food - Eating Out

Note for Readers: The MyFitnessPal interface & functionality may vary depending on the device you are accessing your account from.  We tried to take this account when writing these articles, but if you find yourself "stuck," don't hesitate to reach out to your M2 Coach for help.

Using the App to Log Food

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Tracking food is the main function of this app and the main purpose we use it here at M2.  We know it can seem intimidating at first, but MyFitnessPal has some great features and a massive database to simplify food tracking.  
 

Our hope for this guide is to help you become comfortable & efficient tracking your daily intake.

 

Steps to Logging Basic Food

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Ensure the serving size & number of servings match your consumption! (1).png
  • Click the blue “+” in the bottom center of your home screen OR select "diary" in your main menu.
     
  • Click the orange fork and knife “food” image OR the "add food" option from diary view.
     
  • Select which meal you are logging
     
  • Once you select the meal you are logging, type the food you are looking for in the search bar at the top (Ex. Rice) 
     
    • Tip: Your search will likely yield multiple results…so the more detailed the description the narrower the results (Ex. Uncle Bens Jasmine Ready Rice) 
       
  • Once you've selected your food item, ensure you adjust the serving size to properly reflect how much you consume.
    • Tip: It is often possible to change the metrics that the food is measured in (Ex. ½ cup might also be 100g and can be changed under “serving size”)
       
  • Other Notes:
    • The location of the "+" varies by device.
    • The app will default you to having 3 meals and a snack option.

 

Steps to Logging Basic Food - Barcode Method

A great feature available through the MyFitnessPal app is the ability to scan the UPC label on purchased products, and if the product is pre-loaded in their system with the corresponding bar code, then adding to your diary is super easy! 

Scanning Barcodes.png
  • Complete all the same steps as above
     
  • Once you're at the search screen, there should be a "barcode" icon
    • Tip: usually located at the top right of the screen.
       
  • Once you've selected the scan option, an on-screen scanner should appear using the camera on your phone
     
  • Align the red line, in the middle of the screen, over the barcode until the line is green
     
  • Adjust serving size accordingly and add to your daily food diary

Steps to Logging Basic Food - Eating Out

Another great resource within the MyFitnessPal is the ability to look up common dishes found at popular restaurants.  Some of these are user inputted, but many times, you will find that popular restaurants (ie: Panera Bread, Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A, etc) have uploaded their full menus for you.

Use the _View Menu_ feature to easily add accurate dishes.png
  • Complete all the same steps as above
     
  • Once you're at the search screen, just search the restaurant and menu item like you would any other food. 

    TIPS:
  • We have found the restaurant search feature to be case sensitive, at times.  Make sure you are very precise when searching restaurants. 
     
  • We have also found that many restaurants will upload their entire menu which makes logging much easier.  Typically, if you search the restaurant, there is a clickable link labeled "View Menu." By clicking this link, all the uploaded food items for the restaurant should load for you.   

 

    MyFitnessPal 101 | M2 Client Setup

    Post By: MeKenzie Riley & Kirsten Wilson

    In the following guide, we'll cover how to: 

    Set Up Your Account & Profile

    • Download the App
    • Setting Up Your Account
    • "Friending" Your Coach
    • Adjusting Your Privacy Settings
    • Setting Up Your Macro Prescription

    Note for Readers: The MyFitnessPal interface & functionality may vary depending on the device you are accessing your account from.  We tried to take this account when writing these articles, but if you find yourself "stuck," don't hesitate to reach out to your M2 Coach for help. 

    Downloading the App: MyFitnessPal

    myfitnesspal-logo-m2-performance-nutrition.jpg
    • Navigate to your respective app store (ie Apple or Google Play) & search 'MyFitnessPal'
       
    • App Name: MyFitnessPal | Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker
       
    • App Author: MyFitnessPal.com

    Setting Up Your Account

    mfp-signup.png

    Once you've downloaded the app, and have selected “Sign Up” on the welcome screen, you will be prompted on-screen to complete a basic account setup (ie username, password, profile, etc.)

    IMPORTANT NOTES:

    • The paid version of MyFitnessPal is not a requirement for M2 Clients. 
    • Beyond the basics, the MyFitnessPal app will ask you a sleuth of questions, but don’t sweat these - they are simply a formality.  Your M2PN coach will be overriding many of these settings, so just move past these questions as quickly as you can…(ESPECIALLY the question asking how much weight you want to lose per week… YIKES!

    "Friending" Your Coach

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    To ensure your coach is able to provide feedback on your food diary, we will need to become "friends" within the MyFitnessPal app. 

    Steps to Add Your Coach:

    • Click the "Main Menu" button > Select "Friends" > "+" in upper right corner > Email or MFP Username

    IMPORTANT NOTES:

    • The "main menu" button can vary based on the type of phone/app version you have. The button is typically located on the left hand side - top or bottom, and the icon is generally 3 horizontal lines or dots.
    • Your coach will provide for you their Username, type it in, and click the check mark 

    Adjusting Your Privacy Settings

    In order for us access your MyFitnessPal food log, we need you to change some privacy settings: 

    Steps to Adjust Your Privacy Settings:

    • Click the "Main Menu" button >  Settings >  Sharing and Privacy > Diary Sharing
    • Set it to either “Friends Only” or “Public” depending on how you feel about it.
    mfp-friending coach.png

    Setting Up Your Macro Prescription

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    Again in this section, we will be overriding the suggested "goals" that MyFitnessPal inputs, by default.  While it's a great tool, MyFitnessPal is NOT a highly qualified and experienced nutrition coach, and your M2 coach takes much more into consideration when prescribing your custom goals.

    Steps to Set-Up Caloric & Macronutritional Goals:

    • Click the "Main Menu" button > Click "Goals" >  Calorie and Macronutrient Goals under 'Nutrition Goals'

      Set Calories: 
       
    • Select 'Calories' field > Enter Provided Daily Caloric Goal > Save

      Set Macronutrients:
       
    • Select any of the macros from the provided list (Protein, Carbohydrates, or Fat)
    • Use the "% scroller" to adjust your macro ratio to match your prescribed macros

    Once you've completed this, return to the "Calorie & Macro Goals" screen to ensure the numbers match your prescribed daily goals. 

    **If you have any questions regarding any set-up items, don't hesitate to reach out to your M2 coach.  We are happy to help!

     


     

     

    The Power Down Routine | Setting Yourself Up For Success

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    Written by: Jenny Sharp, M2PN Head Coach

    I Get It

    It’s 9pm. Your email box has unread messages in it. You still haven’t gotten to the group chat that’s blown up your phone all day because OMG did you see #BEYchella on IG this weekend?! Your gym bag needs to be packed and because the weekend was so busy, you didn’t get to meal prep so you also need to pack your lunch for tomorrow.  

    You check in with your nutrition coach tomorrow morning and they’re going to ask you how sleep is this week? Did you hit your goals? You’d need to drop everything right now and just get in bed if you wanted to get close to 7 hours of sleep, which definitely isn’t happening because your boss just emailed you again.  If you don’t hit your sleep goals, you probably shouldn’t train tomorrow morning and so there’s no point in even hitting your macros tonight, so who the F even cares about all of this…...walks to kitchen, pours glass of wine, sits down and begins scrolling through all 85,000 #BEYchella posts.  And now you’ve caught a case of the fuck its.

    I get it. A lot of the time life is a moving ball of madness, and it’s hard to keep up. So how do you get those 8 hours of sleep each night?  How do you quiet the noise of the day so that you can get to sleep and stay asleep?  Barring any hormonal issues, a great place to start is  developing a “Power Down Routine”.  

    Developing a Power Down Routine

    Creating good sleep habits starts with a sleep routine that helps you prepare your body and mind for bed.  Just as we create routines for preparing ourselves to workout and hit our macros, we also need to create a routine to accomplish our sleep goals.  So how do we go about creating our routine?  

    1. Step One: Create the framework for how and and when your sleep will occur, your sleep plan.  Non negotiable for all M2PN clients is 7-8 hours of sleep per night. More is always welcomed with open arms. 

    a. Starting with what time you need to wake up in the morning, work your way backwards to find the time you need to be asleep by (not just in bed) to hit your goal. 
    b. Figure out when you need to be in bed to actually fall asleep by “Sleep Time”.        Most people will fall asleep within 10-20 mins of being in bed.
    c. Figure out what time you need to start your power down routine in order to be in bed by “In Bed Time”

    2. Step Two: Create your sleep rules.  We’ve offered some great suggestions below that we’ve found help our clients get to sleep and stay asleep.  You’re welcome to create your own set of rules. 

    3. Step Three: Create your power down routine. This will be how you prepare your body and mind for rest and recovery.  Your routine should allow you to put a book end on the current day, prepare you for the next day, and get you ready for bed.  Check out the example below.

    a. At 8pm an alarm on my phone goes off cueing the start of my “Power Down Routine” 
    b. I then go to the kitchen and set up the coffee pot for next morning, prep breakfast, travel mug and shaker bottle
    c. I  put the clothing I’ll wear to the gym the next day in the bathroom for the next morning
    d. I set my packed gym bag by front door
    e. I then take the dog on a quick walk
    f. Once we’re done with our walk I brush & floss my teeth, take my night time   supplements(magnesium + CBD) , and go to the bathroom
    g. It is now usually 8:30 pm.  I will get in bed, plug phone in, set alarm (no more phone usage after this)
    h. Read book or brain dump. If my day has been crazy and I can’t quiet my mind I do a brain dump, or journal, of all of the things I’m stressed/thinking about.  Things I need to do tomorrow.  Anything really that comes to mind.   I’ll do either of these or both until I feel like falling asleep.  

    Let's Face It...

    ...late night emails from your boss, clients, and co-workers aren’t going to stop.  The group chat will continue to blow up.  And unfortunately sometimes meal prep isn’t always going to happen.  Taking control of the end of your day by empowering yourself to end it on your terms is a great step toward refueling your mind, body, and soul for the next day. 

    Resource For You

    Click Here to download step by step instructions for creating your personalized Power Down Routine. 


     Jenny Sharp, M2PN Head Coach

    Jenny Sharp, M2PN Head Coach

    About the Author

    Jenny Sharp, Head Coach

    Jenny has been making a positive impact on M2PN clients' lives since 2017. 

    Her certifications include Precision Nutrition L1 Coach, NPTI Trainer and Nutrition Advisor, and CrossFit Level 2 Coach. 

    Jenny has a passion for helping people from all walks of life, and is available for one-on-one coaching. 

    Contact Us for more information about working with Jenny. 

    You can read more about Jenny & the M2PN Coaching Staff here.