How does MyFitnessPal calculate calorie goal?

In this guide, we will talk about How does MyFitnessPal calculate calorie goal, how the app calculates your initial goals, also if others can see your actual weight or what you eat daily, how to print your diary of needed and some additional things to consider when using MyFitnessPal to calculate your calorie goal.

How does MyFitnessPal calculate calorie goal?

If you wonder how MyFitnessPal calculates calorie goal, here we have the answer for you. MyFitnessPal calculates your initial goals when you are creating your profile. It will ask you to fill your age, height, gender and normal daily activity level. The app uses these factors to estimate or calculate the calories required to maintain your current weight.

What MyFitnessPal does is recommend a daily Net Calorie target so you can achieve your weight loss or gain goals. It is important to mention how it is not only important to calculate your calories or set a calorie goal if you are not logging in your meals in the Food diary. Needless to say, the app calculates the number of calories you have consumed from food and burned from exercise, letting you know how many calories you have left to reach your goal.

One thing to consider is that one of the perks of MyFitnessPal is, logging the info gets easier the more you do it. The app will remember the foods and exercise you like the most and will make it easier for you to add those items to your diary. 

Finally, it is recommended that once a week you weigh yourself and add your new weight to see your progress. Subsequently, this will adjust your calorie goals as you input your new weight.

How does the app calculate my initial goals? 

We know how setting goals is crucial if we would like to set up a fitness plan and lose (or gain) some weight, among other things. After creating (and setting up) your profile, the data input is used to determine the calories that are required to lose or gain weight. Additionally, the app will ask you how much weight you would like to lose or gain a week and according to the goal, there is subtraction or sum of calories to determine your daily calorie and nutrient goals.

As indicated on pphd.org, “We also ask you for your weekly exercise goals (which should not be included in your initial activity level), to provide an incentive for you to reach. However, we do not account for additional exercise outside of your reported daily activity level, until you perform and log exercise to your diary under the “Cardiovascular” section”.

Subsequently, since your daily goal already accounts for your intent to gain or lose weight during a specific amount of time, you can achieve such goal by eating the specific number of calories per day and the best part is no additional exercise is required. However, if you do choose to exercise, your daily calorie goal will increase so it can stabilize your weight loss or gain at the rate you initially indicated. The Net calories are defined as:

Net Calories= Calories Consumed (Food) – Calories Burned (Exercise)

Can others see my Weight or food intake?

For most people, discretion is a must so if you are like me, you wouldn’t want the information about your weight or what you eat to be public. This is why your actual weight is for you only and it is always kept as private. This means that you can add a friend and they will only see your News Feed updates. However, they will see how much weight you have lost but will never see your actual weight, which for me is a big plus. 

Moreover, your food diary and what you eat is also private by default but you may choose to share it with your friends or other users. Just adjust the setting and then you can share this information. How? On the web, go to ‘My Home’ and then click on settings and then ‘Diary Settings’.

In contrast, if you are using your phone, tap in the ‘Menu’ or ‘More’ page and tap on ‘Settings’, then ‘Sharing and Privacy’ and then ‘Data Sharing’. Here you need to select your preference from ‘Public’ to ‘Friends only’ or ‘Locked with a key’ and save the changes. 

Can I print my diary?

If you are like me, you would like to keep track not only virtually but also have physical records of your diary. This is another big plus from MyFitnessPal not many apps have. To print your diary, log into your account on the website. Log in using your username and password you use on the app and once you are logged in, click where it says ‘Food’, scroll down to the bottom of the page and then click where it says ‘View Printable Report’. 

Next, choose a date range and click ‘Change Report’. If you are using the app, you may want to take a screenshot of the info you’d like to print and then email the screenshot to yourself so you can print it.  

How can I add food to my diary?

For me, this part is very important since keeping track of your food is necessary when trying to lose weight or at least it was very useful to me. To add food to your diary, simply go to the ‘My Home’ tab and then to the ‘Food’ Tab. This will automatically take you to your food diary where you can choose the meal you would like to add and then simply click on ‘Add Food’ under the meal.

Then, type the name of the food you are looking for in the box to the left of the ‘Search’ button and use keywords like ‘Pizza’ or brand names. Finally, click on ‘Search’ and you will see the results appear. Click the one that matches the information you are looking for and adjust the serving size or number of servings so it can reflect the amount you have eaten. 

Moreover, if you are having just half of the standard serving size you can put .5 instead of 1. C click on add and you are good to go. The item will be reflected in your diary and the calories for the item will be subtracted from your daily calorie allowance.   

Why is this blog about How does MyFitnessPal calculate calorie goals important?

As we have mentioned on how MyFitnessPal calculates calorie goals, we can conclude that the app calculates your initial goals when you are creating your profile. It will ask you to fill your age, height, gender and normal daily activity level. The app uses these factors to estimate or calculate the calories required to maintain your current weight.

What MyFitnessPal does is recommend a daily Net Calorie target so you can achieve your weight loss or gain goals. It is important to mention how it is not only important to calculate your calories or set a calorie goal if you are not logging in your meals in the Food diary. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How does MyFitnessPal calculate calorie goal

Why has my calorie goal changed on MyFitnessPal?

Your calorie goal may change on MyFitnessPal when you have made changes to your weight. MyFitnessPal checks to see if you have lost 10 pounds since the last time the goal was calculated. It is recommended to log your weight weekly and note that, by losing weight, your calorie intake may decrease.

How do I calculate my calorie goal?

If you would like to calculate your calorie goal, determine your total daily calorie needs by multiplying your Basal Metabolic rate by the appropriate activity factor as follows:

If you don’t do any exercise or just a little: Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2.
If you exercise at least 3 times a week or you do some light exercise: Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375.

Does MyFitnessPal track calories burn?

Your MyFitnessPal can track calories burned and it pulls this info from your daily total calorie app Gallery Partners. The program instantly awards calories to your day when exercises are added into the cardiovascular section. To avoid double credit, it adds your cardiovascular totals in with your MyFitnessPal total.

How does MyFitnessPal calculate calories burned from Steps?

Currently, MyFitnessPal is not able to calculate calories burned from steps, unless you have integrated your account with one of their integration partners. Many of the partners can automatically log or record your burned calories based on the amount of exercise. 

Can I change my calorie goal on MyFitnessPal?

You can change your calorie goal on MyFitnessPal by tapping ‘Goals’ in the menu or ‘More’ Page and change your current weight to a value that is higher or lower to your actual weight. Save the changes and then change it back to your current weight. This will update your calorie goal as you adjust your current weight. 

References 

Pphd.org  

Support.myfitnesspal.com 

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