How does MyFitnessPal track exercise?


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Page last updated: 27/09/2022

How does MyFitnessPal track exercise?

In this guide, we will talk about How does MyFitnessPal track exercise, how to track calories, how to understand the calorie breakdown, why some fitness experts may recommend not tracking your exercise through MyFitnessPal but instead, try using a compatible app, and some additional things to consider when using this app to track your exercise. 

How does MyFitnessPal track exercise?

If you wonder how MyFitnessPal track exercises? Here we have an answer for you. MyFitnesspal is meant to track calories and not really designed to track your exercise or workouts. The benefits of having MyFitnesspal are more related to the fact that is free and easy to use, and it allows you to keep track of what you eat so it means you could easily lose more weight than when you are just exercising without monitoring your nutrition or what you eat. 

If you are trying to lose weight, you can check the website with more information about the app, tips on how to lose weight and even reviews from MyFitnessPal users that I have found very motivating. Many experts will talk about a caloric deficit when trying to lose weight because this translates into calories you need to maintain your weight minus the calories cut for a goal. Keep this in mind if your idea is to lose some weight.

However, if you are also looking to track your exercise, there are other apps compatible with MyFitnessPal that would do this for you. To name a few we find Polar Flow, Garmin Connect and TrainingPeaks. 

Calories, calories calories!

Needless to say, the key to losing weight is not only about the calories you burn but those that you ‘ingest’. Yes, nutrition is a very important topic we need to discuss when starting a weight loss journey since exercise on its own may not be as effective as combining physical activity plus exercise.

However, let’s consider that you could also see the calories you have burned through your workout (partner apps) and to do so through the website, just log into your account online and select the exerciser tab. Finally, tap the ‘i’ next to adjustment and there you can have access to the calorie adjustment breakdown. In contrast, you could also use the app and see this info by going to the diary page, tap on adjustment and then ‘Extra Calories Earned’.

How to understand the calorie breakdown

Sometimes we see a bunch of measurements, acronyms and metrics we don’t quite understand. However, in the specific case of MyFitnessPal, we are here to tell you how to understand the calorie breakdown. 

When you are viewing your adjustment, you will see a number under the partner which represents the instant sync. Moreover, you will also see a number to the right of the partner which represents the projection for the day based on the current information that has been synced. 

As indicated on the MyFitnessPal Support website, “Because the adjustment value is recalculated every time your device uploads new data, you should expect this value to change over the course of the day. It is also necessary to make sure your partner device and MyFitnessPal are set to the same time zones (time zones can be updated in the main settings). At midnight, the projected sync and your actual sync should then match exactly”. 

Finally, the last synch may show some slight variations (in most cases) between one day and the next as the two values try to match each other. The calculation page will display your total and the total will include not only your daily goals but also all the calories you need to reach the goals set within the program. 

How does MyFitnessPal track exercise?

How can I add my exercise to MyFitnessPal?

To add your exercise to MyFitnessPal, go to the bis plus sign in the middle of the screen and select the yellow exercise icon. Select the option that best suits you, for instance, strength training, and search for the exercise (i.e.squat). Finally, select the exercise you did and add the information about the number of sets, repetitions, weight per set (if applicable), etc.

However, it is recommended not to change the number of calories burned since it will modify your calorie tracker. MyFitnessPal is recommended as a nutrition tracking app and with this, we are not saying that you should not track your exercise, it is just that it is recommended to do it elsewhere and not through this app. The main reason, it seems that it changes your nutrition goals and you definitely don’t want that. 

As indicated on, “It will completely throw off your 1800 plan if you type the workouts into MFP and then by default the MFP raises your daily calorie total to 2400.  In other words, you will basically be “double counting” your workouts, since your workouts are already assumed in the nutrition plan.  You don’t want that!  So that’s why I suggest NOT tracking your exercise on your nutrition tracking system.  Keep them separate”. 

MyFitnessPal Step tracking

If you have an iOS device, you have the option to track your steps using the M7 motion-detecting chip, or by leveraging data from another tracking integration partner. Moreover, to activate the step tracking feature go to the app’s ‘More’ page and tap ‘Settings’ and then ‘Steps’.

When you have already linked MyFitnessPal to an activity tracker, tap the item in the list of options and if you have an iPhone 5s or above, you could use the built-in motion detection from your device to track steps. 

Why is this blog about How does MyFitnessPal track exercise important?

As discussed on how MyFitnessPal track exercise we can conclude that MyFitnesspal is meant to track calories and not really designed to track your exercise or workouts. However, the benefits of having MyFitnessPal are more related to the fact that is free and easy to use, and it allows you to keep track of what you eat so it means you could easily lose more weight than when you are just exercising without monitoring your nutrition or what you eat.

Finally, if you are trying to lose weight, it is not recommended to log your exercise or workout through MyFitnessPal since it will change your calorie goals and it could be very confusing for you. Try to track your exercise through a different app and link it to MyFitnessPal instead. 

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How does MyFitnessPal track exercise

Can MyFitnessPal track workouts?

MyFitnessPal may not track workouts by itself but you can connect other apps such as Endomondo so your workouts can be linked automatically. This way you can see your workout stats, calories burned and nutrition right from the MyFitnessPal dashboard.

How does MyFitnessPal track your steps?

MyFitnessPal tracks your steps if you go to the app’s ‘More’ page and tap on settings. Then tap on ‘Steps’ and if you are already linked to an Activity tracker account that is compatible with MyFitnessPal Step Tracking then you can simply tap this item in the list of options and you are good to go. 

How do you properly use MyFitnessPal?

If you would like to use MyFitnessPal properly, consider the following:

Get into the habit of tracking everything, even the food you eat.
Set realistic goals so you will not feel discouraged by having high expectations.
Be honest and consistent with your nutrition and exercise.
Make friends in MyFitnessPal and visit the forums since they can have good advice.
Find and use the barcode scanner whenever you feel the need to.
Use the charts and graphs to determine your progress and if you have achieved your goals.
Set reminders.

Does MyFitnessPal track calories burned?

MyFitnessPal pulls your calorie burn directly from our total daily calorie App Gallery partners.  Since our program instantly awards calories to your day when exercises are added into the cardiovascular section, to avoid double credit, we also add your cardiovascular totals in with your MyFitnessPal total. 

How many calories do 10000 steps burn?

It is said that 10,000 steps can be achieved through a 30-minute walk at a good pace and keeping yourself active during the day. With the 10,000 steps, you could be burning around 400 to 500 calories a day, meaning losing one pound a week. 


What is the Calorie Adjustment in my Exercise Diary? 

Tracking Exercise in MyFitnessPal | MyFitnessPal Tutorial | Workouts in MyFitnessPal 

How does the Step tracking feature work? 

Don’t Track Your Exercise in MyFitnessPal