This Health Coach Won’t Take No For an Answer: MyFitnessPal

PAINOPOLIS. “We Keep Watch for Tools That Could Help You.” Search. Find. Test. Rate.

DEAR DIARY: MyFitnessPal is a diet and exercise tracker that lets you data-drive your way to your health goals.

Fallen short of your diet and exercise goals and feel lousy because of it? Meet MyFitnessPal, an online personal trainer that’ll keep you on track.

Is your doctor urging you to lose weight, limit your sodium, get more active, and make other lifestyle changes that push your willpower to the breaking point?

“What I like about MyFitnessPal is, everybody says you need someone to be your Accountability Buddy, but it’s great when you can be your own Accountability Buddy.”

Today, we tell you about an online tool named MyFitnessPal that takes the drudgery out of adopting new health habits. Like a dietitian, MyFitnessPal adds up the calories and nutritional content of everything you eat. Like a coach, it tallies the energy you burn from exercising. The calories-expended-per-activity database includes everything from ice fishing in a sitting position (136 calories per hour for a 150-pound woman) to Tai Chi (272 calories) to chopping wood (422 calories) to jogging in place (544 calories). And like the Ghost of Fitness Yet to Come, MyFitnessPal predicts your future weight and the date the New You will appear, based on your current regimen. If that forecast doesn’t startle you into sticking with it, nothing will.

We let you know how well MyFitnessPal works based on three criteria:

•  Is it effective?

•  Is it easy to use?

•  Is it inexpensive?

We then reveal the Painopolis rating we give MyFitnessPal based on its usefulness, user-friendliness and cost. If you believe—as we do—that you sometimes need new tools to break old habits, this episode is for you.


 •  Our theme music is “Gentle Storm,” composed and performed by Betsy Tinney (

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