App Review: MyPlate

MyPlate is a calorie-tracking app available for both IOS and Android. It’s also the first calorie tracking app I used, and if I hadn’t purchased a FitBit I’d still be using it now. Bear in mind that I was using the free version, so I can’t speak to the advanced features available if you pay for a LiveStrong memebership.

The app is nicely straight forward. When you enter it, the app displays your daily calorie goal at the top, with a progress bar underneath that show the calories you have remaining for the day. Then there are six display fields – one each for the calories consumed for breakfast, lunch and dinner, one for the calories you consume with snacks, one showing calories burned from exercise, and one tracking water consumed. All of these fields, except for exercise, serve as buttons. Tap one, and you are prompted to enter what you’ve consumed.

Entering your food is a simple process. You can scan the bar code on the package (assuming you have a package with a bar code) and let it download the information automatically. Or you can search the app’s database for the food, or enter it manually. There’s probably nothing surprising about any of that, but I will note that in two months I never once ate something that wasn’t either in the database or able to be found by scanning the bar code (something that isn’t always true with the FitBit).

The app is designed, on IOS at least, to talk to other apps. I know it talked to the IOS Health app and to MapMyWalk, automatically updating information about weight and calories consumed. I assume that it does something similar in the Android version.

One aspect of the app that I didn’t care for was the way exercise was handled. Calories burned through exercise are recorded as negative calores, which makes sense. The app adds those negative calories to the “remaining today” bar, which can create a the feeling that if you’ve exercised enough, you’ve earned that Twinkie. And I guess you have, in a sense. But I found that it let me justify going “over budget” on my calories, which is not an optimal thing when you’re trying to lose weight.

On the other hand, I still lost weight while using it. So I guess it didn’t handicap me all that much.

Overall, I really liked the app. Enough that it was hard to delete it after I got my FitBit. To tell the truth, I only deleted it because it wouldn’t interface with the FitBit and because I really didn’t want to be tracking calories in two different places. The interface was clean and easy to read and the nutritional database was robust. I whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone looking for a good calorie tracker.

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2 thoughts on “App Review: MyPlate

  1. Pingback: Gear Review: FitBit, Part Two (the app) | Half of Me

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