MyFitnessPal vs. Lose It – My Review

First, let me start off by saying that both MyFitnessPal and Lose It are very capable calorie trackers.  With that said, I prefer to use the Lose It application on iOS.

Both applications allow you to put items that you ate for various meals and track nutrition information like calories, fat, cholesterol, protean, etc.  The also have this feature where you put in a goal of how much you want to weigh in how much time plus various other information like height and gender and it will come up with a daily calorie budget.  I did this in both applications and they both came up with a slightly different budget but they were pretty close.

I used both applications on my iPhone 4 (running iOS 5.1.1) and my Toshiba Thrive (running Android 3.2.1).  I only found one difference between the applications on Android vs. the applications on iOS.  For some reason, the feature where you can scan the barcode of an item doesn’t seem to work very well on Android.  I would take we about 3 to 5 seconds to get a good picture of the barcode on iOS.  It seems to take more like 30 to 40 seconds on Android.  In fact, sometimes I couldn’t even get a barcode to scan.  I would assume this has to do with to device, but don’t know.

I found that MyFitnessPal seems to have lots of items that were entered directly by users.  This may sound great, but you end up items that have been entered multiple times under slightly different names, with different numbers for nutrition information.  Whereas, Lose It seems to have items that have been checked by the Lose It staff, so it’s much more coherent.  My favorite example of this is when you scan the barcode of Stater Bros. Chocolate Pudding.  It comes up as “D” in MyFitnessPal and it has the wrong nutrition information for almost everything.  In Lose It, it comes up as “Pudding, Chocolate” with the correct information.  Another issue I had with MyFitnessPal is you can’t move an item from one more to the other.  You know, for when you mistakenly put that steak down as lunch when it was really dinner.  Lose It allows you to move items around.  Lose It also seems to be more streamlined when entering multiple items.  For example, let’s say I want to enter a Atkins Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar and an Apple Juice.  In Lose It, I select Add Food, a meal, Search Foods, type “Atkins”, press search, select your item, select the servings and press the add button, then you go back to “Search Foods” so you can search for apple juice, repeat until you’re done.  In MyFitnessPal, I select Add to Diary, a meal, type “Atkins”, press search, select your item, select the servings and press the add button, then you go back to the diary.  So I have to select “Add”, and a meal again before I can search for the next time.  If you do this, for the meal I mentioned above it takes 9 screens in Lose It and 10 screens in MyFitnessPal.  And it fact, it will take 1 extra screen for everything you want to put in MyFitnessPal depending on the number of items you have.  For 3 items, Lose It takes 13 screens and MyFitnessPal takes 15 screens.  For 4 items, Lose it takes 17 screens and MyFitnessPal takes 20 screens.  Lose it also have some very nice reports that I can actually E-mail directly from the iPhone app.  I can’t get to reports in MyFitnessPal unless I go to the website.  The funny part was I happen to use Linux so I don’t have flash installed, so I can’t see any of the reports that MyFitnessPal generates, as they need flash.  So I’ve never seen a MyFitnessPal report.  I wonder what’s in them that they need flash?  The best parts of MyFitnessPal for me was that I had several friends on there.  I gave them access to my diary, so they were able to see and comment on what I eat.  They also gave me access to their diary so I could do the same thing.  Unfortunately, I don’t know if you can do this on Lose It because I didn’t have any friends that used it.  MyFitnessPal also allows you to track items like water intake and neck, waist and hip measurements.  That stuff isn’t in Lose It.

In conclusion, I like Lose It better mostly because the items seem to have been entered or vetted by the Lose It staff so you don’t have random item names and incorrect values for nutrition information and the screen for entry seems to be more streamlined.

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