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tracking goals

patriciafoley1patriciafoley1 Member, Premium Posts: 9 Member Member, Premium Posts: 9 Member
I've just started on this app, and I think the food diary is wonderful. It's been missing nothing I've tried to log
The exercise diary I find puzzling. I want to log exercise in minutes not reps. Some exercises, like sit ups, or general exercises, don't seem to be able to be tracked in minutes. Can anyone help me with understanding that?
And as for goals. I was expecting more on the ability to log and track progress toward goals. I don't see the ability to do that at all. Is there a place I'm missing this? I'd like to be able to log weight goals, then the ability to see progress toward that in charts or graphs to keep me motivated. I do see it tell me that if every day were like thus and such, I'd be X weight in so many weeks. But only when I complete a food entry for the day. Is there a place to see this on a graph or chart? Or a calendar? And if not, does anyone have a suggestion for an app that does this?


  • goal06082021goal06082021 Member Posts: 1,108 Member Member Posts: 1,108 Member
    Exercise log - there are two different exercise diaries, basically. The Strength exercise diary is for tracking reps and weight. The Cardiovascular exercise diary allows you to log exercises in minutes and provides a calorie burn estimate. I'm not sure why you would want to track discrete bodyweight movements like sit-ups in minutes instead of reps, but if that's what you want to do, log it as Cardio. Choose an entry like "calisthenics, general," or create a custom exercise if you're just concerned about time, period, and not calories burned.

    Tracking progress - this does exist, to a degree. On the desktop site, it's under Reports in the top blue bar; on the Android app, if you tap the hamburger menu on the homepage, you'll see Progress in the menu that pops up. That will show you a graph with your logged weights and measures over the past X time period. You do have to add those data points though - if you have that info written down somewhere but haven't put them in the app, from the Progress screen, choose the thing you want to track and tap the + symbol, then you can put in a new measurement and date and it will add that data point to the graph. I don't believe it will project weight loss for you, but it will show you your historical data. (Nota bene: that little "if every day were like today" note isn't accurate for most folks; there are so many more factors that made today like today besides what you ate that it's really impossible for the app to make a good prediction like that with the data it has. Literally all it's doing is multiplying your deficit for the day by 35 days, then dividing that by 3500 to get a projected loss in pounds. Happy to expound further on this if you have more questions.)

    You can also see your calorie breakdown for the week or day if you tap the little pie chart icon in the app, which I find more helpful. There are a few different views, including gross calories and macro breakdown.
    edited June 9
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,905 Member Member Posts: 18,905 Member
    The exercise diary has 2 parts.

    1 is for logging as you mentioned - per minute to receive a calorie burn MFP then uses for math. This is not specific for some exercises, situps/pushups would fall under Calisthenics. You can scroll through it to see what's there to get an idea.

    2 is for a notebook - sets, reps, weight, individual exercises, ect Frankly not a very good one either - better apps for this function.

    Goals for exercise is merely calories and minutes a week.

    Yes, despite the name My Fitness Pal - MFP is mainly about logging foods, which is a pal to fitness since you need to eat enough to have good workouts, and to lose weight.

    Forget the weight loss prediction - everyday can't be like today.
    First it really doesn't know how much deficit you had that day in reality to predict a weight change.
    Second you won't make another day match exactly.

    Suggest a weight trending app - several depending on what phone OS you have.
    Much better for graphs and progress and not freaking out over water weight changes.

    Fitness apps for a better notebook - I like FitNotes on android, but there are many depending on your fitness goals.
  • patriciafoley1patriciafoley1 Member, Premium Posts: 9 Member Member, Premium Posts: 9 Member
    thanks for the info. The calisthetics will help me log general exercising.

    I agree the "if every day were like today' varies widely. If I've spent a day mowing the lawn, it's not going to match a day I spent walking the dog and doing 20 minutes of exercises. But combined and averaged over time, it should get more accurate. And given it can track food, exercise and weight lost so far, it should get more and more accurate, everyday, at predicting future weight loss. Given it has age and sex, that's another clue to making it more accurate It's disappointing to me that it doesn't, because it has the data to do it, albeit every new day logged will cause the prediction to change for good or ill. I want it for motivation and to see how likely I am to meet my goals. Seems like it would be pretty easy to take the past average of "if every day were like this" and show it on a graph.

    If anyone can recommend something that can do that, I'd be interested. I
  • goal06082021goal06082021 Member Posts: 1,108 Member Member Posts: 1,108 Member
    The thing about it is that there are, like I mentioned, so many more factors involved in your individual progress toward your goals over time than what the app is even theoretically able to track at this point in time. What you ate and how much you moved are only two of those factors. There's also climate data to account for (humidity, elevation, your geographic location), as well as autonomic factors internal to you, which you have no direct way to measure or control, like hormone cycles, metabolism, digestion, muscle repair following exercise, etc.

    The most reliable data you have are going to be historical - look at the trends over time and see if you have been moving in the direction you want to go. If your weight-loss graph is trending generally downward over time, then you're doing it right, even if the next time you weigh in the scale shows a jump upward. I get wanting a visual representation of where you're aiming, but I think that because of how weight loss actually works it would be less motivating than you think if you had a tool that would show you where your next weigh-in "should" be and then you never managed to hit that target exactly. Even if you came in under the expected number, it would still feel like you were constantly moving the goalposts, I think - maybe you deal better with that kind of whack-a-mole style progression than I do, though.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,905 Member Member Posts: 18,905 Member
    Due to an easy and realistic 1-3 lbs of water weight fluctuations possible daily - no, predicting each day on food eaten and past weight loss isn't that easy. Just easier to go on weight lost.

    Did you search for weight trending app in your device app store?
    You didn't mention what OS you have, so....

    Libra for Android.
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