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How to setup and use your Fitbit with MyFitnessPal

Fitbit might be great at many things, but food tracking is not one of them. An alternative solution you might want to try out is using Fitbit in combination with MyFitnessPal.


MyFitnessPal – what is it?

Founded some 15 yeаrs ago, MyFitnessPal is a smartphone app and website that tracks both diet and exercise. This combination allоws its 100+ million users to figure out their ideal calorie intake each and every day.

The app has some nifty functionality which comes in the form of a barcode scanner. Use this to add foods or the good old manual option. The company says it has over eleven million foods in its database.

The software works with many fitness trackers and smartwatches including those from Fitbit and Garmin. It connects to around 50 different apps.

MyFitnessPal was acquired by the athletic apparel maker Under Armour for a cool $475 million in February 2015. In October last year it was sold to private equity firm San Francisco. But it continues on.

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The attraction of MyFitnessPal is the user friendly app, the large database of foods and excellent barcode scanner. The food log on the Fitbit app isn’t as good as the one you’ll find on MyFitnessPal.

In essence, you would be using Fitbit to track your all your activity, exercise and sleep and MyFitnessPal as a food/calorie app. Once you connect the two accounts the information is synced in both directions. The food/calorie stuff makes its way to the Fitbit app, and calories burned information to MyFitnessPal.


How to connect Fitbit and MyFitnessPal

Connecting the duo is not difficult. It requires only a few steps.

Asuuming you already have a Fitbit and its smartphone app installed, the first step is opening a MyFitnessPal account. You can do this at http://www.myfitnesspal.com. The alternative is to download and install the iOS or Android app and do this on your smartphone.

Now it’s time to link the two accounts.

  1. Log into MyFitnessPal and select Apps. This takes you through to the App Gallery.
  2. Find the Fitbit logo and choose Connect.
  3. Click Allow to give permission to the two to communicate.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the setup.
How to setup and use your Fitbit with MyFitnessPal
Choose the Fitbit logo in MyFitnessPal

That’s it. Now information will sync in both directions.


Troubleshooting – common problems

MyFitnessPal not syncing to Fitbit – how to fix

If you had a working connection but for some reason it stopped, try the following.

Go to the MyFitnessPal website and log in. Disconnect your Fitbit – the procedure is very similar to the directions provided above. Log out of the MyFitnessPal website and app. Log out of your Fitbit app.

Now reconnect everything. Open your both apps. Associate your Fitbit with MyFitnessPal as if you were setting it up for the first time.

A good idea is also to refresh the MyFitnessPal app a few of times in the settings menu. Hopefuly the two will start to sync again. It’s also recommendable to have both apps up to date in terms of software updates.

Double-counting of calories

Some users have reported an issue where the MyFitnessPal dobles up Fitbit Active Minutes. The solution is the same as above. Disconnect the two accounts and reconnect them. It is recommended to only use the Fitbit app to log steps, exercises, manual logs and other activities.

MyFitnessPal not syncing to Fitbit

You might notice a problem where the log from MyFitnessPal is not showing up on your Fitbit app. It may have worked before but its not working now. Once again, the solution is as above. Revoke access. This can also be done through the Fitbit app, and then going over to MyFitnessPal and reconnecting the two.

Fitbit not syncing to MyFitnessPal

You won’t be surprised that the solution to Fitbit not sending info over is disconnecting and reconnecting. It’s pretty much the solution to most sync issues. Just make sure to log out of both Fitbit and MyFitnessPal after disconnecting, and only then re-introduce the link.

The information on your daily caloric budget can be found in your Food Diary page. in MyFitnessPal. Towards the bottom you should notice a table showing the extra calores you’ve accumulated from your daily exercise.

How to setup and use your Fitbit with MyFitnessPal

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