How to Configure MyFitnessPal for a Low Carb or Ketogenic Diet

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myfitnesspal

 

MyFitnessPal is actually my FAVORITE app to track carbs and calories. However it does take a bit of configuring to get the goals and displays correct so they're more useful when you're on a low carb or ketogenic (keto) diet.

NOTE: If you're new to Keto, please check out my ebook “Kick the Weight with Keto” which will help you get started on a Paleo Ketogenic diet.

If you're on low carb or keto, you'll definitely want to consider tracking your food from time-to-time in some way. I've found that tracking is really important to keeping me honest about what I'm putting in my mouth. However, the tool comes with default settings that aren't keto friendly.

First, you'll want to run the keto calculator to see what levels of macros (protein, carbs & fat percentages) you should be eating for your current size and activity level.

Steps to Change macro levels in MFP

  1. Log into Myfitnesspal on a computer. You must be on the full web version of MFP to do these steps as of this writing, not the mobile app.
  2. At the top of the screen, click “Settings”, then on the bar below click “Goals” MFP1
  3. On the bottom of the screen, click the green ‘change goals' button.
  4. Under “change your fitness goals” click “Custom”, then click ‘Continue'. MFP2
  5. At the ‘customize your fitness goals' screen, you can now use the drop downs to change your macro goals. Be sure to click the green ‘Save' button on the bottom.  MFP3

How to Add Fiber to your Display Tracking

This is the change that I really loved – adding the fiber to the tracking column!! It was frustrating trying to find the fiber info for a day so that I could calculate my net carbs. With this one small change, I no longer have that problem. And I put it right next to the carbs so I can look at it quickly. It would be better if there was an automatic calculation for net carbs, but hey this is the next best thing, and make MFP more useful.

MFP4

  1.  Again, log into MFP full web site on a computer not mobile version.
  2. Click on the ‘Food' heading, then click ‘Settings' to the right.  MFP5
  3. Using the drop downs, change the macro headings to the order that you would like, putting fiber next to carbs.  MFP6
  4. Don't forget to click the green ‘Save changes' button at the bottom of the screen when you're done.

So how did I do, did you have any other questions on My Fitness Pal? Ask questions in the comments!

 
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.
 

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 melissa October 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

This is tracking TOTAL carbs, right? (Hence the need to also track fiber so you can subtract it to calculate NET carbs?) I’m having a hard time due to the constraints of the percentage (5% of my daily kC equals 16 carbs, 10% equals 33… I need to be at 25 net). Should I up the percentage to allow for more total carbs then calculate the fiber to make sure my net carbs get to where they belong? What’s your tactic?

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2 Kim October 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I track carbs and fiber and then calculate net carbs from that. My net carbs for the day are what I track and I try to stay under 25 personally. But I see what you mean since MFP doesn’t have a ‘net carbs’ to track from, yes you have to kind of bump up your carb goal a bit to accurately reflect it.

That being said, I use all of this as a guideline, and I don’t stress too much if I don’t hit a certain percentage every day. For me personally, I’m MOST concerned with eating too much protein. I would tend to overeat on protein (I don’t consider a ‘free’ food like an Atkins program) and excess protein is hard on the kidneys, liver and can also mess with your blood glucose.

hope this helps!

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3 melissa October 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm

thanks… our logic is the same, and I’m with you on not stressing over minutia 🙂 i’m working on lifestyle changes and have already made tons in the past year. Thanks for offering the opportunity to kick start again! I was ready for it. Completed a Level 3 21DSD this summer, then got a bit off track. Still eating 99.9% paleo/primal, but indulging in a few too many carbs lately. Ready to be keto again.

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4 martinus October 3, 2013 at 5:27 am

With a bit of trickery it might be possible to track net carbs in MFP, see this: http://cavemanketo.com/configuring-mfp/

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5 Kim October 3, 2013 at 7:03 am

Martin, thank you! And thank you for the keto calculator, which is AMAZING and has helped me soooo much!!! Are you also the writer on cavemanketo.com?

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6 martinus October 3, 2013 at 7:15 am

Thanks, it’s nice to hear when my work is actually useful 🙂 I don’t have anything to do with cavemanketo, I’ve just found this a while ago on the reddit forum.

7 Rachael Resurreccion October 2, 2013 at 6:02 pm

If you add the fiber to your dairy settings will is also change it in the recipe nutrition calculator? Thank you.

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8 Sarah October 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Thank you!!! I was just, tonight, cursing out this app for not showing net carbs. I can’t wait to get on my laptop and customize. Thanks!

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9 Leigh February 23, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Will this change on my computer automatically show the change on my iPhone & iPad?

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10 Deb April 14, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Will this change on the mobile app once you’ve made changes on the PC?

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11 Laura December 29, 2014 at 1:14 pm

This article was so helpful to me – thank you so much. I’ve been looking for a simple way to track my carb intake, and I love the myfitnesspal app – I had no idea you could do this. Thank you so much!

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12 Chris January 5, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Thanks for posting this – exactly what I was looking for and super clear!

Now to check out the recipes… 🙂

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13 arthurkitchen March 25, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Well even if you set it for 1500 calories a day with 5% carbs it shows a 1950 calorie deficit and only losing 2 lbs a week, which if you are on Atkins induction, it’s going to be more than that so what gives? What am I missing.

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14 Mary August 23, 2015 at 5:51 am

I use a Samsung Galaxy tablet to access MFP in addition to the web. The tablet does now show daily totals at the bottom of all carbs, calories, fiber, etc. The totals show on the web, but not on my device. Is that true on all portable devices?

Also, I am limiting my carbs, although not being totally strict keto. A 5% setting for carbs seems too extreme to me, allowing like only 23 carbs. And I’ve read keto can be 50 carbs a day which would bring percentage of to 10%. Do you agree with up to 50 carbs a day?

Haven’t seen any comments here since 10/13, so this post may be a waste of time.

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15 Mary August 23, 2015 at 5:52 am

typo: tablet does NOT show total cars

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16 Mary August 23, 2015 at 5:54 am

CORRECTION: (I’ll get this right eventually!) Diary on tablet does NOT show daily totals on the bottom like it does on the web.

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17 Valerie June 6, 2016 at 5:58 pm

Did you sync it after updating the website? I just did it and it updated on my tablet (ipad) and phone (iphone)

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18 kent J November 14, 2015 at 7:14 am

When I search can i sort by lowest carb results. It would be great at a restaurant to search somethig like “Burger king egg” and then sort by carbs. All the “no bun’ results would be at the top. Just wondered.

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19 Holly January 12, 2016 at 8:21 am

Fantastic article – thanks so much for putting this together! I’ve used myfitnesspal off and on for a couple years now. Typically I go low-carb (along with portion control of course), but had assumed I was stuck with the standard old school nutritional settings until I found your blog. (Think myfitnesspal has been updated since you wrote this – the screens/options are slightly different now. But your article and the myfitnesspal site were both so intuitive, it was very easy to get the edits made.)

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20 Donna January 27, 2016 at 5:44 am

Unless you have the full paid for version MFP, I do not see that I have access to change my settings to drastically to make it customized to me.

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21 Ashleigh February 19, 2016 at 9:12 am

Thank you this was such a very helpful tutorial! Can’t wait to start tracking more accurately to my diet type!

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22 Diane April 21, 2016 at 9:51 am

A huge help – thanks!!

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23 krystal August 28, 2016 at 6:35 pm

thank you so much for all the help. But i just have a question. I just started a week ago doing keto, and i am loving it. My app is all set up but how do i get the app to subtract the fiber from the net carbs. Like for example a quest bar should only be like 6 carbs and it turns out on the app to be full carb and not taken away from the carb due to fiber?

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24 Stacia January 6, 2017 at 7:49 am

That’s what all of the above is saying, Krystal: that you can have fiber show along with carbs so you can do the subtraction yourself and thus get net carbs.

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