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Home / Tips and Tricks / How and why enable negative calorie adjustments in MyFitnessPal «Smartphones :: Gadgethacks

How and why enable negative calorie adjustments in MyFitnessPal «Smartphones :: Gadgethacks



MyFitnessPal adjusts your calorie goal for the day based on your activity level. The more actively you tell the app, the more calories you say you consume ̵

1; simple, right? Unfortunately, MFP does not say that you should consume fewer calories if you do not exercise. However, an activity tracker such as a FitBit or Apple Watch can help.

If you do not burn the calories that MyFitnessPal assumes, you will ultimately consume more calories than you should. Fortunately, MyFitnessPal has a feature called "negative calorie adjustments" that works with your activity tracker to give you more accurate information about how many calories you should consume every day.

Why should you enable negative calorie adjustments?

Suppose your daily calorie goal is 2400 based on your gender and weight. Depending on the activity level you enter in MyFitnessPal, it provides an estimate of how many calories you should burn each day when you are active, and adds this to your total. If you expect you to burn 200 extra calories every day based on activity level, it changes your goal to 2,600 calories.

Now, if you wear your activity tracker every day, it sends information to MyFitnessPal, such as how many calories you burn while walking to work, swimming in your pool or weightlifting. If your activity tracker says on a very psychic day that you have burned 1,000 calories through activity, MyFitnessPal adds those calories to your daily goal, which means you need to consume 3,400 calories that day.

Unfortunately, if you do not train at all, MyFitnessPal still assumes that you are active and burn those extra 200 calories a day. If the negative calorie adjustment feature is disabled (which is the case by default), your synchronized activity tracker cannot subtract calories from your total on a lazy day.

But here's the problem: if you only burn 100 extra calories on one of these days with more calories, the app won't tell you to consume fewer calories, although it should.

That's why you have to enable negative calorie adjustments. If you do not burn the calories that MyFitnessPal expects from you, this function will subtract the calories from your total, which means that you should eat healthier on days when you are not training. If you wear your activity tracker consistently and want more accurate feedback from MyFitnessPal, you must enable negative calorie adjustments. This is how.

Enabling negative calorie adjustments

You can only enable negative calorie adjustments from a web browser and not via the MyFitnessPal app on iOS or Android. To gain access, log in to your account on on the MyFitnessPal website go to "My Home" and then to "Settings" and "Diary Settings". You can also go directly to on the Calendar Settings page . Here you must check the box next to "Enable Negative Adjustments" and then click "Save Changes". This change will take effect the next time data is synced from your activity tracker.

Now when you are not training, your activity tracker will let MFP know. It will then subtract the calories that you expect to burn from your daily total. But there is one last thing to consider before you go: if you don't wear your device consistently or if your device only occasionally syncs, it's best to keep negative calorie adjustments off – otherwise MFP thinks you're do not train at all and lower your calorie goal accordingly.

This article was made during the annual Health & Fitness special cover of Gadget Hacks. Read all Health & Fitness series.

Don't miss it: More tips and tricks to get the most out of MyFitnessPal

Cover photo and screenshots of Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

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