A Message about MyFitnessPal's updated nutrition goals

From time to time, in response to the latest research and government recommendations, MyFitnessPal updates its nutrition and activity guidelines to provide the best results to our users. To help you best achieve your health and fitness goals, we implemented some changes to our calorie thresholds for both men and women.

The National Institutes of Health indicates that eating plans of 1,500 calories for men, and 1,200 calories for women, are safe and effective in achieving weight loss. To align with these guidelines myfitnesspal has implemented a separate calorie minimum for males of 1,500 calories per day. Previously, the minimum was 1,200 calories for both men and women.

As before, users with guidance from a physician or registered dietitian can customize their goals. Users who update their goals automatically will see the following changes reflected with these calculations.

Physical Activity Levels

Estimation of how much energy an individual needs plays a critical role in helping MyFitnessPal members achieve their health and fitness goals. Calculating estimated energy requirements is not a perfect science but we're constantly trying to improve our services to better meet the needs of our members. 

We have updated the way in which we calculate calorie need estimates, also known as the estimated energy requirement (EER). The changes, which have been thoroughly reviewed by MyFitnessPal nutrition experts and other professionals in the field of dietetics, align with Physical Activity Level (PAL) values set by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). MyFitnessPal members with Lightly Active, Active or Very Active physical activity levels will notice a modest increase in daily calorie need estimations that, we feel, will better meet energy needs.

As a reminder, we recommend setting your PAL based on your normal level of daily activity, excluding any optional exercise you may choose to do. Workouts or exercise outside of your daily work/life routine should be logged in the exercise diary.

Macronutrient Ratios

Research has shown many potential benefits associated with protein ingestion including increased satiety compared to carbohydrate or fat, and has also been found beneficial in maintaining or building lean muscle mass. [Reference 1 Reference 2 ] For these reasons, we have adjusted macronutrient ratios to incorporate more protein into the diets of MyFitnessPal members.

Protein need estimations have been increased to 20% of calories, up from from 15%, and carbohydrate need estimations have decreased from 55% of calories to 50%. Percentage of calories from fat remain unchanged. The new ratios still fall within the ranges established by the IOM and align with the macronutrient proportion recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010: 45-65% of calories from carbohydrates, 10-35% of calories from protein, and 20-35% of calories from fat.

Additionally, members will now be notified when their daily carbohydrate intake falls below 130g or is comprised of less than 35% of calories from carbohydrate. The rationale for this is based on carbohydrate's role as the primary energy source for the brain and aligns with recommendations put forth by the IOM and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Micronutrient Adjustments

Our Sodium, Fiber and Sugar recommendations have also been adjusted. All other micronutrient levels remain unchanged, based on guidance from the FDA and in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010.

Sodium

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommends sodium intakes less than 2,300mg per day.

Fiber

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommends the following fiber intakes for adults: 

  • Females 

    • 19-50 years: 25g/day

    • > 51years: 21g/day

  • Males

    • 19-50 years: 38g/day 

    • > 51years: 30g/day

Sugar

Following the recommendations to increase fruit and vegetable intake in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, and using an average of the sugar found of sample menus provided by the USDA, recommended sugar intake limits have been set to 15% of total calories. 

We will continue to stay abreast of new developments in research and government recommendations, and may update our guidelines in the future to match the best science available.

We wish you the best in the pursuit of your health and fitness goals!

The MyFitnessPal Team


Last Updated: Dec 30, 2015 10:18AM PST

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