British Heart Foundation or My Fitness Pal? - Weight Loss NHS

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British Heart Foundation or My Fitness Pal?


I was given a booklet by my doctor from the BHF last year that shows you how many portions of each food group you should eat a day and what classes as a portion but after hearing some good things about My Fitness Pal i thought i would have a go at that. I have noticed that the portion sizes in the booklet are different to what they class as a portion on My Fitness Pal and don't know which one to use. for example in the booklet one Weetabix is a portion but on My Fitness Pal it's two. Lettuce & Cucumber shows up as 50g a portion on My fitness Pal compared to the 80g in the booklet.

Could really use some thoughts or advise on which one to use 



25 Replies

As long as you stay within your calorie allowance you will be fine, check the packs for calorie information of the foods you want to eat,  I tend to use MFP as a guide it gives you a rough idea of what you are consuming, good luck

TheHud in reply to want-2-b-slim

MFP is made up from details that many people add, I have added some now.  When you look for a food there are, as you have probably noticed, many variations.  The important thing to do is check the nutrition tab above the add section because many are very incorrect.  Some people have added details that only include calories for example, others just fats and not been too concerned about the rest.

When you first use it to add a new food, check it out yourself.  I go to Tesco site mostly because they detail all the elements of that food.  Others will too.

MFP as Elacol said, check the packs, add your own details and that food will then stay in your menu list.  MFP is a very good way of checking on calories, carbs and fats.  It also does a few other things like sugars and sodium, but its only as good as the information that was put in to start with.  ;)

rosie-2015 in reply to TheHud

Where do you look to find out what thing's people are adding, i can only see shop names or genetic and I must abmit i don't know what genetic means regarding food.  Rosie 

Thank you


Hello Nikki

I was lucky to attend an 8 week course run by my local hospital called "Healthy Helpings" that uses the BHF plan, i really like it and it has worked very well for me. I have lost 13 kg (2 stone) slowly since August, and am still going down, although I have reduced the starch portions to 4 or 5 as I am getting smaller 😊

I do use MFP to give myself a boost after a holiday for example, but find sticking to the calorie allowance difficult and counting every single thing you eat is a bit of a chore. The BHF is much more aimed at general healthy eating, and I feel I could follow it permanently. 

It is a matter of personal choice, I have used a portion control 'diet' before with Weigh Watchers years ago and like that system. At the end of the day, it is calorie reduction that is important, how you achieve that is a matter of personal choice. Also it will depend on how much weight you want to lose. 

I have also increased mu exercise considerably, which is helping with the toning and general fitness and wellbeing. 

Good luck! Lots of support on here 😊

thank you :)

IndigoBlue61Administrator in reply to nikki2975

How is it going nikki2975 ?

I've not fully started the diet yet. I stopped eating chocolate and crisps but I'm still drinking fizzy drinks so I'm working on stopping that. I have started eating smaller portions now...cereal for breakfast, sandwich for dinner. I sometimes struggle with doing a smaller portion for tea as I'm usually really hungry but 9/10 I'm still with my 1500 calorie target. I have noticed since I've started eating 3 meals a day compared to my usual one that I am more hungry now haha. I don't eat a lot and haven't really for 14 years it's usually only one meal a day that started when I lost my Nanna but my problem is that when I do eat it's chocolate, cake, crisps all the things that's bad for you. Hopefully I'll stick to it and can start my exercising soon but need to seem god for about it first as every time I start it I go lightheaded and almost get palpatations and feel like I'm gonna pass out so I need to make sure I'm ok to exercise now and that will help a lot. I think it's more to do with exercise for me but fingers crossed it works as I have 7 stone to lose.

IndigoBlue61Administrator in reply to nikki2975

Little by little is the best way to make permanent changes 😀 Perhaps you need to eat a bit more through the day? Add some fruit to the breakfast, perhaps some nuts mid afternoon? Try to avoid getting too hungry 😕 Have some soup made ready to eat before your evening meal if needs be 😊 Good luck, and well done on the changes you have made so far 😊


You can always adjust the serving size on my fitness pal to the same as the booklet. 

Good luck 

Just a quick question. I know the BHF diet plan and it is right about portion sizes   I am not aware of the my fitness pal's instructions but would query whether they are talking Serving sizes as opposed to Portion sizes. With the BHF a meal is made up of Servings which made consist of several portions so your breakfast would consist of 2 of your daily portions of Weetabix with a portion of milk and that would equal a serving    I find that many people get confused by Portions and Servings.  Hope I have not just confused you further.


As said by others above, Myfitnesspal is as good as the information fed into it yourself and other users... and I always go by the food weight rather than serving size. Ive used it for two years altogether, first for successfuly losing weight and now as an aid to maintaining .  You can add and save your own regular foods/recipes/menus  and its then quick and easy. Also, you do not have to stick exactly to the suggested daily calorie allowance, mfp allows you to set different calorie maximums for each day if you want ... eg  now Im maintaining, I set  mine at 1500 some days and 1700 weekends . 

rosie-2015 in reply to elliebath

How do you go about feeding information into my fitnesspal?

elliebathMaintainer in reply to rosie-2015

From the daily Diary , go to Add Food. In the top right hand corner is a Bar Code symbol,  from there you can scan in a product. Or above that is a symbol (3 Dots) if you press that you can choose to add a food product, or a recipe etc

rosie-2015 in reply to elliebath

I thought that when i did that it just went into my diary,  i didn't think it was added to myfitnesapp? ? Sorry i feel really thick here 

elliebathMaintainer in reply to rosie-2015

No you're not at all, and to be fair I just explored the site and found out things. But I am not very technical and altho been using mfp for two years I still dont fully know my way around it !  

Just recently I upgraded to Premium, so maybe what I'm seeing isn't quite the same ..... 

Is there someone else reading this who can also help  Rosie please? 

rosie-2015 in reply to elliebath

Thanks for all your efforts and your really nice reply i really appreciate it. I'm just on the free one i feel that's all i need but i thought when i typed in a food or drink i was getting an accurate description i don't use the barcode and i still use the scales for certain things xx Rosie 

Gonti10 kg

I use My fitness Pal but I edited some of  the goals  using  what I had learnt from the BHF booklets and other eading. 

When updating the food diary section you can always  edit the portion sizes in MyFitnessPal to whatever you are actually using. Next time you call yup that particular food they will default to whatever you put in last time.

Hope that makes sense. 

elliebathMaintainer in reply to Gonti

Wholly agree 😊

It doesn't matter which portion size you choose as long as you log the one you eat.  Once you get going, it is helpful to know what "your" portion is, especially when you are eating out.  This means that you can estimate what was on your plate.  It is also much quicker planning, cooking and logging meals when you know what your portion is.  You are thinking that you have to get every detail right or this won't work.  Actually if you get it 80% right, it should work.  You can refine it as you go and work on that remaining 20%.  It isn't a magic formula!  The spell still works if you get it mostly right.  I have always found it really helpful to record what I have eaten.  This allows me to repeat successful days and weeks and weed out the mistakes that will sneak in, because we are human.  Good luck with what sounds like a great start.  Someone as careful as you is bound to do well.  

Thank you i hope so. i have about 7 stone to lose so just wanted to make sure i was doing it right but my main thing is exercise. i can't seem to push myself to start but i have signed up to start doing aqua aerobics and i'm waiting to hear back about another class so hopefully it will start showing more soon to add to what little i use walking to an from work.

Annde70 in reply to nikki2975

I love Aqua aerobic and try to go 4 times a week. It is the only exercise regime that I have ever managed to stick with and I have been doing it for about 8 years now. Only times off have been when I had operations on my knees and shoulder and was not allowed to go in the pool 

I really enjoyed aquarobics the 2/3 times I tried it.  What cheered me up about it, in particular as a newbie, was that it was possible to do it at your own pace and level because no one could see what I was doing underwater!   Some of the other classes I tried, I dropped them quickly because I felt an idiot not being able to do large parts of them.  

Underwater? I thought you just stood in a pool and exercised? I won't be doing that then haha... I nearly drowned in the sea about 12 years ago due to bring hyperthyroid and have a fear of water now but thought I would try and see if I could do it but not if its underwater. 

No, not recruiting for the synchronised swimming team!  I just meant nobody could see what I was doing with my legs under the water, because they were under the water and there was lots of splashing.  So they didn't know I was only managing to do half of it!  So that kept me going for longer than otherwise.  

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