Use Fitbit to track not only your steps and activity but also the food that you eat. This article explains how to create, edit, and manage food plans.
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What is a food plan?
A food plan helps you achieve and maintain your weight goal. By logging your meals each day, you can track your progress towards an estimated goal based on caloric intake and burn. Your goal may be to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain your current weight. For more information on how Fitbit tracks your calories burned, visit How does Fitbit estimate how many calories I've burned?
How do I start a food plan?
You can begin a food plan, log food, and monitor your progress using the fitbit.com dashboard and the Fitbit apps. For instructions on how to manually log an activity, choose a section below.
- From the Fitbit app dashboard, tap or click the Account icon ().
- Under Goals, tap Nutrition & Body.
- Under Nutrition, find the option to start a food plan.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to set up your food plan and don't forget to save. On the Fitbit app for iOS, you can set a daily calorie goal independent of a food plan.
- If you want to edit the intensity later, you can adjust your Food goal. To adjust your food goal and other goals, follow the instructions in How do I track my fitness goals with Fitbit?
- Log into your fitbit.com dashboard.
- At the top, click Log and then click Food.
- Click the Get Started button in the Food Plan section.
- Enter your starting weight, your target weight, and your plan intensity when prompted. Depending on the intensity you choose, you'll see the estimated date for reaching your goal.
- If you want to edit the intensity later, click the gear icon on the Calories In vs Out tile and click the pencil icon next to Plan Intensity. From here you can also change your goal weight.
How do I monitor my progress?
Your food plan provides the following:
- An estimate of your daily calorie consumption.
- A readout of the number of calories you have burned and eaten so far in the day.
- A real-time comparison of the calories you've consumed in your diet versus those you've burned through activity.
- Feedback about whether you are under, within, or above your plan's recommendation.
- An estimate of your daily macronutrient consumption (Fitbit app for Android only).
To achieve accurate calorie and macronutrient estimates, it's important to log all of the food you eat. As you log your food, your daily calorie and macronutrient estimates will constantly update to show how much you can still eat for the rest of the day while staying within your goal zone. As long as you are within 50 calories of your daily estimate when you log your last meal, you will have met your plan's recommendation for the day.
The Calories In vs Calories Out meter gives you a look at where you are for the current time of day. This will continually update (assuming your tracker syncs regularly) depending on the food logged and your activity level. Your activity level is determined by the steps you take, any exercises recorded by your tracker, and any activities you log manually. As you walk and exercise through the day, your caloric allowance will adjust to let you know how much more you can eat while staying within your goal zone.
As with any fitness program, speak with your doctor before starting your new plan.
How do I log food?
To log food with the fitbit.com dashboard:
- Hover your mouse over either the Food Plan or Calories In vs. Out tile, and click the arrow icon in the lower right corner. This will take you to the food log.
- From this page, you can log your meals by entering food descriptions and quantities along with the time they were consumed.
To log food with the Fitbit app, tap or click the + icon and tap or click Log Food
If your iOS mobile device supports 3D Touch, you can also log food from the home screen with the Quick Action menu accessed by 3D Touch.
Can I scan barcodes to log food?
The Fitbit apps support barcode scanning. Just go to the screen where you log food and tap the barcode icon, then make sure the barcode on your food item is in front of your camera. You'll either see "Got it" if the food is recognized as belonging to our food database, or you'll be prompted to add the food to the food database. If the food isn't recognized, you'll need to manually add it to your food log.
How do I see my macronutrients breakdown?
If you log food in the Fitbit app, you'll see an estimate of your daily macronutrients breakdown (total carbohydrates, fat, and protein consumed) in addition to your caloric intake. Tracking your macronutrients can help you get a better view of your overall nutrition.
After you log food, your macronutrients breakdown will appear. To see your macronutrients, complete these steps:
- From the Fitbit app dashboard, tap the food tile (which shows your calories in vs calories remaining if you created a food plan).
- Under Today, find your daily macronutrients breakdown as compared to your cals in vs cals out.
- Swipe the graph at the top to see your macronutrients breakdown over the past week.
- Tap the expand icon in the top right to open information about your macronutrients and then tap any particular day to see details. Tap the icon again to close.
Note that you won't see your macronutrients breakdown if you use the option to log calories instead of food.
To learn more about the benefits of tracking macronutrients, see the Fitbit blog
Do I have to add every ingredient in a meal?
On the fitbit.com dashboard you can create a specific meal. This is convenient if you're cooking and want to add all the individual ingredients only once; later, when you cook the same meal again, you can add it to your food plan with one click.
- On the food logging page, find Favorites on the right side and click the Meals tab.
- Click the blue "Create a meal" link and give the meal a name.
- Click Save, then in the Add Foods section you can begin to add the individual foods for this meal. After each food item, click the red Add to Meal button.
- When you are done, click the red I'm done button.
When you want to add the meal again later, on the Fitbit apps you'll find it under Custom Foods.
What type of food database does Fitbit use?
We have comprehensive food databases for the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The database includes simple generic items from our partner database, packaged items from national and regional brands, and menu items from restaurant chains. We update the database regularly with new foods.
Our international food database for Taiwan has simple common items translated into the local language.
How do I change the language for my food database?
You can choose the country you want to use for your food database. This will affect the listings you see when logging food. To change the database on fitbit.com:
- Log into your Fitbit.com dashboard and click the gear icon in the upper right.
- Click Settings and scroll down to Preferences.
- Choose the food database you prefer.
- Don't forget to click Save.
To change the food database on a Fitbit app, you can usually find this setting under Account > Advanced Settings.
What is a calorie deficit?
A calorie deficit occurs when you've burned more calories than you've consumed in a given day. To achieve a weight loss goal, you should aim for a calorie deficit. If you've set a weight-loss goal you can choose the intensity of your food plan, which will in turn adjust your calorie deficit target.