There are so many apps out there that claim they will help you lose weight. But how do you know which one to choose? How will they help YOU reach YOUR goals? What about a balanced diet? Do they encourage that? Do they tell you what to eat when? Or do they give you a calorie target for the day?
In this post, I’ll compare the RP (Renaissance Periodization) diet app to the MyFitnessPal app. I have used them both during weight loss and know them both very well.
The main difference between the apps is that with the RP diet app you get a diet coach. With MyFitnessPal you get a tool where you can log your food consumption.
The RP diet app focuses on one meal at the time, when you eat it and the combination of macros, not calories. In MyFitnessPal you count calories (and macros) and you can eat whenever you want. RP diet has a greater focus on fat loss and muscle gain, whereas MyFitnessPal has more focus on weight loss.
First, I’ve posted a comparison of the two apps, then my experiences with them. Lastly, I’ve written about what to choose.
Happy reading ?
PS. We are in no way, neither as individuals nor through FuelChefs, affiliated nor associated with RP Strength (renaissanceperiodization.com) or MyFitnessPal. We are neither RP Strength or MyfitnessPal employees nor health professionals. Nor is this an advertisement. We are consumers and customers of RP Strength and MyFitnessPal who simply wish to share our personal experiences with those who are interested. All content on this site (Fuelchefs.com) is our personal experience and opinions.
Table of Contents
Here I’ll compare the two apps, remember, this is my personal opinion on the different apps ?
The main difference between the apps is that the RP diet app is a diet coach if you purchase the RP diet app you purchase a diet. With MyFitnessPal you have a tool where you can log your food consumption. The RP diet app focuses on muscle gain and fat loss. MyFitnessPal focuses on weight loss.
Another important difference is that the MyFitnessPal app is more concerned about your daily calorie intake. The RP diet app is more concerned about your macros per meal.
The RP diet app cares about calories too, but it doesn’t count them.
In theory in the MyfitnessPal app you can live off candy for your entire diet. As long as you don’t exceed the calorie intake – not very smart though. If you stay compliant to the RP diet app and log everything you eat, you can’t do this, because you can’t choose candy as a food source, so you won’t be able to log it.. ?
This really reflects the purposes I feel like the apps have. When I’ve used MyFitnessPal I feel as if the focus has been on weight loss. However, when I use the RP diet app I feel like the focus is on fat loss and muscle gain! This can, of course, be my personal development as well, but it’s the feeling that I’m left with.
Meal planning & food sources
In the RP diet app, you will experience that each meal is planned for you during the day, when you’re eating and what you’re eating when. You’ll even get notifications when you’re getting close to a meal! I love that!! Eating time ? In the MyFitnessPal you can eat whenever it is right for you (you can of course also adapt this in the RP diet app) and whatever macro ratio that feels right.
In the RP diet app, you also have fewer food sources, this will be restricted based on your goal and present weight, to choose from than in the MyFitnessPal app.
The scanning function in MyFitnessPal also works great in Europe, the RP diet app doesn’t. However, it should be noted that if you eat foods that are American and scan them via the app they will work, even though you’re in Europe?But Scandinavian foods, which is what I tested, does not work.
Because the RP diet is app is more restricted it can sometimes be a little faster to add the foods you’re eating. Simply put, it’s a searchable long-list where you can mark your favorites. In MyFitnessPal you can also mark your favorites. But since you have more to choose from it can take a bit longer to log the food. In both apps, you can register your favorite meals and add them to your current meal.
The RP diet app will also tell you how much you can eat based on your food choice and macro target. In MyFitnessPal you type in how much you want to eat of each food source.
So you actually get more help from the RP diet app in eating the right amount of food.
Eating the right amount of food
Eating the right amount of food I think is a bit easier in the RP diet app, simply because it tells you how much you can eat. But on the other hand, if you find it hard to be really strict to certain food sources MyFitnessPal will allow you to log more foods, and therefore not “cheat” the app. You’ll get a more holistic picture of everything you’re eating, if you eat outside your meals, with MyFitnessPal. Simply because the possibility to log food is greater. Remember, food logging seems to be the focus MyFitnessPal.
The RP diet app is also very focused on when you eat and what you eat. This is to make sure you eat the right macros at the right time, with regards to wake up time, workouts and bedtime. MyFitnessPal isn’t.
Impact of workouts on your diet
Another big difference between the apps is that in MyFitnessPal you log if you’ve worked out and what you did and for how long. Then it will add calories and macros to your daily target. In the RP diet app, you will define your workout days at the start of the day, and it will adapt all meals.
I guess this is just two different schools. Personally, I prefer the RP diet way as I then will be able to eat right the whole day, and not realize after I worked out that I get a larger dinner.
Choose macros before vs. logging after you eat
A very important difference between the apps is their innate nature. With this I mean, the RP diet app encourages you to choose your foods and amount before you eat. MyFitnessPal encourages you to log your meal. This is important because if you want to lose or gain weight you have to calculate how much you should or can eat BEFORE you eat it. Not after.
If you log the foods after you’ve eaten them there is nothing you can do!
This might seem obvious, but soooo many people make this mistake, I made it in the beginning too. And this can make a huge impact on your diet. So, before you start weighing your food, you have to know how much you’re having. The RP diet encourages this. You can, of course, do this with MyFitnessPal too, but it doesn’t encourage it. Which is an important difference.
This is probably one of the most recognized weight loss apps out there. This app is free, but you can also opt-in for a premium version.
This version unlocks extra features such as a different version of the app dashboard, macro target per meal, food analysis (that teaches you about the nutrients your most popular foods..I think), and a “timer” for when you should eat what (you can learn about at what time you should eat and what, and how that impacts your energy for workouts and so forth).
Personally, I have never used the premium version, so I am only referring to the unpaid version. I’ve never upgraded because I didn’t feel like I had to.
Set-up of MyFitnessPal
When you set up MyFitnessPal at the beginning of your diet, you register:
- First, you register personal information: male or female, your activity level, your age etc
- How much you weigh
- What your ideal weight is (how much weight loss you’re aiming at)
- How much weight you want to lose per week. Here you can actually choose between 1,2 kilos all the way up to 1 kilo.
Personally, I think 1 kilo is a lot, maybe too much weight to lose for 1 week. And way too much if you want to be consistent after your diet, get the right nutrients and don’t ruin your life while dieting (you’ll get really cranky if you go this hard..). Also what is recommended is between 0,5-1kg per week, so if you do this you have to be careful so you don’t push too hard..
In the app, you can actually also plan for weight gain, which I think is a great possibility too.
- You type in your activity level and number of workouts per week
- Then you set up your goals for how much calories you want to consume per day or you can choose the standard one which calculates for you.
There’s also an option where you can specify carbs/protein/fat percentage as well. In order to be able to set up this based on grams, not a percentage, you have to have the premium. This has actually really annoyed me since you always count them in grams, not a percentage!
How it works
Before or after (not a good idea to register after) you eat something you will type in how much you will eat of each food source in grams. The app will then calculate how much you have consumed during that meal, and then calculate how much you can for the rest of the day. Then you repeat with the next meal and so forth.
At the end of the day, the app will summarize your day. It calculates your total daily consumption of macros and calories, and you’ll end up in either plus or minus.
When you use MyFitnessPa you can eat whatever foods you want, as long as you register it. It is very simple to use, you can either type in what you’re eating and it searches the MyFitnessPal database for foods. Then you choose what you eat and type on how much you’ve eaten of that.
The second option is to scan the barcode of what you’re eating. Then it will automatically calculate the macros and calories. All you need to do is type in how much you’ve eaten of it. This is a great feature that I’ve used a lot. In the beginning, when this feature was dropped it didn’t work very well in Europe, but now I think it works great! I’m a huge fan ?
You can also add foods or meals manually. Meaning that if there’s something that’s not in MyFitnessPal’s food database and the scanner function doesn’t work, you can add it manually. You can also save it for later. So if there’s something you really enjoy eating but its not in the app, then you can just register it yourself. This is actually a really really nice feature, and it will make the logging go way faster.
In the app, you can also register if you have been working out, what kind of training you did and for how long. The app will calculate approximately how many calories you’ve burned. I’m not sure if it takes into consideration your weight and height, I assume it’s an average they’re using.
If you register your workouts, the app will actually add this to your daily consumption.
Meaning, if you burn 500 cals it will add 500 cals to your total daily consumption. Personally, I am not a fan of doing it this way.
There are 2 main reasons for this:
- If you workout in the evening like me, that means you get a lot more food for the evening, but maybe it should have been distributed a bit more evenly.
In order to do that I would have to register the workout in advance. That could lead to over or under committing and could leave you eating too much or too little.
- The combination of what you eat and when is what is important with workouts, so if you get an extra 500 cals I think it’s important that you eat that at the right time.
However, what the app does do is divide the macros up between fat/carbs/protein. Although I’m not sure if it’s the right ratio.
It should be noted as well that the app, as of now, only registers calorie use on cardio workouts, not weight training.
Since the app will also prompt you to register your weight, you’ll be able to see your progress.
In the unpaid version add constantly keep popping up, which is really annoying. If you opt-in for the premium version you get rid of those.
Renaissance Periodization (RP) Diet APP
The first thing you need to know about this app is that in order to use it you have to pay either a monthly or yearly fee. With the RP diet app, you actually purchase a diet plan. This is one of the first obvious differences between the RP diet and MyFitnessPal.
Renaissance Periodization (RP) is a company that offers this app as one of their products. It is used a lot in the CrossFit community and has some impressive people using their templates and coaches, among them are 2 times games winner Annie Thorisdottir.
I have used both the RP diet app and the template for weight loss. However, an app vs template review is for another post. I’ve used the RP diet app after the MyFitnessPal app.
Set-Up of the RP diet app
You have to deal with several configurations in the RP diet app, just like with MyFitnessPal:
- How much you weigh
- What kind of body type you have
- Then you type in how much weight you want to lose. Then it actually gives you a choice of different dates for when you want to be done with your diet. Here it will not recommend less time than what is, in their opinion, healthy.
- In the app, you’ll also choose two or more weigh-in days. This way the app will know if you’re moving in the right direction.
- You also register how often you work out. Here you classify your training as light, medium or heavy. This is their own “standards” which is basically whether you do a cardio workout, weight training workout, CrossFit or a heavy bodybuilding session.
This will impact how much you get to eat on any given day.
- You also register when you wake up/ go to bed, and when you workout. All per day. You only do this for one week and that copies down to all the consecutive weeks, so here, consistency is key. But you can, of course, go in and make changes on the days themselves as well.
Based on this, a default template will be set up for your diet. For me this is really great because it helps me with structure, has set workout days, rest days and so forth.
How it works
After you have configured the app it will calculate when you should eat each of your meals and how much you should have of each macro source. It will also remind you of eating (like you’d ever forget…). The app also, based on your goals, restricts what food sources you can have.
This app doesn’t care much for calories, or it does, but it doesn’t count them. Plus you don’t have to count them, and that is awesome! What it does care for is macros and the combination of foods.
When it’s time to eat and you open your app, you can choose between the different food sources available to you. Here, you have the flexibility the food in the app gives you.
You can also scan the barcode of different foods in order to add them to your meal, or you can search restaurant meals. These two features seem really great, however, we don’t live in the US (assume that’s why) so they’re not available for the foods we have here.
When you’ve chosen what you’ll eat the app will calculate how much you can eat of each food source. For example, you can have 30g of protein and you chose chicken breast. Then it will tell you that you can eat 100g of cooked chicken breast. If the food source you choose has other macros in it, it will also calculate these into the total.
Here is an important difference between MyFitnessPal and RP diet. The RP diet app will tell you how much you can eat of each food. Whereas in the MyFitnessPal you will tell the app how much you have or plan to eat of each food.
This difference is really really important because remember why you’re on a diet in the first place. To get fitter, leaner, more muscular, or whatever. And there is a reason you’re using an app. It is likely because you need help to figure out what to eat.
At the top of each meal, you get three different bars that visualize for you if you’ve reached your goal for that meal or not. In the RP diet app, you focus on one meal at the time. To hit the macros of that meal. You don’t have an overview of how much you’ve eaten that day. However, you have an overview of how much of each macro you should eat that day.
After you’ve had a meal it will prompt you to check it in your meal, and you’ll have to tick off whether your meal has been roughly at your macros, more or less. During your diet and at the end you can see a compliant % score. This is gamification which I don’t think matters that much, but I suppose it’s nice for some.
Since you type in your start and end date in the app and how much weight loss you’re aiming at, it will prompt you to weigh yourself at least twice a week.
Based on the information it will receive through your weigh-ins, it will, at the end of each week ask you if you want to make some changes to your diet. Either you can continue as you have done, you can become stricter, or you can be easier on yourself. The app will make you a recommendation based on the progress you’re making.
The meals in the app are organized around your waking up/bedtime and your workout routine. Both with regards to time, but also with regards to macro ratio.
If you need some tips & tricks on how to get around a few of the annoying things with the RP Strength app you can check out our post exactly this topic: 5 annoying things with the RP app and how to hack them ✌️
More old school? And don’t want to use an app? RP Strength also has a weight loss template. Here is our comparison of RP Strength Diet App vs RP Strength Diet Template.
So, what do you choose?
If you’re looking for a diet coach, don’t snack much outside meals, want to lose fat but gain muscle, and really want great workout results, the RP diet app is the right choice for you.
If you just want to lose weight and log the food you eat to make sure you don’t overeat MyFitnessPal is for you.
Below is a summary of the functionalities in the different apps:
|Free or payed version
|Only one paid version but trial period possible
|Free w/opt in for premium
|Food logging vs. planning
|Paleo & Low Carb inspired
|Registration of personal info
|Flexible and editable calorie/ macro targets
|Can be edited
|Weigh in days
|Weight loss tracker
|Food check in
|Schedule/ diet configuration
|For the entire diet w/ daily editing options
|Copy meals to other days
|Meal vs day view
|Ad hoc meal logging
|Restaurant meal logging
|Meal scheduling based on sleep and workouts
|Diet coach vs meal tracker
For me, MyFitnessPal worked great in the beginning when I was getting started, needed to understand how much I ate and just had to make some adjustments to my lifestyle.
However, now that I’ve done that MyFitnessPal just isn’t enough for me anymore. The RP diet app has really ensured that I’ve gotten better results than ever. Yes, it can be really really hard sometimes to follow their schedule, but it will give you awesome results!
Also, I like the simplicity of the RP diet app, that these are the foods I can choose from and it’ll tell me exactly how much to eat and when. For me, this works great!
I guess it just comes down to what works well for you ?
If you have any other questions to the apps please comment below and we’ll do our best to answer them as soon as we can ?