What Is The Best Nutrition App For Tracking Calorie Intake?

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Since diet is the most important part of any weight loss plan or maintenance, tracking how many calories you take in during the day can go a long way in sticking to your plan and staying in shape.

Keeping a food journal is a great option, but now there are also numerous app options that can be quick and easy ways to log calories and to share this information with others (your trainer, for instance).

Our experts share their personal choices to give you an idea of what you’ll get if you choose to start tracking calories with some of these nutrition apps.

Best Nutrition App #1 – My Fitness Pal

I’ve tried a few different nutrition apps and consider MyFitnessPal to be the most user-friendly. It’s easy to navigate, you can alter the nutrients that you want track, and you can create and save meals that you frequently eat. You can also plug in your exercise information and set exercise goals.

- Kristin Rooke

Best Nutrition App #2 – Lose It!

My favorite app for tracking nutrition is the Lose It!, which is available on the iPhone, android, and as a web app. It’s a very seamless design – among the best designed apps I’ve seen. It keeps everything simple by requiring as few clicks as possible to input your food intake. Some of the great features that make tracking your nutrition a lot easier include the ability to create favorite meals (meals you have a lot), custom foods (so you can add in your own foods), and visualize all the data easily. The database of foods that Lose It! draws from is also fairly accurate from what I’ve seen. For the most accurate data, consider adding your own foods (custom foods) and be cognizant of portion sizes.

I think tracking nutrition intake, even for just a few days is the single most important thing I’ve done to improve my eating habits by far! If you went to see a nutritionist, the very first thing you would do is keep a food journal, so might as well do it yourself anyway.

- Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT

Best Nutrition App #3 – My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal is the easiest app I’ve had clients use. It has a large database of foods, is relatively easy to add new foods, you can copy your meals and makes it easy for me (their trainer) to be able to see their food intake by becoming “friends.”

- John Levya, CSCS, CPT

Best Nutrition App #4 – Cronometer

I have tried several but my current favorite and the one I recommend most to my clients is Cronometer. It is a completely free tracker and stores all of your daily information neatly in a calendar. What’s cool is it also tracks your vitamins, macros, and nutrients in individual bar graphs so you know where your totals are for the day. You can adjust the daily totals based on your goals such as weight loss, muscle gain, maintenance, as well as several popular diets. You can even set your own if you are following a different program such as BuiltLean!

- Stephen Bergeron, CSCS, CPT

Best Nutrition App #5 – Dailyburn

There are pros and cons to each of the online calorie tracking applications. My Fitness Pal is valuable if someone is helping you with your plan, as its platform allows easy sharing of data between “friends.” However, the mobile app makes it difficult to see how much protein, fat, and carbs are contained in your daily food log. DailyBurn does a much better job of laying out the breakdown of macronutrients, but in order to gain access to the more desirable features (ability to add unlimited “favorite foods,” track fiber and plan meals for the future, etc), you need to pay for an upgrade. Additionally, the mobile app seems to crash a lot, at least in my experience. One issue that anyone who uses these applications needs to be aware of is the potential inaccuracies in the calorie and macronutrient counts, as most foods are user-entered and are often well under the actual calorie, fat, and carb values.

- Charlie Seltzer, MD

We hope this helps you find a nutrition app that lets you easily monitor your calories.

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6 Comments on “What Is The Best Nutrition App For Tracking Calorie Intake?

  1. Crawford
    June 27, 2013 #

    Lose It! is a great way to lose weight if you have a smartphone. I used it to lose 20 pounds and then used it to help my gf lose 18. We both stuck to a calorie deficit diet M-F and then ate what we wanted on the weekends (without going crazy). It wasn’t too helpful when we went out to dinner, but once you put in the info for the foods you eat every day it makes tracking calories and staying within a calorie deficit diet easy.

  2. John
    June 28, 2013 #

    I’ve used ‘Lose It!’ since this past February. It has really helped me drop 15+ pounds (about 80% of the weight loss has been fat). You input a few bits of info on your present age, weight, gender, goal weight and goal date and it calculates your daily calories to meet the goals.

    It can be a bit of a pain to get your foods and meals input but once done, daily food intake updates are a breeze. You can review your results daily and also as a weekly total. And you can track calories burned during exercises.

    Plus I really like the nutrients tracker that, early on, highlighted how poor my previous diet was. I was consuming more calories than I thought (surprise!) and was also taking in more fat calories than I expected. I’ve now been able to revise my diet to meet my fat/carb/protein gram goals that I set for myself.

  3. Sam
    July 3, 2013 #

    ShapeUp Club, without a doubt. It’s a pricey app, but justified. Let’s you choose your own calorie limit, create your own foods, keeps track of macros, and other nutrients, lets you set up future meal plans, and so much more. I can’t say enough good things about that app. All others pale in comparison.

  4. Dan
    July 4, 2013 #

    I just downloaded both My Fitness Pal and Lose It! I started tracking my foods today. Initial impressions:

    My Fitness Pal: Allows connecting with Facebook to set up an account. I put in my info and it came up with a daily calorie goal of 1640. It lets you change this goal if you want. I found multiple “cheeseless pizza” entries to choose from to enter my lunch. I picked one that seemed to be the average 150 calories per slice (mine was home made, 2 medium slices of cheeseless, onion, yellow pepper and tomato on tomato sauce). The barcode scanner worked well for the can of tuna I had later.

    Lose It! More visually appealing than My Fitness Pal on both the web app and the Android app. Interface is more intuitive as well. I entered the same info as in My Fitness Pal and it came up with a daily calorie goal of 1985. It lets you change the goal if you want. Barcode scanner worked just as well. I couldn’t find an entry for “cheeseless pizza”, or “no cheese pizza” but then again it was homemade and the app seems to only index info from actual retailers and restaurants. It has a lot of them listed, but I noticed it was US brands/restaurants only. No Pizza Pizza – most widespread pizza chain in Canada. Anyway, I manually entered the info from the pizza slice on My Fitness Pal. Coming back to the daily calorie goal, I found it odd that there was a 340 calorie difference. That’s practically half a meal there. So I went and used the BMR calculator here: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/ and it tells me my BMR is 1766.16, so if that’s correct, it doesn’t make sense that I have a calorie goal of 1985. My Fitness Pal seems to be more correct, putting me in a daily deficit of 126.16 calories. Anyway, at least I have the option to change the daily calorie goal.

    I’ll stick with using both for a week and see which one I like the most in the end.

    1. July 5, 2013 #

      Thanks for sharing, Dan. This is very helpful.

  5. July 17, 2013 #

    Hey everyone,

    If you’re looking for a different nutritional app check out My Nutrition! I’m trying to spread the word and get some feedback on my app and would love for you all to check it out! There’s over 8000+ foods straight from the USDA and it encourages healthy eating for the whole family. It’s completely free as well so give it a download.

    Again, feedback is appreciated if you give it a try .

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