The start of the new decade is a good reason to pay closer attention to your health.
Keeping tabs on the amount of calories you consume every day is one way to do so. Studies show that those who keep track of their calorie intake have better weight loss results.
While we recommend getting the best calorie counter app to help you with your health goals this year, there is something that you need to pay attention to first before downloading your preferred app.
Not all calories are created equal. There is a meme that’s been circulating on the Internet about which has less calories—a banana or a gin & tonic. As you might imagine, the calorie count of any given food will not necessarily tell you if it’s nutrient dense or laden with sugar.
With that reminder out of the way, here are our top seven pick for the best calorie-tracking apps that you can download and install within minutes on your device.
These apps made it onto our list not only by helping you track your calorie count, but by having added features that motivate you to stay in shape. Most of these apps are free, with in-app purchases and options to upgrade to premium services. We hope that this post will better educate you on the choices available when it comes to selecting the right app for your needs.
Best Calorie Counter Apps
MyFitnessPal is part of Under Armor’s family of health and fitness apps. This app is well-loved by users for all the useful features that help them meet their fitness goals. It is a free app, with an option to upgrade to a premium account for $9.99 a month or $49.99 annually.
MyFitnessPal has over 11 million items on its food database, making it easy to track your macros and calories when you’re grocery shopping, cooking, or dining out.
It can accommodate whatever your health goal is, with the capability to give a recommendation for your daily caloric and macronutrient intake based on the information you enter about your current weight and height.
Furthermore, with the premium version, you can customize calorie and macro goals per day. There is also an option for customizing calorie/macro goals by meal.
The app also has the ability to recommend foods that will most likely help meet your daily nutrient and calorie requirements. For example, the app can suggest food items that can help you reach your protein goal for a certain meal.
It is integrated with other health-related apps in the UnderArmour family, providing interconnectivity so you can have an overview of different aspects of your health.
Overall, MyFitnessPal stands out for its flexibility and features to help you keep track not only of your calorie consumption, but also anything related to your health and fitness.
Lifesum’s main appeal is its ease of use. It is a free app with the option to upgrade to a premium subscription. First-time subscribers can pay between $22 and $45 when they upgrade to a premium account.
Users appreciate the app’s resources, which help them stay in shape. Through several features, Lifesum makes it easy to track the calorie content of the foods you eat through the following features:
The main attraction for most users is Lifesum’s “diet plan” feature. These plans are customized according to a specific type of diet popular in the health and fitness world. The app usually recommends a type of diet to the user based on the results of his/her health assessment, known as the Life Score. The diet plans come with suggested meal plans and recipes.
Currently, the available diet plans include the following:
To motivate you to take care of your health further, Lifesum has a social community that connects app users with others who are working on the same health goals as they are.
3. My Diet Coach
Users love how this app spurs them on in their health and fitness journey. My Diet Coach can be downloaded for free, with an option to upgrade to a premium account. Subscription prices start at $4.99/month and $29.99/year (billed annually).
The app uses a combination of features to encourage users to stick to their fitness goals. It is designed primarily for those who want to lose weight, and supports this goal with features such as:
Users can customize the app avatar to look like themselves.
The app also provides helpful hints on how you can avoid giving in to food cravings that can ruin your diet.
4. MyPlate Calorie Counter
MyPlate Calorie Counter is one of the best calorie counters available. It is well-designed, providing the necessary information that can help you make the right decisions when it comes to your health and wellness.
This is a free app, but a premium version is also available. Subscribers can choose to upgrade to a Gold Membership that costs $9.99 for a month, $29.99 for six months, and $44.99 for a year.
The calorie counter feature educates you about nutritional content in a way that increases your awareness about your eating habits. The food database allows you to log your food with ease. You receive nutritional information, calorie content, and serving sizes of whatever you eat.
MyPlate allows you to enter your dietary preferences and customize your calorie limits each day. Based on this, the app provides food suggestions that are in line with your dietary preference and caloric goals.
The app can also help track your eating habits to ensure that you’re consuming the right amount of macros. Another helpful feature in your calorie tracking is the progress chart, which lets you see how well you’re doing with your health goals over a specified period of time.
5. Lose It!
Lose It! is another great app that can be primarily used as a diet or weight-loss tool. Users rave about how easy it is to log food intake and exercise in order to keep track of calories. The basic version of this app is free. A premium annual subscription is also available for $39.99.
There are four ways you can log your meals for calorie counting with this app:
- Typing in the food you ate (and matching it with over seven million food items in the app’s database)
- Creating a “recipe” that consists of all the food you usually have during a meal (e.g., two poached eggs, a piece of whole-grain toast, and one ripe avocado for breakfast) instead of logging the food items individually
- Scanning a food item’s barcode
- Taking a picture of the food
The app provides progress reports detailing your calorie and macronutrient consumption, as well as graphs showing the weight you’ve lost over time. Users can choose to get these every week or every month.
FatSecret operates on the premise that those who track their food achieve more than twice the average results for weight loss. It is a free app with options for upgrading to a premium service. A premium subscription costs $6.99 for one month, $19.99 for a quarter (three months), and $38.99 for a year.
The app has a food diary for easy logging of the food you eat. You can track your calories by scanning the barcode of food packages/items, searching for the food item in the food search toolbar, or taking pictures of the food.
While other calorie-tracking apps have issues when it comes to taking snapshots of food that has mixed ingredients (for example, a chicken salad), this app does not have that issue, and can help you track your nutrients with ease.
The app syncs with FatSecret Pro so you can share details about your health habits with your health care provider.
FatSecret provides users with a diet calendar, sharing useful info about the calories you’ve consumed and burned at a glance.
SparkAmerica not only provides the information you need to get the best results in your health and fitness efforts, it is also built upon a community of supportive people (accountability partner, anyone?) who encourage and motivate each other to achieve their goals.
With that said, the app’s calorie tracker is an effective way to monitor the calories you consume and burn in a day. It provides you with the information you need to make better decisions about your eating or exercise habits.
SparkAmerica is a free app. The calorie tracker comes with an extensive food database, a meal-planning feature, a barcode scanner, and an exercise journal.
The road to health is never lonely with this app. With a community of individuals embarking on the same health and fitness journey, you will find a lot of events and fun challenges designed to motivate members as they work their way to better health.
Final Thoughts on Best Calorie Counter Apps
A calorie counter app can help you reach those health goals and avoid the pitfalls of overeating, hard-to-follow diets, or unhealthy food choices. Your eating habits improve when you become mindful of the kinds of food you take in, and calorie trackers can actually help prevent overeating. Portion control becomes easier when you are conscious of what you are consuming. Finally, a good calorie tracker often has suggestions for what to eat if you’re on a specific diet.
Hopefully you’ve found an app that’s right for your needs among the ones featured here.