Calorie Tracking – Comparing the top 6

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If you’re currently on a workout program, you don’t want to run or spend hours on the treadmill without figuring out how many calories you’ve burned off. There are a lot of calorie trackers out there that work well but the choice of a particular tracker will depend on various factors. Below is a brief guide on 6 best food & calorie trackers you can choose from. They have been evaluated based on intuitiveness, hardware design, comfort and other factors. We’ll take into account aspects like GPS accuracy, heartbeat monitoring, distance calculations, and user experience. Other factors considered include the ability of the apps to accommodate third-party applications and if they can support coaching & diet tracking.

MyFitnessPal

myfitnesspalTo help you stay on diet on the go, MyFitnessPal has a huge food database (2 million plus entries and growing) available in its diet tracker, web-based presence, as well as in iPhone and Android apps. This app allows you to use the diet tracker regardless of where you eat – whether at your home or at the restaurant. It supports a vast range of restaurant menus, so all you need to do is to just log your food into the app, and you’re good to go. It does not only give you the overall calorie intake but goes further to highlight the specific amounts of vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your diet. It’s a free app that can be synchronized with other external trackers and scales like Fitbit. You can easily look up and track the foods you are consuming with the help of a recipe calculator and barcode scanner for inputting custom creations.

Advantages

  • It has a massive community that helps dieters share information
  • It has the largest food database as compared to all other calorie tracking apps
  • One can download recipes from the web and use MyFitnessPal to find out the calorie content of each serving

Disadvantages

  • There may be multiple entries for the same food type
  • Most foods are uploaded by users and hence nutritional content may not be accurate

My Diet Diary

mydietfitThe ergonomics, intuitiveness, and the looks of My Diet Diary is amazing. The background of the main menu is designed to make navigation easy for you to select whatever you want with ease. This tracker will always give you stats of how many carbs and fat you’ve taken and how many are remaining before you go beyond your maximum calorie intake for the day. The app also will remind you when to eat and the time to go for an early morning jog. It also keeps track of the amount of water you’ve had during the day. The app sends reminders to you so that you can maintain your dietary goals of the day.

Advantages

  • Beautiful and easy-to-use interface
  • Gives a breakdown of the vitamins you’re consuming
  • Supports addition of other foods
  • Supports iOS and Android

Disadvantages

  • It has a smaller community as compared to other apps
  • It doesn’t include a graph to showcase nutrient intake for the day

Fooducate

fooducateIf you’re a nutrition nerd, then this is the best diet tracker for you. With Fooducate you can scan and search for packaged foods and get a comprehensive nutritional guide. The app gives you the chance to stick to your diet plan by giving you the breakdown of carbs, fats and proteins you’ve taken. If you can’t find a barcode for a particular food, type and search the Fooducate’s database and you’ll get the pros and cons of what you’re about to consume. It goes beyond what ordinary apps do by looking for food components that can cause allergies.

If you always cook your own meals or eat out, you can also manually enter a meal’s nutritional information. To remove nagging ads and to unlock certain features, you can subscribe for a pro version of the app. Fooducate is a calorie and exercise tracker that allows you to shop and eat healthy by retrieving nutritional information about food products from barcodes.

Advantages

  • Free access to the Fooducate blog where they offer tips on a healthy diet
  • The barcode scanner is accurate and easy to use
  • The app displays a letter grade from A to D, along with a small summary of nutritional information in simple language

Disadvantages

  • The ads present in the free version are sometimes annoying
  • Navigation is not that easy as compared to My Diet Diary
  • Again, there’s no daily nutrition breakdown

LoseIt!

loseitThis is another diet tracker that comes with a user friendly food diary and exercise log. The app has a huge food database meaning that you can readily find the nutritional information of the food you want. Moreover, you can synchronize the LoseIt! App with a pedometer or any other fitness device. It provides personalized calorie recommendation as soon you log your height, weight, age and dietary goals. The commonly used foods can be saved under the quick entry section. It also contains a barcode scanner for packaged foods and it displays daily and weekly diets as well as weight changes on a graph. With premium membership ($39.99), you can log additional information, get more extra features and set more goals.

Advantages

  • Ability to add custom recipes and personal foods
  • Synchronizes with several activity trackers and smart scales, such as Jawbone Up & Withings Smart Scale
  • It can connect with external apps and services like Runkeeper to pull in your activity data
  • The “challenges” tab will help you adhere to your plans as you’re competing with your friends to beat a certain goal within a specified period

Disadvantages

  • It’s difficult to log home-cooked foods and calculate their nutritional value
  • Their blog is sometimes slow
  • The app doesn’t keep a track on vitamins and minerals.

FatSecret

fatsecretFatSecret is one of the best free diet trackers out there that offers absolute independence as it doesn’t push to you fad diets or customized diet plans. As soon as you sign up and account with them, you’ll get to track your meals and exercises. The food database is also open for people who haven’t signed up. The app has almost everything you can get in premium-rated apps. It offers a food diary, healthy recipes, nutrition database, exercise log, journal, weight chart and mails. The interface is intuitive and its homepage is designed to show total calorie intake plus a breakdown of proteins, carbs and fat. Moreover, Fatsecret gives a monthly summary of total calories consumed in a month and for each day, a feature that enables you to track your overall progress. The community challenge included in the app motivates and inspires you to lose more weight and stick to your diet plans.

Advantages

  • The food database is huge and the app allows additions of other foods from users.
  • Foods from other users are displayed for you to verify if the nutritional value is accurate
  • It has a barcode scanner for packaged foods and syncs well with third-party trackers and calorie counters

Disadvantages

  • Sometimes the interface can be confusing for new users

SparkPeople

spark_peopleThis is basically a network of nutrition-based sites, with each site focusing on a particular area of one’s health & wellness. With this tracking service, you can track mineral, vitamin, sugar, protein, fat and other food components. You can add your own meals with their ingredients and their nutritional value will be displayed. It supports sport mobile apps for iPhone and Android as well as a barcode scanner for packaged food. In addition, it has multiple mobile apps and online forums to help you share information with other dieters.

Advantages

  • SparkPeople is full of resources on a variety of health topics
  • It has one of the web’s biggest databases of food and nutrition
  • It’s an ideal option for anyone looking for a really deep community and a powerful tracking tool

Disadvantages

  • The site can be overwhelming for new users as it contains tons of information
  • The content is spread over multiple apps, something which is really confusing
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The GYM team has been writing articles for the health and fitness community for over 10 years. From gym equipment, to fitness & meal plans, they've helped thousands of individuals get on track with their goals.