Which One Is the Best Fit for You?
A big part of a weight loss, gain, or maintenance plan involves your calorie intake. Using calorie tracking apps can be very enlightening. Many of them break down specific nutrients as well, making it easy to monitor sugar, sodium, or intake of certain vitamins and minerals. Knowing what we’re eating and how we’re expanding it via exercise can give more insight to not only your diet, but how you deal with stress and more. For example, if you look back on a week of food tracking, you might notice that nearly every afternoon you indulge in cookies or high-sugar snacks. This could tell you that you need to modify your lunch to stay full longer, or see what other triggers might be influencing the snacking.
Calorie trackers vary from paid to unpaid with different levels of features. We’ll discuss a little bit more about the top four calorie trackers:
Q&A: Calorie Trackers
1. I want to sync my fitness tracker—what’s my best option?
Many apps have this functionality, but the most robust is definitely MyFitnessPal. It’s also one of the most popular trackers out there, so users can build and create networks within the app. The interface is also fairly intuitive and allows for a high level of customization when it comes to entering foods, exercises, and recipes. From FitBit to Jawbone to manual entry, MyFitnessPal allows for all of it.
2. I need something simple that I can use without a ton of searching and entering—what’s fast and easy to set up?
Lose It! is simple: you enter your weight, height, age, and goals, and the app provides recommendations that may best fit you. They have a team of experts loading their food database with menus of popular restaurants and foods, making it easy for users to search, tap and add calories. You can also set reminders for things like logging meals and drinking more water.
3. What if I don’t have a budget for my calorie tracking?
FatSecret is one of the only apps that is completely free. While MyFitness Pal and Lose It! both have free, introductory levels, access to more insights and features requires payment. With FatSecret you can view a large collection of healthy recipes, nutrition info for all food brands and restaurant, and includes a view of “net carbs,” making it a popular choice for those working toward lower carbohydrate lifestyles.
4. I don’t even know where to start—which app provides the most guidance?
Sparkpeople is a great free, entry-level app for people to track calories, activities, goals, and see progress. The app is great for tracking, but it’s the website on which you’ll find tons of resources on everything from recipes, kinds of diets, and discussion boards where members talk about what’s working for them. Sparkpeople also offers several apps depending on what your needs and interests are. For example, there is an app specifically for pregnant women, and another of just recipes..
Find the Calorie Tracker that Works for You.
If this is your first foray into calorie tracking, download a couple and invest the time in tracking in each for a few days. Note the things you like and don’t like, and make your decision about which one you want to use going forward. The best way to explore options is to try different things—and that goes for your health as well as calorie tracking!
Which calorie tracker have you or someone you know used? Share with us how the tracker helped improve your overall health in the comment box below!