If you are at the starting line of a healthier life, or have simply veered off course, a food calorie counter app is a great first step. There are several weight loss apps, exercise trackers and online food journals to choose from. We scoured the interwebs and found the best of the best for what you need.
Best free calorie counter apps to live healthy
1. Calorie counter: For straight up tracking food, the best free calorie counting app is MyNetDiary. With over 570,000 items from restaurants, brand names and common foods in its nutrition database, it blows other apps out of the water for ease of entering meals. It includes mobile and desktop dashboard syncing, where other apps charge for this feature. If you’re the “knowledge is power” type, you can stay connected and on track with blogs, articles and forums supported by a Registered Dietitian. You can even submit your reports to the RD or share with friends for accountability and motivation. Upgrade option: The coolest feature, in my opinion, is that with MyNetDiaryPro ($9.99), you can monitor your body measurements, blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, medications and diabetes-specific conditions. You can truly track your nutrition from a 360* perspective, to live your healthiest life!
2. Diet and exercise tracker: If you are looking to track calories and exercise, I recommend MyPlate Calorie Tracker from LIVESTRONG.COM. It’s the one I use to keep myself on track, and despite Mr. Armstrong’s choices, I truly believe in the LIVESTRONG.COM community. This diet and fitness tracker is very really user-friendly, the food barcode scanner works better than most to quickly log food and the exercise component is not an after thought, it’s a priority. You can access workouts from trainers and meal plans from nutritionists, and various graphs and charts are helpful and clear. My favorite feature is the unique water tracking to help ensure you are staying hydrated. LITE is the free, ad supported version of Calorie Tracker and does not include synchronization between devices or with the LIVESTRONG.COM website. If you upgrade to the full version later ($2.99), your data will be migrated automatically.
3. Online weight loss: Lose It! helps you set a daily calorie limit, track your food and exercise, and stay motivated to make smarter choices and achieve your goals. What sets this weight loss app apart is the social component, giving you the option to link with family, friends or total strangers for motivation, accountability or a little old fashion competition. Plus, it’s compatible with nearly every other gadget you have – smartphone, pedometer, wireless scale, and more! One negative is the food and exercise database is not as extensive as other apps, but if you have a decent handle on that and are simply looking for a “team” mentality, this is the app for you.
4. Coolest food tracker: By far the coolest calorie counter app is Eatly. Simply snap a photo of your meal and get instant feedback of how healthy your food is. You can also play games to contribute to the app – receive pictures of meals other users have entered and rate the “healthiness” of their choice. The idea of the app is that eventually you will learn good versus bad eating by sight, and chose your meals accordingly. Feedback is so-so. Users say the lack of accurate calories counts is frustrating, but the ability to take a quick pic at a restaurant for an instant rating of healthiness is much easier than entering in every ingredient at the table. I’d say this app should be a sidekick to your food and exercise journal, not the star of the show.
So grab your tablet or phone and start downloading for a healthier day! Having trouble taking that first step? Try a Fitbit to get motivated to exercise.