Though I am aware that many people avoid recommending calorie counting. I personally have always had success with it and apps have proved to be more than useful! So, if you’re aiming to shed some unwanted pounds and become healthier and fitter for life, below are some apps that might just offer you the tools to get to your goal. You’d be delighted to know that most of these apps are free to download and use!
Image credit: Cris P.
This is my current go-to tracking app. The free version offers enough features to keep anyone happy and the community is a great way to hold yourself accountable (hello, challenges!). You can link your fitness tracker to the account so the activity data is pulled automatically. If you don’t have a tracker, you can record manually. Unfortunately, it offers no way to record the water intake easily.
On the plus side, they introduced a feature which allows you to take a photo of the food and it…tries to recognize it. I found this to be mostly a fun way to log my food because the app would hardly ever figure out everything unless it’s a piece of fruit or it would recognize some veggies from a salad. Though it may not be very effective at identifying food items, at the very least, it’s entertaining!
Aside from adding up the calories by meals, you can also check out the breakdown of nutrients. Last but not least, it gives you an estimated date when you’d reach your goal weight as well as numerous reminders throughout the day to jot down your food intake.
While it is a rather basic app – it doesn’t distinguish between brands, only between food items – it is still useful to determine if what you are planning to eat complies with your dietary restrictions or not. It is extremely useful for those with food allergies, gluten sensitivity, or lactose intolerance.
Image credit: Cris P.
SparkPeople happens to be my first app ‘love’. I started using the web version back in 2006. And as soon as they released their Android app, I installed it on my phone. Tracking is easy and the reports are super detailed (I love the pie charge for the nutrients breakdown). Their articles section offers a wealth of information on a lot of healthy living topics. What’s more is that it gives the option of tracking water intake. Just like the other apps on this list, you can link your fitness tracker to SparkPeople and, of course, you can also record manually.
They cater for special dietary requests, so when you set up the account – or when you edit it, later – you can tell it to show you meal ideas for diabetics or those who prefer a vegetarian diet, for example.
The community is an excellent way to make friends and be part of challenges. Or just ask questions on their boards.
And if you’re a fan of social media sharing, the pages allow you to add a description, photos, and add friends.
Created by the folks at livestrong.com, MyPlate is easy to use for logging food you’ve eaten and exercises you’ve done. You can use the barcode scanner to easily add packaged foods (if they are in the database). It offers a way to easily track water intake and provides support for those who would like to keep track of their fitness efforts.
It is easy to set up – when I entered my goal, it immediately suggests that I should be consuming1,200 calories per day. The account comes with a free meal plan, 10 workout videos, a workout calendar, and daily coaching videos. It is ideal for those who want to emphasize on the exercise part of healthy living.
The detailed reports and community support are also available. Plus, there are a lot of useful articles to read if you are interested in fitness, health, or food related topics.
Image credit: MyNetDiary.com
The developers of the app claim that it is ““simpler, quicker and nicer” in comparison with other trackers (some of which I listed here). It offers a barcode scanner and instant search. The data base is big and the app allows you to sync it with your preferred fitness tracker.
The app can create very visually appealing (and detailed) reports, as well as many options to plan your meals and exercise. And of course, there’s a community to support you and where you can ask questions.
Unfortunately, the app is not completely free but you can use it for 14 days before deciding whether the $60 a year price tag is worth it.
While most of the above apps, as well as apps which come with your fitness tracker, offer the possibility to log water intake, you may find this simple app super useful especially during summers. Yes, we all overestimate how much water we drink and then we are surprised why we have a headache. Not anymore! Keep track of your daily water consumption and avoid dehydration. Oh, and it reminds you to drink water!
Image credit: Creative Travel Guide
One of the most popular food and exercise tracking apps out there, it is straightforward to use and offers the possibility to scan barcodes to easily add prepackaged foods to your meals.
Their blog section includes a lot of useful articles, from recipes to advice on planning for better road trips, and much more. The community (old style message boards) offers an excellent place to find support and ask fitness and nutrition related questions.
The app allows you to connect a fitness tracker with your account so the activity data is synced automatically. And of course, it will nag you with reminders to log your food.
Whether you need to keep your carbohydrates level in check because you have diabetes or you follow a low-carb diet, this app lets you know the total amount of carbs you consumed, as well as provides you with a breakdown by meals. Sure, the feature is included with all trackers we listed but in case you don’t need to count calories and exercise or keep track of your weight, this app is a great choice.
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