Staying in shape can be very difficult, especially when it is so easy to stop for take out on your way home. The best way to keep track of how much you’re consuming is to count calories, which isn’t a fun or interesting process for most. Luckily, it is 2015 and there is an app for everything. These apps will do all calculations and math so you’re free to think about other things, like how expensive the Apple Watch is going to be. All of these apps are free and put a focus on safely losing weight.
1. Lose It!
Setting up this app is extremely easy, plug in your age, height, weight and target weight. Then throughout your day, search for the food you’re eating throughout the day in the large library of food. All of those calories will be calculated in a graph on the home screen. It displays a graph for the day and also for the week, so you can easily see how well you’re doing. People take group workout classes because having other people around puts the pressure on to do well. Lose It! uses this idea as well. Connect with Facebook and use your friends to stay motivated. When you sign up for an account with your email, the app will send blog posts about nutrition. It’s a nice way to stay knowledgeable about the food you’re eating.
- Reminders to work out and log meals
- Fun challenges to keep you motivated and virtually meet people
- Ability to message within the app to encourage others
- Difficult to create a challenge
- There are so many options in each menu page that it can be hard to navigate
- Can’t import recipes
With a focus on both food and exercise, MyFitnessPal is a complete weight loss tool. Enter in all your information at the top and put in wether or not you want to lose, gain or maintain your weight. The app not only counts the calories you intake but also considers how much physical activity you do. Search for different kinds of exercise from running to yoga to cleaning. Like Lose It! there is a social media function and you can actually message your friends within the app so you can encourage each other directly. There is also a graph that not only breaks down how many calories you’ve had but also what types of food. That way you can see exactly how much of your diet is carbs or protein. You can sync with your computer so no matter were you are you can record your daily intake.
- Your profile can be accessed from either your phone or computer
- Blog posts about healthy eating and fitness on homepage
- Can connect to a smartwatch or smart pedometer to track steps
- Hard to find nutrition breakdown
- Free version has ads
- Doesn’t have a graph showing what breakdown of daily or weekly calories
3. Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker
Keeping track of everything you’re eating can be exhausting, which is why this app has a voice activation feature. Just say “one bagel with cream cheese” and it will record the calories from that meal. It also comes with a barcode scanner so you can get the exact nutrition facts from packaged foods. This allows for really accurate break downs. You can set goals like “run an extra half mile,” or “don’t eat any fast food,” and check them off throughout the day. Calorie Counter delivers letter grades at the end of the day on not only how well you did nutritionally but also how closely you stuck to your goals.
- Includes a water counter
- Easy to interact with other people
- Able to take photos of meals and record favorites
- Front page is a bit muddled with social updates
- Hard to get back to Home page
- No scan feature
Fooducate is for the nutrition nerds. Search or scan packaged foods and get a complete nutritional break down. Not just how many calories you’re consuming but also amounts of fat, carbs or protein. If you don’t have a barcode for something you can type it into the database and the app will deliver the pros and cons about it so you know just what you’re getting. If you can’t find the food you want you can submit it to the company and it will be analyzed. One of the most useful features of the app is that it can look for certain allergies in food like nuts or gluten and alert you to them.
- Access to Fooducate blog with tips on healthy eating
- The scanner is accurate and easy to use
- Letter grade assigned to each food
- Ads can be distracting
- Difficult to navigate back to the main tracker
- No daily nutrition breakdown
5. My Diet Diary
My Diet Diary looks beautiful. The menus are easy to navigate and the background of the main menu is a soothing sail boat at sunset. Scroll down and how many grams of carbs and fat you have left for the day and which vitamins you’re missing. Food intake and exercise are very important to a healthy lifestyle but many forget that water plays a large part. My Diet Diary keeps track of how many glasses of water you’re consuming. The app also acts as a nagging friend and will remind you when you should eat or exercise. It leaves no room for excuses so you will feel pressured to stick to your daily goals.
- Interesting and beautiful interface
- Break down of which vitamins you’re consuming the most
- Multi-add function for food
- Smaller, less-involved social function
- Ads at the top of tracker can blend in with app
- No graph breakdown of nutrients