App Roundup: Best Calorie Tracking App

Although fitness trackers have advanced to the point of being small concealable devices that can calculate your daily caloric burn, these trackers are nothing without the apps to power them. And while many devices come with their own dedicated calorie tracker app, they can sometimes be a little limited in how they go about tracking your food intake. Many of them require you to enter each type of food in manually and to not contain much in the way of  food databases or nutrition information.

Many people may even choose to ignore this portion of the app altogether. But research has shown that keeping track of your daily food intake will not only help you lose weight, but also make healthier food decisions over time.

That’s why it’s probably important to get a map that is specifically tailored to tracking your food intake. So we put together this guide on the best calorie tracking apps 2016. Many of the apps on this list will do just that, and some even have huge databases pretty much every type of food you can think of.

Lose IT!

Lost it! has its competitors beat, at least when it comes to the visual aspect of things. It Is definitely one of the more aesthetically pleasing food tracker apps on the market. And the exercise tracking portion is top-notch. The app contains pretty much every fitness related activity you can think of - including metrics for tracking most cardio/weight machine style workouts. When you log an activity you will be able to set the intensity level as well which is a nice touch.

The only downside is that the database is a little limited – for the most current part you only find them most basic mass produced store bought style foods. If it’s anything even remotely asked obscure expect to have to add it manually. This is a rather time consuming process that is probably best done through Lose its web based portal.

SparkPeople

Spark people is a popular diet website that is host to over 12 million active users. The app is fairly robust and is almost as popular as their website. Like most calorie counters, you will be able to track your exercise sessions and log your calories. You can also compete with other users in the kind of weight loss game. This is common among fitness trackers, but it’s a little rare for standalone apps. It’s nice to see that this is been included here.

The spark people database is easily on one of the largest food databases we’ve ever seen. The app can access over 3 million different food choices, and even if you can’t find the food you’re looking for you can always use the embedded barcode scanner to add it to the database.

Extras include using your device GPS as a makeshift pedometer, and an exercise demonstration database that will show you how to use the correct form on most popular exercise routines.

Livestrong

For the most part, the Livestrong app is a pretty good calorie counter. But the reason we chose to include it here is because actually has a very good physical activity section. In fact, it’s one of the most detailed physical activity sections we’ve ever seen in a fitness app. For instance, if you try to input and an activity like cycling, most apps would just leave it at that. But the live Strong app has metrics for tracking every different kind of cycling from two people tandem bikes through unicycles. Pretty impressive.

While it’s not quite on par with spark people’s food database, the Livestrong app has a pretty solid selection of nutritional info on most popular foods. And the app does allow you to add your own thanks to an embedded barcode scanner.

LifeSum

The Lifesum app is another great calorie tracker that is gaining a lot of popularity in the UK. It’s food database consists of over 5 million different food items and of course it has a barcode scanner so you can add your own at any time.

The major advantage of the Lifesum app is its interconnectivity options: you’ll be able to share data between many popular first party apps, such as Fitbit, Garmine, Jawbone, and the Withings app. This is especiall useful if you use the Withings sleep tracker, since you will be able to import all your sleep data into the app as well.

Calorie Counter

Everydayhealth has come up with a sleek and well-designed health app that is a solid candidate for the best calorie tracker. The app is very easy to use. And it shows too: we found that their app requires the fewest number of taps to enter a new food item. 

The app also has all the usual calorie counting functions, such as a food database and a barcode scanner. Where the app really shines is its "eating out" meal planner. When you go to it restaurant, you can input the food choices into the app. The app will then spit out a colored light to give you an idea of whether or not you’re going to go over your goal. 

Im2Calories

While not a calorie tracking app per se, Google’s calorie counting app can still help you get a good idea of your overall caloric intake. It just does it in a unique and fun way.

Rather than asking you to pick out a bunch of foods from a large database or add your own foods into it manually, the app will simply ask you to take a picture of each meal you eat. Afterwards, it will analyze the photo and try to determine the total amount of calories contained within said meal.

Although the app isn't 100% accurate this can be a fun way to keep track of your caloric intake.

My Diet Coach

My Diet Coach is an app tailored specifically towards women looking to lose weight. This app easily wins our award for "most easiest to use". The interface is very simplistic and cartoonish but very personalized. It comes with a virtual avatar that is supposed to represent how fit or unfit you are, which is a nice touch. You will get daily rewards and helpful tips to keep you on track for your goals. The app is very good meal tracker and will warn you with an alarm when your consuming too many calories based upon your BMI index.

The app also has a personalized diary for keeping notes you can refer to later, and a panic button that you can press if you feel you are about to lose control of your diet.

Mynet Diary

This app may not have the biggest food database – only around hundred 700,000 items – but what it lacks in data it makes up in usability and gorgeous visuals. It’s biggest strength is that it is able to track over 45 different nutrients, which is a cut above most calorie tracking apps.

The app is also compatible with many fitness the trackers which is a huge plus.

Fooducate

Fooducate carries much of the same functionality as many other calorie counting apps. However, the focus seems to be on teaching users to make healthy food options, rather than just counting calories.

The app works by giving you a food grade between a through D. A being the healthiest and D being the most unhealthy. This is a much more simplistic way for people to learn about food rather than trying to remember complicated chemical names or nutritional data.

Scanning a food item will give you intricate details about the item item. You’ll build to see many hidden details, such as: added sugars, trans fats, MSG content, and artificial sweeteners.

Happyscale

Okay it’s not a calorie tracker but we would be remiss if we did not include Happyscale here. Happyscale is for all those people who are tired of seeing their weight lower one day and higher the next. Instead of giving you an actual number to the shoot for, this app will give you a milestone to work towards. It will show your average weight loss over time, which take some of the sting out of the natural ups and downs of weight loss.

More Apps

When it comes to calorie tracking, your options are pretty much limitless. But there are a lot of mediocre apps on the market, and that can make choosing one a bit difficult. If you are armed with the above information however, you should be able to see and try the best food tracking apps on the market.

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Alex Fischer