Food & Nutrition

4 useful apps to help you track your calorie intake (tried & tested)

Published by Finn Hayden

There is no getting around it, if you want to lose weight then you need to control your calorie intake. Many of us think that we can count our calories simply by "guesstimating" how many calories we're eating, but if you've ever tried doing that then you'll know it's much easier said than done.

That's why calorie counter apps can be so useful - with these apps, you simply input the foods that you're eating, and the app will count the calories for you. There are quite a few calorie counting apps like this available to download, so we thought it would be useful to round up the best free and paid apps like this that you can download, based on our experiences and on third-party reviews. Let's get into it:

Calorie Counter + by Nutracheck

The Calorie Counter + app from Nutracheck requires you to create an account with your email, but it only takes a few seconds. Once you've input your height and weight as well as a few other details, you can get started with it immediately. The search function worked really well in the Nutracheck app, and for every product that we wanted to input, we managed to find accurate calories for it within the app. You can even specify how much of the product you ate and the app will give you a calorie intake for that amount. The Nutracheck app also features a barcode scanner, which makes inputting your meals and snacks into the app even easier. You just scan the barcode of the item that you're eating (if it has a barcode), and the app will instantly add it to your daily intake along with calorie information. We're also impressed to see that Nutracheck has an 'Excellent' rating on Trustpilot from more than 1900 reviews. Learn more and download the app here for Android and here for iOS.

Nutracheck app

Lose It!

We'd say of all the calorie counter apps we tried for this guide, Lose It! had the best setup process - the app asks you about your weight goals and current stats like the other apps, but we also loved that the app asked us to really reflect on why we were wanting to use the app, how we felt about using the app, and how important it was for us to lose weight. The app also asked us if we'd counted calories before, which none of the other apps asked us. If we answered no, the app gave us an overview of how calorie counting works. The app also lets you pick "high days" where your calorie intake might be higher during the week, but this is just an option and not something you need to pick, and it also allows you to incorporate intermittent fasting into your diet if you wish. Once you've set up the app and outlined your goals, the app itself is really straightforward to use - you search for the items that you've eaten within the app, and you select how much of the item you've eaten, then you add it to your daily intake. You can set up notifications for the app which is really motivating, as you'll be sent notifications when you've logged several days in a row. There is no barcode scanner within the app, but the search function is very good. The free version of the app has everything you need to accurately track your calories, and there are some adverts but they're only for the premium version of the app and they're very minimal. Learn more and download the app here for Android and here for iOS.

Lose It! app

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal probably doesn't need much introduction for most people as it's easily the most popular calorie tracking app out there, with more than 100 million downloads from Google Play Store. And we're not too surprised by this - the app makes tracking and counting calories extremely simple, even within the free version. We'd probably say that MyFitnessPal had the best product search function of all the apps that we tried for this guide. We really tried to find obscure products, and the app managed to find all of them and give accurate calorie counts for all of them too. Another really useful feature of MyFitnessPal is that the app gives you a really accurate estimate of how many calories you've burnt via exercise, so you know how many calories you can eat for the remainder of the day based on your weight loss goals and how much exercise you've done. The free version gives you everything you need to count calories accurately, and we don't think the adverts are too intrusive. Learn more and download the app here for Android and here for iOS.

MyFitnessPal

Cronometer

Cronometer starts by asking you about your weight goals and your current stats, including your height, weight, and activity levels. You need to create an account which takes just a minute, Like some of the other apps we've included in this guide, Cronometer also includes a very helpful barcode scanner to make adding products to the app even easier. Once you've logged data every day for a while, you'll have access to some really interesting charts and reports which show you what your calorie intake has been like over time. Learn more and download the app here for Android and here for iOS.

Cronometer

We hope this guide helps you to find a great calorie counting app. Let us know if you've downloaded any of these or if you have any other recommendations for us to try.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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