Best calorie tracking apps for 2020

Best calorie tracking apps for 2020
Summer is upon us. After days of lockdown when the sole travel destination has been the fridge, most of us need a crash course in weight loss. I know sports are a fine way to get in shape, but there’s a caveat. Our bodies are very efficient and designed to burn as little calories as possible when engaging in physical activity. Check this out: If you eat a slice of white bread with some butter on it, you have to run for half an hour to burn it. It’s far easier to control your intake of calories than to overeat and then try to burn the excess.

But can we get a track of the exact calories that enter our body? Today we’ll try to find out, as technology comes to the rescue once again. We’ll take a look at the best calorie counting apps that can help you quickly regain that beach body you probably lost during the isolation. Counting calories isn’t an exact science, so we’ll try to focus on features and ease of use. Let’s get to it!

Best calorie tracking apps for iPhone and Android:


Lose It!


Lose It! is one of the most popular calorie counting apps. It has been around for more than a decade and just keeps getting better. It’s one of my go-to apps when I need to shed some weight each spring. The best thing about Lose It! is the ease of use. You start by adding your stats: current weight, height, date of birth, activity level, and weight goal. The app will then offer three plans to reach your goal (slower to faster) and give you an estimated date of reaching it.



You can log meals in three different ways:
  • The old-fashioned typing, where you search in a food database (you can add your own foods and drinks too)
  • You can scan the barcode (if the food has one)
  • A clever AI-powered image recognition tool. Just point your camera towards the thing you plan to eat or drink and it will recognize the type and caloric value.

The last one actually works pretty well for simple things like granola bars, fruits and vegetables, and drinks like milk or coke. 

The free version of Lose It! offers a ton of useful features: you get a summary of your basic protein, carbohydrates, and fat intake. You can connect a wide variety of fitness trackers and smart scales so the app automatically gets your weight and deduces calories from various activities. There are groups to join for additional motivation, badges to win, and goals to achieve. 


If you decide to go Premium (which will cost you around $39.99/year) you will get even more details. You’ll get expanded micronutrients tracking with sodium, cholesterol, fiber, and sugar with the ability to set goals for each one of them. The premium also adds water intake tracking, body measurements, sleep tracking, fitness guides, nutrition plans, email reports, and many, many more. When it comes to calorie counting Lose It! is one of the best options. 

Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • Detailed tracking even in the free version
  • Image recognition food logging and a barcode scanner
  • Advanced features

Cons

  • Can get overwhelming if you dig deep into the data
  • Advanced features are behind a paywall

Download Lose It! for Android
Download Lose It! for iOS

MyFitnessPal


MyFitnesPal is a behemoth in the diet and exercise tracking industry. There’s no calorie counting app list that can omit it, and many consider it to be the best of them all. The app has more than a million reviews on the App Store and twice that number on Google Play Store. So let’s check what the hype is all about.

MyFitnessPal is the brainchild of the sports apparel brand Under Armour – and it shows. This app is heavily geared towards exercises and workout routines. This doesn’t mean that the app lacks in the nutrition department. Quite on the contrary. MyFitnessPal offers many of the premium options of other similar products for free. It will give you access to nutrition and macro data right away, plus recipes, various plans and it can track water intake as well.


There are tons of apps and devices available for syncing, and you can set goals, reminders – the complete package. Opting for a Premium plan will give you access to personalized goals and meal plans, options to set goals depending on a specific macronutrient, automatic subtraction of exercise calories, and an ad-free experience. It will cost you $49.99/year, but the free version is feature-packed enough as is if you want to save some money.

Pros

  • Feature-packed even in the free version
  • An extensive list of apps and devices to sync
  • One of the largest communities in the industry

Cons

  • Exercise and workout oriented
  • Lacks image recognition magic
  • Premium is a bit pricey

Download MyFitnessPal for Android
Download MyFitnessPal for iOS

Lifesum


Lifesum is focused on dieting and is really good if you just want to follow a diet plan, no exercises involved (you can add activities though, but it’s not the main strength of the app). You start with the basics: gender, height, age, and current weight. Then you choose what you plan to do (there are options to maintain or even gain weight). The diary is pretty basic, although you can add water intake in the free version. There’s a food database and also a barcode scanner.


Lifesum is one of the apps that benefit the most of a Premium account. If you choose to subscribe, you’ll get personalized recipes and plans you can follow, based on your eating habits. The app has a wide range of options: keto diets, detox, paleo, vegan, Scandinavian, fasting, and many more. There’s a helpful little quiz to find your perfect plan, and also a life score test to assess your current health condition. The discounted prices are $14.99 for three months, $20.99 for six months, and $30.99 for a year. 


Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • Lots of diet plans and regimes
  • Barcode scanner
  • Accurate calorie values

Cons

  • Not very detailed macronutrient information
  • All the good stuff requires a Premium subscription
  • Exercise tracking is quite basic

Download Lifesum for Android
Download Lifesum for iOS

My Diet Coach


My Diet Coach bills itself as a weight loss motivation app and tracker. It’s a different approach altogether, and it shows in the app’s interface. When you type in your initial details and goals, you’re taken directly to the reminders section. It is huge and will poke you to track challenges, log your weight, get random motivational quotes, add motivational photos (before/after), and in general do everything to keep you on track. 


After all, every goal requires a certain amount of will and motivation to be successfully accomplished – not just getting your summer body (which is listed by the way as a valid reason to use this app). Maybe that’s the reason why all the good stuff here requires a Premium account.

If you go Premium ($49.99/year) you’ll get even more motivational boosters, a panic button to control your cravings, more tracking tools, challenges, and the ability to copy whole meals in the diary. Sounds a bit expensive but there’s an interesting option to earn Coach Credits (10,000 needed to unlock Premium) by completing various actions on the app or by installing and playing various games.


Pros

  • Simple interface
  • Focused on motivation
  • Before/After pictures
  • Panic button for cravings
  • An alternative way to earn a Premium subscription

Cons

  • No exercise tracking
  • The food diary is very basic
  • Logging food/meals only manually
  • Nice features require a Premium subscription

Download My Diet Coach for Android
Download My Diet Coach for iOS

Nutritionix Track


This app relies heavily on its enormous database. Some of you may be familiar with the Nutritionix website and its tidy standardized food charts. Behind the site (and the mobile app) is a team of certified dietitians who aim to make food tracking your new daily habit. The app itself looks quite simple and the interface is a bit basic, but you get access to 800,000+ food items that cover 95% of the grocery items in the US and Canada.

There’s also 760+ US restaurants that have logged their menus in the app, so you can easily track your calories if you eat out often. The database is impressive – if it’s something you can eat or drink, chances are you’ll find it in this app.


You can track food intake, nutrient totals, weight and weight progress, calorie and macro goals, and water intake. The food search relies on natural language processing technology, and there’s also the option to scan barcodes. Nutritionix Track is free, but there’s also a Pro version that will set you back $39/year, but in return, you’ll be able to share your track log with dietitians on the Coach Portal.

Pros

  • Amazing database of food, grocery items, and restaurant meals
  • Barcode scanner
  • It’s basically free
  • Neat macro charts and tables

Cons

  • Design and interface are a bit dated
  • No sophisticated diet plans, regimes, and tracking options
  • Rudimentary reminders

Download Nutritionix Track for Android

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