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Best Calorie Counter App

Updated on April 8, 2022
Written by
Ada Sandoval
3 sources cited
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Calories. Nearly everything we eat and drink has them. They’re not necessarily bad. In fact, our bodies need them for energy.

But like anything we consume, too many calories can be bad for our health. When we consume more calories than our body needs or burns, it can lead to weight gain.

If you want to lose weight, you have to reach a calorie deficit. This is where calorie counting comes in.

Counting Calories to Lose Weight

Foods and beverages have a set amount of calories per serving.

A soda can contains an average of 150 calories. But a cup of chopped cabbage only has 22 calories.

You can achieve weight loss by being mindful of your calorie intake. Ideally, you should consume fewer calories than you normally eat or burn. 

This helps you achieve a calorie deficit. Calorie deficiency forces your body to use up stored fats for energy. One way you can do this is to count calories.

5 Best Calorie Counting Apps for Weight Loss

  • Best Calorie Counting App for Weight Loss — Lose It!
  • Best Free Calorie Counter App — MyNetDiary
  • Best Simple Calorie Counting App — Nutritionix
  • Best Calorie Tracker App for Fitness — MyFitnessPal
  • Best Calorie Counter for Healthy Weight — Cronometer

When you count calories, you consider the total calories you consume each day. A simple food diary can help you track what you eat. Unfortunately, you have to manually search foods to see how many calories they contain.

Online tools like FoodData Central make things easier. But the process of having to find foods and record their calories is still time-consuming.

A calorie counter is a more practical solution:

  • It gives you access to a food database
  • Assigns your daily calorie budget
  • Has a food tracking feature
  • Monitors the calories you consume
  • Calculates your total caloric intake

Of course, there are other ways to lose weight without counting calories. But in this review, I’ll talk about the best calorie counting apps if you do want to take that route.

These are apps I personally tried out and tested.

Lose It! — Best Calorie Counting App for Weight Loss

Free with in-app purchases, includes a free 7-day trial

Price: $39.99 per year or $189.99 for a lifetime subscription

Recommended for: Beginners who want to lose weight

Best Calorie Counter App 7

Lose It! has everything you need in a calorie counter. You can log foods and different types of physical activity. It also tracks the calories you eat and burn every day.

In addition to these features, Calorie Counter by Lose It! allows you to set other goals. You can record and track your nutrition, sleep, body measurements, and other health markers such as blood glucose and blood pressure.

Plus, if you’ve taken a DNA test kit, you can upload your raw DNA on the app for more insights into your health. (Here’s a list of the best DNA tests we recommend.)

[Download for iOS] [Download for Android]

What I Like About Lose It!

  • Beginner-friendly calorie counting app with simple goals.
  • Determines your calorie limit based on your measurements.
  • Provides a customized diet plan. You can choose to equally distribute your calories throughout the week or eat more during weekends.
  • Set your own goal date for reaching your ideal weight. The app lets you know if your weight loss goal is easily achievable or not.
  • You can log food and exercise from their database or manually record them. Each food is accompanied by nutritional information.
  • Syncs with fitness devices and apps like Fitbit, Garmin, and Google Fit for automatic exercise logging.
  • Gives a quick preview of your daily calorie spending, including the calories burned through exercise.
  • Helps you monitor other health indicators (e.g., cholesterol intake).
  • Provides additional insights on your eating and exercise habits.
  • Upload your raw DNA data for DNA-powered food suggestions and goals. You can also gain insights on weight loss, food sensitivities, and tastes.
  • Instant access to an online community. You can join groups, add friends, and interact with other users directly on the app.

What I Don’t Like About Lose It!

  • The nutritional information for each food is only helpful if you know how they affect your health.
  • It doesn’t have healthy recipes. You have to make your own.
  • It has too many reports that can overwhelm beginners at first.

MyNetDiary — Best Free Calorie Counter App

Free with in-app purchases, includes a free 7-day trial

Price: $8.99 per month or $59.99 per year

Recommended for: Beginners and experienced dieters who want to lose weight

Best Calorie Counter App 8

MyNetDiary gives you better control of your diet than most calorie counting apps. It offers pre-planned weight loss diets which you can choose from:

  • Calorie counting diet
  • High-protein diet
  • Keto diet
  • Low-carb diet
  • Low-fat diet
  • Macronutrient diet
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Vegetarian diet
  • Vegan diet

Not only does it count the calories in food. It also measures the calories you spend on major macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats.

Premium members can also follow a calorie-restricted diet plan. Calorie restriction limits your daily caloric intake to a set number of calories (e.g., 1,200-calorie diet)

[Download for iOS] [Download for Android]

What I Liked About MyNetDiary

  • Calculates your daily caloric budget and weight loss plan using your measurements and ideal weight.
  • You can search their database for foods and exercise or record them manually.
  • Easily track the calories you consume and have left for the day.
  • Walking and exercise extend your calorie limit so that you can eat more.
  • Provides a daily, weekly, and nutritional analysis of your food and meals.
  • Simple and beginner-friendly layout shows your calorie intake for each meal and all macronutrients.
  • Customize your weekly calorie limit so you can eat more or less on certain days. 
  • Create your own macronutrient diet or select a pre-designed plan. For example, you can portion your calories to 50% carbs, 15% proteins, and 35% fats.
  • If you have special dietary needs, you can set personal limits on how many saturated fats, trans fats, sodium, fiber, and calcium you can eat every day.
  • Plan your meals with its massive database of recipe ideas.
  • Syncs with fitness apps and devices like Fitbit, Garmin, Google Fit, Samsung Health, and Withings.
  • Tracks blood glucose, medications, and other health conditions.
  • Premium members get access to comprehensive reports, recipes, and calorie-restricted diets by registered dietitians.

What I Didn’t Like About MyNetDiary

  • An annual subscription is a bit pricey compared to other calorie counter apps.
  • It doesn’t create your calorie limit and weight plan from the get-go. You have to do this yourself after logging your first meal.
  • Health articles are not accessible on the app. You have to visit their blog.
  • Doesn’t offer community-based support.

Nutritionix Track — Best Simple Calorie Counting App

Free with in-app purchases

Price: $5.99 per month or $28.99 per year

Recommended for: Beginners and experienced dieters who want to lose weight

Best Calorie Counter App 9

Nutritionix is a no-nonsense food diary and calorie counter. Simply log your food and exercise, and it breaks down your calories for additional insights.

[Download for iOS] [Download for Android]

What I Liked About Nutritionix

  • See your total calories. This includes the calories you eat and burn and the remaining calories you have for that day.
  • Get an overview of the calories you consume with each meal.
  • It breaks down your daily calorie intake for proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
  • Extensive food database with the option to manually add foods.
  • Provides tips on different diets, including Atkins and Keto.

What I Didn’t Like About Nutritionix

  • Doesn’t calculate your daily caloric budget and weight loss goals. You have to figure these out yourself, which isn’t exactly beginner-friendly.
  • There’s no exercise database to search from. When you log physical activity, the app automatically calculates the calories you burn based on the time spent.

Cronometer — Best Calorie Counter for Healthy Weight

Free with ads and in-app purchases

Price: $8.99 per month or $49.99 per year

Recommended for: Beginners and experienced dieters with different weight goals; Health professionals who want to manage their patients’ weight

Best Calorie Counter App 10

Cronometer is one of few calorie counting apps that help with different weight goals. Whether you’re trying to lose, maintain, or gain weight — it adjusts your calorie limit accordingly.

What makes Cronometer unique is that it provides calorie adjustments for pregnant women and nursing moms. However, if you are pregnant or nursing, you should see a doctor before starting a diet.

[Download for iOS] [Download for Android]

What I Liked About Cronometer

  • Lets you decide if you want to lose, maintain, or gain weight. You can also set your weekly weight goal (e.g., lose 1 pound every week).
  • Calculates your daily caloric budget and macronutrient targets based on your measurements and goals.
  • Shows the total calories you consume and how much of it goes to each macronutrient (e.g., protein, carbohydrates, and fat).
  • See how many calories you burn through exercise and physical activity.
  • Set daily targets. For instance, you can limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine. 
  • Your daily report reveals deeper insights into your nutrition. These include the amount of vitamins and minerals you get out of food.
  • The Oracle suggests healthy food choices for specific nutrients. (You should take a micronutrient test to find out if you have nutrient deficiencies.)
  • Reveals your dietary trends. It helps you identify unhealthy eating patterns.
  • Premium features are available for dietitians, nutritionists, and health coaches.

What I Didn’t Like About Cronometer

  • The free version includes ads.
  • No healthy recipes. You have to add your own or import recipes from websites.
  • Doesn’t provide health tips or community support.

MyFitnessPal — Best Calorie Tracker App to Stay Fit

Free with in-app purchases, includes a free 30-day trial

Price: $9.99 per month or $49.99 per year

Recommended for: Beginners and experienced dieters who want to be healthy

Best Calorie Counter App 11

MyFitnessPal is one of the best calorie tracker apps for overall health. Unlike others on our list, it helps you make lifestyle changes to reach your goals and stay healthy. It also has a stronger focus on fitness.

[Download for iOS] [Download for Android]

What I Liked About MyFitnessPal

  • Ideal for beginners and experienced dieters.
  • You can use it to lose, gain, or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Besides weight goals, you can choose 2 more health goals: changing your diet, managing stress, or increasing steps.
  • The app sets your daily caloric limit and weekly weight goals based on your measurements. But you can also customize them to your liking.
  • Easily view how many calories you consume and burn each day.
  • If you’re serious about your calorie restriction, you can set a calorie budget for every meal to stay on track.
  • Choose from pre-designed meal plans, workout plans, and nutrition plans to quickly achieve your health goals.
  • Build your own meal plans and exercise routines for cardio and strength.
  • Syncs with fitness devices and apps like Runtastic and Samsung Health for instant activity logs.
  • Get health tips and healthy recipes.

What I Didn’t Like About MyFitnessPal

  • If you want to change your eating habits, you need to have a clear idea of your goals (e.g., track macronutrients, eat less sugar, or switch to a vegan diet).
  • Logging food and exercise often get confusing. When you search their database, multiple entries usually appear for the same item.
  • It’s difficult to connect with people. You can create posts and polls. But you can’t add users as friends or send messages to them from the Community feed.

Lose Weight Without Counting Calories

Exercise and a healthy diet can decrease your calories without counting. You can also try weight loss programs that help with both.

One such program is Noom, which is designed to help you make healthier food choices. You can read our full review of Noom here.

Noom encourages you to eat more “green” foods. Many of these foods (especially fruits and vegetables) can make you feel full and keep you satiated for longer periods.

Green foods or foods with low calorie density also contain few calories. You can eat them in large quantities without worrying about your calorie intake.

Since they’re also rich in nutrients, you get to lose weight and stay healthy.

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Noom Weight Loss

What makes the Noom app truly special is that it doesn’t stop once you lost weight. By offering health coaching, peer support, and education, it establishes healthy habits which can last a lifetime.

Resources

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  1. FoodData Central.” U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  2. Calorie Restriction and Fasting Diets: What Do We Know?” National Institute on Aging
  3. The Best Ways to Cut Calories from Your Diet.” Mayo Clinic.
Ada Sandoval
Ada Sandoval
Content Contributor
Ada Sandoval is a B.S. in Nursing graduate and a registered nurse with a heart for abandoned animals. She works as a content writer who specializes in medical-related articles and pet health.
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