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With the accessibility and convenience of technology, it’s never been a better time for you do get important things done.
And one of those important things is tracking your calories.
Many of us simply don’t have the time to check the calories on every box, package, or meal we eat at a restaurant or at home.
Thankfully, there are websites and apps to help make these calculations for you.
Even better, most of the sites and apps listed below are free!
Don’t waste your time and money. You can sign up in seconds, and these calorie counters are compatible with smartphones, tablets, and iPads.
Undoubtedly, My Fitness Pal’s popularity gives it an advantage in this field.
To help you lose weight, this calorie counter also serves as a fitness and food log.
It allows you to select a variety of exercise activities and food choices, which determine how many calories you’ve burned and consumed.
How it Works
When you click on the food section, select the item you’ve eaten.
Type in your serving (e.g. a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, 1 serving, 438 calories).
As you move through the day, you’ll find out the total calories you’ve consumed from every meal.
For the fitness log, type or select your category of exercise — whether it’s running, rowing, or raking the lawn.
Then you’ll find out how much you’ve burned.
- Effective at Losing Weight. This site allows you to track your food and exercise. Losing weight may not be easy, but the calorie counter definitely helps with weight loss. If you’re disciplined and can really soak up this useful information, you’ll see results in no time.
- User-friendly. This site is so easy to use. Moreover, with the food diary and fitness log, My Fitness Pal will actually save your favorite meals. Then you won’t have to search for it again. And let’s say your favorite sport isn’t there? Just type it in, and it’ll find it. It includes millions of daily food products—from Krispy Kreme’s glazed donut to Cooked Tuna Roll Sushi.
- It’s free!
- Possible Inaccuracy. Many of the foods you’ll see are uploaded by other users, so there’s no guarantee you’re getting accurate information.
- Not Calorie-specific. Your serving might be larger or smaller than the one listed. And it’s hard to edit, especially if the calorie intake was uploaded by another user.
This calorie counter is also a fitness tracker and food diary.
It’s very helpful at providing a recommendation for caloric intake (based on your age, height, and weight, and goals).
It also allows you to connect to other fitness sites and add new foods.
How it Works
When you set up your profile, you’ll fill out your age, height, weight, and gender.
Then after your set personalized goals, Lose it! will recommend a weight loss plan.
It’s also an online community, so you’ll be able to access challenges and get inspiration from other users.
- Food Tracking is Easy. You have 3 ways to track your food, and each one is simple. You can search of 7+ million categories and restaurant items. You can even scan the nutritional label of the food or snap a picture.
- Motivation. Lose it! is also unique because of its online community. Frequent challenges, support, and inspiration from other users can certainly motivate you to lose weight.
- Additional Features. More features are added with the Premium option, which includes Custom Themes, Water Tracking, Macronutrient Goal Setting, and a Recipe and Workout Library. To get these add-ons, you’ll have to pay $3.33 per month. But that isn’t too bad, considering the rewards.
- Pay or Don’t Pay. If you don’t have the Premium option, you won’t be able to track your daily intake of micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
- Website Clutter. The website is user-friendly, but with the app, information can be very cluttered and hard to navigate. You’ll still be able to find a variety of food items and exercise to choose from, but it’ll be difficult to track homemade meals.
FatSecret hosts a food diary, exercise log, and healthy recipes.
This calorie counter is the type of platform that will break down your daily, monthly, and meal-by-meal intake.
How it Works
Signing up is very easy. You can use your Google+ Account, Facebook, or email.
Just type in home-cooked meals or popular food brands.
You’ll be able to find just about anything — from Trader Joe’s Dozen Macaron to Vanilla Pudding.
- Accessible Features. With millions of food options and brand names to choose from, the large database makes it easy to track any meal, snack, or desert. The features on the site and app are easy to find and simple to adjust.
- Great Breakdown. The great thing about FatSecret is that it’s very specific. You can easily track your progress with the breakdown it provides. And it allows you to see a daily or monthly summary, which showcases the carbs, proteins, and fats for every meal.
- Chat Community. FatSecret also includes an online community, which is unique because you can chat with other users. You can share success stories, advice, recipes and (of course) challenges.
- Takes some time to adjust. Because the website can feel very cluttered, new users will have to become acclimated.
Cron-o-meter tracks your diet, exercise, and body weight.
It also includes a breakdown of carbs, fat, and protein by using visual features.
In just one chart, you’ll be able to find a bar graph that captures the breakdown.
How it Works
Cron-o-meter is a calorie counter, so you can use it for just calorie counting OR an entire diet plan.
Tell Cron-o-meter if you’re following a specific diet.
Then they’ll give you a bit of new information. For example, the micronutrient recommendation can be lower or higher.
By sharing your goals, diet, and profile, Cron-o-meter will individualize an original plan for you to lose weight.
For less than $3, you can get a Gold Upgrade, which includes additional features, no advertisements, and a deeper analysis.
- Offers Precision. When you track the foods you eat, Cron-o-meter will allow you to put in the exact serving. So it’s easy to find the accurate number of calories, protein, and fats you consumed.
- Individualized Plan. The great thing about this site is that it’s more than a calorie counter. It creates a specific plan for you, based on your needs, desires, and goals. They also have a profile option for pregnant and lactating women.
- User-Friendly. The website and app are definitely easy to access, navigate, and adjust to.
- Pricing. The website is free, but the app does cost money. You’ll have to decide if it’s worth $2.99.
- No Homemade Meals. The database includes a variety of food items, brands, and restaurants. But you won’t be able to add homemade meals.
- Breakdown. Cron-o-meter doesn’t divide the food diary into meals.
SparkPeople tracks nutrition, activity, and progress.
It includes a barcode scanner for packaged foods, and a pie chart with a breakdown of carbs, protein, fat, and (of course) calories.
After you navigate through the website, you’ll see that Spark People is definitely an interactive community.
They even have a spark.tv!, where you can see workout videos, dance showcases, and yoga.
How it Works
Once you sign up, you’ll be able to track your food, exercise, and weight.
Over time, you’ll get ‘Spark Points’ for your progress.
And they have additional features (such as Spark Mail and Spark Recipes).
- Interactive Community. The community on SparkPeople is definitely a plus. You’ll be able to access challenges, Spark Pages (personal homepages), success stories, and even a message board. And through interaction on the social network, the app will cause you to stay motivated.
- Resourceful. SparkPeople includes plenty of resources to take advantage of. From original recipes to blog feeds, the immense amount of information is a very helpful add-on. Click on Learn, and you’ll discover dozens of articles, recipes, and videos related to Nutrition, Weight Loss, and Fitness.
- User-friendly. Both the website and app are accessible and easy to navigate. If you tend to frequently eat the same foods, you can simply copy and paste them or save them in your profile. SparkPeople makes it easy to track your progress.
- Spread Out. There’s a lot of information on this website. So it may be hard to find a specific forum that appeals to your needs, other than the one for pregnant women and recipes.
- The App. Many users have complained about difficulty with logging food on the app.
If you know you want a diary for your diet and calories, the long title is worth it.
It allows you to track your nutrition, weight, and exercise.
How it Works
Download the app for free on your smartphone, tablet, or iPad.
It usually comes as an app, but there is a website called medhelp.com (which can be tricky when going back and forth between the site and the app).
But if you sign up for free, you’ll be able to access a forum and daily tracker.
- Forum. The forum is definitely helpful for answering questions and providing support.
- Health Tools. The app offers tools for a variety of purposes. For example, there are options for pregnant women, diabetics, and (of course) dieters.
- Don’t Count on the Website. The website doesn’t take you straight to the Calorie and Food Tracker. So for a person only concerned about counting calories and tracking nutrition, the app is the best option.
Do you want to lose weight? Are you tired of stepping on the scale without seeing results?
Or are you just curious to find out how you’re doing health-wise?
Whatever the reason, you have many options for calorie counters.
And since each site and app are very different, you have plenty of resources to discover.
Also, you don’t have to track your calories all the time. If you’re on a daily plan, take a break for a while.
Calorie counting is important, but there are also many other aspects to consider as you move forward.
So go ahead and check out these calorie counters! But remember the most important thing – do what’s best for you.