Created for Greatist by the experts at Healthline. Read more
Weight loss is so hard, yet so simple. Calories eaten minus calories burned equals weight lost. But if you suck at math, manually recording every bite you take is about as thrilling as sitting through a Ben Stein econ class (anyone? anyone?).
Thankfully, there’s a bunch of calorie-tracking apps available to crunch the numbers for you. Many of them even serve as personal AI trainers, offering rewards and encouragement without the obnoxious shouting in your face. Now LET’S GO! YOU GOT THIS!
Why use a calorie tracker?
Here are the most fabulous calorie-tracking apps on the market if weight loss is on your to-do list.
A note on our methodology:
We asked a number of questions to determine if each app we tested should appear on our list. Is it highly rated? Does it offer something unique? Is it user-friendly? Is it reliable and free of bugs? Does it drain a smartphone’s battery? Can it continue to grow and innovate? Apps that scored well on all criteria ended up on the final list. They’re in no particular order.
With over 80 million users and counting and one of the largest databases (containing 11 million food options), MyFitnessPal is the OG calorie counter. Its customized diet plans also cater to each user’s unique weight loss goals.
It’s loaded with cool features like a barcode scanner, a handy recipe calculator for home-cooked meals, and the ability to remember your favorite foods.
It also offers over 350 workouts and the option to sync over 50 different fitness apps and devices. The company’s claim that “it’s almost like having a nutrition coach right inside your pocket” is pretty spot-on!
True to its name, this app is all about community. If you’re big on socializing and team motivation, this app is for you.
Create your own custom food plan, or choose from their list of specialized diet plans such as low sodium and low cholesterol.
To keep you motivated, they break down your weight loss goals into four separate phases, hoping to “spark” your inner health nut to stay the course.
If you want to take a deep dive into your macros, micros, and biometrics, Cron-o-meter is the app for you. It uses a visually-appealing and easy-to-digest graphing system to display your detailed daily nutritional intake of 60+ nutrients for over 300,000 foods.
With its comprehensive biometric tracking, including blood pressure, blood sugar, ketones, and cholesterol, Cron-o-meter is a top choice for science nerds and anyone on a special diet like keto.
This app wins for ease of use. It’s one of the easiest and quickest platforms for logging your daily food intake, and it even offers a photo-recognition feature that gives its best guess of what you’re eating with the snap of a photo.
It’s not always accurate, but it’s definitely a good start for those of us looking for a fast upload option.
The free version of this platform offers some unique features that other apps don’t, such as the ability to export your data onto a spreadsheet. Also free is their data-sharing feature, which sends your daily food and exercise deets directly to the health professional of your choice.
When it comes to food, it’s okay to be a little judgy. Fooducate’s handy food grading system ranks foods on a scale of A-D based on their overall nutritional quality and affordability. It has a convenient barcode scanning feature, making it a great grocery shopping buddy to help you quickly determine which foods are cart-worthy and which to roll on by.
The premium version allows for more customized meal planning and personalization of dietary goals.
This app starts with a quiz to help you choose the right diet plan based on your weight loss goals and your food preferences.
Once the quiz is complete, the platform will suggest a diet plan for you. The free version offers a “classic” diet, and the premium version includes seven common diet plans such as keto, Scandinavian, and 5:2.
Lifesum is easy to use, offers healthy tips to become nutritionally savvy, and syncs to Fitbit and other fitness devices for convenience.
As with MyFitnessPal, Lifesum also makes drinking water fun by letting users quickly tap a glass icon to track hydration.
If you appreciate a little hand holding on your weight loss journey, this may be the app for you. My Diet Coach believes losing weight is mostly “mental,” and strives to keep you focused and disciplined by setting reminders, doling out rewards, and offering motivational quotes to help you reach your weight loss goals.
The pro version takes the personal coaching role to a more intense level with their cravings “panic” button, which can help turn a near donut disaster into a health victory.
If you’re unsure of what to put on your plate, MyPlate has delicious 8-week meal plans for vegans, vegetarians, omnivores, and carnivores.
They also offer 24/7 community support, a large food database, a barcode scanner, personalized daily calorie goals, and a robust nutritional tracking system.
It shines for helping users fine-tune their eating habits to better achieve their weight loss goals while still getting enough important nutrients.
The Fitbit app is both a fitness diary and a food journal. The app can be used alone to track basic activity on your phone, or linked with a Fitbit device and Aria Smart Scale to get a full picture of your health. The app tracks distance covered, calories burned, sleep cycles, and weight.
It also has a cool feature called Calorie Coach, which lets you create a diet plan with weight loss goals, allowing you to observe how many calories you take in versus how many calories you expend in a day.
As you go throughout your day your physical activity is tracked, and your daily calorie needs are adjusted along with it.