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Home / Tips and Tricks / The 5 Best Meal Tracking Apps for Managing Your Diet & Counting Calories «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

The 5 Best Meal Tracking Apps for Managing Your Diet & Counting Calories «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

Whether for health reasons or just to look better, many of us want to get in better shape. It's a long process that starts with diet, and dieting is never easy. Fortunately, there are some great food tracking apps that make it a lot easier to become a healthier version of yourself.

According to a study that was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings only 38% of Americans had a healthy diet (based on the Healthy Eating Index). With easy access to high calorie foods and little nutritional knowledge, many Americans find it difficult to avoid unhealthy options.

Food tracking apps alleviate these problems. Tracking your food intake every day on your iPhone or Android device will give you a clearer picture of your eating habits and where you may be slipping. It also helps your dietitian to make the right plan for you, because they can see exactly what you consume every day. So they are certainly helpful, but the question then becomes which food tracking app is best?

Table of Contents

Comparison Chart

Important Comparison Points

How We Picked These Apps

At first, we only considered apps that support both iOS and Android. We do not believe in unnecessarily isolating a community.

We also decided that every app on this list should have a free service option. Not everyone wants to spend money on an app or pay a monthly fee for something they are not sure they want to do. We've looked specifically at free services that may have a premium option with a monthly or yearly subscription.

We've also requested that each app can display detailed reports that include not only your calorie consumption, but also micronutrients and macronutrients. When it comes to health, it is important to track the daily consumption of micronutrients. Therefore, the app should provide a way to monitor it (even if it can not be set as a destination). And because people have different ways of thinking about nutrition, we did not want to prevent those who prioritize macronutrients from using our recommendations.

Finally, the apps must at least allow the food by text and by logging barcode scanning. Since UPCs can help you find exactly the items you are looking for to add to your journal, we believe it was necessary for the most accurate log.

App 1: Lose it!

A surprise for me, lose it! Top of our list. This food tracking app is currently in the top 20 most popular health and fitness apps on the Play Store and has everything you need. And while you need the premium version to access all features, it's the cheapest premium service on our list for $ 29.99 a year (without FatSecret, which has no premium level).

As the name implies, lose it! focuses on losing weight. For most, this will not be a problem. However, some people do not want to lose weight but to gain weight. Unfortunately, with the app's inability to automatically provide calorie recommendations for these individuals, I would recommend looking elsewhere. While you can customize the maintenance recommendations they provide, there are apps that automate the process.

Lack of support for those who want to recharge is disappointing since it is lost! offers the highest maximum for individuals meals. Lose it! You can have up to seven different meals and label them as snacks. This feature is helpful to the masses, as it is easier to eat six smaller meals than three large meals.

With multiple options, no app makes it any easier to log in than Lose It !. Besides scanning a barcode and searching over text, you lose it! offers the possibility to take a picture. Known as Snap It, you can take a picture of your meal and the app will guess what exactly you are eating. It pulls several matching entries from its database, where you can select the next entry. It's more fun than useful, but it's a welcome addition.

In addition to calories, you can set different goals to track each day. For example, you can track certain micronutrients, body fat and even body measurements. You can even set a water intake target to remind you that you are drinking enough water for the day. However, this requires the premium service.

Lose It! also offers a DNA kit. For $ 69.99, you can analyze DNA to get clues about your diet and fitness. Early research suggests that genes can be used to determine certain characteristics about your diet and the ability to perform physical activities that may impede or advance your progress.

To motivate you, you lose it! has a points system. There are challenges in which you can take part, which award you award for the performance of a particular task. These include daily logins, a specific exercise and much more. At the end of the challenge you will be judged against all participants and gain the pride and glory of whoever is under you. It's a fun system that will not appeal to those who are not competitive.

Lose it! is the best option for anyone who wants to break down a few pounds. Not only does it have an extensive list of features, but it has the cheapest premium version for $ 29.99 a year. It offers the most possibilities to log new food entries with Snap It and you can track your water usage. Except for those who want bulk, there really is no better option than Los It!

App 2: MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal is the most popular app on our list. In the App Store and the Play Store for Health and Fitness Apps, it currently has the highest rating of all apps on our list. Acquired by Under Armor, it has the most third-party integrations so it can sync data from Fitbits to heart rate monitors. The biggest downside is the premium version, which is the most expensive on our list, and something necessary.

MyFitnessPal makes it easy to add new entries to your food diary. You can search manually (via text), or you can scan the article's barcode to pull up the nutritional data, which is also the best way to find exactly what you consume.

However, we do not always eat at home. According to MyFitnessPal, less than half of their users eat at least once a week. That's why MyFitnessPal has worked with over 500,000 restaurants across the country to provide food calorie and nutrition information on their menu. As a result, even if you eat, you can still stay on track with your diet.

How Many Food Tracking Apps Can You Use With MyFitnessPal log burn calories through exercises. Weight loss (or weight gain) occurs when you enter a caloric deficit or excess, with exercise helping with the former. Many of us follow our physical activities with activity trackers and smartwatches that MyFitnessPal supports. More than 21 different third-party fitness tracker brands are supported by MyFitnessPal, far more than any other app on our list.

The biggest problem with MyFitnessPal is its paywall. MyFitnessPal costs $ 49.99 a year and $ 20 more than lots of it! However, the included features are similar, which makes the big discrepancy in the price so alarming.

There are also a few questionable user interface choices. For example, Quick Add (which allows you to quickly add the calories and macronutrients of an article to your journal) requires the Premium version if you want to add the macronutrients to the article. While you can log your water intake, there is no way to set reminders or track your consumption over a period of time.

MyFitnessPal, however, with its extensive third-party integration, Its easy-to-use design and the ability to log restaurant menu items make it the best choice for foraging. It's easy to see why this app has been downloaded more than 50 million times on Android alone.

App 3: FatSecret

FatSecret has a distinct advantage over all other apps on our list: it's completely free. There is no premium version or in-app purchases. But because of the lack of subscription costs, there are fewer features and less third-party integration.

One of the unique features of FatSecret is FatSecret Professional. This feature allows you to connect your nutritionist, trainer, doctor or health care professional to the app to quickly share your data with them. Instead of taking your phone with you, your doctor can be alerted to your progress immediately.

Unlike any other app on our list, adjusting macronutrients to grams requires a premium version. Both adjustment methods (in percent and in grams) are available free of charge.

App 4: Yazio

Yazio has an appealing design with a range of colors and high-resolution photos. Details, such. As micronutrients are hidden, so that such data are easily accessible, while new users are not scared. One of the least appealing apps on our list, which eventually runs short due to the limited free version.

Nothing is worse than starting a diet and not eating healthy food. Luckily, Yazio helps you create shopping lists. With the help of recipes, menus, and your own food you've added before, you can create a grocery list for your next trip to the grocery store. It requires the Pro version and only works on Android.

Analyzing your diet is in the free version every day limited. To analyze your food diary from week to week or from month to month you also need the Pro version. Exporting data to a spreadsheet is also pushed behind the paywall. Recipes are also available in the Pro version for healthy cooking ideas.

Adding exercises is pretty easy with an extensive database for various aerobic exercises, including sports. However, similar to the other apps on our list, the addition of an exercise is limited in duration without having to consider different types of training such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). It is also quite inaccurate and represents calories that emanate primarily from the point of view of a person with very low intensity.

There are simple challenges to things like no chocolate, no Sugar and no sweets. If you select one of these options, a timer starts running until you stop it. The idea is that if you have a craving, but see how much time has passed on the counter, you would not hesitate to press the button labeled "I give up!"

Water is trackable for free but is strangely limited. You can not set a target higher than 170 fl oz or 1.328 gallons. For those of us who want to drink more, you can not really pursue it. Also, water reminders are not configurable except to enable (or not) them. There is currently no way to set reminders during the day to help you achieve your goal.

For those who want to save some money Yazio the second cheapest option for premium plans (except FatSecret, which has none). And while his design choices are friendly and inviting, she's in fourth place because she can not break with her competitors with similar premium choices. Although it is a good choice, there are better options.

App 5: MyPlate

MyPlate is another well thought-out product app by the same name as the current Nutritionist of the USDA Center for Food Policy and Promotion, which eliminates the confusion. It's a great option for those who want to stay in the free version, though the premium service is less desirable.

MyPlate is one of two apps that offer exercise plans that help you burn calories. The workouts are short, ranging from 5-10 minutes, but are intense. Most programs have at least ten exercises that they want to do during the assigned time. The idea is to keep your heart rate high and maximize the calories burned.

There is also the stronger challenge. This eight-week program includes daily 30-minute workouts by celebrity trainers as well as recipes, daily motivational messages to keep you going, and 1600-1800 calorie meal plans. Harnessing the success of video fitness trends like the P90X, the Stronger Challenge is a comprehensive plan to get you up and running quickly and comfortably from home. For some reason, MyPlate restricted this and the training plans to iOS so that Android users can access the desktop version.

Apple Health and Google Fit are supported, but otherwise Nothing. There is also no way to export your data to a spreadsheet to facilitate printing and sharing with your doctor (or healthcare professional).

Overall MyPlate lacks the characteristics of its competitors. While adding custom targets to the free version is nice, its premium version is a bit blank. And with the second highest price, it's hard to justify buying Gold membership. But for those who want a complete program, MyPlate is still a good choice.


Tracking your daily food intake is the first Step to a healthy diet. By keeping track of what you consume every day, you'll get a detailed picture of your diet and mark changes you can make. By using one of the apps on our list, you can not only track your food, but much more.

When it comes to the best balance between features and costs, you lose it! is our top choice. Not only does it offer the same wealth of features as MyFitnessPal, but its premium version is $ 20 cheaper. His meal and exercise plans help separate it from the more popular option and will help you on your journey. For those who want to gain weight, MyFitnessPal is a better option as it will not be able to automate the calorie needs of those who want to gain weight.

What do you think of our list? Are you currently using a food tracking app? How was your fitness trip? Let us know in the comment section below.

Cover Picture and Screenshots by Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

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