Can you hear the call of a sizzling hamburger from a mile away? Is the smell of donuts the only thing that can get you out of bed in the morning? If your answer is yes, it might be time to go on a diet. Eating healthy can be a challenge for anyone, but by tracking calories and nutrients, you can lose weight and feel better in no time. Since you always have your smartphone with you, why not put it to good use? These seven apps will help you keep track of what you’ve eaten and what you should be eating.
MyPlate Calorie Tracker by Livestrong.com:
With this app from the health and fitness website, Livestrong.com, you can track calories eaten and calories burned to keep yourself accountable and lose weight. Fat, carbs, and protein can also be logged if your diet is more detailed than simple calorie limits. Track your water consumption and get daily reminders to keep you headed in the right direction. The best part of this $2.99 app is the huge database with more than 1.3 million food products and restaurant menu items so you can always find what you’re looking for.
Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal:
This free calorie counter has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, Marie Claire, and many other publications. It claims to have the largest food database, with more than 1.5 million food items that you can access even without an Internet connection. With the ability to quickly and easily add foods, scan barcodes to find your foods efficiently, and connect with and encourage friends who are also using the app, you’re ready to conquer your fitness goals. And if you’re in the mood for a workout between meals, MyFitnessPal provides more than 350 exercises and a place to track them.
40-30-30 by Frank Schmitt:
If you’re bad at math, this could be your computing companion. Many diets recommend that you eat foods whose calories are 40% from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 30% from fat, but it’s not easy to calculate those percentages just by looking at a nutrition label. This is a simple, free app that performs the task for you; you enter the grams of each of the three macronutrients, and the app tells you the percentage breakdown of calories in the food you’re looking at. No more excuses just because you never mastered math.
Fast Food Calorie Counter by Concrete Software, Inc.:
Whether you’re cheating (just a little bit!) or are on the road and have few options, this 99-cent app can keep you from totally blowing your progress. The maker has taken more than 9,000 items from 73 popular fast food restaurants (we’re talking everything from Steak ‘n Shake to Chipotle to Nathan’s) and provided the calories, fat, carbs, fiber, and protein so you can make an informed choice that fits closest to your diet. You no longer have to be stuck at home eating cardboard! Track the calories in this app, or take the information you get here and plug it into your calorie counter of choice.
Fooducate by Fooducate, Ltd.:
While Fooducate doesn’t keep track of every morsel you put into your mouth, it does help you keep track of what you’re throwing into your grocery cart. The free app is an essential sidekick at the supermarket; it scans barcodes of food products and brings up a simple summary of how healthy that food is. Each product gets a letter grade, with an explanation of why it earned that grade, such as “Made with refined flours, not whole grain” or “A naturally good source of Calcium.” If you don’t like the grade for the product you’re holding, Fooducate will give you healthier alternatives; your store’s sure to have at least one of them.
Lose It! by FitNow:
The makers of this calorie-tracking app say that the average active user of the app loses more than 12 pounds. And it’s free! Set goals and a daily calorie limit for yourself, and earn badges and share recipes when you also sign up at Loseit.com. And don’t worry about forgetting to enter your latest meal. You can sign up to receive reminders if you forget to log your data. Get a leg up on your weight loss journey with this convenient tool and really start to lose it!
Diet & Food Tracker by SparkPeople:
Many serious fitness and weight-loss buffs swear by SparkPeople, a free online health community where you can make meal plans, personalized exercise programs, recipes, and more. This free app is the companion to the SparkPeople website and allows you to track your food and calories on-the-go. Access your meal plans, log your workouts, and see your progress over time. Soon you’ll be another SparkPeople success story!