5 calorie-counting apps to help achieve your goals

Counting carbohydrates is a way for people with diabetes to understand how different foods impact your blood sugar. We know it can be tedious and sometimes feel like a chore, but it really doesn’t have to be. Carb and calorie-counting mobile and desktop apps make life easier when it comes to tracking your macros and overall daily caloric intake. These five popular calorie-counting apps are free to download and have some variety in terms of the features they offer.

1. MyFitnessPal

Perhaps one of the more popular calorie-counting apps on the market, MyFitnessPal is a free app for those who want to track their macros (protein, carbs, and fat) and gauge their calorie intake easily. Users can opt to scan food barcodes using QR technology to quickly access nutrient values. MyFitnessPal’s database has over 11 million foods, including brand-names. You can also calculate the nutritional content for your recipes. Set your daily calorie + weight goals and reminders to log your meals with this app to remain on track with your fitness journey.

Premium users can see which foods rank highest in nutrients, set calorie goals by meal, export their data to CSV files, view macronutrients by gram or percentage, set macro goals, and other exclusive content.

Exercise entry is also an option with MyFitnessPal, but frequent users and nutrition experts recommended being aware of calorie burn estimates on apps, which like cardio machines, might not always be completely accurate. The app also has recipes, blogs, forums, and integrates with the Under Armour fitness apps as well as the running app, RunKeeper. You can also add friends to receive and give support as you reach your fitness goals.

2. Carb Manager – Low Carb and Keto Diet Tracker

Are you on the keto or low-carb diet? Then you should check out Carb Manager, a free app. For those who want “keto made easy,” you have access to over a million foods to track. Along with these foods are over 1,000 low-carb, high-fat recipes, 10,000 user-submitted recipes, and 350,000 web recipes. The app also allows you to create your own shopping list, devise your own meal plan, and connect to other apps like Fitbit, Google Fit, and Apple Health. You can also learn about the keto diet and popular keto foods. Their advanced features include tracking ketones, blood sugar, insulin usage and much more.

3. Lifesum Health App – Get Healthy and Lose Weight

Lifesum is for those seeking to lose weight. They offer a variety of diet plans such as low-carb and keto and can recommend a diet for you based on their 6-question quiz about your dietary preferences and lifestyle. Their 3-week weight loss program provides a shopping list and meal planner and their Life Score feature helps you keep your goals in sight and gives you the advice to adjust your regimen based on your daily routine. You can also track your macronutrients, sync with health apps like Apple Health, Fitbit, and Google. You also have access to their database that contains hundreds of recipes. Lifesum also features a helpful meal planner which makes staying on track and sticking to food options that align with your goals even easier. According to the developers, premium users are four times more likely to reach their fitness goals.

4. Yazio – Lose Weight Fast

A new free weight loss app, Yazio encourage mindfulness and helps bring health and wellness to the forefront of the user’s mind to promote sustainable weight loss. The app does more than just allow you to log calories and track food, but also helps users increase or decrease activity levels. Premium members can also take advantage of the app’s coaching system to receive daily nutritional advice. Yazio centers less around low-carb lifestyles specifically, but still features a carb chart front and center on the status page.

5. MyNetDiary

This app features a searchable database with almost a million food entries for users. Those using MyNetDiary can also utilize their website to log their entries. It boasts itself as the quickest of food data entry apps on the market, scanning barcodes with ease and retrieving nutritional info almost immediately. My Net Diary also has a separate Diabetes Tracking app that allows users to track blood sugar, A1c, insulin, cholesterol, as well as other custom trackers. The app helps users see the big picture of their health. MyNetDiary also has a community of users who share videos of their success stories to help people keep up the motivation. Also, if you need help creating a plan and have a target weight, MyNetDiary can craft a balanced diet plan for you.

Thankfully, in this day and age, there is no shortage of helpful information or tools to equip ourselves with to live optimally and make the best choices for maintaining our health. Carb and calorie-counting apps are no different and there’s one out there for you and your goals.

Published on Beyond Type 2

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Thanks @Mila for the article!

Does anyone use any of these apps and how would you rate these and why?

Are there others which are better, that you use?

My fitbit charge 2 watch is on its last legs. My iPhone 5 is on her last legs. My iPad works, but can only connect to the internet at home (can connect iPad to internet with the iPhone but because the iPhone is on her last legs, connection is sketchy right now.) So my options are open as I need to replace most of what I have now anyway.

I have a Fitbit Ionic (which is actually overkill for me…I’d rather a Charge 3) and I find the Fitbit app to be quite good for tracking food. The app isn’t quite as good as the website, but I’ve tracked food alongside activity in there and the website (I don’t think the app does this) has a breakdown of calories/carbs/protein/fat for each meal and each food item within a meal. When I was using it consistently, I’d enter my meal and then just take the carb count the app provided and use that to bolus. So I liked it because I only had to enter food once to accomplish both things. I also like that you can create “meals” if you tend to eat the same combination of foods all the time. You can then enter the entire meal with just a single search (plus, it has a favourites section that puts what you eat regularly for that mealtime right at the top). The app also has a barcode scanner as a way of searching for a food item, and if their database doesn’t have something (which often happens for me in Canada) then you can enter it and add it to the database.

I haven’t used any of the other apps. The Carb Master one looks interesting, and I might check it out if I move closer to eating low-carb again this summer.

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Thanks @Jen! I’ve used the Fitbit app from my iPad and computer. They aren’t the same in many ways, but I do like it. I wonder if the app is different between Charge 2 and Charge 3. I’ll have to look into that. I’ve created my own meals in Fitbit and that did help save on time. I used to use this religiously, but fell out of practice for reasons I’m not quite sure of anymore! I never used the barcode scanner, which does sound interesting. Fitbit is the only food/fitness tracker I’ve ever used - edited to add, that I can recall.

My pod just alarmed! I just changed the site last night about 9:30. Sigh. “Time to change the pod” … again! (Does anyone remember the old donut commercial, “Time to make the donuts!” Poor fella was always getting up at 3 in the morning to get ready for work because it was … “Time…”)

Thanks again for your help, Jen.

I’ve used the myFitnessPal (Under Armour) for nearly a year to track food, weight and exercise. Great tool, easy to use.

Forget about looking up foods - simply scan the bar-code and all the nutrient metrics are entered into app. Save custom meals / foods and portion sizes and know what percentage of your total daily calories are Fats / Proteins / Carbs (aka macros).

Best of all it’s free.

MyFitnessPal

Thanks @Jim_in_Calgary! I’ll have to take a look at myFitnessPal. Do you wear a fitness tracker that integrates with myFitnessPal? I like the free part too! You’ve got great macros!

Since it looks like I’ll be in the market soon for both a watch and phone, it would be ideal if there were an app which did what an activity tracker (fitness, heart, sleep,…) with insulin (basal and bolus), and cgm - all in one. Does anyone know of such an app?

I use a garmin vivoactive 3 with myfitness pal. I preferred the Fitbit for health tracking, honestly, although the garmin is definitely not bad, but there’s just a few things I liked better with the Fitbit. However, I prefer meal tracking in my fitness pal to the Fitbit app. I pretty much exclusively use my phone. I never thought I would use my phone over my computer, but nowadays I only use my computer to play the sims lol. I’ve been super lazy about tracking recently, and sometimes I just go to my fitness pal to look up carb counts without actually entering anything. I hope to get better, but I don’t want to stress too much at the moment, and I’m not trying to lose weight, just not gain too much. If I find myself ballooning though, I will probably start full day tracking again.

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@Tapestry - I just checked and myFitnessPal does integrate with Apple Watch (although it’s far easier to enter all info from iphone or iPdad

The Apple Watch also displays Dexcom and Apple Fitness (workout / heart rate) data, so I’ve got pretty much everything I need.

A free app called Pillow works great with Apple Watch
Jim

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The garmin watches integrate with my fitness pal. They are separate apps, but they talk to one another, so I can see how many calories I burned in the my fitness pal app and I can see how many calories I have left to eat in the garmin app.

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Thanks! I’ll have to seriously consider the Apple Watch vs a FitBit watch as mine no longer has any legs left to stand on! It had 45% power this afternoon so I charged it. All was well when I put it on, but now … its kaput!

Thanks, Becky! I’ll add the Garmin watch to my list of possible new watches!

Im surprised bitesnap was not mentioned. You take a picture of your food, and it brings up suggestions…serving size/portions, carbs, calories,etc. I used to use Yazio, but find the picture feature is the most important and coolest feature of all.

@roger5 Thanks! I heard about taking a picture of your food and getting values from that, but I never knew the name of it. I’ll look into it!

Thanks for this mention. I’m going to try this as well for carb counting.