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There are many calorie counter apps available for Android and Apple devices. These apps help people log the foods they eat and monitor their calorie intake and physical activity. Some apps also offer recipes and allow users to share their information with their family and friends.

This article discusses whether or not calorie counting can be beneficial and how calorie counter apps work. It also lists some calorie counter apps that a person can try.

Quick links

According to one 2014 study, counting calories can be helpful for some people who want to change their weight.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that a person who is starting to change their weight may wish to consider checking the number of calories in the foods and beverages they regularly consume. This can give a person a better idea of how many calories they typically consume.

However, the CDC also states that calorie counting is not necessary all the time.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPlate Plan tool can help a person determine how many calories they need per day, depending on their age, height, weight, and physical activity levels.

It is also important to note that drinking plenty of water and maintaining healthy sleep can help people manage their weight.

Some other factors that can affect a person’s weight include:

  • medication use
  • genetics
  • the environment
  • health conditions
  • stress

Learn more about counting calories here.

Calorie counter apps are programs that a person can download on their smartphone or tablet. Most of these apps are free, but some offer a premium membership at an additional charge.

These apps help users record calorie intake and nutritional information. Some also have meal planners and barcode scanners, so individuals can input the information of the foods they eat.

People can also find apps that offer workout videos and community support.

Are they reliable?

A 2017 study suggests that apps, smart scales, and wearable devices can be effective in self-monitoring body weight, dietary intake, and physical activity. The researchers found that participants who engaged in a 6-month self-monitoring intervention experienced weight loss.

However, the researchers behind a 2019 study assessed the use of MyFitnessPal, a calorie counter app, for recording dietary intake. They found that only 20% of the participants would continue using this app. Most of them found it time consuming to log foods and estimate portion sizes.

The study also suggests that calorie counter apps are best used with guidance from a dietitian for better accuracy.

Weight management resources

To discover more evidence-based information and resources for weight management, visit our dedicated hub.

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Below are some features that people looking for a calorie counter app may wish to consider:

  • Price: Many calorie counter apps are available for free, but some require individuals to subscribe to a premium membership to access additional features. Some offer more than one subscription plan, so a person should check which one works best for them.
  • Reviews: People can read customer reviews on the App Store and check if other users have found the calorie counter app effective. These reviews may help an individual decide whether or not an app is suitable for them.
  • Food logging: A person should check how the app they are interested in using requires them to log the foods they eat. Many apps have a scanner so that users can scan barcodes on packaged food for easy logging.
  • Compatibility: Most apps work on Android and Apple devices. Some are also compatible with fitness trackers.

How we choose products

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Rating: The apps have a rating of at least 4 out of 5 stars on the App Store.
  • Price: The apps are free, but people can upgrade to premium at an additional cost.
  • Compatibility: The apps are compatible with other fitness apps, such as Fitbit and Apple Health.
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Below are seven of the best calorie counter apps.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these apps. All information presented here is purely research-based.


Best for setting goals

MyFitnessPal offers features such as:

  • Progress tracking: A person can view their daily progress and check the calories they burn during their exercise.
  • Goal setting: Users can set the goals they want to achieve related to weight loss or weight gain.
  • Activity logging: People can keep a food diary and save meals and recipes to track what they are eating and increase the chance of achieving their goals. They can also scan packaged food barcodes so that they keep track of the nutritional information.

People can connect MyFitnessPal with other apps, such as Samsung Health, Fitbit, and Apple HealthKit.

The app is free on Google Play and the App Store, but a person can upgrade to a premium membership to unlock more features.

The premium membership is available for $19.99 per month or $79.99 per year.


Best for step tracking

MyNetDiary acts as a weight loss, diet, and nutrition assistant. Features include:

  • Healthy diet planning: Users can add the target weight they want to achieve, the target date, and the number of calories they want to burn.
  • Health management: The app allows individuals to add the medications they are taking and any symptoms they might experience. They can also input their test results and monitor their blood glucose levels.
  • Water intake log: The app has a water tracker, allowing individuals to set their water intake goals. A person can also receive reminders so that they stay hydrated.
  • Step tracking: MyNetDiary can track the steps that a person completes in a day.

In addition, MyNetDiary has an easy-to-use interface and comes with a built-in barcode scanner, a customizable dashboard, and diet article libraries.

It is free on the App Store and Google Play, and it allows individuals to share their results with their family and friends through iMessage. People can also link MyNetDiary with Fitbit, Withings, and Garmin.

There is also a premium membership, which starts from $8.99 per month.


Best for healthcare professionals

Cronometer is another calorie counter app that comes with:

  • custom diet settings
  • an intermittent fasting timer
  • diet support
  • a meal and nutrient tracker

There is also a Pro version for doctors, dietitians, and nutritionists, with pricing starting from $24.95 per month. This can help with:

  • monitoring clients’ nutrition
  • setting clients’ targets
  • sharing recipes with clients
  • generating reports for clients

Cronometer can sync with various apps and devices, such as Fitbit, Garmin, Strava, and Oura.

It is available on Google Play and the App Store.


Best for one-on-one coaching

Noom requires individuals to input their age, height, and gender. It then provides them with a calorie budget and an estimate of the number of calories they can consume per day. This helps them reach a calorie deficit.

Below are some other features that Noom comes with:

  • personalized lessons
  • one-on-one coaching
  • support groups
  • food and exercise tracking

People can find the app on the App Store and Google Play.

Noom is available for $44.99, but a person can also sign up for a free trial before committing to the purchase.


Best exercise diary

Fatsecret provides various features, such as:

  • a food diary
  • healthy recipes
  • nutritional information for foods and restaurants
  • an exercise diary that tracks the calories a person has burned
  • a weight chart and journal for progress tracking

The app also offers a community that users can join to share tips and recipes with other individuals who use Fatsecret.

People can sign in with Facebook, Google, or an email address. The app is available on Google Play, the Microsoft Store, and the App Store.

A person can use Fatsecret’s free version or upgrade to a premium membership, which starts from $6.49 per month.

Lose It!

Best for logging food with photos

Similar to other calorie counter apps, Lose It! includes a food diary and an exercise log, and people can connect it to Apple Health or Google Fit. It is also compatible with pedometers.

A person may consider using this app because they can benefit from many features, including food tracking, water tracking, and community support.

Individuals can log their foods by taking photos with their smart device or scanning the product’s barcode.

People can download this app for free from the App Store or Google Play.

Upgrading to a premium membership can unlock additional features, such as community support and meal and exercise planning. This costs $39.99 per year.


Best subscription plan for lower budgets

Lifesum is a calorie tracker app that, according to reviews, is easy to use and provides many motivational components.

It is available on the App Store and Google Play.

People can use this app to count the calories they consume and learn more about healthy eating.

A person can join a 3-week weight loss program that offers preplanned meals, five-ingredient recipes, and shopping lists. After this, they can subscribe to a paid plan or use the free version.

The app is also suitable for individuals who follow a ketogenic diet.

The subscription plans start from $4.17 per month.

Many technology companies produce calorie counter apps that people can use on their smart devices to track the foods they eat and the calories they burn per day.

Most of these apps are free, but individuals can upgrade to a premium membership to unlock more features.

There are various features that a person may wish to consider when choosing their calorie counter app. These include reviews, compatibility with other apps, and how food logging works.

A person may wish to consult a doctor to make sure that they are managing their weight safely.