Want to Start a Food Diary? Ditch the Notebook, Use These 5 Apps Instead

It's 2014, people. Let your smart phone be your new diet BFF

When it comes to losing weight, every calorie counts. That’s why tracking your eating habits and your food intake can really add up to big weight loss.

Luckily, with so many mobile-friendly food diaries on the market, calculating your daily calorie intake doesn’t require breaking a sweat. Here’s the scoop on our top five picks:

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal

This popular app has been a top dog for quite some time, thanks to its user friendliness and zero-dollar price tag. Plus, the food database has more than 3.5 million items, and it’s easy to add in your own recipes.

PROS:  

  • You can log workouts and calculate your daily caloric needs based on your activity level.  
  • There’s a social component and users are encouraged to join the supportive community to get extra encouragement on their weight-loss journey.

CONS:

  • The nutritional information can be skewed since a lot of the info is inputted by other users – not an independent third party or trusted scientific source.  
  • Users need to be committed to measuring portions, and not just relying on the database. Unfortunately, because of this, you can easily underestimate the amount of calories consumed and therefore see little to no success.  
  • Since everything is web-based, you need wifi to download your data.  
  • The app does not allow certain portion sizes to be edited.

LoseIt

LoseIt

LoseIt

Another top contender among mobile food journals, the free LoseIt app has an impressively extensive database. Plus, it provides eating plans for users to follow, and allows them to record their exercise.

PROS:

  • LoseIt offers a barcode scanner, making it easy to get accurate nutritional counts for food.  
  • The app can sync with other activity trackers and scales to help users get accurate reports.  
  • It allows you to easily share data with your nutritionist, doctor or personal trainer. - Most ratings state that the app function is very simple and user friendly.

CONS:  

  • Success of the program really remains in the user’s hands. If the user isn’t committed to making sure the data is correct, they will not succeed.
  • The database on the app does not include many of the foods and products most would expect to find.

CRON-O-Meter

CRON-O-Meter

CRON-O-Meter

Journaling is already a tedious task, so stripping away the bells and whistles may help you view it as less of a chore. CRON-O-Meter does just that. Plus, it’s free.

PROS:  

  • It’s super easy to navigate.
  • It provides the option to import your own recipes.

CONS:

  • There are no social forums.  
  • It’s not synced to other fitness applications which makes it not as user-friendly as it can be.

AthleteInMe

AthleteInMe

AthleteInMe

The main feature is the Calorie Converter, which calculates how much exercise you’d need to burn off the calories in a selected food. This function is intended to help users make better, healthier choices before they eat.

PRO:

  • The converter is praised for having simple-to-read results, making it easy for the user to see how much activity is required to burn off calories.

CON:

  • The app costs $2.99.

FatSecret

FatSecret

FatSecret

FatSecret doesn’t just count calories; it helps people overcome emotional eating.

PROS:  

  • The app features a personal journal -- not just a food log -- for users to record feelings and emotions that coincide with each food choice.  
  • It’s free and offers a large food database.  
  • The reports are clean and simple.  
  • The database is frequently updated

CONS:  

  • Some users have complained that FatSecret’s simplicity leaves them wanting more nutrition information, a component many other apps provide.
  • The app will not work without a signal, a common occurrence in busy locations.

ALSO READ: The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need The Social Media Diet Can Help You Manage Your Weight Loss

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