How to Pick the Best Calorie Counter App

Calorie counting apps help you track your daily intake and calorie expenditure. You enter what you eat a few times a day, and an app keeps track of how many calories you’ve consumed and how many calories you have left for the day.


If used consistently and honestly, calorie counting apps work!

You will be able to maintain and/or lose weight, depending on your goal. And in the process, they teach you to recognize the calorie counts in foods you often eat, so you can make informed decisions even after you stop using the app.

So which app should you use? Well here are 2 great methods.

  1. Use my favorite and frequently the most popular one: MyFitnessPal, and boom, you’re done. OR
  2. Use the methodology below to pick the best one for you, in 3 easy steps.

    1. On your smartphone, download and install all 3 of these top, free apps.

    You will have to register to create an account for each one, but you need only keep it quick.
    Be sure to enter these important details:

    • your weight
    • approximate age (the right month/year is sufficient)
    • gender
    • height
    • goal (e.g. maintain weight or lose 1lb a week)

    Be honest with these details so that the calorie estimates for you are most accurate. A 200-pound man and a 150-pound woman burn very different calories in a day, unfair as it may be.

    2. Commit to using all 3 apps for just 1 day.

    For one full day, you commit to logging every bite, sip, and workout from the time you wake up to the end of the day.

    The best time to log is once after every major meal, so you remember exactly what you ate and drank, along with any snacks in between. The longer you wait between logging, the less accurate your memory will be.

    Be honest about your portion sizes and any little cheats – lying here is only cheating yourself, and this is deeply personal.

    3. Voila. By the end of the day (if not sooner), you will have a clear winner.

    One of the apps will be

    • the most intuitive for you
    • the easiest to find the exact foods you tend to eat
    • the most enjoyable to use
    • the most fair (feeling) in terms of calorie allowance for your goals.

    One more item to note – these apps remember foods and activities you’ve logged before. So entry gets quicker and easier over time, to the point of taking only seconds a day if you tend to do the same things routinely. In the process of regular use, you’ll also internalize the understanding of how many calories are in the foods you most often eat, and you’ll get better at pure visual calorie estimation without an app.

    And that’s how to find your perfect calorie tracking app. Enjoy!

Valerie Lanard

I am a fitness buff, engineering leader, and wearables lover. This blog originally started as part of my now-defunct fitness video startup, Gigabody. It has evolved to encompass my writing on tech and work culture as well. Find me on a bike, on a hike, in a skort, or near a usb port.

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