Keeping track of daily calorie intake is a critical part of any successful diet and weight loss program. Studies show people who log the foods they eat and track calorie and nutritional information lose more weight than those who don’t. Counting and tracking calories can be tricky and time-consuming without the right tools. Fortunately, iPhone, Android and Blackberry smartphone applications have come to the rescue making this an easy task. There are many mobile applications available such as The Calorie Counter app from FatSecret.com, The Calorie Tracker application from Livestrong.com, and Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker from MyFitnessPal.com.
FatSecret’s Calorie Counter
The Calorie Counter app from FatSecret.com is a free and fully functional application for tracking and managing weight loss. The program features a quick-pick food menu to get calories and nutritional information that the user can save in the food diary. One of its best features is a bar code scanner for quickly finding packaged food items in the database. Users can track daily fitness activity through the exercise diary. In addition, the app charts weight loss progress for easy viewing. The journal feature is especially useful for chronicling successes and obstacles. Users can synchronize data entered into the application with a free online account at FatSecret.com, but the application does not require the online account for full functionality.
LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
The Calorie Tracker application from Livestrong.com is a companion to the Daily Plate service on the Livestrong.com website. The tracking application is available to download for $2.99, and features a 525,000-item food database and a 2000+ fitness activity database. The application’s screens are easy to understand and maneuver. The My Plate screen provides a summary of the day’s calories consumed and burned, and gives a net caloric intake. The My Weight screen shows a weight-loss progress chart. The Food screen provides a search bar to find foods, and displays recently viewed foods in the window. After selecting a food, easily enter the time eaten, meal, and serving size and save by tapping the I Ate This button. The Fitness screen has a search bar, and displays fitness activities along with the calories burned per minute.
The Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker from MyFitnessPal.com claims to be the fastest and easiest calorie counter app for iPhones. It is available free of charge, and can be used alone or synchronized with an online account. It features a 750,000-item food database for calories and nutritional data, although a smaller database is available for off-line use. The application contains a standard food diary, exercise diary and progress chart. The exercise database contains only about 350 fitness activities, which is smaller than other calorie trackers. One reason for this is it lacks specific strength training exercises. On the plus side, this application has a recipe calculator, making entry of homemade meals very easy.
No matter what application is used, choosing a calorie tracking application is a start in the right direction toward weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Jessica Bosari writes about nutrition at LowFatDietPlan.org. The site explains the latest nutrition research and helps readers fit the information into their diet plans.