Calorie counting might be a chore, but if you're worried about your health or your weight, keeping a food diary can be eye-opening. Rather than using old-school methods, food diary apps are available to make it easy to track what you eat.
Whether you're an iPhone or Android user, here are four of the best food diary apps for your phone.
The MyFitnessPal app, available on Android and iOS, is one of the most popular and well-known fitness apps available. The apps provide an extension of the MyFitnessPal website, with the same features and community spirit.
During our test of MyFitnessPal, the thing that stood out the most was the focus on setting your goals. From the beginning, you're asked to set your target, whether it's to lose weight, maintain your current weight, or gain it.
This calorie-counting app is entirely focused on these aims. By setting your target, MyFitnessPal sets a calorie target you need to meet each day. You input your food, with the ability to search through millions of different types of food and meals.
If you're looking for a calorie-counting app with a quick, appealing interface, then MyFitnessPal could be the option for you.
2. See How You Eat
Food diary apps like MyPlate are great, but have you ever wanted to keep a visual food diary? The See How You Eat app, for Android and iOS, isn't a calorie counter. It encourages you to take pictures of each of your meals, including snacks, to help you visualize what you're eating over a longer period of time.
The belief behind the app is that by taking a visual log of your food, you can keep an eye on the "bad" things. You're not stopped from snacking, but by visualizing your diary, you can spot the unhealthy parts of your diet. This, the app suggests, then encourages you to live and eat healthfully.
Like MyPlate, See How You Eat offers food reminders to keep a regular schedule for eating. The See How You Eat Coach isn't included, but it's heavily promoted in the app as a premium service that offers nutritional coaching and additional features like daily and weekly food scoring.
Overall, we found the standard See How You Eat app to be a little basic, but that's the point. It doesn't overload you with jargon or pseudo-facts on nutrition. It encourages you to look at what you're eating over a longer period of time and, from there, to improve your lifestyle.
Lifesum, available for Android and iOS devices, is easily the most appealing app to use out of the four. It's a calorie tracker and meal planner rolled into one, with ready-to-use plans designed around your food goals.
It's one of the more advanced options, with a food tracking system that scans barcodes to help you narrow down the nutritional value of certain foods. It offers recipes, tracks your calories, and helps you meet your goals.
During our tests, Lifesum felt like the most well-rounded food diary and nutritional app out of the four we've listed here. It's simple to set up and use, with several food plans you can switch to and use, each with their own recipes and strategies.
It even includes a water tracker to make sure you keep up your daily water intake. Many of the features require a premium subscription, but if you're only interested in tracking your food, this is available for free.
Tracking Your Meals with Food Diary Apps
By tracking your eating habits, you can perform a full health audit on yourself. These food diary apps for Android and iOS let you track your calories, judge the nutritional value of your meals, and let you build a healthier lifestyle for yourself.
If you're trying to lose weight, mixing good food with regular exercise is essential. These top free pedometer apps should help encourage you to become more active during the day.
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