The Best Apps for Food Logging [Android & iOS]
A lot of us love to keep track of how many steps we have taken, right? Most of the phones have step counting enabled, and we all just love to admire the score everyday! Now, here is something wrong, because not only it takes a bit of effort to do, but it’s also simple enough to make us little uncomfortable. I am talking about “Food Logging” or what some would say “Food Tracking”.
While it’s so easy now to find out how much calories you have burnt, what’s the point if you don’t know how many calories you have actually consumed. The calculation is simple. Calories ‘in’ vs. Calories ‘out’. So if you are a little bit concerned about your health, I will suggest you to start logging your daily food. Combine this with a step tracking app, and you know if the weight machine is going to swing left or right the next time you step up.
Food Logging is Easy!
No, I was just kidding. It’s actually tough because when you start looking at those calories you had been eating, it sends out a shock and makes you think. So here is the deal, if you are concerned about your health as much as your step count, this is just the article for you.
In this post, I am talking about some of the best food logging, calorie counting apps. The top three should be enough to meet your needs, but then, I did try out others to know.
Just before we start, here is one good news. Once you are done logging your food for a week, it becomes clockwork from the next week. Most of us end up having similar food throughout the week. So when you start your second week, you will find all of them listed on the recent list.
How to choose which app is best for you?
That’s an important question, and to be very honest, you need to try at least 2-3 of them to get a clear idea. Then what’s the point of this post? It depends on your need and your food type. Sometimes a very simple app works for you, and sometimes you need the top-notch one. I have listed these apps based on services with which it connects to, how many types of food it can cater to, and so on.
Just before we start, all these apps should not be taken as your Medical advisor for food. It only lets you log, and provides a rough idea of how many calories you are taking in.
There are three apps which I recommend the most. MyFitnessPal, HealthifyMe and Lose it. These apps let you search food based out of any country, and there are community added recipes in case you cannot find one. First, let’s start with Common Features:
- They take your weight, height, age, goal weight, and activity level to recommend you daily calorie intake.
- Search and Log Food or every kind. You can add them categorically to Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, and Dinner.
- You get recommendations for how many calories you can eat, and when you connect your step tacking or exercises to it, you get a clear idea of how much is remaining for every day.
- While there are premium services for all of them, the basic is more than enough to give you a clear idea of how many carbs, Fat and Protein you are eating every day.
- Available on all platforms.
- A daily reminder to enter your food.
- Create your own recipe. This is important if you are dedicated enough to create exact calorie count of the food you cook at home. You can add individual ingredients for accurate calculation.
- Syncs back calories to services like Fitbit, Garmin, Withings (Nokia), Misfit, Google Fit and much more. This is important if other services are more important to you.
- Lets you create custom variables, i.e., in case you want to track your blood sugar, pressure or even your waist, it lets you do that. Finally, you get a graph to see the progress.
- The community is a free service here. You can add friends, see their daily food logging, send messages, and so on.
- Doesn’t sync back waterlogging with external services.
- No Food recommendations except for their daily blog posts which are super useful.
- This is built in India and is one of the apps highly recommended if you are an India. It logs in thousands of food database which you can search based on Indian names. That said, it’s not like you cannot do it with MyFitnessPal, this is just easier.
- There is a suggestion section which based on your data, recommends you food every day. This is really good for those who want to figure out new, and alternative food every day. It is auto-generated.
- Analysis Tab gives you a broader view of how you been eating every day or a whole month in terms of Protein, Carbs, Fats, and Fiber.
- It also takes in your Food Preferences, i.e., Dairy, Seafood, Beef, Egg, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, etc. This is mainly used for recommendations.
- Medical Conditions inputs are also included for the same.
- Does not sync back calories to external services like Fitbit. This makes it tough to recommend.
- The app tries to sell its premium service, i.e., personal coach more than anything else. Right from App to features inside it keeps pushing one to get on the paid service. While I don’t say its bad, but if I want to use it as a normal app, I won’t use it.
- It’s more of a closed system.
3. Lose it
It has all that MyFitnessPal can do, and it’s much simpler logging any food. It’s quicker, and it can show more details of your food, at a glance, than MyfitnessPal. One of the biggest advantages of Lose it is that it lets you enter food quickly by adding its calories, fats, carbs and so on. This is limited to Calories in the free version of MyFitnessPal. It also lets you add food by taking a picture of it. You will have to go through some of the guesses to get the right one, but it is a fancy feature.
That said, MyFitnessPal has the edge over Loose it because of better connectivity with external services, and features I had talked about.
That wraps up the scary food logging apps. Jokes apart, they are actually used to give you clear insight of what you are eating. The only thing it demands is being truthful to yourself.