When it comes to losing, gaining, or maintaining weight, the secret is calories. If you eat more than your body is able to burn in a day, you will gain weight. If you eat less than your body is able to burn in a day, you will start burning fat and you will lose weight. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, if you eat the same amount of calories that your body burns, you will stay the same weight.
To visualize this, we can think of a balance; the scientific word for it is the Law of Thermodynamics. On the left side of this scale, we have your caloric intake, on the right we have your weight lost. The more weight (calories) you put on the left side, the more the right side decreases (weight lost). This may sound confusing, which is why calorie counters are incredible; they do all the calculations for you!
The first step to getting serious about weight-loss/gain is tracking your nutrition. Whether this starts on paper, a spreadsheet, or in an app, it’s fundamental to figuring out how your body works and how you can reach your goals. After you’ve figured out your macros and calories, you will be encouraged to keep tracking calories or to go by how much weight they gain every week. Both are good methods of tracking progress, and if you choose to keep tracking, these are 5 apps that can help you tremendously!
When people first look into calorie-tracking, MyFitnessPal is often the first app they try. Founded in 2005, MyFitnessPal has grown to be one of the largest fitness apps. The app utilizes many features to provide the ultimate user experience, some of which include a large, user-submitted food database with verified entries, nutritional information for restaurants around the world, and easy access to data that can improve your nutrition tracking.
Some additional features include the app’s ability to automatically import recipes from the internet as well as the ability to quickly add custom entries when something isn’t in the database. The user-experience is simple and the app’s barcode scanner almost never fails to recognize a food. Because of the intuition, the large database, and the advanced data and features, MyFitnessPal is one of the best calorie-counting apps out there for anybody looking to get into tracking their nutrition.
2. Eat This Much!
Eat This Much! takes a different approach to the conventional nutritional tracker. Instead of manually inputting the foods you eat, Eat This Much! does it for you. To do this, the app generates a meal plan based on your individual preferences, such as macronutrient goals, calories, daily meals, cooking skill, diet type, frequency of similar meals etc.
In addition to this, the app will generate grocery lists and provide recipes for every meal you plan, making this app the ultimate meal planning tool for anybody looking for a simple way to handle their diet.
Unlike the other apps listed, Lifesum is a less-commonly known calorie-tracking platform. For somebody looking for a toned-down app to use, Lifesum is the perfect choice. The app has many of the same features as other trackers, but lacks the social media aspect that most trackers now include. Despite not having a social side to it, the app’s database flourishes with entries, both user-submitted and professionally verified.
One of my favorite features of the app is its ability to input the weight of a serving size, and then it would handle the calculations from there; this would make being specific about serving sizes even easier (for example, if you have a type of bread where the serving size was less than an actual slice, you could just weigh your bread and the app would handle the math).
The app keeps the design simple and pleasing to the eye; you’ll only see as many numbers as you seek out, and by doing this, the ease of use is incredible. This does not mean the app is lacking, however, as it is also equipped with a water tracker, customizable diet plans, and body measurement trackers too. With it’s simple UI and variety of features, Lifesum is the perfect app for anybody looking for an easy approach to calorie-counting without the feeling that their entire friends list will be able to see every meal they eat.
This app, while not necessarily intended for the dedicated athlete whose in the gym every day, can be great for somebody looking to start getting on their feet more. Like some other apps, Lark takes a personal approach to encouraging an active lifestyle, but the app actually takes it a step further. When you download Lark, you’re greeted by a personal trainer who you can actually talk to. You tell the trainer (who is actually just a brilliantly designed computer program) what foods you ate, and about your daily exercise, and it will log it all for you and tell you if there’s anything you need to change, whether it’s walking more in a given day or eating less.
Your digital trainer is also there to periodically check on you throughout the day. The app will recommend a walk or a jog, and ask you what you ate throughout the day. It even works with the Apple watch so you can quickly fill your trainer in about your day. The app lacks specific calorie and nutrient tracking, but for somebody who’s just starting to get serious about their health, it’s an incredible platform with many great features that are unavailable anywhere else.
5. Fit Men Cook
This next app is the most different to the others mentioned, in the sense that it’s not a calorie-tracker as much as it is a meal planner. FitMenCook, a personal favorite app of mine, is a recipe book, grocery planning, and meal plan maker, all-in-one. The app provides you with many recipes, categorized into different types of meal, cost etc. It can also create meal plans for you based on your body statistics, or set you up on a pre-configured plan, such as the $75/week Whole Foods meal plan.
One of my favorite features of this app, aside from the creative recipes, however, is the grocery list. You can send the recipes you want to make to your grocery list, and the app will set up a checklist of all the things you need to get at the store. It even lists them by the aisle the item is found in for even more convenience while shopping! With all its awesome recipes and useful features, FitMenCook is the perfect app for anybody looking to spice up their meal-prep, and even those, like myself, who want to learn how to cook, with tons of step-by-step guides.
Take Home Message
Every one of these apps has its own unique features that can benefit any user who’s looking to get their nutrition on track. Whether you’re looking for tons of data, an easy meal planner, or simplicity, these 5 trackers will provide you with the tools you need to reach your fitness goals. If you’re looking to make a change with your body, the most important thing to do is clean up what you eat. So—why wait? There’s no better time than right now to get yourself on the path to success. With the help of any of these apps or the countless number of trackers available online, you can take the first steps to making a change and bettering your nutrition today!