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If you’re like most people, you have admirable intentions when setting your health and fitness goals, but we all know how hectic life can be sometimes. Despite our best intentions, family, work and basic daily activities can get in the way of eating well and hitting the gym. If this scenario feels all too familiar, then you’ll likely benefit from the guidance and accountability of a nutrition tracking app.
As a certified sports nutrition coach and clinical weight loss practitioner, I often encourage my clients to utilize these apps, and many have found tremendous success while doing so. These apps have a variety of helpful features, from simple calorie and macro tracking to recipe recommendations, meal planning and tips for building healthier eating habits. I’ve compiled a list of the nine best nutrition tracking apps available right now, and in this article, I’ll review the features, functionalities, pros and cons to help you find the best nutrition tracker app for your needs.
This content is meant to be informative, but should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention or treatment of health problems. Always speak with your doctor before starting any new supplement or exercise regimen.
Our Picks for the Best Nutrition Apps:
Noom is a paid nutrition app that includes individual and group coaching, along with a course curriculum focused around improving both mindset and accountability. Instead of promoting restrictive dieting, Noom is designed to create awareness of your eating habits and attitudes toward food. The goal of the app is a healthy attitude toward food and positive behavioral changes that support good eating habits.
Noom uses a stoplight approach to dieting, meaning that foods are categorized as green, yellow or red. The green foods are the least calorically dense and/or the most nutrient dense foods. Examples include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The red foods are the most calorically dense and/or the least nutrient dense foods, and they should be eaten sparingly. Oils, nuts, fried foods and cheeseburgers are all examples of red food. The yellow foods fall somewhere in the middle, and are likely the foods that make up the bulk of your diet. They include lean meats, eggs, beans and low-fat dairy. The color designations don’t represent good or bad foods; instead, they correspond to the foods that should make up a large, medium and small part of your daily diet.
Related: Noom Diet Review: Is Noom The Right Weight Loss App for You?
- As part of their commitment to education, a Noom subscription includes a series of 10 mini-courses that you can complete at your own pace. Interactive lessons include a variety of topics, including goal setting, stress relief, gratitude, joyful movement, breathing exercises, self-care, triggers, types of hunger and more.
- The Noom app doesn’t rule out any particular foods, and instead uses a stoplight approach to represent the foods that should be prioritized or eaten in moderation.
- Noom includes both one-on-one and group coaching, as well as a peer group to help you on your healthy eating journey.
- The Noom app recommends weighing yourself daily, which may be a turn-off for some.
- Noom doesn’t offer specific meal plans, which may be helpful to some users.
- This app tracks calories, but doesn’t indicate the macronutrient profile of the foods.
App Store & Google Play Ranking
The Noom app has over 10 million downloads on the Google Play store, and it earns 4.3/5 stars from Android users. On the Apple App Store, Noom has 4.7/5 stars and over 730,000 reviews from iPhone users.
The Noom app is a subscription-based plan. After the initial seven day trial, Noom costs $59 per month or $199 for the year.
The DoFasting app was created to make intermittent fasting simple for beginners. For those unfamiliar with the concept of intermittent fasting, it’s a cyclical dietary approach that alternates between periods of eating and fasting throughout the day. The most common is the 16:8 approach, in which you have eight consecutive hours to consume all of your calories over the course of a 24 hour day.
The app’s primary feature is a customizable fasting schedule and timer, but it also includes weight, water, steps and calorie tracking features. Some potential benefits of fasting include easier weight loss, improved markers of health and reduced inflammation.
- The app has over 5,000 healthy recipes to help improve your nutrition; however, some reviewers wish the recipes had a better search feature and filter for certain foods.
- The app uses daily reminders and motivational notifications for improved accountability.
- The DoFasting app includes a library of workouts that are suitable for all ages and skill levels.
- App tracking features include weight, water, steps and calories.
- Intermittent fasting is not advised for athletes who need a constant supply of energy for sports and activity.
- If you miss a day of food tracking or forget to input a meal, you can’t return to a previous day to input or adjust the data.
- Some users are currently having trouble with the app crashing on them or logging them out.
App Store & Google Play Ranking
The DoFasting app has a 4.3/5 star rating on the Google Play store and a 3.7/5 star rating on the Apple App Store.
DoFasting is a subscription-based app that offers one-month, three-month and six-month plans. The one-month plan costs around $34 dollars, and the six-month plan is around $10 dollars per month.
WW (formerly Weight Watchers) centers around a proprietary food points system that replaces conventional calorie and nutrient tracking. The concept includes a PersonalPoints budget that tells you how many points you have available on a daily basis. WW assigns point values to foods based on their nutritional profile, and you fit them into your meal plan. The Premier package includes an individualized plan built for each member based on their lifestyle and dietary preferences. It includes a personalized ZeroPoints foods list, which mainly includes nutrient dense foods that are very difficult to overeat.
One area where WW excels is community support. WW hosts meetings for users to discuss their weight loss journeys, encourage each other and celebrate wins. This social support has been shown to increase program adherence and generate better long-term weight loss results. The WW app is available on both the Apple iOS store and the Google Play store, and the app can sync with other weight loss apps and smartwatches, including Fitbit, Garmin and Apple Watch (to name a few). Check out our WW Review if you’re interested in more details regarding this program.
- WW is great for people who enjoy a community centered approach to weight loss.
- On-demand exercise videos are available in the app, and are suitable for different ages and skill levels.
- There are no off-limit foods in the WW app program.
- The app houses thousands of meatless recipes and a plant-based cookbook for vegans and vegetarians.
- There is no free version of the app.
- It may be difficult to adjust to the points system style, especially since the ZeroPoints foods are based upon what you select at the start of your program. Additionally, just because there are food items that are ZeroPoints doesn’t mean that they are calorie free. In theory, you could definitely overeat on these ZeroPoint foods and no longer be in a caloric deficit necessary for weight loss.
- This program might also dissuade people from eating a variety of different foods because once they find a consistent pattern of foods that fits their allotted daily points they might be wary of switching it up.
App Store & Google Play Ranking
WW has a 4.6/5 star rating with over 10 million downloads on the Google Play store and a 4.8/5 star rating on the Apple iOS Store.
Weight Watchers offers two membership options: Core, which is a nutrition plan and essentials toolkit designed to help you eat healthier ($23/month) and Premium, which is a customized nutrition plan that comes with unlimited support, live coaching, workshops and community groups ($45/month).
Nutrisystem is a weight loss program where users choose a nutrition plan and are delivered pre-made meals and snacks five or seven days a week. The plans also include individual guidance for your nutritional goals. Depending on the plan, you’ll receive one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner and one snack each day. The meals are designed to help you lose an average of one to two pounds per week when you follow one of the weight loss plans.
The NuMi app from Nutrisystem is a convenient way to track your daily meals, discover healthy recipes and manage your Nutrisystem account. You don’t need to participate in a Nutrisystem plan in order to download and use the NuMi app. It functions similarly to other calorie trackers, and has a huge database of different food options available for you to choose from. It also can help suggest food items to incorporate for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, so you can prepare well-balanced meals.
- You don’t need a Nutrisystem meal plan subscription to utilize the NuMi app.
- The app helps suggest foods that create well-balanced meals.
- The app has an extensive recipe list designed to help you achieve your health goals.
- The app allows you to track your daily activity and weight loss progress (including photos). It also sends daily reminders for you to eat and drink water, and allows you to order Nutrisystem meals directly from the app.
- You can’t change your suggested daily calories in the app.
- If you choose to utilize their meal-plan subscription, meals are shipped monthly rather than weekly, so you need to have a lot of space in your fridge, freezer and pantry for the meals.
App Store & Google Play Ranking
NuMi has a 3.6/5 star rating and 500,000 downloads on the Google Play store. On the Apple iOS Store, it has a 4.6/5 star rating.
The NuMi app is completely free to use. If you want to incorporate the Nutrisystem meals into your plan, then the price ranges from $9.99 to around $18 dollars per day.
Cronometer is beneficial for people looking to understand the nutritional quality of the foods that they’re eating. The primary difference between Cronometer and other calorie counting apps is the comprehensive nutrient tracker that helps you to not only hit your calorie and macronutrient goals, but also your daily vitamins and minerals. This is especially helpful for athletes looking to maximize their performance through ensuring an optimal amino acid and micronutrient profile.
Cronometer also uses the USDA nutritional information for their food database, so the tracking information is very accurate. Similar to other apps, Cronometer allows you to sync with most fitness tracker apps and devices like Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Health and Google Fit.
- You can manually add your own recipes into the app, and even directly import recipes from websites if you upgrade to Cronometer Gold.
- The Cronometer app tracks many different metrics for your foods, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbohydrates, lipids and amino acid profiles.
- The app allows the use of your camera as a barcode scanner to quickly add food to your food journal.
- In addition to nutrient and calorie intake tracking, the Cronometer app allows you to easily add and track your exercise.
- The Cronometer app has a smaller food database than other tracking apps (but it’s still very comprehensive).
- The app doesn’t save frequently entered foods or nutrition labels the way health apps like MyFitnessPal do.
App Store & Google Play Ranking
Cronometer has a 4.6/5 star rating with over one million downloads on the Google Play store and a 4.7/5 star rating on the Apple iOS Store.
There is a free version of Cronometer as well as a subscription based plan called Cronometer Gold that costs $8.99 per month or $49.99 annually ($4.16 per month). The Gold membership gives you perks that include a completely ad-free user interface, a fasting timer, a recipe importer from your favorite websites, food suggestions to help you reach nutritional requirements, custom charts/graphs and insights and more.
MyFitnessPal (MFP) is one of the best free nutrition tracking apps for helping you stay accountable and focused on your goals. The app is intuitive and easy to use, and has some nice features to get you started. You begin by inputting your current weight and goal weight, along with your weekly goal of either gaining or losing up to two pounds per week. The app will then determine optimal calorie and macronutrient goals for you. (These values can be adjusted by you, too.) Once your goal setting is complete, you can head over to your food diary and easily enter the foods you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. There are even places for you to input your daily exercise and water intake.
One of my favorite features of the MyFitnessPal app is the nutritional value pie chart that shows how much of each macronutrient and micronutrient you’ve eaten during the day and how many more you need to hit your daily goals. This is very helpful when trying to round out your daily food intake, since you can factor in your deficits as you round out your meal planner. While not as thorough as Cronometer, MFP does track your daily intake of fiber, sugar, cholesterol, some of the main vitamins and minerals and saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fats. This is definitely one of my favorite nutrition tracking apps.
- Has a robust database for easy food logging.
- Includes macronutrient and calorie recommendations to either maintain, gain or lose weight.
- Syncs with almost all activity and fitness tracking devices, and allows you to track your workouts.
- The MFP app allows individual users to enter foods into the database and input the calories and macronutrient values. This can cause certain options to be input incorrectly into the database. It’s advised to choose only foods with green check marks next to them to ensure the calorie and macronutrient values have been verified by the app.
- The app and website often don’t sync correctly, so if you input information on one, it likely won’t appear on the other.
App Store & Google Play Ranking
MyFitnessPal has a 4.2/5 star rating with over 100 million downloads on the Google Play store, and a 4.7/5 star rating on the Apple iOS Store.
The basic version of MyFitnessPal is free, but there’s a premium version for $19.99 per month or $79.99 per year. The premium version of the app offers food analysis, the camera barcode scanner, an ad-free experience, the ability to set macronutrient goals by the gram and more.
The MyPlate Calorie Counter app was created by the Livestrong group, not to be confused with the MyPlate.gov website from the USDA. The user interface is very easy to follow and similar to other nutrition trackers like MyFitnessPal. They have a large food database, and when you input your food, it tracks your calories, macronutrients, cholesterol, fiber, sodium and sugar. Any additional micronutrient data requires upgrading to the Gold membership.
The app includes the use of the camera barcode scanner, which is a fantastic feature used to quickly scan items or create your own custom foods in the app. Other free features of the app include daily nutrition charts, daily caloric and macronutrient breakdowns and net calories by day, week, etc., as well as daily exercise and water intake tracking.
- The MyPlate Calorie Counter app includes a community forum that provides peer support and motivation.
- If you join a program, you can access an eight-week meal plan created by nutritionist Keri Glassman. The meal plan consists of simple and easy to prepare meals that are low in calories and still taste great.
- You can easily create and enter recipes into the app. Just choose the number of servings a recipe makes, and the app will take care of the math for you.
- Users need to upgrade to the Gold membership to see the micronutrient values for the foods they’re eating.
- Some members have reported inconsistencies in the food database, saying that some foods have incorrect calories or macronutrients listed.
- The food database isn’t as robust as other apps, and users occasionally can’t find the foods they’re scanning into the app.
App Store & Google Play Ranking
MyPlate Calorie Counter has a 4.6/5 star rating with over one million downloads on the Google Play store. It has a 4.7/5 star rating on the Apple iOS Store.
The base version of the app is completely free to download. Individuals can then decide if they would like to upgrade to a Gold membership in order to explore some added benefits, including macronutrients by meal, nutrient density scores, ad-free interface, a clean-eating guide and more in-depth statistics tracking. The Gold Membership costs $9.99 per month or $44.99 for the year.
MyNetDiary is another free nutrition tracking app that’s easy to use if you’re looking to track calories and macronutrients. The basic version of the app allows you to enter your food and water intake and daily exercise. It also includes a daily diet analysis, a recipe importer from other websites, a recipe database, a meal planner shopping list and a camera barcode scanner. Reviewers rave about the diet analysis features of the app and enormous food database that’s easy to use. They also really enjoy the PhotoFood service that allows users to scan the barcode of products and upload photos of the food labels into the app. You can even send menu photos from a restaurant with the restaurant’s URL, and the MyNetDiary team will add these foods into the database.
Another useful free tool is called Grocery Check. When using this tool, you scan the barcode of a food item using your phone’s camera, and MyNetDiary displays the product’s grade, calories, nutrients and macros chart, thus helping consumers to make an informed decision when shopping. All these features combine to create one of the best nutrition tracking apps currently available.
- MyNetDiary will guide you with personalized tips, diet advice and feedback. It also includes diet analysis with detailed information about daily nutrient intake.
- There is no email address sign-up required to use the app.
- The app is compatible with wearables like Garmin, Samsung Health, Apple Watch, Fitbit and Google Fit.
- There is a completely ad-free interface for both the free and premium versions of the app.
- The diet plans and premium recipes are behind a paywall.
- There is no micronutrient tracking without the premium version.
- The app doesn’t have any workout plans.
App Store & Google Play Ranking
MyNetDiary has a 4.7/5 star rating with over one million downloads on the Google Play store. It has a 4.8/5 star rating on the Apple iOS Store.
The basic version of this app is free, but there’s also MyNetDiary Premium, which costs $8.99 per month or $59.99 per year. The Premium option includes 13 advanced tracking and analysis tools. For example, the Nutrient Planning tool allows you to select from up to 45 additional nutrients to track, and the AutoPilot tool automatically adjusts your daily caloric intake targets when your body weight changes.
The Ovia Pregnancy app is an all-in-one pregnancy tracker that has a baby development tracker, a calendar, a due date countdown, medication reminders and food and activity logs. Since this is a nutrition tracking review, I’m going to focus on the nutrition component of the app.
As we know, nutritional needs change during pregnancy in order to support a healthy mom and growing baby. However, figuring out exactly what you can and can’t eat during this time can feel overwhelming, especially if this is your first pregnancy. The Ovia Pregnancy app simplifies this process and makes it easy to ensure that you’re getting the nutrients that both you and your baby need for a healthy pregnancy. Specifically, the app suggests recipes and nutrients that will help to support fetal development, and it includes a food safety guide and helpful articles regarding pregnancy nutrition and health.
- Ovia is a completely free app with no subscription plans required.
- The app promotes a comprehensive approach to the health of pregnant women and their babies.
- The app comes with a food safety guide for pregnant women.
- There are frequent in-app advertisements.
- This app lacks tracking data points and trend analysis.
App Store & Google Play Ranking
Ovia Pregnancy Tracker has a 4.7/5 star rating with over one million downloads on the Google Play store, and a 4.9/5 star rating on the Apple iOS Store.
This app is completely free to download and use. At this time there are no in-app purchases or subscription plans available.
Why Use A Nutrition App?
Nutrition apps are excellent tools that can help you achieve your wellness goals through a healthy diet. They function in a variety of different ways, including calorie counting, nutrient tracking, educational courses, blog articles and even helping to keep you accountable through daily and weekly check-ins and reminders.
I personally have found these apps to be extremely effective in helping my clients learn about serving sizes and how many calories are actually in the foods they’re consuming on a daily basis. For example, food items such as condiments, dressings and cooking oils are not calorie free and often go unaccounted for when determining daily caloric intake. People are shocked to learn what a tablespoon of peanut butter really looks like, or that their salad with dressing is double or even triple the calories that they expected. These realizations are incredibly important, especially for people with weight loss goals.
How We Chose the Best Nutrition Apps
I chose nutrition apps that have lots of different brands and food items in their databases—that way, their nutrition information is more likely to be accurate. Additionally, I picked apps that have well designed user interfaces that are intuitive to understand and use. Versatility is also a critical component to a well-designed nutrition app. In most cases, simply tracking the calories in a food isn’t enough information to help someone achieve their goals. That’s why the majority of the apps on this list include features like macro and micronutrient tracking, hydration protocols, healthy recipes, workout plans and informational courses.
Finally, customer reviews are very important to consider when deciding which nutrition apps to use. I read through user reviews, and encourage you to read reviews on the Google Play or Apple App store to determine which app you want to download. The reviews provide a lot of insight regarding the user interface, the overall experience and any potential red flags or buggy software.
How to Choose the Best Nutrition App For You
The three questions I like to ask my clients when determining their nutritional goals are: Where are you now? Where do you want to be? How are you going to get there? In my opinion, these are the most important questions you need to answer before beginning your health and wellness journey, much less choosing the best nutrition app for you.
Nutrition apps are designed to help with the “How are you going to get there?” phase of your journey. When choosing, think about the features of a nutrition app that will best help you to achieve your personal goals. Is simply tracking your calories and macronutrients effective? Or do you need a specific system or plan to follow? Maybe you need a coach who you can ask specific questions and who can help keep you accountable. Once you have these questions answered, you can choose the app that will best suit your needs.
Weight Loss Goals
Having a weight loss goal is one of the primary reasons people begin using a nutrition app in the first place. However, the true benefit of these apps isn’t simply weight loss, but developing the healthy habits and routines that lead to long-term beneficial health outcomes. This is an important distinction because the real goal is developing a healthier lifestyle, with weight loss being the happy side effect. Luckily, the use of these apps have been shown to improve diet and weight loss outcomes, especially when utilized in conjunction with physical activity.
When used correctly, the nutrition apps on this list will accommodate just about any dietary preferences that you might have (gluten-free, paleo diet, keto diet, low-carb diet, etc.). In most cases, these apps are not telling you exactly what to eat; instead, they allow you to track the foods that you are consuming in order to understand the amount of calories and nutrients they contain.
The majority of nutrition apps focus on calorie counting and nutrient tracking. Others provide some additional benefits like nutrition education and psychological benefits centered around mindful eating. One app on this list was even created specifically for people who are pregnant. No matter what you’re looking for, you can find an app that suits your specific needs.
Since these apps are available via the Apple or Google Play app stores, they have thousands of downloads and reviews. Check these ratings and reviews before deciding on an app. The reviews often contain valuable information regarding whether or not the app is a good fit for your needs.
Certain apps are endorsed by athletes or celebrities, but this shouldn’t be a deciding factor in which app to choose. Instead, you should focus on the features and functionalities the app provides and how they align with your personalized goals.
Some of the apps on this list are completely free to download and offer upgraded packages for a monthly fee. Others are subscription based services or require a one-time fee to join. Ultimately, choosing the best food tracking and nutrition app comes down to what you think will provide the best results. If you’re looking for a simple, free tracker, then MyFitnessPal, Cronometer and MyNetDiary are great options. If you want an app that’s more in-depth or want to unlock specific features behind a paywall, then go for an app with a subscription plan, like Noom or WW.
Nutrition App FAQS
Is there an app that tracks all nutrients?
If you’re looking for apps that go beyond calorie counting, then I suggest using either MyFitnessPal or Cronometer. Both of these apps offer excellent free versions with subscription plan offerings with added benefits. They also allow you to set your daily macronutrient goals and track a variety of different micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.
How do I track my daily nutrition?
The majority of the nutrition apps on this list enable you to add the foods and serving sizes that you’re consuming. Then, the apps will track your calories, macronutrients and even micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. The apps either have a stored database where you can select the exact foods you’re eating, or they can estimate the nutritional value of foods that you manually enter. MyFitnessPal is a great example: You can use your phone to scan the barcode of the food you are eating, and it will populate the calories and nutrients for you (this feature is behind the subscription paywall).
Nutrition apps can be a big asset in your health or weight loss journey. Simply logging what you eat can cause you to think twice before eating certain foods. For the best results, be very diligent about recording your food and beverages, including snacks, cooking oils, condiments and extras like coffee creamer. These “hidden foods” can be what’s hindering you from reaching your nutritional goals.
Also, be aware that nutrition apps can potentially increase disordered eating behaviors. If you notice that you’re very preoccupied with hitting the exact number of recommended calories or that you feel like a failure when you don’t hit your numbers, it may be a sign that you should take a break from using a nutrition app. However, in most cases, using a nutrition app can be an incredibly effective tool to help you reach your health goals and develop better eating habits.
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