Food Diary Apps: The Pros and Cons of the Top 4
Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. Food Diary Apps: The Pros and Cons of the Top 4




    One of the best ways to stay accountable when it comes to weight loss is logging your meals and calories in a food diary.

    In fact, a study from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that the awareness associated with keeping track of food causes up to twice the weight loss compared to those who don’t keep track.

    But who wants to spend countless hours looking up calorie counts and writing everything down?

    Luckily, we live in a day and age where apps make it easy on us.

    But with all the choices, which ones are the best?

    We rounded up the top 4 apps to use for weight loss success and why they work, based off reviews from thousands of consumers. You can download all 5 apps on iTunes and/or Google Play, or utilize them online.

    Find out which ones works best for you!




    Food Diary Apps Review: My Fitness Pal1) myFitnessPal

    We’d be remiss not to include myFitnessPal, one of the most popular food diary apps available. myFitnessPal has more than 75 million users for a reason — it’s pretty much the best option out there for keeping track of your calories and setting goals on-the-go.

    Pros:

    • Includes personalized plan and recommended calorie budget based on your stats and individual weight loss goals.
    • Calorie counter automatically stores frequently-eaten meals and snacks.
    • Calorie counter allows you to add multiple items at once.
    • Includes a community forum to get (and share) tips, advice, motivation and encouragement.
    • Includes exercise tracker with more than 350 different options that automatically add calories to your budget based on your individual height, weight and goals.
    • Includes more than 3.2 million food options to choose from (including most Diet-to-Go meals!)
    • Allows users to scan barcodes of foods or manually add them if they’re not included.
    • Syncs with Fitbit.

    Cons:

    • Needs to be updated often; updates can be inconsistent.
    • Occasionally barcode scans don’t work.
    • Certain foods cannot be edited.

    Food Diary Apps Review: Spark People2) SparkPeople
     

    SparkPeople is more than just a way to track calories — it represents an entire weight loss community dedicated to helping each other, inspiring one another and making healthy eating an integral part of your lifestyle.

    Pros:

    • Includes expert team, health coaches, nutritionists and trainers, to guide you along your journey.
    • Provides the whole “health” package, including fitness videos and diet recommendations, plus “challenges.”
    • Access to thousands of recipes and snack ideas.
    • Food database includes more than 2 million foods.
    • Tracks fitness to factor into your calorie budget.
    • Tools include a personalized plan based on your individual BMI, weight, height, goals and timeframe.
    • Forum provides a great place to get recommendations and tips.
    • Syncs with Fitbit.

     
    Cons: 

    • Can’t manually add fitness routines (must choose from their predetermined list).
    • Food diary can be a time-suck as it asks you to manually enter every single ingredient in certain foods (i.e. salads).
    • Interface can be complicated.
       
    Food Diary Apps Review: Fat Secret3) FatSecret


    FatSecret has a smaller user-base, which actually adds to its simplistic charm. Users love how easy it is to navigate, and that it doesn’t push fad diets or unrealistic methods of losing weight.

    Pros:

    • Interface is simple and easy-to-use.
    • Community forum is about as genuine as it gets.
    • Regular challenges give you extra boost of motivation.
    • Includes a personal journal in addition to a food journal (a great way to keep of your feelings, particularly if you’ve been an emotional eater in the past).

    Cons:

    • App can occasionally freeze and slow your phone down.
    • Sometimes is unable to sync.
    • Lack of nutritional information on occasion, especially when it comes to whole foods.
    • Does not sync with Fitbit.
     
    Food Diary Apps Review: Lose It!4) Lose It! 

    Lose It is right up there with myFitnessPal for popularity, and for good reason. It not only offers the same features, it’s innovative and supportive in a way that keeps users loyal to a fault.


    Pros:

    • Easy-to-use interface.
    • Recipes, meals and food can be shared among users (including family).
    • Includes “Motivators,” reminders to log meals/food.
    • New feature “Snap It” allows users to snap photos of meals, which automatically logs them.
    • Barcode reader.

     
    Cons: 

    • Database is less robust (although it is more user-centric and has better content curated).
    • No spell check means foods must be typed in perfectly to find.

    Whichever app you choose, you’re already taking great steps toward your weight loss goals.


    What’s your favorite weight loss app? Share in the comments below!

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    Author: Caitlin Hendee
    Diet-to-Go Community Manager

    Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.

     

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