Best Calorie Counter Apps

Lifesum is the best calorie counter app for its focus on healthy eating

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Diets should not necessarily be measured by weight loss or weight gain but by their impact on overall health, including resistance to disease, amount of energy, and intake of nutrients. Consult a doctor or registered dietitian before making significant changes to your diet.

Many factors affect your weight, including the number of calories you eat. The best calorie counter apps offer extensive food databases, barcodes for quick scanning, calorie and nutrient tracking tools, recipe ideas, and meal plans. Some of our favorite apps will help you focus on eating better for your body not just eating less. Many calorie counter apps also allow you to log and track exercise. Here are the best calorie counter apps available.

Best Calorie Counter Apps of 2023

Best Overall : Lifesum


Lifesum

 Lifesum

Key Specs
  • Price: $4.33 monthly
  • Free version available: Yes
  • Platform: Android, iOS
Why We Chose It

Lifesum is our pick for best overall calorie counter app because of its focus on healthy eating, the value of high-quality foods, and an easy-to-use calorie tracker.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Combines calorie counting with healthy eating

  • Includes barcode scanner and picture recognition

  • Logs and tracks calories, macros, water, and exercise

  • Daily food rating on goals

  • Offers recipes and meal plans for various diets

  • Syncs with other apps like Google Fit and Apple Health

Cons
  • Paid subscription required for premium features like meal plans

  • Can only import and export data to and from Apple Health

  • Does not include coaching or community support

Overview

Lifesum is also one of our favorite best diet apps because of its flexibility, ease of use, integrated platforms, and motivational components. With Lifesum, you’ll not only enjoy a simple and quick way to count calories, but you’ll also learn how to eat healthier, plan meals, understand the nutrient quality of different foods, and more.

If you’re just getting started, you can opt for the app’s kick-starter three-week weight loss program, during which you’ll get pre-planned meals, easy five-ingredient recipes, shopping lists, and support for as little as $4.33. From there, you can continue with another Lifesum plan or revert to the free version and simply count calories and track nutrients on your own.

Lifesum’s calorie counter feature includes an impressive food database and a barcode scanner for easy logging. Lifesum also supports macronutrients and net carb tracking, so if you need to count carbs on a keto diet, Lifesum will work for you. No matter what you track, Lifesum gives you daily reports and a "Life Score" so you always know how you’re doing. 

Best for Live Support : Noom


Key Specs
  • Price: $209 annually, $70 monthly
  • Free version available: Yes, two-week free trial
  • Platform: Android, iOS, web browser
Why We Chose It

For those wanting a robust calorie counter, live support, coaching, and accountability, look no further than Noom. Between the ease of scanning barcodes and labels to live support and thousands of recipes, Noom will take your calorie counting goals to the next level.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Personal coaching with weekly check-ins

  • Includes barcode scanner and picture recognition

  • Simple visual calorie quality and count tracking

  • More than 1,000 recipes and meal planning

Cons
  • Expensive and no free version beyond two weeks

  • Confusing billing processes

  • Varying response rates from coaches

Overview

Noom takes a psychology-based approach to weight management through calorie counting, education, and personal coaching. Noom’s mission is to guide users as they learn to understand and alter their eating habits to make healthier choices with the help of dedicated coaches to offer extra motivation and insights.  

The app’s calorie counter uses color coding to not just log calories, but give you a quick view of how well you are eating. It offers an at-a-glance view of which foods are most calorie-dense (red) versus which are nutrient-dense (green) and will help you feel fuller longer. More than 1,000 recipes—accompanied by color-coded rankings for how well they fit your goals—are also available in its database. 

Noom’s marquee feature, however, is that it functions more like a personal coach than a calorie counter. After signing up, each user is paired with a coach who will check in weekly via live chat. Users can also reach out to their coaches and the Noom community 24/7. Starting at $70 a month, Noom is more expensive than most of our favorite calorie counters, but for those looking for extra one-on-one motivation and comprehensive education in eating well, we think it is a worthwhile investment.

Best for Diet Support : MyNetDiary


MyNetDiary

 MyNetDiary

Key Specs
  • Price: $60 annually
  • Free version available: Yes
  • Platform: Android, iOS
Why We Chose It

We chose MyNetDiary as the best for specific types of eating styles because it allows you to select from calorie-counting, vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, and keto eating patterns.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Easily logs and tracks calories, meals, exercise, and nutrients

  • Includes barcode scanner

  • Offers eating pattern options such as keto, vegan, macros

  • Includes weekly target tracker

  • Connects with Apple Watch, Garmin, Google Fit, Samsung, Fitbit, and Withings

Cons
  • Limited activity options

  • Emphasis on food tracking for weight loss

  • Advanced tracking options require premium subscription

Overview

If you want to do a little more than just count calories, you can track all of your nutrients specific to any diet with MyNetDiary. In addition to a basic calorie counter tool, MyNetDiary allows you to set a focus, such as macros, paleo, or keto. 

First, you set your targets and plan by answering a few questions that MyNetDiary uses to create your daily calorie budget. You also get to choose your desired weekly weight loss rate, macronutrient intake, and target weight loss completion date. Then, you can start logging food in the app (pro tip: log ahead of time to better adhere to your day’s meals and save time during the workday). 

In addition to its great calorie counting features, MyNetDiary also boasts extreme connectivity: you can connect the app to products from Fitbit, Apple Watch, Withings, Garmin, Google Fit, and Samsung.

Best for Weight Loss : Lose It!


Lose It!

 Lose It!

Key Specs
  • Price: $39.99 annually
  • Free version available: Yes
  • Platform: Android, iOS
Why We Chose It

Lose It! took the top spot for weight loss because of its large database of food, focus on calorie counting, and community support.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • User-friendly interface

  • Free version is enough to get started

  • Large database of foods and restaurant items

  • Includes barcode scanner

Cons
  • Paid subscription required for premium features

  • Encourages daily weigh-ins

  • Some calorie counts are inaccurate

Overview

Overall, Lose It! is a great weight loss app, largely because it provides such a simple way to log and count calories. Its four main features—goal-setting, food and exercise tracking, app and device integration, and community—make this app an easy addition to any health efforts you’re currently pursuing.

Lose It! has a food database boasting more than 27 million food products, from produce to packaged foods to restaurant meals. You can also create your own recipes to quickly log calories in one touch for recipes you eat often. For example, if you eat two eggs and two pieces of whole-wheat toast every morning, you can create a recipe and log the entire meal at once, rather than logging the individual items each morning.

On top of that, you can use the app’s barcode scanner or Snap It feature, which allows you to log food via photos. (Did you know that logging your food with photos helps you become even more aware of your eating habits?) To keep you on track with your goals, Lose It! provides weekly and monthly reports of your calorie and nutrient intake, as well as graphs to show your weight loss over time.

Best for Keto : Carb Manager


Carb Manager

 Carb Manager

Key Specs
  • Price: $3.33/month, billed annually
  • Free version available: Yes
  • Platform: Android, iOS
Why We Chose It

If you’re following a keto lifestyle, then Carb Manager is an excellent way to log and count calories and other macronutrients.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Easy-to-use macro calculator

  • Low-carb recipes and meal plans included

  • Tracks markers like body measurements and weight

Cons
  • Focuses on the keto diet

  • Free version has minimal features

  • Might hit a limit for entering food on free version

Overview

Carb Manager makes it easier to stay in ketosis and maintain or lose weight with three different calculators: a keto calculator allows you to track carbs and net carbs, a nutrient calculator allows you to track protein, fats, and other nutrients, and a calorie calculator brings it all together and shows you your total food consumption for the day. 

Carb Manager also has plenty of keto-friendly recipes for when you’re in a pinch for ideas, as well as meal plans and shopping lists to make your life easier. 

Best for Simplicity : ControlMyWeight


ControlMyWeight

 ControlMyWeight

Key Specs
  • Price: Free with ads; ad-free subscriptions are $11.99 annually, $3.99 quarterly, or $1.49 monthly
  • Free version available: Yes
  • Platform: iOS
Why We Chose It

ControlMyWeight is all about logging and counting calories, earning it our top spot for simplicity.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Verified food data

  • Specific focus on calories

  • Free with ads

Cons
  • Only for Apple iPhone and iPad

  • No export or print function within app

  • Minimal features other than calorie tracking

Overview

ControlMyWeight is the app for anyone who just wants to count calories—and that’s it. There’s beauty in simplicity, and that shows with ControlMyWeight. When you open the app, you’ll find a visually appealing, easy-to-navigate interface. The number of features on ControlMyWeight doesn’t compare to most of the other calorie counter apps on this list, but that’s exactly the point. 

If you do need a little help, ControlMyWeight still has your back: You can set up the app so that it sends you push notifications throughout the day, reminding you how many carbs, fats, and sugars you’ve eaten to help you stay on track. The app also features very simple weight charts so you can visualize your progress.

Best With Lots of Features : MyFitnessPal


MyFitnessPal

 MyFitnessPal

Key Specs
  • Price: $79.99 annually, $19.99 monthly
  • Free version available: Yes
  • Platform: Android, iOS, web
Why We Chose It

MyFitnessPal earns the top spot for features. This app allows you to log and count calories, track exercise, view weight-loss progress, and connect with friends for support.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Largest food database available

  • Includes barcode scanner

  • Connects with over 50 other apps

  • Tracks exercise and calories burned

  • Free version is enough to get started

Cons
  • Free version does not have recipe suggestions

  • User-generated foods with macros may be wrong

  • Daily calories and weight prediction may be inaccurate

Overview

Health and fitness advocates and professionals herald MyFitnessPal as one of the best healthy-living apps on the market. That’s with good reason: MyFitnessPal makes food logging and calorie counting easy with its simple interface and food database of more than 11 million food items (by far one of the largest available—most calorie counting apps have databases of 10 million or fewer items).

MyFitnessPal also has a barcode scanner that recognizes millions of food products, a restaurant logging feature with meals from popular restaurants, a recipe importer so you can import nutrition information from your own recipes, and, perhaps best of all, an automatic calorie counting feature that compiles your calorie intake from all the food you log. 

With MyFitnessPal, you can accurately track nutrients and count calories on any diet, thanks to the personalized diet profile and flexibility afforded by the app. To celebrate your success, check out the weight charts and nutrition insights. And don’t forget to upload progress photos!

Best Completely Free : Calorie Counter by FatSecret


Fatsecret

 Fatsecret

Key Specs
  • Price: Free
  • Free version available: Yes
  • Platform: Android, iOS
Why We Chose It

Budget-conscious calorie counters will enjoy this fast and easy calorie counting app from FatSecret.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free version is all most users need

  • Food diary for logging and tracking

  • Large collection of recipes and nutritional info

  • Includes exercise diary, weight chart, and journal

Cons
  • Paid version unlocks premium features like meal plans

  • Focus is on food and calories more than physical activity

Overview

Most of the calorie counter apps on this list have free versions and paid versions. If you are looking for a calorie counter app that’s 100% free and still contains all of the features you need for successful calorie counting, go with Calorie Counter by FatSecret. We covered this great app as one of our picks for best keto apps, but it also works as a calorie counter and food diary for any diet.

Calorie Counter by FatSecret is fast, simple, and comprehensive: enjoy a food diary, large food database, exercise diary, weight chart and journal, and a vast collection of healthy recipes to support your efforts. This app also features image recognition of food, making it easier than ever to log and track calories, as well as a unique diet calendar to visualize when you eat and burn the most calories. 

Best for Recipes : MyPlate Calorie Counter


My Plate Calorie Counter logo

My Plate Calorie Counter

Key Specs
  • Price: $9.99 monthly 
  • Free version available: Yes
  • Platform: Android, iOS
Why We Chose It

MyPlate Calorie Counter is our choice for best calorie counter with recipes because it offers an eight-week meal plan with nutritionally balanced snacks and meals and suggests recipes based on how many calories you burn in a given day. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Counts calories, macros and nutritional info with helpful graphics

  • Includes barcode scanner

  • Offers custom 8-week meal plan 

  • Community support and success stories

  • Integrated workout suggestions

  • Syncs with Apple Health, Google Fit, Apple Watch and Android smart watches

Cons
  • Paid subscription required for premium features like some recipes and detailed nutritional information

  • Limited recipes available with the free meal plan

  • Some barcode scanned nutritional may be inaccurate

Overview

If you are ready to change your eating habits, but unsure where to start, MyPlate by Livestrong can help by offering an eight-week meal plan—even with its free version. 

The app, available for both Android and iOS devices, tracks not only how many calories you are eating with each meal, but detailed nutritional information. Simple graphs and charts make tracking your progress toward your custom goal easy. Plus, the app connects you to other users and success story videos to help you stay motivated. MyPlate also has a database of exercise routines and tracks how many calories you burn with each.

The free eight-week meal plan can be tailored to omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, and keto diets, but you’ll need to pay to get access to more recipes geared toward “clean eating.”

Best Non-Judgmental : Ate Food Diary


Ate Food Diary logo

Ate Food Diary

Key Specs
  • Price: $5.99 monthly
  • Free version available: Yes
  • Platform: Android, iOS
Why We Chose It

Ate Food Diary is our pick for a non-judgmental alternative to a calorie counter because it focuses on changing eating habits and how food makes you feel.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Analyzes whether your meals are helping you reach your goal

  • Includes picture recognition 

  • Options to set goals like “lose weight” or “eat better”

  • Tracks how food makes you feel

  • Daily reviews let you know if you are on track

  • Option to share with friends

Cons
  • Paid subscription required for premium features like beverage tracking

  • Does not include calorie counter

  • No detailed statistics on nutrition

Overview

Ate Food Diary was designed with mindfulness around food as its mission. The app allows you to document your meals and snacks in photos and log why and when you ate them, how your food made you feel, and whether your choices were in line with your wellness goals. It does not provide the detailed nutritional information that some of our other favorite apps do, but if you find counting every calorie discouraging, this app may help you experiment with new habits—it offers suggestions like “cooking at home”—and how they make you feel in a less judgmental format. 

Ate Food Diary is free to download, but some customizations are only available with a $5.99 monthly subscription.

Final Verdict

Calorie counter apps make it easy and convenient to keep up with your eating habits and track your progress toward your goals, whether you are trying to lose weight, maintain, or eat a more balanced diet. If you are looking for detailed insights into your eating habits to help you make a sustainable change with meal plans and community support, download Lifesum, our pick for the overall best calorie counter app. Lifesum is easy to use and stick to, with motivational and educational features.

Guide to Choosing the Best Calorie Counter Apps

What Is a Calorie Counter App?

A calorie counter app is a program you can use on your mobile device to keep track of all the calories you consume and burn throughout the day. The main feature of calorie counter apps is the ability to record calories and nutritional information. But many calorie counter apps have other helpful tools, such as activity trackers, barcode scanners, meal planners, support forums, workout videos, and the ability to sync with wearable trackers or other devices or apps.

How Do I Choose the Best Calorie Counter App for Me?

Many apps can count calories, but good ones should do more by offering a broader insight into overall nutritional health. Our top pick, Lifesum, focuses more broadly on healthy eating by emphasizing food quality and including features such as meal plans and shopping lists. This app and others also allow you to log foods with a barcode scanner.

You should also consider which app balances your calorie-counting needs and budget. MyFitnessPal, for example, is loaded with features and programs, but if all you need is basic calorie counting on budget, the app may not be worth its $19.99-a-month cost. For basic needs, free apps like Calorie Counter by FatSecret should suffice, while Lifesum offers a compromise with calorie counting as well as educational features for just a few dollars a month. 

If motivation is your biggest hurdle, you may want to opt for a calorie counter that sends you reminders. Among Lifesum’s many features are optional support and reminder notifications. ControlMyWeight is also a good option for a more pared-down calorie counter with push notifications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Difference Between a Calorie Counter App and Nutrition App?

Calorie counter apps are designed to turn your smartphone into a food and activity calculator and tracker. Nutrition apps—also referred to as macro tracking apps—are very similar to calorie counter apps as they give you one place to log and monitor calories and nutrients. Where they may differ is in the charts, graphs, and data they display. For example, a nutrition app may share more insight into the amount of protein or carbohydrates you’re consuming, whereas a calorie counter may be set up just to display a running tally of your daily calories.

Can Counting Calories Help Me Lose Weight?

Many experts and studies point to counting calories as one of the best ways to lose weight. However, it's often more complex than that, and a sustainable plan should include a broader approach to diet and exercise, with a goal of losing no more than one or two pounds per week. By tracking the number of calories you’re consuming and burning, you can get motivated to hold yourself accountable and succeed in your weight loss goals. But any such plan still should start with a consultation with a doctor or registered dietitian.

How Many Calories Should I Eat per Day?

The best apps do the calculating for you. What you need to do is accurately enter the foods you eat. Many apps even have barcode scanners that allow you to scan packaged foods for quick calculations. It's still important to remember that not all calories are created equal. A healthy diet also needs to consider nutritional content, activity level, and more.

How Do Calorie Counting Apps Determine How Much I Should Eat?

Most apps calculate how many calories you should eat each day based on your current weight, height, age, gender, and goal weight. Some also base this number on how much exercise you are getting. It is always a good idea to consult a doctor or nutritionist about whether your goals and calorie intake are right for you, especially if you have any medical conditions. 

Methodology

To be considered for this list, a calorie counter app must have a free version that provides enough features to make it helpful and worth using. We also considered the food database, and if it included a barcode scanner for quick entry. Apps that allow you to track calories from popular restaurants and grocery-store items were also given priority. Other features that helped in our reviews included recipe ideas, meal plans, and the ability to track exercise or other activities. And finally, we looked at several online reviews and customer ratings to gain insight into the daily use of the calorie counter apps.

Calorie Counting

Getty Images 

Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Zhao D, Guallar E, Woolf TB, et al. Association of eating and sleeping intervals with weight change over time: the daily24 cohort. JAHA. Published online January 18, 2023:e026484.

  2. Cena H, Calder PC. Defining a healthy diet: evidence for the role of contemporary dietary patterns in health and disease. Nutrients. 2020;12(2):334. doi:10.3390/nu12020334

  3. Benton D, Young HA. Reducing calorie intake may not help you lose body weight. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2017;12(5):703-714. doi:10.1177/1745691617690878

By Amanda Capritto, ACE-CPT, INHC
Amanda Capritto, ACE-CPT, INHC, is an advocate for simple health and wellness. She writes about nutrition, exercise and overall well-being.

Edited by
April McCormick
April McCormick

April is the health editor for performance marketing at Verywell, where she oversees family health, wellness, and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Time, Parents Magazine, The Huffington Post, TripSavvy, Parenting.com, First Time Mom and Dad, Mama Mia, All4Women, the New York Times Bestseller, A Letter To My Mom, and more.

Learn about our editorial process