ave you ever daydreamed about having a dietitian on call to help you navigate the confounding labyrinth of nutritional tenets like: “healthy eating,” “dieting,” “weight loss,” and “meal tracking”? What’s more, have you ever fantasized that this illustrious nutrition guru would offer you their expertise for free?
For most, having an esteemed dietitian at their beck and call is just that—a daydream. However, what isn’t a daydream, is the convenient and economical alternative of having a preferred digital dietary resource available to you 24 hours a day. Whether you enjoy snapping photos of your food or logging your calorie consumption the old-fashioned way with pen and paper, food journaling apps are an efficient modern method of tracking your food intake throughout the day.
With so many food journaling apps to choose from, it may be difficult to narrow down the app that suits your lifestyle, personality, and nutritional goals. While modes of dieting often vary, the aims are virtually unchangeable: feel better, look better, and lose weight. Whatever your personal nutritional goals are, rest assured that there is an app to help make those goals achievable.
Here is the skinny on the best food journaling apps for your individual weight loss or overall nutritional improvement goals:
This app is one of the most sought-after apps in the food diary game. The MyFitnessPal app boasts a food database comprising over two million items. Indicate your current weight, what your target weight is, height, age, activity level, exercise regimen, and how many pounds you would like to shed per week, and the MyFitnessPal app will assist you with staying on track toward your target weight loss goal. In addition to logging what you eat and what you’ve had to drink throughout the day, this app tracks your fitness regimen and provides support and motivation from fellow users. The MyFitnessPal app is available for free through iTunes and Google Play.
Macros is shorthand for macronutrients—specifically the nutrients that your body needs in copious amounts (hence the term “macro”). Carbohydrates, fat, and protein are the holy trinity of the macro diet. So, whether your journaling focus is on carbs, fat, or protein this app will tell you how much of each nutrient you need. The Macro Coach feature will also scan barcodes on food packages to find the nutrition facts of your favorite foods for you. The Fitocracy Macros app is available for free through iTunes.
Keto Diet Meal Plan
Weight loss is not the only reason the high-fat, low carb ketogenic diet is touted as a diet actually worth its weight in results (no pun intended)—research also suggests that the ketogenic diet may be an effective regulation tool for improving your mental health by decreasing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and ADHD. The Keto Diet Meal Plan app provides you with meal plans within your carb limits. An expedient and convenient feature of this app takes care of the tedious carb-counting work of traditional dieting for you. The Keto Diet Meal Plan app is available for free through iTunes.
Perhaps dieting, exercise, and better nutrition are not the only concerns you have about keeping close tabs on how much you eat. Body image is also a fundamental concern of those seeking to improve their health. Rise Up is an app designed with eating disorder sufferers in mind. Its basic principles of self-monitoring are derived from tenets of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In addition to logging your meals, you can add distinct details like: the location of where you ate, whom you were with, and your mood at the time you ate. The Rise Up app is available for free through iTunes and Google Play.
Whether your desire is to lose weight, acquire more muscle, or to just feel healthier, this app caters to the versatility of the average individual’s weight loss goals. Utilize this app to track your daily activities and manage your food diary. A built-in bar code scanner enables you to efficiently search for the food you want to include in your log. The Yazio app is available for free through iTunes and Google Play.
See How You Eat
The rise of social media colossuses like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook has taught us two basic truths: (a) selfies are an indelible feature of the modern digital landscape and (b) as a runner-up to taking pictures of themselves, people love snapping and sharing photos of food. The See How You Eat app was designed with visual learners in mind. Using this app, you can see at a glance all of the food you have consumed that day. Visual reminders of what you’ve had to eat on a given day create a compelling argument for making healthier choices. This app promotes healthy eating at regular intervals to boost energy and abate impulsive food choices that can wreak havoc on your longterm nutritional goals. The See How You Eat app is available for free through iTunes and Google Play.
In addition to an online food diary, this app promotes a comprehensive database of 625,000 foods and 1,500 fitnessrelated items that enable users to monitor their daily calorie consumption as well as how many calories they burn. Calories can be tracked over a specified period and delineations of how those calories were acquired or burned are also provided. The MyPlate app is available for free through iTunes.
This app takes the tedium, guilt, and ambiguity out of classic food journaling. YouAte encourages users to steer their focus away from traditional carb counting and calorie emphasis by simply taking a closer look at the food choices they are making.
Maintaining a food journal on this app is as convenient as snapping a photo of everything you munch on throughout the day. Reviewing snapshots of the food they eat motivates users to consistently evaluate whether the choices they’re making are really helping them to achieve their goals. The YouAte app is available for free through iTunes.
The Pukapal app is an imaginative and interactive spin on the traditional food diary app. Users of this app “feed their puka” by documenting and sharing their meals and by liking their favorite dishes. Pukapal allows users to upload photos of their food to their timeline, add captions, and earn rewards by sharing and inviting friends to join. This collaborative app also offers weekly timeline suggestions to motivate and inspire users to continue tracking their culinary adventures. The Pukapal app is available for free through iTunes.
My Food Diary
This app takes a holistic approach to helping you achieve your weight loss goal. My Food Diary features seven different methods for logging meals and a vast database of 80,000 expertly complied food items. If you wish to share your account with a spouse, friend, or significant other you can also log recipes that you and your companion commonly make. My Food Diary provides color-coded nutrition reports daily and you can even assemble your own graphs using personally selected data. The My Food Diary is available for free to members of the MyFoodDiary website.
So, whether you are a snap-and-post food journal enthusiast or more of the meticulous and traditional recordkeeper variety—maintaining a log of what you eat just got easier, more convenient, more modern, and more fun with the creation of these vastly popular food tracking apps. Nutritional goals may vary from person to person, but rates of achieving long-term success can grow exponentially when you have resources and collaborative feedback at your fingertips.