7 Best Calorie Counter Apps of 2023: Take an Informed Approach to Weight Loss

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If you're looking to lose weight or get rid of stubborn flab, one of the most helpful things you can do is keep an eye on your daily caloric intake. While we all need a certain number of calories each day just to power our bodies, regulating our intake is an important way to drop pounds. To help you determine how many calories are appropriate for your height, weight, and activity level, a calorie counter can be a major asset. As with all major dietary changes, though, it's always important to check with your doctor before starting a calorie-restricted diet.

The Best Calorie Counter App - Our Top Picks

  • Best Overall Calorie Counter App: MyFitnessPal
  • Best Calorie Counter App for Specific Diet: Cronometer
  • Best Calorie Counter App with Lots of Features: Noom
  • Best Calorie Counter App for Weight Loss: Weight Watchers
  • Best Calorie Counter App with Technology: Lumen
  • Best Free Calorie Counter App: LoseIt! 
  • Best Simple Calorie Counter App: Nutritionix 

Of all the digital calorie counter apps to choose from, which are the most useful? At ACTIVE, we've reviewed several of the top contenders, and developed this list of the best calorie counter apps.

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Best Overall Calorie Counter App - MyFitnessPal



  • Pricing: Basic model is free; advanced features are available for monthly or annual subscriptions

GET 10% OFF MYFITNESSPALMyFitnessPal is one of the most popular calorie counters on the market today—and it's not hard to understand why. Not only does the app calculate your weight and determine your recommended daily caloric intake, but it also has an exercise log and an easy-to-use food diary. A home page display makes it easy to see your current caloric level for the day, helping guide your decisions about eating and exercise. You can also use the app to track your progress, compare with other users, and more.

The basic level of the app is available for free, but some users may want to opt for the paid model, allowing access to more advanced features. MyFitnessPal provides some really helpful tools: You can save favorite meals, scan barcodes for a quick calorie count, and beyond. Other paid-tier options include guided exercise and low-calorie recipes.

What We Like

  • Barcode scanner, plus a database of restaurant foods
  • Quick, intuitive, and easy-to-read display
  • Premium features include recipes and guided workouts

What We Don't Like

  • Editing serving sizes is difficult
  • You'll need the paid tier for top-level features

BUY: MyFitnessPal

Best Calorie Counter App for Specific Diet - Cronometer



  • Pricing: Basic model is free; annual subscription option to access advanced features

CHECK PRICELooking for a calorie counting app that can accommodate particular diets? Cronometer makes it easy for you to specify a paleo diet, low-carb, low-fat, and so on. The diet plan you select will change the app's overall recommendations, including its guidance with regard to micronutrients.

This is an incredibly helpful tool to have as you seek adherence to a particular eating plan. But we also love this app for the incredible ease of its food log, its robust focus on micronutrients, and the advanced analytics you'll get if you choose the paid membership model.

What We Like

  • Focuses on micronutrients
  • Adapts to your existing diet plan
  • Very quick and easy to log foods
  • Voiceover support for the vision impaired

What We Don't Like

  • No options to connect with other users or compare experiences
  • To log home-cooked meals, you have to log into the website (not the app)

BUY: Cronometer

Read our full Cronometer Review

Best Calorie Counter App with Lots of Features - Noom



  • Pricing: Annual subscription model

START YOUR NOOM FREE TRIALNoom has received a lot of press lately, and for good reason. While it certainly qualifies as a calorie counter, it's more accurate to say that Noom helps you lose weight and then sustain a healthy, manageable lifestyle. The app uses a personal inventory feature to assess your recommended calorie intake, then walks you through a plan to make that target calorie count attainable.

We love this app because it provides customized weight-loss plans that don't ask you to eliminate foods; instead, it simply guides you to think carefully and critically about caloric intake as well as nutrients. To help you rethink your whole approach to eating and weight management, this feature-rich app is highly recommended.

What We Like

  • Focuses on lifestyle change
  • Doesn't ask you to eliminate foods altogether
  • Highly customizable

What We Don't Like

  • Not the most budget-friendly option
  • Not recommended for those who want a more straightforward calorie counter

BUY: Noom

Best Calorie Counter App for Weight Loss - Weight Watchers



  • Pricing: Free trial, followed by monthly subscription

GET WEIGHTWATCHERS FREE FOR 3-MONTHSMost people get interested in calorie counting because their ultimate aim is to lose some weight. The Weight Watchers app understands this and provides some stellar calorie counting and nutrition features that always emphasize safe, healthy, and effective weight reduction.

Using this app will require you to subscribe to the WW program, and to buy into their basic principles regarding calorie reduction. But if you're on board with that, you'll get a wealth of customization options that allow you to find an eating plan to fit your needs and goals. The app itself offers many of the features that we love in a calorie counter, including clear, intuitive displays and barcode scanning.

What We Like

  • Barcode scanner, plus a database of restaurant foods
  • Clear, easy-to-read displays
  • Highly customizable
  • Free trial

What We Don't Like

  • Ultimately, a membership is required
  • Not the most budget-friendly option

BUY: Weight Watchers

Best Calorie Counter App with Technology - Lumen



  • Pricing: 3-tiered subscription model; no free option

Lumen provides you with something much more than just an app. When you subscribe, you'll receive not just a membership but also the Lumen device, which places metabolic tracking in the palm of your hand. The Lumen device is intended to bring greater precision and control to your calorie counting abilities, but it's also a winsome option for fitness buffs who also happen to love tech.

With that device, you'll get a range of real-time tracking features and even personalized nutrition coaching. While it's not exactly cheap, it may be well worth it if you're ready to get serious about a lifestyle change.

What We Like

  • Lumen device offers precise metabolic tracking
  • Personalized nutrition coaching
  • Full range of data and analytics

What We Don't Like

  • No free option
  • Not budget friendly 

BUY: Lumen

Best Free Calorie Counter App - LoseIt!

lose it


  • Pricing: Basic model is free; advanced features are available with an annual subscription

Many of the best calorie counter apps offer multi-tiered "freemium" models, making basic features available to everyone but reserving some of the high-end perks for subscribers. LoseIt! is an app we recommend precisely because the free tier offers so much. You'll get a lot of value from this app even if you don't choose to pony up for a membership.

So, what does the app provide? There's an easy-to-update food and meal log, plus convenient ways to input exercise. The app makes personalized recommendations based on your stats and fitness goals. You can even set daily challenges for yourself, providing some motivation and accountability. Paid features include a more robust challenge setting and personalization.

What We Like

  • Barcode scanner, plus a database of restaurant foods
  • Expansive food database
  • Personal challenge-setting features

What We Don't Like

  • No option for tracking micronutrients
  • The app's navigation isn't always intuitive 

Best Simple Calorie Counter App - Nutritionix



  • Pricing: Basic model is free; advanced features are available with an annual subscription

START YOUR NOOM FREE TRIALLooking for something sleek and intuitive, without an overabundance of bells and whistles? Look no further than Nutritionix. This is our favorite simple solution for tracking calories on the go, and for quickly monitoring your food intake throughout the day.

In fact, thanks to smart search features and a recipe library, some users say that they successfully chronicle their calories in just seconds each day. And the clear navigation makes it incredibly simple to find the tools you need, when you need them. While some will find this app a little bare-bones, we're impressed by its simplicity and elegance.

What We Like

  • Clear, easy-to-read displays
  • Smart search features
  • Quick and intuitive

What We Don't Like

  • Not as many customization features as other apps
  • The food database is somewhat limited 

Calorie Counter Apps vs. Nutrition Apps

As you seek the best app to direct your weight loss, it's important to note a key distinction: Calorie counter apps are not the same thing as nutrition apps.

A calorie counter simply provides direction for how many calories you need to take in, and how many you need to burn, in order to promote weight loss. This can be valuable as you make a meal plan or plan your exercise activity. But for some people, calorie counters may also lead to some unhealthy behaviors, including obsession over calories with little regard to things like nutrient intake.

By contrast, a nutrition app will provide a greater range of data regarding the kinds of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and nutrients you need in order to be healthy. Nutrition apps tend to be more holistic, but they also place less emphasis on sheer weight loss.

FAQs About Calorie Counter Apps

How accurate are calorie counter apps?

Nutritionists have found that the information provided by a calorie counter app is less reliable than what you'd get if you had your calorie intake monitored in a laboratory setting. With that said, the data you get from a calorie counter app is generally accurate enough to provide some direction for your diet and exercise plans.

How do I calculate my calorie count?

The best way to determine your recommended caloric intake is to input variables like your height and weight into a calorie counter app.

How many calories should I eat a day to lose weight?

This number varies from person to person, based on factors like your height and body type, as well as your level of exercise. Calorie counter apps can usually provide a decent target to aim for in addition to personal fitness training.

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