Work Life / Comparing Calorie Counting Apps

Comparing Calorie Counting Apps

Work Life Mar 13, 2015


Tech Comparison: Myfitnesspal versus LoseIt! 

People strive every day to live healthy lives. If you're trying to maintain your current weight, then the idea is to consume as many calories as you put out. If you're trying to lose weight, then the goal is to burn more calories than you eat. But how can you keep track of all this? Well, thanks to mobile apps, managing your weight couldn’t be easier.

With calorie counters at your fingertips, there really is no excuse not to keep track of your food and activity. Studies have proven that mobile apps that help you track your fitness lead to a higher success rate when it comes to achieving your health goals.*

Here’s a comparison of two calorie counting apps: Myfitnesspal and LoseIt!. Both apps can help you with your fitness management. The best part is that they're free!


How do they work?

These apps are essentially food diaries but they track so much more than food. You create a profile and enter your weight, age, height, and gender. If you're looking to lose weight, then you can enter your goals as well. Based on all this information, the app provides you with a maximum recommended caloric intake for the day.

Myfitnesspal allows you to adjust your caloric intake if you feel like you need more or fewer calories. It even lets you adjust the amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat you would like to consume daily.

You can also record your body measurements if you like! Although both apps allow you to do this, Lose It! requires you purchase the premium version for this feature.

 

Food catalog and Ease of Use

With both apps, the food diary is divided into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You type in the name of an item, like "apple," and pick the amount you ate to add it to your diary. Myfitnesspal allows you to enter the numerical value of an item; however, Lose It! does not. It can be frustrating for those of us not using a scale to measure our food in grams. Also, when selecting an item, Myfitnesspal lists the calories for you to compare; however, with Lose It!, you have to click on an item to see the calories.

Both these apps allow you to add multiple foods to a category at a time, and they both remember your last eaten or most frequently eaten foods. However, Myfitnesspal surpasses Lose It! in terms of food inventory. You can find your traditional Punjabi and South Indian foods as well as fast food chains' menus, like Subway.

Connectivity and Barcode Scanner

Both apps allow you to search for and add foods without being connected to the Internet, which means you can stay on track even when you're travelling and can't use your data plan. The barcode scanner helps you zap food items like yogurt or a bag of chips really quickly, but both apps require Internet connectivity for this feature.
 

Exercise 

Both apps offer an extensive list of exercises; however, just like the food diary, there are a lot more options on Myfitnesspal. You can add anything from yoga to Wii Fit games to swimming. Myfitnesspal also tracks your strength training, but with no calorie count, for activities such as bicep curls. 


Compatibility

MyFitnessPal is compatible with 30+ health management apps, but Lose It! only works with 10. The good news is that both apps are compatible with Fitbit activity trackers. It's a great way to save time when all your apps are synced into one display.

Both apps allow you to add friends and view their food diaries. The online community serves as a motivation to stick to your goals.

Tip: Keep in mind that we're likely to underestimate our calories consumed and overestimate our calories burnt. Both apps display how much caloric intake you're allowed, how much you ate, and how many calories you burned through exercise. Try to stay at the caloric goal set up by the app, and good luck!

*"Smartphone apps and the mobile privatization of health and fitness." Author Milington, Brad. Published 2014

Feature Image:Getty via: thesun.ie
Blog Images coutresy of fitness apps

Naemah Abid

Naemah Abid

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Born in Saudi Arabia and originally from Pakistan, this Canadian immigrant is all too familiar with airport life. After taking her first pleasure trip abroad post-graduation, Naemah was hit with the travel bug. Find this frequent traveller sharing pictures and experiences, offering up advice and tra...

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