7 Best Macro Tracking Apps to Simplify Logging Meals 2021

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Also known as IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) or flexible dieting, counting macros is a way of eating that has become popular among fitness buffs and health-conscious eaters who are trying to maintain certain wellness goals.

Instead of counting calories, you focus on getting a certain number (typically grams) of macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates, and fat. “Counting macros is the ‘next level’ version of counting calories because not only are you tracking the food you eat, but the specific types of nutrients you’re taking in, too,” says DJ Blatner, R.D.N., author of The Superfood Swap.

Focusing on nutrients (as opposed to calories) gives you more flexibility, allowing you to build meals out of what you enjoy eating instead of following a list of “allowed foods,” which can feel rigid to some people, says Emily Field, M.S., R.D., a dietitian and nutrition coach who specializes in a macro-based eating approach.

“By learning how to eat to your unique needs, you gain a basic understanding of nutrition and learn how particular foods impact the way you feel,” Field explains. “This is important because not all calories are created equal—300 calories from protein does different things for your body than 300 calories from carbohydrates.”

The number of macronutrients you need varies by individual and is based on things like height and current weight, as well as your health goals, such as whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or improve a specific marker such as heart health.

To figure out your ideal “macro prescription,” try using a macro calculator like this one from freedieting.com. Then, download one of the macro tracking apps below, which will give you a breakdown of the grams of carbs, protein, and fats you’re eating.

Intimidated? Don’t be! The key is to jump in and start learning. “I cannot stress this enough: Just start!” says Field. Here are some of the best macro tracking apps to help you reach your goals.

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Cronometer

Free | iOS and Android

In addition to tracking macros, this app also helps you keep track of your health goals, logs your exercise, and syncs with a variety of activity trackers. “This one is my favorite, and it’s the most recommended,” says Field.

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FoodNoms

Free | iOS

“This is a new-ish player in the space, but it seems to be well designed for tracking macros,” says Marisa Moore, R.D.N., a registered dietitian nutritionist in Atlanta. Besides logging your food intake and counting macros, this app also allows you to scan barcodes of packaged products and gives you information about how the food you eat is benefiting you.

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MyFitnessPal

Free | iOS and Android

MyFitnessPal is one of the most well-known food tracking apps, and it’s popular for good reason. It has a feature to track macros and a huge database of fresh and packaged foods.

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FatSecret

Free | iOS and Android

This app allows you to track macros and gives you access to a support community of other app users who are working hard on health goals of their own.

5

MyPlate

Free | iOS and Android

Need new recipe ideas? This app features an in-app recipe library. Plus, you can track by macronutrient or meal and view a daily macronutrient snapshot to help monitor your progress.

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Nutritionix

Free | iOS and Android

If you like to eat out (or order in!), this app’s for you. It houses data from thousands of restaurants and also contains information about a huge number of packaged grocery items.

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My Macros+

$2.99 | iOS and Android

This app offers lots of versatility: Set and track your macro goals by either gram or percentage of total calories, and view your data by day or meal. For an additional fee you also gain access to Macro Coach (there’s a 14-day free trial), which provides personalized guidance and nutrient analysis to help you achieve your goals.

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