What is a Calorie Counter?
A calorie counter can vary in form, from a handheld device to an online diary. If you are searching for free calorie counters, however, you will be limited to the online variety.
Regardless of format, calorie counters keep track of the number of calories being consumed and the number being expended. Since calories are the bottom line in weight loss, this information is essential. A typical free calorie counter will allow you to input your weight and height. Some will also ask for your age, gender, and activity level. Based on this, the calculator will tell you how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, and what is necessary to lose.
In addition, most online counters allow you to keep track of your progress. Many also act as online food diaries. There are many websites offering free calorie counters. Here are some of our favorites:
FitWatch.com offers a comprehensive free calorie counter that lists the number of calories in a number of popular foods. The site will also help you calculate your daily caloric needs based on weight, height, age, and fitness level. A searchable database will calculate the calories burned in several popular activities. Through the FitWatch Fitness Tracker, you can track the number of calories consumed, the number burned, and pounds and inches lost. The basic version is free, but opportunities to upgrade to a deluxe, advertisement-free version exist.
FitDay.com is an extremely popular weight loss site. The site has a clean, easy-to-use interface and offers a diet and fitness journal. The free calorie counters compute calorie needs, along with carbohydrate, fat, and protein. A database also presents complete nutritional information for most common foods.
My Calorie Counter
In addition to the free calorie counters, My-Calorie-Counter.com also serves as a free virtual weight loss diary. Users can enter all of their meals and snacks, including fast food and name brand convenience foods, in the personal food diary. The calculator automatically figures your daily consumption of calories, carbohydrate, sugar, fat, cholesterol, fiber, protein, and sodium.
The calculator will also tally your calories burned, based on activity, duration, and intensity. Be forewarned, however, that certain features are not included in the free version. You will be encouraged to upgrade. Whether you upgrade or keep the free version, there is plenty of useful information.
Registration is required for full use of the site, but it is entirely free. The site is unique in that it features a searchable database of fast foods and their calorie and nutritional content. For added support, this site also features a discussion forum. Each user is also encouraged to create a personal weight loss blog.