Weight-Loss Software > Calorie Counter Calculator
What's the Best Calorie Counter Calculator?
By Terry Dunkle, DietPower Editor-In-Chief*
Finding and using a calorie counter calculator is one of the smartest things you can do if you're trying to lose weight. Here's what to look for:
Large Food Database
Choose a calorie counter calculator that offers at least 20,000 foods in its database. Although that may seem like a lot, in fact it's only about two-thirds as many as in a modern supermarket.
Watch out for calculators that inflate their numbers by counting the same food under duplicate names—"hot dog" and "frankfurter," for example.
Beware, too, of online counters that let users contribute foods by providing data from labels. These usually contain a lot of duplicates and incorrect nutrient data.
Large Exercise Database
Look for a calorie counter calculator that awards you extra calories for exercise. It should include at least 500 activities in its database—not only sports and leisure activities, but occupational and household tasks as well.
In addition, make sure it factors your calorie burn for your body weight. Obviously, a heavier person will burn more calories doing the same exercise as a lighter person.
Finally, make sure the counter lets you specify the speed or intensity of your exercise.
Don't settle for a calculator that doesn't tie all its functions together in a "diary" approach. It should let you log your weight, meals, and exercise each day and continually show how many calories you can still eat today without going over your budget. It should also deposit uneaten calories in a "bank" so you can eat them tomorrow.
If you look hard enough, you can find a calorie counter calculator that does all of the above and also "learns" your personal metabolism and adjusts your daily budget to guarantee reaching your goal on your target date. (DietPower® does this.)
Good counters also monitor many other nutrients besides calories, so that you continually know how well balanced your diet is.
Run the other way if your calorie counter calculator doesn't offer a free trial or a money-back guarantee. Many counters on the market today work poorly or give inaccurate advice. You don't want to be stuck paying for a calculator that you no longer trust enough to use.
*Terry Dunkle is a 30-year veteran medical journalist and consumer advocate who serves as CEO and chief editor at DietPower, Inc., a leading maker of nutrition and weight-loss software.