Weight-Loss Software > Free Online Calorie Counter
Best Free Online Calorie Counter
By Terry Dunkle, DietPower Editor-In-Chief*
It's easy to find a free online calorie counter these days, but difficult to find one that provides all of the features described below:
Large Food Database
Steer clear of any calorie counter that doesn't cover at least 20,000 foods. That's 10,000 lower than the number in a typical supermarket.
Make sure the calorie counter also lets you add your own foods to a personal database, by keying in nutrition facts from the labels. But don't trust a database that mingles the foods you add with those contributed by other people.
Large Exercise Database
A topnotch free online calorie counter will include at least 500 kinds of exercise, which you can log to earn extra calories. It should take your weight into account when calculating the number of calories you've earned, because a heavier person normally burns more calories performing the same exercise that a lighter person performs.
Intelligent Calorie Budget
A typical calorie counter will calculate a calorie budget for reaching your goal weight on your target date. Most base this calculation on an average person's metabolism, but a few actually monitor your own metabolism (which may depart from the average by as much as 30 percent) and continually adjust your budget accordingly. These can actually guarantee reaching your goal on schedule.
Ease of Use
Don't use a calorie counter that takes more than seven to ten minutes a day to log your foods. The best calorie counters can do this in five minutes or less. Test-drive the program for a few days to see how well it performs.
Since you're logging your foods anyway, it pays to choose a free online calorie counter that also watches your intake of nutrients other than calories. The best programs monitor dozens of nutrients important in preventing or treating diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, cancer, and other nutrition-related problems. Some report your intake of each nutrient not only for the current day, but for the past week, month, quarter, and year.
*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.