There are many different apps that can be used to track food. The most popular ones that are used in the Keto community are Cronometer, My Fitness Pal, Net Diary, Noom, and Carb Manager. There are others as well, but these are the 5 that I have used. But which one is best? That will depend on you and what you want to accomplish.
The two most popular in the keto community are Cronometer and Carb Manager. Both have a free and pay version. The biggest difference I’ve found, and the reason I prefer Cronometer over Carb Manager, is that the nutrition values for Cronometer are more accurate. Allow me to explain. You enter the food that you are eating into the app, and it brings up the calorie count, carb count, protein and fat count, and so on. It pulls from a common database that all users have access to (unless you add your own recipe). Here is where the two apps differ. If the item is not in the database, the users are able to add it. With Carb Manager, you add the information and then save it and everyone has access to it. With Cronometer, the information is submitted, and they have a team that reviews the information for accuracy. Once it is verified, then it is added to the database. So, I found many of the entries in Carb Manager did not have the accurate nutrition listed. So, if you use Carb Manager, be aware, and use at your own risk.
So, how do you use Chronometer? It’s easier then most think. The following directions are for if you are using a desktop computer. Once I set it up via a regular computer, I installed the app on my phone and opened it there, all set up.
First, go to http://www.cronometer.com and create an account. When you go to create an account. It will ask you some basic information:
Fill out your email, password, and your current body type information. Agree to the Terms of Service and then click Create Account.
It will let you know that you need to confirm your email:
Click the Validate button:
Once validated, click Continue:
This will take you to the basic diary dashboard. This is where you will add your food each time you eat, or each day.
To finish setting this up, you’ll want to go to Settings first. You’ll want to go to Profile + Targets:
The top part will be the information you entered when you activated your account. You can make adjustments to those numbers now if you like. Scroll down and you’ll see the calorie count that they recommend to maintain your weight:
You can adjust your Activity level on the right. Then scroll down further and add your goal weight.
Scroll further to set your macros.
They do have a Keto Calculator, that you can use. It will then ask the following:
Rigorous will put your daily carbs at 20g and your proteing at 1.0:
Scroll down and it will let you choose to track net carbs or total carbs. It is highly recommended to track total carbs. More on that in a separate post.
Scroll down and you can choose which nutrients are visible when you tracking your food. You can view the categories of General, Vitamins, Minerals, Carbohydrates, Lipids, and Protein. Choose which ones you feel will be most beneficial. Or during one of our meetings, we can discuss.
That is the basic to set it up. Real quick, I’ll show you how to enter food. Let me add what I had for lunch today, 2 burger patties, with some mayonnaise, and mustard. From the diary screen, click “Add Food”:
You’ll see options. If you have common foods that you use, they will show up in Favorites. Since this is a new account, I will just start typing in the search field at the top:
You can see when I select the brand name and item, the macros for that food populates at the bottom:
You can note the number of servings as well. Since I had 2, I’ll up the servings to 2. If you like, you can add time of day:
It will then take you back to your diary dashboard, which will show everything you have done for that day:
and that is it. It will track and will let you see your progress as you add you food. You can also add you Exercise that you participate in every day, which will adjust your calories allotted. However. if you don’t use those extra calories that are offered when you exercise, you may lose weight faster, if that is your goal.
I will also do a blog on customizing your targets, instead of choosing the basic Keto one, as I typically use my own macros. Stay tuned for that one.