Why You Should Dump Myfitnesspal For Cronometer

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Myfitnesspal seems to be the fitness world’s default calorie counter, and I can’t figure out any good reason why. It force-feeds you ads and articles while you’re trying to log your food, puts your exercise calories into an equation at the top of the screen (not a great way to track, honestly), and its food database is a minefield of inaccurate listings. There are better apps out there, and my favourite is one of the lesser known: Cronometer.

One of the biggest reasons why I love it: you can use the app without obsessing over energy intake. Myfitnesspal puts your calories for the day right at the top of the home screen, and the whole app seems to be built around the assumption that you’re trying to lose weight. But if you just want to eat better while maintaining or gaining some muscle mass, Cronometer allows you to pay less attention to your calories.

Screenshot: Cronometer

Instead, when I open Cronometer, I see bar graphs (accompanied by teeny tiny numbers) for my calories and macronutrients—protein, carbs, fat—for the day. A feature in the paid version lets me track my protein per meal. Swipe to the next screen and you can see a different view that shows how well you’re meeting your “targets” for the day. Calories don’t have to be involved; mine currently include fibre, added sugars, protein, and a few vitamins.

Basically, I like Cronometer because it lets me track what I want to track, and feels much less like an extension of diet culture. It doesn’t bug me with constant notifications, nor does it have a tab full of articles on low-cal snacks and why I’m not spending enough time in nature. Yes, it’s a food tracking app, and the act of tracking food can itself be problematic. But it seems to be one of the less bad ways to do it.


Comments

    Counter-points:

    It force-feeds you ads and articles while you’re trying to log your food...
    It doesn't do that to me. Different version in Australia, perhaps? Different between paid/free?

    ...puts your exercise calories into an equation at the top of the screen (not a great way to track, honestly)...
    That equation is useful - it's what I'm specifically looking for in using the app. It tells me how much I can still eat and stay under budget. (Also, integration with my fitbit makes it a really great way to track, in fact. Especially considering it doesn't factor in your heart rate activity until after it's accounted for your pre-set daily 'cost of living' energy expenditure.)

    ...its food database is a minefield of inaccurate listings.
    Which is why it's great that you can input accurate listings directly off food packaging/your own measurements where you have it, save them for frequent re-use, and only fall back on the potentially-inaccurate food database when you have no other source of information about what you've consumed beyond guessing, which you can still fine-tune manually yourself if you feel it's too high or low.

    Myfitnesspal puts your calories for the day right at the top of the home screen, and the whole app seems to be built around the assumption that you’re trying to lose weight.
    I AM trying to lose weight. We're an overweight nation. Odds are very good that people turning to a fitness app are specifically looking for this focus.

    It doesn’t bug me with constant notifications...
    Neither does myfitnesspal if you turn them off.

    Yes, it’s a food tracking app, and the act of tracking food can itself be problematic. But it seems to be one of the less bad ways to do it.
    There is nothing problematic about tracking your food intake.

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