Counting calories and tracking nutrition can be a pain – whipping out your notebook, finding out the number of calories in each food item you eat, and keeping a log over time. Keeping track of the calories of restaurant and fast-food items on-the-go, even more difficult and frustrating, is often a necessity for busy people.
I used to use a small notebook, then the notepad on my old phone, to keep track of calories, and inevitably became irritated. Finally, I was introduced to the Calorie Counter App, which has made daily tracking easy, and gives me nutrition information about fast-foods, restaurant choices, and grocery items. Compared to other calorie counting apps, the FatSecret Calorie Counter app is great because you can track diet, weight, and exercise with ease, all from the same screen. Additionally, the app provides monthly averages for total calories, as well as daily breakdown of calories into protein, fat, and carbohydrate percentages, useful for those following specific diets. Finally, the website offers a social-networking component with the option to connect with other users, read their stories, and share information securely.
I. Before You Begin
1. Head over to the website www.fatsecret.com and register for a free user account. This is the website that supports the Calorie Counter app and keeps track of all the data over time. Registration is especially helpful if you need to update or change phones, as all of your information is backed-up through the website.
2. At the website, set your account settings and remember to check your privacy settings so that your information is only displayed how you want it displayed.
II. Download the Software
1. Go to Play Store and search for “Calorie Counter.”
2. Click on the “Calorie Counter” application and then click on “Install.” Your phone will give you a message saying that installation is complete.
3. Once the “Calorie Counter” app is installed, a screen will ask you to open the app. Open the application to begin using.
III. Use Calorie Counter
1. Once you have opened the application, you will get a screen that asks you to start entering information.
2. Scroll to the bottom of that screen on your phone, and you will find another option to log in to your account if you are an existing user. Since you set up your account on www.fatsecret.com, you should log in through this area using the same username and password that you set on the website.
3. You are now ready to use the mobile “Calorie Counter” app! Once you log in, your screen will show an image of a search bar at the top, the date, a tracking screen, your current weight (this will be the weight you entered into your profile on the website) and recipe ideas at the bottom.
4. On the right hand side of the screen, there is an area to track food and exercise, both with a green plus sign. Enter a food item by clicking on the green plus sign.
5. You will now see a screen with the date and the options breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Select one of these options to enter food for that meal.
6. A prompt screen will open up and offer you various ways to add a food item. Use the “Search” option and you will then get the search bar.
7. Enter a food item into the search bar. All of the options related to that food item will appear. Select the option that best fits what you ate for your meal.
8. Once you click on the food item, a screen will appear giving you information about that item and options to change your serving size. The middle of the page shows how much of your RDI (Reference Daily Intake) the food item will take. The bottom right hand corner of the screen gives you the “save” option. Select “save.”
9. You will return to the main screen, and food, calorie, and nutrition information will be updated for the day.