It's not the only—or even the most important—metric if you're trying to eat healthy.
Yes, counting calories can help you lose weight, but it's not the only (or even the most important) metric if you're trying to eat healthy. Knowing how many calories you’re consuming and how many you’re burning is fine, but tracking them can get frustrating very, very fast — and can become toxic for some people.
Basically, calorie counting is a total bummer, yet most health apps tend to focus on inputting calories and exercise, without focusing on the whole picture. We get it, but it’s not always the most useful way to go. Luckily, there are apps to help you eat healthier without obsessively doing the calorie math.
When you start eating healthier, the calories end up being not so important anyway.
Whole grains for example, have a lot of calories and pack ton of carbs. But they’re really good for you! So you can psyche yourself out if you have a quinoa bowl for lunch and feel like you can’t eat a big dinner. (Spoiler: You have to eat dinner.) Calorie counting can turn into a not-super-healthy complex very, very fast.
These are some apps that will help you eat healthy, get all of your nutrients and vitamins, but let you choose whether or not you want to care about your calorie count.
1. The Blender Girl, $4.99
This iOS app is perfect if you want to stop spending $12 on a smoothie every morning and start making them at home. It’s hard to know what goes with what and the effect it will have on your body. With this app, you input your mood and how you want to feel, and it will turn back some ideas. You can also create your smoothie shopping list, so you don’t go blank in the store and forget the chia seeds.
2. Shopwell, Free
ShopWell lets you scan items in the grocery store and tells you all about it — like how healthy it is, what to do with it; It even suggests similar items in the store. If you’re following a certain diet like Low FODMAP, gluten-free, or pre-diabetes, it will make sure you’re buying the right things.
3. Rise, Varies
The Rise app is free, but you have to sign up for their other services. You get paired with a nutritionist and create a customized diet and health plan. You can take photos of your meals and share them to get tips or a thumbs up, and talk to your coach to get support when you need it.
4. EatingWell, Free
EatingWell is a great app to remind yourself that eating healthy doesn’t mean food has to be boring. There are tons of great recipes you can search based on what you want to eat and what your health goals are. In addition to that, you’ll get all the nutritional info for your meal, so you know what’s really going on with that pasta dish.
5. Fooducate, Free
This is a weight loss app, except you don’t focus on the amount of calories, but the quality of them. You can track your meals, get ideas for recipes, in addition to tracking your sleep and when you get hungry.
6. Harvest, $1.99
Harvest will let you choose produce that’s in season, so it tastes extra good and is packed with things that are good for you, too! Plus, it will help you brainstorm what to do with them.
7. Nom Nom Paleo, $5.99
This app will help you follow the paleo diet. Even if you don’t want to go all in with it, you can choose recipes, get tips and shortcuts, and also make shopping lists so you stay focused in the aisles.
Whichever app you choose, you’ll definitely be cooking up some tasty and healthy meals — without making yourself crazy about how many calories you have to burn the next day at the gym.