It is hard to track your daily food intake and make sure you are eating the right amount of calories, protein, carbs, and fat. There are a lot of apps and websites available, but a lot of them are expensive and can have inaccurate food databases.
After getting frustrated with My Fitness Pal for a few different reasons, my macro coach suggested I try a new app: Cronometer.
Cronometer has a database with over 2 million foods from around the world. I can even input my custom macros from my coach and track my macros and nutrients on the free plan!
In this blog post, I'll go over my experience with Cronometer, why I switched to it from My Fitness Pal, and more!
Table of Contents
What is Cronometer?
First of all - what exactly is Cronometer? Cronometer (pronounced Cron-o-meter) is an app and website that helps you measure your daily food intake and monitor the nutrients in your food.
Cronometer started as a side project for the founder, Aaron Davidson. He was following the CRON diet (Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition) and he decided to create an app to track his diet. He's since moved on from his day job and works on Cronometer full time!
It also allows you to control what and when you eat and provides tools to track your progress toward weight loss or muscle gain goals. Cronometer acts as a fitness companion by giving you structure, control, and tutorials.
Cronometer is available as a mobile app for iOS and Android devices and can be used on the web in your browser.
How does Cronometer work?
Before you start using Cronometer, you'll need to sign up to create an account. When signing up, you'll provide basic information such as your name, gender and age. You'll also provide information about your goals such as weight loss or muscle gain and Cronometer will help calculate your goal calories and macros. If you're working with a macro coach or already have your calorie and macro goal set, you can even enter it in for free!
After creating an account, add foods by searching for them in the search bar on the web app's home screen or on the mobile apps. The top of the app and website will show you the remaining calories, carbs, fat, protein as well as your micronutrients and how close you are to your daily goal.
Free vs Premium Plan
Cronometer offers a few different plans:
Free - this is a great one to start out with! The Free plan gives you access to log foods, biometrics, and exercise. Unlike the free My Fitness Pal plan, Cronometer does allow you to customize your macro goals on the free plan as well as set custom macronutrient targets. You can also sync with devices like the Apple Watch, create custom foods and recipes, use the barcode scanner, and export data. This plan does have ads.
Gold - this plan has all the same features as the free plan but doesn't have ads. This plan also allows you to separate foods into custom groups, have timestamps, access to more biometrics, food suggestions. based on your macros, and a recipe importer. The gold plan can be purchased annually for $40/ year or monthly for $7/month.
There are also 2 plans for Professionals that allow them to access client data.
Is Cronometer Accurate?
Cronometer is extremely accurate. Cronometer uses the USDA information for most of their nutritional information, as well as verifies all the info before user-added data is accepted into the database.
They do allow you to enter in custom food, but I like that it needs to be verified before they allow all users to use that entry.
Cronometer vs My Fitness Pal
Before I started using Cronometer I was using My Fitness Pal and was honestly getting really frustrated with it. I've been a member of My Fitness Pal (or MFP) for a good 10 years now and have always gone back and forth with using it.
While I love how large of a database MFP has, half the time it's incorrect because they allow users to enter in their own nutritional information. Sometimes entries will have typos in them or users will enter in the nutritional info they want to track (for example if someone tracks net carbs, they might enter that into the carb line instead of total carbs).
At first, I didn't notice too many issues with MFP and the incorrect listings, but over the past year, it had gotten really bad. Combine that with MFP constantly having issues syncing between the website and app and I had just had enough!
I switched over the Cronometer and haven't looked back. I prefer Cronometer over My Fitness Pal because there are a lot more data available, even on the free plan. Unlike MFP, you can customize your macros on the free plan as well as get nutrient breakdowns.
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I've been using Cronometer for a few months now and overall really like it and am happy I switched from My Fitness Pal. My biggest issues with My Fitness Pal were that I couldn't enter in my own custom macros unless I paid for the premium version, as well as when I'd enter my food log into my MFP on my computer it wouldn't always sync on my phone.
After mentioning the issues I was having with the app to my Stronger U coach, she suggested I try Cronometer. I figured I had nothing to lose and gave it a shot!
When I first switched there was a little learning curve, but I've found that the setup is very similar to MFP so it's been quicker for me to get adjusted.
I really like the micronutrient tracking, and ended up getting a Gold membership so I could track all my micronutrients. When I signed up for Cronometer I was pregnant so it was really important to me that I was tracking as much info as I could.
The only downside I've run into with Cronometer is that it doesn't really save frequently entered foods. For example, I eat pretty much the same few foods for breakfast and lunches every day and I'm still having to search for these foods every few days. They do have a copy from yesterday's feature that you can use that can make it easier to enter in frequent foods.
Diets and Cronometer
Cronometer is extremely customizable so pretty much any diet available can be followed using the Cronometer tracker. The only diet that isn't available is Weight Watchers (WW), which uses a points system instead of tracking calories or macros.
I personally use the app to track my macros and share them with my Stronger U coach and the app has done everything I need it to!
Overall I prefer Cronometer over MFP. I love that you can customize your macros and micronutrients, even on the free plan. The food database is also way more accurate than My Fitness Pal, and you can enter in custom foods if they aren't already listed!
The only downside I've run into with Cronometer is that it doesn't really save frequently entered foods. However, overall this isn't enough to keep me from using or recommending Cronometer.
If you're looking for a new food and fitness tracker, I highly recommend checking out Cronometer!
Ready to try out Cronometer? You can download the app for free on the App Store, or sign up for a free account on their website here.