Calorie checkers/apps as support for NHS Choices - please tick all which apply to you, and include your comments and/or suggestions


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119 Replies

  • I use my Fitbit app

  • I use the Weight loss resources website

  • Me too - hello fellow WLR'er!

  • I use my Fitbit app

  • I use myfitnesspal and under armour record together. 

  • If a food item is not on the NHS list (Nutra check) I google it until I get a calorie content. I'm not a great one for apps. Personally I prefer pen an paper. However it seems that the forum can only be downloaded as an app on iphones and not on android, which is a real shame.

  • I use Lose IT. 

  • Hi,

    not sure I could add a comment to my actual vote... hope this all works out somehow.

    I use an app called "MyNetDiary", have been using it for years on and off but have been using it daily since starting my current "trip".

  • Runkeeper but for walking

  • I find it easy and it works out my home made meals, too.

  • I use a very simple method of Dieting. I have 30g Cereal Breakfast with tea and coffee. I eat Fruit at lunch Time and have a light meal in the evening (soup or ham and eggs) I have also cut out bread and potatoes, chocolate and snacks. seems to work ok on week 7 I have gone from 14Stone 13lbs to 14 Stone 1Lbs. I do use calorie counter if I do not know the calories on any meal. 

  • Wow OldGuy67! I'm not sure I'd be able to survive on that! Well done on the loss though, that's brilliant!

  • I used to go to Weight Watches years ago and she gave me a book with all the points so I use that.

  • Google 

  • I use myfitnesapp and i'm happy with it. 

  • I use the Nutracheck app which I pay for separately.  Also have the Weight Warchers app and website.  The Nutracheck site has all my records for several years so I can make comparisons over time.  I am fairly new to the NHS set up, but loving the positive support.  

  • I use the NHS calorie checker to get calories, for portion sizes and use the Calorie Pro app which comes from the Windows store to keep track of my daily calorie intake & exercise as I have Windows 10 on my laptop.  My phone is too ancient to support an app on there!

  • I dont use any app... I just try and eat healthily... and be more aware of what eating unhealthily is..  

  • Over the years I have built up my own database of food portions using, for example, the information from food labels.  I track not only calories but also protein, total carbohydrates, sugar, fibre, total fat, saturated fat, fibre, and sodium/salt.  I use MS Word (using the sum calculation formula) and transfer daily totals to an MS Excel file to look at averages over time.

  • I'm really happy with MFP. Pretty much everything is on there. Just Google it a food isn't on there. 

  • fitbit

  • I use a Fitbit and the Fitbit app. 

  • I think my vote worked. As I can access my mobile at all times, I find my fitness app an easy way to check calories/portions/salt etc. It also lets you look at member 'values' for home cooked dishes, if you're unsure what's on your plate.

  • I use myfitnesspal too count my Cals and exercise plan 

  • The calorie checker is perhaps a little random - not always easy to work out what "a portion" is for some brand items and raw foods.  Can we have a standard 100 gram measurement for everything please?

  • I use a weight watchers app

  • I use My Fitness Pal. It seems to have a wide range of foods available but as it is an American site some of the units of measurement don't tie in with our British ones. In 't'olden days' Slimming Magazine produced a 'Greatest Guide to Calories' booklet. It would be great if an online version became available. 

  • I use the fitbit app

  • I count WW propoints

  • I count ww propoints

  • I use a fitbit. It's made me more aware of moving more

  • Google and NHS Calorie checker

  • I don't use an App as I don't have a smart phone - I know, dinosaur - but I do use a little netbook computer. Nutracheck online slimming club is good, much better than MFP which is very un-user-friendly and far too American to be usable for me. What I really need (and get from the online club ) is a food diary that automatically counts the calories when you enter the food and this is what I really miss from the NHS website.

  • Phone apps are useful but what I found most useful is my fitness tracker worn on wrist to track both my calorie intake and how many calories I'm burning as this increases my body awareness and how well I'm functioning or not. I find this to be more motivating than calorie counting on its own.

    Additionally phone apps are not always as reliable as fitness trackers worn on the body.

  • I use Perfect Diet Tracker

  • I use MFP in conjunction with my Garmin Vivofit tracker to log my food and frequently add my own foods and use their bar code scanner to add foods not on their list. I also follow Freedom Eating (Till the Fat Lady Slims books by Debbie Flint - available on Amazong) where I only eat when hungry and stop when satisfied (and reduced carbs as I'm a diabetic). I used to belong to the Weightloss Resources website but decided after about 6 years that I wasn't getting anywhere and wanted to save some money.

  • I use a rough guide to calories that I already know in my head, and anything else I just google it for info.  I don't count every calorie, just use ballpark figures these days.  

  • I use Loseit! 

  • I use Nutracheck online Diary and App.  (No mobile phone signal where I live so the online diary is really handy).  Counts calories of the various brands using pictures, calculates recipes, offers a helpful forum and other member's recipes.  Has excellent graphs and is well maintained being a subscription based site.  Mobile phone app can scan a barcode and give you calorie content of an item.  Very pleased with it as it makes weight control so much easier.

  • i don't tend to use it because im on slimming world

  • I use my own Excel spreadsheet, deleted the MFP app as it got on my nerves, LOL!

  • Fitbit

  • Smaller plates less carbs more fruit and veg =less calories

  • I used to use MyFatSecret app, then MFP, but would like to use a nhs supported app

  • Fitbit

  • I use the nhs/uk weight loss website.

  • Hi I use an old weight watchers points system but I would like to calorie count if I could find an app that I can download onto my dinosaur phone. There seem to be quite a few different apps being used so maybe it's not necessary for this site to have its own. However if possible it would be good to keep everything in one place on the NHS weight loss site. 

  • Just looking at Lose It as recommended by several people on this poll.

  • I follow a Rosemary Conley diet of 1400 calories per day. I've been using this over the last 7 years on and off to shed pregnancy weight gained with each of my children. 

    I use HealthUnlocked to log my weight and get/give advice from/to other members. 

    I tried using Apps before, but I don't have the time to log everything I've eaten or the exercise I've done. 

    I walk every day and do aerobics and find with the diet and knowledge I've acquired from foods' fat contents over the years, I can manage my diet myself and lose weight. 

  • I use a wee book called my pocket calorie counter, which has lots of information about portion sizes and covers all the the foods I have ever wanted to check and a lot I haven't heard of.

    I also sometimes 'Google' a food and find that Tescos will have the nutritional information on it.  I don't use apps and I think a lot of them work by scanning bar-codes.  Most of my food doesn't have bar-codes.

  • I don't have a smart phone so can't use apps. What would be useful is a list of favourite foods with their calories which could be printed off as a useful guide when getting started. This could also give an idea of what a portion size should be. For instance, 150g = 147 cals would be useful for me.

  • I use the fatsecret app, and any calorie counting app is only as good as the information provided by its users.

  • Ok- I'm hoping this sounds readable,

    I currently (don't like it) have to use MFP!!! However I feel we need our own on the NHS site in an app form,which could be linked to this site & we could all buddy up to encourage each other 💡 Maybe food ideas,exercise, ? Who knows the limits, it needs to be in the same format as the Nutracheck site ( but free) MFP is far too calorific minded, just my thoughts and we need a simpler version 👍🇬🇧

  • I use Slimming world online I have lost 2 stone in 3 months 

  • Weight Watchers

  • Fitbit 

  • I follow a plan that counts portions, (calorie counted) although I occasionally use MFP but not often 

  • I am not too techno oriented so do not use an app. I just check through Google and count manually.

  • I have used Myfitnesspal in the past, I now use Fitbit app occasionally but normally don't calorie count, I use portion and food choice control.


  • Diet club plan

  • I use myfitnesspal for logging food and weight and then the fitbit app for everything else.  I tried a bunch of apps when I started food logging but my fitness pal had by far the best selection of food so I stuck with that one.  

    If I'm honest I don't really log food for calorie purposes - but more to get an idea of what I'm eating in terms of how it breaks down into fat, protein etc and my fitness pal works pretty well for this

  • Fitbit 

  • The states that everyone one more or less uses MFP ? But are they happy with it, do they need an alternative ?

    You never know what your missing till you have something ?

    Just saying I only use MFP because I have to !!! And we need one on this site, suited to us, our needs, and not some American site..... Nutracheck is the way forward 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

  • I don't have a phone that supports apps as I am poor.

  • Neither do I. :-)

  • Me neither!  No internet on my old brick of a phone!

  • I use myfitnesspal mainly but google the items that are not on the app (a bit disappointed as it doesn't have have many asian items). A new NHS app would be great with at least some ideas of how asian meals can be tracked or checked.

  • By the way I tried downloading the Nutracheck calorie counter to my phone, but I gave up because it was asking for too many personal details. All I wanted was a means of counting calories.

  • I did try an App but it just didn't find the food items for me to check the calories. Nutracheck is ok, but it's not specific enough.

  • I use a Fitbit HR Charge

  • Fitbit and slimming world

  • I use old fashioned food diary recording food portions, calories and steps/kms in the day.

    I use a calorie counter booklet and have my own stash of cals in foods I eat regularly.


  • I use my own app...etite

  • Hi Zest It does not seem that there are enough votes for people wanting NHS choices to have their own app. Myfitnesspal is way out in front! Interesting mix of the way people record their calories though.

  • Hi Muffintop67,

    Thanks for mentioning me in this post.  Just to say that I will be sending the link to this poll and the original post that June wrote so that the NHS Choices organisers can see the results, and it will be good feedback for them.  

    I don't see that we can do more than that, as they have provided the resources of the website for our Weight Loss NHS community forum, and we are using it, plus other resources, and essentially they will review their own website and make changes as they see fit.

    But we can provide this feedback on our own experiences of using the Weight Loss NHS forum and also some feedback on what resources we've found helpful regarding the app side of things - there are indeed a variety of helpful responses here.  I am grateful to everyone who has responded so far to this poll.

    I will wait a couple more days incase there are any further respondents and then send the links to the poll and the post for the NHS Choices administrators to see.

    Muffintop - I hope you have found something that you can use on your own phone, as I know that was your concern.

    Lowcal 😊

  • I did download 'Lose it' on my phone as recommended on this thread and my husband has let me download myfitnesspal onto his phone to use but of course that's not ideal. I have tried them both and although they are ok, I agree with lots of people on here and I did find MFP a bit Americanised. I also find that there is a variation of total calories for the same foods which I find a bit confusing. For instance calories for a pear for the same weight varied by quite a bit. So I think for now I will stick to using my old favourite Weight Watchers points system (circa 1980 I think!) but I really wanted to check calories too. Will be interesting to see what the NHS choices team have to say about it. Many thanks again. :) (also can't seem to do actual smiley faces!)

  • The Tech team are hopefully going to sort out the 'smiley' faces issue, Muffintop67, as we've not been able to do them for a while.  I only managed to do the one above by copying and pasting from Anna61 this morning!

    Lowcal :-)

  • That's great. Many thanks.

  • I get really frustrated with Apps.  I can't use them, my phone isn't a smart phone.  I need something that is available online or I can't even try using it.  I think that's the biggest trouble with this One You thing NHS Choices is promoting, it's apps only.  What about the rest of us?

  • Fitbit

  • Saturday 9th April 2016 - just to add a comment that a few people have noticed that the Nutracheck calorie counter in the NHS Choices website hasn't been working for the past few days.  I just wanted to add this as a feedback comment.

  • I use weight loss resources

  • Update on 12.04.16:

    I have received the following reply from NHS Choices Editorial Team:

    "Dear Lowcal,

    Thank you very much for the user feedback, which we will take on board and refer to our commissioners for consideration.

    Kind regards


    The Editorial Team"

    p.s. I sent them the Poll results link and also a link to June1965's original post.

  • Is EVERY damn thing governed by 'commissioners' now?!

    Sooner we escape from the EU and stop this Big Brother nonsense, the better... 😠

    I use the Nutracheck counter on the NHS site, I have built up my own listing of calorie info too. Most of the core stuff I know off the top of my head now, anyway.

    I don't get stressed about 'bad' days, or 'clawing back' a high calorie day. You (and your body) know if it's an occasional thing, or if you're starting to lose the plot..!

    This site has worked for me, I did the 12 weeks and shed 3 stones... now I am having a second run, heading for the deeper dungeons! 15st 7lb is the target, it'll be a tougher journey, for sure.

    I'm reasonably competent online, and this site is very supportive, but like quite a few others I do find it a bit confusing to navigate.

    Best wishes to all,


    >< COYI ><

  • I used to use a calorie counter and myfitness pal but I found I became slightly obsessive with cataloguing every single calorie I ate and would even stress over whether I should ate two or three calories over my calorie limit.

    I know tend to jot things down on paper rather than monitoring it using an app, its less hassle and I can use the packaging rather than searching through a long list of items. Another huge stress if I couldn't find the exact item.

    I like the clean eating websites for extra recipes and tips: The Kitchen Shed is a personal favourite of mine and has given me great meal ideas and tips I even won a competition once :)

  • work it out myself going from packet info or searching generally on net. If its something I eat a lot of I make a note of it on my kitchen pinboard to refer to. If I eat something and I don't know what its worth I just write the name and work it out later when on pc. [taking a breath here...]

    I have my piece of paper for the day in my handbag and transfer it to the fridge with magnet when I get home. LOL is that too much information? This is because when I try to download my fitness pal it asks me for my user account etc. as its a work iPhone I need to track that down...sometime My Fitness pal is American isn't it? Last time I looked it talked about cups instead of grams I think. I cant be doing with cups, it confuses me. We have mugs in our house :-)

  • Hi Jayne_64,

    Myfitnesspal has all sorts of measures on it currently, grams, ounces, cups, various measures - at least that's my experience of using it. I double check stuff I'm not sure about on the NHS Choices site using their calorie counter which is provided by Nutracheck. Maybe have another look at MFP to see what you think, but I realise you have difficulty accessing it, so maybe stick with your tried and tested current method!

  • I use my Fitbit alongside mfp

  • Love my fitness pal. Easy to use and keep track of your daily intake.

  • I use the calorie checker on my Fitbit

  • i use fitbit for weight and exercise tracking but not for calories - my phone is terrible so apps are very slow! I work out calories using the calorie checker on NHS choices and keep everything tracked on a spreadsheet.

  • I'm waiting for a new product and app that is about to come on the market (Cloudtag Track) that is the first one seriously aimed at weight loss and has the accuracy that current products notably fitbit seem to lack. It has a clinical grade ecg monitor built in and for me with atrial fibrillation I'll be able to monitor my heart rate (and work out within limits to shed my last 10 pounds) which nothing else wearable or in a gym has so far done. I'm not associated with them in any way but have bought some shares in my pension as I think they will disrupt the marketplace.

  • My response is now different, I have a Fitbit Surge!

  • I have a Fitbit Charge which I got in a January sale. I love the way it has encouraged me to get much more active and by installing its app on my tablet I can do lots of clever stuff as long as I have the dongle attached. I enter my cals at the end of the day from their very comprehensive calorie counter. It is American but you can enter your own calorie counts for food. If I keep my intake below the cals burned that day I loose weight. Simple! Just as well as I am not techy. I have lost 12lb since January so it has worked for me.

  • I made my own spreadsheet and count all my own calories - I don't like the apps as the ones I have used in the past have all conflicted on serving sizes and calories per serving so I just figure it out as I go and save the information for each meal that we will try again so I don't have to calculate it more than once.

    That being said, I have now signed up with My Fitness Pal as so many people seem to use it and I can use all the weight loss buddies and motivation I can get :)

  • I use FatSecret. Find it really really useful.

  • I use the Fitbit app

  • I use S Health (a free Samsung app).

  • I use Fitbit and NHS calorie Checker

  • I use Myfitnesspal.

  • I use MyFitnessPal

  • I used to use WLR and then Nutracheck - but why pay for something when you can get it for free with MyFitnessPal? I find MFP easily as good as the paid for ones.

  • I use my fitbit app

  • I use my Fitbit app

  • I use my Fitbit app

  • I am currently signed up with weight watchers online.

  • I use - has ability to log food, keep track of weight, forum, lots of useful advice and other resources. I like it as I can add my own recipes.

  • i use the fitbit app

  • I use Lifesum on my phone

  • I only started yesterday so still getting my head around it all.

  • I usually check the pack when I can has things can change or things can be incorrect

  • I also love Happy Scale for tracking .It helps me to use two programmes when things are going well-twice the praise! Ha ha!