Cronometer vs MyFitnessPal: Which is Better?

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘I Tried Both Cronometer & MyFitnessPal (Which Is Better?)’ by FeastGood

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

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How does it work?
Chronometer is the superior app, with accurate tracking, customization, education, and athlete features, while MyFitnessPal is better for travelers or non-verified restaurant eaters.

Key Insights

  • The video compares the pros and cons of Chronometer and MyFitnessPal, two nutrition tracking apps.
  • The food database of Chronometer contains verified entries, making it smaller but more accurate. MyFitnessPal's database is not verified and contains millions of entries.
  • Chronometer allows tracking of various aspects of life, including food, water intake, exercise, sleep, mood, lab results, and more. MyFitnessPal tracks food, water, steps, exercise, and a preset list of measurements.
  • Chronometer offers extensive customization options for the dashboard, reports, graphs, and charts. MyFitnessPal has limited customization options.
  • Chronometer provides educational opportunities regarding calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients, with an "Ask the Oracle" feature. MyFitnessPal helps understand nutritional content but lacks detailed micronutrient information.
  • Chronometer allows adjustable calorie recommendations and customizable macronutrient targets. MyFitnessPal offers less customization, especially in the free version.
  • Chronometer has a membership called Chronometer Pro, allowing health professionals to work with clients within the app. MyFitnessPal doesn't provide similar coaching features.
  • Chronometer has more options regarding exercise calories, including activity calories from trackers and the ability to choose whether to include them in the daily total. MyFitnessPal's exercise calorie settings are limited, with additional options in the premium version.
  • The overall winner between the two apps is Chronometer, as it offers detailed tracking options, customization, educational tools, lower cost, and useful features for athletes or bodybuilders.
  • My Fitness Pal may be preferable for international travelers or those who frequently eat at non-verified restaurants.

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Transcript

Chronometer or MyFitnessPal, which is better? After spending years on MyFitnessPal and now the last four months using chronometer, I feel like I’m in a great position to comment on the pros and cons of each app. I also teamed up with my colleague at thesco.com, who is a certified nutrition coach who has had extensive experience on both apps, and I got her feedback as well, which I’m going to include inside this video review.

Just to help you decide which nutrition app is best for you personally, we’ve come up with a list of criteria and we compared them head to head. Now, because I don’t want this video to be too long, I’m just going to go over just a few of the categories we tested. However, if you’d like a more in-depth comparison of both chronometer and MyFitnessPal, which breaks down the apps in more detail and just compares them in additional categories, I have included the link to the full blog post in the video description.

The first category we compared is the food database. Chronometer’s database contains only verified entries with lab-analyzed data from the NCCBD, the USDA, or verified entries from chronometer users. This makes it a smaller but much more accurate database, and the entries are heavily weighted more towards North American products, but this is changing over time as international entries keep getting added by users. MyFitnessPal’s database, on the other hand, is not verified and it contains millions of entries from around the world, including chain restaurant entries based on published nutritional data on their websites. This makes it a much larger but much less accurate database. Still, it’s likely to be really useful for people who routinely eat at restaurants compared to the effort of logging in a custom food entry in chronometer for a restaurant meal. And of course, anyone who lives outside of North America might prefer finding entries from their home country in MyFitnessPal. It’s also really great when you’re tracking your meals on vacation, especially if you’re in a foreign country. So the winner of this category is a tie. Chronometer’s accurate database makes it more likely that your intake is going to be accurate, allowing you to hit your goals, but chronometer’s more accurate database won’t be helpful if there’s no entries for the food you want. So MyFitnessPal is a better choice for frequent travelers.

Now onto tracking capabilities. Chronometer essentially allows you to track everything about your life. In addition to logging your food, which is going to capture your calories, your micronutrients, your macronutrients, you can also include water intake, exercise, measurements of any kind, and if it’s not listed, you can add it as a custom measurement. You can also track things like sleep, mood, lab results for blood tests, and more. MyFitnessPal tracks food, your calories, your macronutrients, and limited micronutrients. It also tracks your water, your steps, your exercise, and a preset list of measurements. They have things like weight, body fat, neck, waist, and three hip circumference measurements. But the winner of this category is chronometer. The app’s extensive tracking options for both qualitative and quantitative results related to your health beyond just nutrients makes it really a clear winner in this category.

Next, we compared the level of customization. Chronometer’s customization options go way beyond just setting calorie and macronutrient targets. You can also customize your dashboard for what you see. Like, do you want to see a summary of calories burned? What macronutrients do you want and not want to display? You can choose all of these things. Then you have the ability to create custom reports, graphs, and charts. Maybe your doctor told you to increase your magnesium intake to improve your sleep. You can now create a chart to show magnesium intake and sleep levels over time to see if there’s an improvement. So I thought that was a really cool feature. MyFitnessPal has less customization, both in terms of calories and macronutrients. And all the reports, graphs, and charts are pre-designed, so you can’t customize the options. So chronometer is the winner in this category because it has more customization in every part of the app compared to MyFitnessPal.

Next, we compared educational opportunities within each app, starting with chronometer. When I started looking at my daily report in chronometer, I realized that I was routinely low on phosphorus intake. And the Ask the Oracle feature allowed me to find out what foods were the best sources of phosphorus so that I could increase my intake without a dedicated supplement. So not only does chronometer allow you to learn about the calorie count and macronutrient breakdown of different foods for different serving sizes, you can also learn about micronutrient content and what foods are the best sources of those micronutrients.

MyFitnessPal, on the other hand, does deserve credit for helping me just understand the nutritional content of my foods in terms of both calories and macronutrients. Before I started tracking macros, I was actually pretty confused about which foods were labeled by the diet industry as good or bad without realizing that there’s nothing really magical about good foods that are going to guarantee weight loss. For example, you could eat raw unsalted nuts, and they’re, of course, a good source of healthy fat. But they’re also really calorie dense, and they’re easy to overeat. So you can have a package of nuts that theoretically could be higher in calories and fat than a candy bar. So I got to give it to MyFitnessPal for sort of helping me realize that. Chronometer, though, is the winner here because it provides all the same information as MyFitnessPal as far as nutritional info, but it’s more likely to be accurate. And even more because of the detailed micronutrient information for each food. That Ask the Oracle feature, too, is really awesome.

The next category is calorie recommendations. Chronometer’s calorie recommendations are very adjustable, and you can even override them completely if you’re working with a nutrition coach or registered dietitian who can give you targets. Chronometer gives you so many options to adjust both your basal metabolic rate and your activity level just to estimate your total calories that you’ve burned. So it’s able to provide you with a much more accurate recommendation to meet the weight goals that you’ve set for yourself. So whether that’s losing weight, gaining weight, or maintaining your weight. You can also set macronutrients to the exact number of grams that you want. MyFitnessPal recommendations are a little less customizable than Chronometer, although you can still override them completely if you need to. My biggest frustration with MyFitnessPal was the fact that macronutrient targets can only be set to the nearest 5% in the free version, so I had to pay for premium to be able to set the exact grams that I wanted. The level of adjustments you can make in Chronometer for both total calorie goals and individual macronutrient targets by gram make it really the winner for this category.

Now onto the coaching category. So Chronometer doesn’t really have its own coaches on staff the way that Noom does, which if you don’t know about Noom, it’s an app that I really enjoyed. I also added the link for my video review for that inside the video description as well, so if you’re interested in learning more about it. But Chronometer does have a membership called Chronometer Pro, which is specifically for health professionals, people like coaches or dietitians to use with their clients. My nutrition coach colleague used this membership. She said that in Chronometer Pro, the coach gets a dashboard to view to monitor client’s intake, and they can communicate with clients directly within the app. Plus, the coach can share recipes with clients to give them healthy options for meals or to hit a specific macronutrient or micronutrient goal. As for MyFitnessPal, it really doesn’t provide any opportunities for users to work with a coach. Some coaches do ask their clients to use MyFitnessPal, and then they can turn on dietary sharing so that the coach can see the intake as a friend, but this isn’t the same level of visibility as a Chronometer Pro dashboard. So the winner here is Chronometer because Chronometer’s Pro version option for coaches to work with clients inside the app makes it a winner for this category.

The next category is exercise calories. So when you log exercise in a nutrition app or when your exercise syncs into the app from a connected device, like if you have a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, it’s going to estimate how many calories you burned while doing that exercise, and some apps are going to automatically add these estimated calories to your daily total

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘I Tried Both Cronometer & MyFitnessPal (Which Is Better?)’ by FeastGood