Cronometer app review - Woman logging calories while eating a salad.
Fitness,  Health & Wellness,  Reviews

Cronometer Review: Easy Calorie Counting on the Go!

Tracking calories can be super helpful, especially at the beginning of your health and fitness journey when you’re trying to get your bearings on how many calories are actually in things. (It can be quite a shock to learn just how quickly calories add up! I know it was for me!)

How to Track Calories with the Cronometer AppBack in the day, I used to use the free calorie tracker on a health forum to keep tabs on calorie intake, but it wasn’t very user-friendly and eventually, I gave up logging calories. 

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Lately, I’ve been interested in logging my calories again, and more specifically my macros as I’m trying to build a little bit of muscle and I realized it’s been tough getting enough protein simply by “winging it” every day. I tried to find the calorie tracker on that old website I used to frequent but alas, it is now defunct. 

Fortunately, I found the Cronometer app, which is another free calorie tracker with some interesting features that kicks my old calorie counter site to the curb!

If you’re curious about counting calories to lose weight or track macros, you will be interested in this Cronometer review!

Overview

What is the Cronometer App?

Cronometer is a calorie tracking app that helps you log both calories consumed and calories burned. Once you create an account, you can access it on your computer or from your phone while you’re on the go. 

What Does it Cost?

Most of Cronometer’s features are free to use, with the caveat that the occasional ad will pop up while using the app. There is also a premium version called “Cronometer Gold” which lends some additional features. I gave both the free and paid versions a whirl and my Cornometer app review will include my feedback on both versions. 

Cronometer App Review

I’ve been using the app for a few weeks now and have a good feel for how it works.

The main dash has four sections, “Diary”, “Foods”, “Trends”, and “Settings”. 

Diary

The diary is where you will see an overview of calories consumed, calories burned, and a balance of “remaining” allowed calories. If you swipe left near the top, it will also show you a breakdown of your macronutrients: protein, net carbs, and fat. Swiping a second time will give you an overview of your nutrient targets, like Fibre, Iron, Vit C, etc. 

Trends

Here you can see charts of your daily calorie intake, your weight trends, and nutrient summaries. The free version is a bit basic but you still get to see a breakdown of your macros and calorie trends over time.

Foods

In the foods section, you can “create” new foods that aren’t already in the database, or create “recipes” by combining foods in the database to create a meal,which helps you save time later from logging each food individually. 

Settings

You’ll definitely want to spend some time going through this section when you first log in. The accuracy of the numbers is determined entirely by how accurate your profile is. You can also set up your macronutrient targets and weight goals in this area. 

There are quite a few other things you can do in the settings section, including access to the community forum, contacting support, and adjusting your Diary settings. 

Useability 

The mobile version and web version are a bit different from each other and personally, I found the mobile version easier to use. So my useability part of this Cronometer app review will be of the mobile version.

Finding and Adding Foods

The big plus sign at the bottom of the dashboard is what allows you to search for foods in the database, log exercise, and add biometrics for more accurate reports. 

When searching for foods, it offers a few different search criteria which help you quickly locate the food you’re looking for, including favorites, commonly logged items, restaurant items, and custom items (foods that you created.)

You can tap on any item to edit the quantity, change the category (if you’re a Gold member), and if you need to delete anything, all you need to do is swipe left on the logged food item and click on the garbage can.

I was pretty impressed with the food database and found that I could almost always find what I was looking for pretty easily. But if you do have trouble finding a food, you can enter the nutrition details manually. 

The Barcode Scanner

Alternately, there’s a nifty barcode scanner built into the app which allows you to scan the barcode on your food’s packaging and pull up the nutrition details. I love this thing! I tested out on several items and it was able to recover the nutrition data for 90% of them. 

For the ones I couldn’t find, I was able to quickly and easily add the food by taking a picture of the nutrition label – the app is actually able to read the picture and populate the nutrition label with the right numbers!

You can then submit it to Cronometer to be added to the database if you choose. I just added these Pure Protein bars (which actually taste great for a protein bar, by the way!) 

Adding Activity

You can manually add exercise and physical activity by using the plus button and searching for the exercise the same way you would a food item. The first thing I noticed is that they don’t have HIIT or high-intensity interval training (my exercise of choice), but several similar options that you could use stead, like circuit training or calisthenics.

Overall Usability 

I find most calorie trackers to be super time-consuming to use, but this one has really streamlined the process so that you can quickly pop in your daily foods in seconds. It’s such a vital feature because let’s face it, if it’s too fiddly, you’re just not going to bother with it. 

Accuracy

The easy way to track calories - Cronometer App ReviewPerhaps just as important as usability is the accuracy of the reports that Cronometer generates for you. Because if you’re consuming more or less calories than you think you are, it will throw off your health goals big time.

The good news is, I find the reports are mostly accurate. 

Of course, how accurate the numbers are greatly depend on what information you plug into the settings. The Activity Level setting was the only one I wasn’t too sure about because the difference between “lightly active” and “moderately active” seem a bit subjective. 

I currently have mine on “Sedentary” because I log my physical activity using my Apple Watch (more on this shortly!) and it seems the most consistent with other daily energy expenditure calculators I’ve used.

If you want to compare your settings to make sure you have the right option selected, you can try comparing it to this calculator which I find is the most accurate.

As for the accuracy of the nutritional data, this too seems to be very accurate. I cross-referenced the foods from the database with the packaging and they were all bang on. I think it helps that Cronometer vets new foods for integrity before adding them to the public database. Other calorie trackers that allow the public to easily submit new foods can end up a database full of inaccurate numbers. 

Lastly, logging exercise is best done through an activity tracker for maximum accuracy (See the next section!) but manually logging them should get you a decent ballpark figure. Just keep in mind that it’s hard for the app to know exactly how many calories you’ve burned without being able to factor in your heart rate. 

Connecting Devices

Cronometer can connect to your iPhone’s “Health” app and/or whatever activity tracker you use, including iWatch, FitBit, Garmin, Strava, and more. 

This is probably my favorite thing about the app as it completely eliminates the need for me to enter my exercise – it updates automatically! It even logs the extra calories I burn just doing chores or walking around the grocery store.

Other biometrics, like my heart rate, are logged automatically as well. 

Cronometer Gold Review

All of the aforementioned features are in the free version, albeit with ads. There is also the Cronometer Gold upgrade, which you can subscribe to for $5.99 USD per month (or $7.99 CAD). But you can save more money by paying for an annual subscription upfront. 

The Gold version comes with a few extra features, starting with an ad-free calorie logging experience. 

The Oracle

I’m not sure what possessed them to title this feature “The Oracle” because after conjuring images of bending spoons with my mind and having my fate dictated by an old lady making cookies, Cronometer’s version of The Oracle is a little underwhelming.

But still useful!

The Oracle can help you find foods to help you reach certain nutrition goals. For example, if you need some suggestions for foods that are high in protein, all you have to do is select “Protein” from the nutrient dropbox, hit search, and a list of foods high in protein will be listed out for you.

This is especially helpful for those hard-to-find nutrients, like potassium – which doesn’t always make it onto the nutrition labels, and we need a boatload of it each day!

Timestamps and Grouped Entries

Timestamps offer a precise way to track foods and supposedly facilitates a better analysis of your nutrition. I would have to look into this more but I haven’t really found the timestamps to be super helpful.

However, the group entries are useful as you can quickly see at a glance how many calories you’re consuming at each meal of the day (and all the snacking in between!)

Priority Support

Cronometer Gold offers a “Gold Members Only” section on their forum. I checked it out and most of the discussions seem to be app-specific questions, like how to save a report, sharing questions, etc. There seemed to be more activity on the regular forums 

To be honest, I don’t personally see this feature as a huge value-add. 

Advanced Analysis

You get lots of extra charts and customization options with Cronometer Gold. You can update the settings so that you see the data you want to see. There are graphs with how much potassium you’re getting day by day, your weight the waist ratio, and more. 

Data nerds will definitely love this feature.

Sharing Capabilities

Sharing allows you to connect with others and share customized foods and recipes. I can’t see this being a huge value-add but if you’re a personal trainer and using the app to work with clients – or have a lot of friends or family members with the same app – it might be useful!

Cronometer Review Summary

Overall, I love this app and how easy it is to log and track calories. I find the barcode scanner feature pretty impressive, and love how easy it is to add or delete foods. I also love that it connects with my Apple Watch which makes it literally effortless to factor in my physical activity. 

The free version is perfectly fine. But if you want an ad-free experience, help with food choices, or extra graphs to help keep you on track, the reasonably-priced Gold is worth the price of admission. 

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Most features are free to use
  • An accurate and easy way to log calories
  • Reports help you see trends and stay on track with reaching your nutrition goals
  • The Scanner makes adding new foods a breeze
  • Syncs with your activity tracker for accurate reporting of calories burned
  • Upgrade available at a reasonable monthly cost for extra analytics, help with food choices, and more
  • Lots of tutorials available on their website if you need help learning to use a certain feature

Cons:

  • The free version does come with ads which are a tiny bit annoying at times
  • “Priority support” feature in Gold seemed a bit underwhelming to me

How did you like this Cronometer review? If you’re planning on giving the app a try, you can sign up for free here.

If you use the Cronometer app, I’d love to hear what you think of it in the comments! 

Quick FAQ!!

Didn’t have time to read the full Cronometer review? No worries, this FAQ captures the highlights!

What is the Cronometer app?

Cronometer is a calorie tracking app that helps you log both calories consumed and calories burned. Once you create an account, you can access it on your computer or from your phone while you’re on the go.

What does the Cronometer app cost?

Most of Cronometer’s features are free to use. There is also a premium version called “Cronometer Gold” which lends some additional features for $5.99 USD on month to month subscription. Annual plans are also available.

Will Cronometer sync with my activity tracker?

Yes! Cronometer syncs with your iPhone’s Health app, the Apple Watch, Fitbit, Strava, and more.

Does Cronometer track macros?

Yep! Cronometer tracks macros as well as other nutrients and vitamins.

Are Chronometer’s reports accurate?

Cronometer vets all the foods in their database which means the calories you log will be very accurate. If you ensure you are entering the correct information in the settings and syncing activity with your activity tracker, you can expect the reports to be quite accurate.

Corrie Alexander is a blogger, freelancer, fitness enthusiast, and founder of The Fit Careerist. A proponent of personal growth and a self-proclaimed fitness app-junkie, Corrie is committed to testing and reviewing the latest workout programs in order to help others decide on the best exercise plan for them. She completed Felix Harder's Health And Wellness Coaching Certification in 2020 in order to more effectively help others on their fitness journey.

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