1 Use of Evidence-Based Strategies
In an independent study, Evidence-Based Strategies in Weight-Loss Mobile Apps, published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (October 2013), MyNetDiary was ranked the highest of all weight-loss mobile apps.
The study evaluated over 30 mobile apps based on the number of implemented behavioral weight-loss strategies that are evidence-based and proven to be effective for weight loss in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). MyNetDiary incorporates 65% of these strategies, more than any other weight-loss mobile app. Comparatively, the second-highest-ranking app implemented 25%, while the MyFitnessPal app implemented only 15% of these strategies, according to the study.
2 Calorie Recommendations
All weight loss apps, MyNetDiary and MyFitnessPal included, equip a new user with a personalized calorie plan to meet the user's weight goals.
At MyNetDiary, we've been asked many times why MyNetDiary's calorie plan is higher than in other diet apps, in particular than in MyFitnessPal.
Here is how MyNetDiary calculates the calorie plan.
If the user wants to reach his or her weight loss goal, losing one pound of body weight per week, the MyNetDiary app would recommend a daily calorie reduction of 500 calories compared to the user's "weight maintenance calories." There is evidence that actual weight loss deviates from this generally accepted rule, "To lose a pound of fat, you need to lose 3,500 calories", but this is a good rule for practical purposes, and MyNetDiary utilizes it.
The other piece of the calorie plan calculation is how an app calculates Weight Maintenance Calories - the number of calories you need to consume daily to maintain your current body weight as-is. MyNetDiary uses the Estimated Energy Requirements formula developed by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
Applying the above, for a 30 years old female, 5' 4" tall, 160 lb weight, sedentary activity level, losing 1 lb/week, MyNetDiary calculates 2,007 Weight Maintenance calories and sets 1,507 calories daily goal.
MyFitnessPal does not publish the formulas calculating weight maintenance or how calorie goals are calculated, but for the same person to lose one pound per week, MyFitnessPal calculates 1,290 calories daily goal, which is a daily reduction of 717 calories from weight maintenance calculated according to EER.
3 Display of Advertisements
Ads and sponsored content already clutter up the web and mobile apps with annoying pop-ups and obstacles. Commercialism especially distracts users of diet and fitness apps as it crowds the screens with highly-targeted ads about various diet trends, supplements, and weight-loss tools, many of questionable quality and science. MyNetDiary perceives ads and promoted stories as unhelpful and even counterproductive to user success. There is no paid commercial content in MyNetDiary, even in the free version. MyNetDiary chooses users' well-being and success over promotional revenue.
MyNetDiary’s blog, forums, and social media provide independent, professional, actionable information that is helpful to the overall success of users.
4 Features Available in Free Tiers
As evidenced by numerous user reviews, MyNetDiary is one of the very few apps that provide for free all the features needed for healthy weight loss and maintenance.
Moreover, MyNetDiary does not display any ads and does not track users. Users won't see ads for questionable weight-loss products and tempting foods displayed frequently in diet apps specifically targeted by ad networks.
Also, MyNetDiary does not display incessant upgrade popups on every use of the app.
Here is an incomplete list of features available in the free tier of MyNetDiary:
- Unlimited food and exercise logging
- Barcode scanner
- Diet planning tools
- Daily analysis with feedback
- Recipe editor
- PhotoFoods service
- Built-in GPS workout tracker for walking, running, and cycling
- iOS Health app sync
- Grocery Check tool for healthy shopping
- Shopping list tool
- Diet library developed by a group of Registered Dietitians
The Premium tier provides more tools and more guidance with Premium diets and recipes, analysis, and feedback features. Still, all the basics, everything needed for healthy weight loss is included for free.
MyNetDiary is the best free diet app for users on a budget.
5 Food Database Size and Quality
MyFitnessPal is famous for its vast foods database, advertising over 11 million foods in the database, (all data is as of 10/17/19). While it is, indeed, possible to find almost any food item in MyFitnessPal's database, this exponential quantity of products develops through crowdsourced, user-created entries. Anyone can add any food or dish to the database, resulting in many entries with incorrect or incomplete information and duplicated or out-of-date foods. MyNetDiary has over 1,270,000 professionally-entered and verified foods with accurate information on servings, providing excellent coverage of the US, Canada, UK, and Australia markets.
MyNetDiary’s foods database is also more reliable with all verified foods, and there are few duplicates in MyNetDiary. Before adding a new food item to MyNetDiary's database, the data entry team checks that it does not already exist in the database so that no duplicates get accepted. In MyFitnessPal, crowdsourced entries result in many repeats and out-of-date/discontinued items and dishes, which makes it hard for a user to find and log the right foods, dishes, and meals, and their respective calories and nutrients.
For example, if you search for “Frontega," which is a registered trademark of Panera Bread, meaning that there are only two foods in the world that can have this name—the whole and the half Frontega sandwich—you can find exactly these two food items in MyNetDiary. In MyFitnessPal, if you search for “Frontega," you'll get several dozens of "Frontega" entry results, all with varying calories and nutrition information, ranging from 730 to 850 calories. Yes, MyFitnessPal has millions of foods, but can you find the right one among so many inaccurate entries?
MyNetDiary tracks 51 nutrients, including all major vitamins and minerals, while MyFitnessPal tracks only 20 nutrients.
If you cannot find some foods in MyNetDiary, or a food item is not up to date, no problem. Users can scan the barcode of products and upload photos of food labels to the app, and the food will be added or updated in just a few hours by MyNetDiary. Dining in a restaurant? Send menu photos or the restaurant's URL, and MyNetDiary's team will add this restaurant to the foods database.
MyNetDiary foods database is available for commercial licensing, and, as a testament to its quality, was chosen by dozens of other weight-loss and diet services and mobile apps.
6 Visual Design
Not only is MyNetDiary's foods database of the highest quality and verified by professionals, but the whole logging process in MyNetDiary is an incredibly user-friendly experience. The attractive, modern design, with colorful food icons and photos, adds character to the app.
While it’s best to weigh or measure portion sizes for accuracy, MyNetDiary offers a built-in Portion Size Guide to help estimate portion sizes when measuring is not feasible, as shown in the image below.
MyNetDiary looks delicious in Dark Mode on iOS13 or later. As of November 2019, MyFitnessPal does not support Dark Mode.
7 Food Logging Process
MyNetDiary’s comprehensive database and appealing aesthetics helps it stand out against other similar apps, and it also has the fastest food logging out all of the diet apps. It employs a whole set of tools and shortcuts to save you time:
- MyNetDiary has lightning-fast searching as you type, which means you can see results immediately.
- MyNetDiary remembers your search history and highlights matching foods that you had logged previously, so you can complete a search in just a couple of key taps, without typing the product’s full name.
- On the Food Entry screen, MyNetDiary shows all servings available and even your previous serving’s entries. No wheels. No pop-ups. Quickly enter amounts with one tap.
- The Staple Foods Catalog, alone, is a game-changer. MyNetDiary will help you select basic, staple foods from a special Staple Foods Catalog, either by browsing or searching within it, as shown in the image below. The catalog has over 900 foods, carefully handpicked by dietitians and experienced cooks, an especially indispensable tool if you are cooking from recipes.
Faster food logging and no ads mean less effort and reluctance to log foods and more chances of consistent entries and success.
From a user review on iOS App Store:
I like the interface much more than MyFitnessPal. The quick, easiness and pleasantness of noting my intake (less clicks required) ensures I am more likely to use it in daily life. Not being bombarded with ads really helps with usage as well. I like the insightful articles I have the option to click on but am not forced to click on. Just an all round great interface! Hope more people use this so more food calories from merchants are added.App Store Jun 11, 2019
8 Promotion of Physical Activity
Built-in GPS Workout Tracker
MyNetDiary's iPhone app makes it super-simple to keep track of your walks, runs, and bike rides. MyNetDiary is the only diet app that has a built-in, clear, and simple GPS tracker to accurately and automatically record your workouts right in the app, calculating calories, distance, and workout time. No other apps or links needed. See the example in the image below.
MyNetDiary can automatically account for additional expended calories during day-to-day walking. Users can select the sedentary activity level and still get rewarded with calories burned based upon the number of steps they take. This option motivates users to reach their step targets. It also helps avoid overestimating total energy expenditure. If users get most of their exercise from walking and activities of daily life, then they could use this feature and then choose whether or not to add any special workouts.
9 370,000 Recipes Database
Both MyFitnessPal and MyNetDiary provide hundreds of recipes carefully crafted by dietitians.
Still, there are many more recipes out there on the web than included with the apps!
What if you don't know a good recipe to fit your diet and calories, your macro goals, or your taste preferences? Sure, you can try searching the web. Both apps provide web recipe import tools. There are many popular recipe websites, but to find exact matches for your needs may require a lot of searching, browsing, nutrient calculations. That's a lot of work and a lot of time.
MyNetDiary's Recipe Database is the cooking companion you want in your kitchen. With access to over 370,000 recipes, you'll find enough eat-in inspiration to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
For example, powerful filters for macronutrient ranges help identify recipes if you require specific macros, such as keto, low-carb, low-fat, or high-protein. And it's just as easy to find recipes based on meal type and cuisine. You can also search applying allergy and food intolerance parameters, such as gluten-free recipes. Save the recipes under My Foods and make them a "favorite" to retrieve them easily for tracking.
MyFitnessPal does not have a searchable and filterable recipe database.
10 Shopping List
If your goal is weight loss, you know how important it is to plan meals. Knowing what you will eat before hunger sets in helps you stay within your calorie budget.
The shopping list feature adds real convenience if you've mapped out what you will eat ahead of time. You can add planned foods from your food log, and the app will build your list. You can add any of the Premium Recipes, scaling it for the number of servings.
MyNetDiary's Shopping List tool built into the app is every bit as good as special shopping list apps. You can edit the items, specify quantities, organize them into categories following your supermarket layout to shop in order. You can also add any non-food items, such as paper towels, cleaners, baby products, and more, making it a one-stop shopping solution. The shopping list is available in MyNetDiary's app for Apple Watch - a user can check the list and cross off items right from the wrist!
The Shopping List is just another tool making MyNetDiary a comprehensive, well-rounded diet app.
MyFitnessPal does not have a shopping list tool.
11 Comprehensive Support for Type 2 Diabetes and Pre-diabetes
MyNetDiary Premium includes an option to track diabetes and pre-diabetes. It not only records blood glucose readings, but it's a whole system that also tracks and charts insulin, medications, A1C, and blood cholesterol tests. For proper blood glucose monitoring, users can specify target ranges (such as pre-meal and 2-hour, post-meal target ranges), timestamp readings, assign labels to readings to categorize them, add notes, set BG check reminders, review several special blood glucose charts, and more. You won’t find that on other popular diet apps.
12 Health Condition Tracking
MyNetDiary Premium provides options to track medications, test results, measurements, and symptoms.
Some users may want to keep track of certain health and diet related information that is important for them, for example, hunger levels or quality of sleep. MyNetDiary Premium provides custom trackers where a user can define any number of situations or experiences, then enter their daily values and even chart them.
MyNetDiary also supports post-bariatric surgery patients with easily customized nutrient targets and a convenient water tracker right on the dashboard.
13 Resources Library by RDs and CDEs
MyNetDiary provides a collection of high-quality, practical articles on weight loss, exercise, diets, and diabetes authored by registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators. See the images below.
14 Support from RDNs and CDEs
A team of experienced registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators supports MyNetDiary’s forums and Facebook community. MyNetDiary provides reliable, evidence-based information and advice.
MyNetDiary uses large fonts and more contrast colors, making it easier to read and use for all ages, including those with poor vision. MyNetDiary also supports iPhone's Large Text accessibility settings, increasing all font sizes according to user accessibility preferences in iPhone Settings.
Apple Watch App Features
The watch app for MyFitnessPal allows you to view calories, macros, and nutrients, and to log calories and water. By comparison, MyNetDiary lets you see and do everything MyFitnessPal does, and much more with a tap or two. On MyNetDiary, you can also log your favorite foods, whole meals, enter your weigh-ins, and review your meal totals and actual foods.
Another great thing about MyNetDiary on Apple Watch is its outstanding support for watch complications. Complications display information from apps and are added to watch faces. Similar to widgets on a smartphone, complications are stationary on the watch face for at-a-glance convenience. Some examples might be the current weather or the next calendar appointment. With MyNetDiary, you can add complications to display calories, macros, daily water intake, or any other nutrient stats on your Apple Watch. MyNetDiary supports nutrition and exercise complications for all watch faces. MyNetDiary allows you to choose the kind of data each complication will display. The same complication for Infograph face can be configured in MyNetDiary to display calories, macros (including protein), water, or any other nutrient's stats. MyNetDiary has got you covered.
MyFitnessPal does not support complications at all.
MyNetDiary developed one of the very first diet apps for iPad in 2010, and since then, the tradition continues. Today’s MyNetDiary for the iPad is quite amazing, with the navigation and screens specifically designed for iPad. Unlike MyFitnessPal and other diet apps, the interface is not just a larger version of the phone app but specifically designed for the iPad's larger screen and other capabilities.
MyNetDiary doesn’t break everything into six sections at the bottom but instead provides an easy and intuitive navigation panel providing direct access to all of the features and screens in the app.
MyNetDiary takes full advantage of the large iPad screen, displaying all foods and nutrients at once, like a large spreadsheet, see images below. Users can also start typing the food name into an empty cell and pick one of the matching foods that appears. Quickly enter right there the amount you ate. It's natural and incredibly easy to log daily consumption on the iPad with MyNetDiary.
As always with MyNetDiary, screens look attractive and easy to read!
Grocery Check–Get Help Shopping
With so many products on supermarket shelves, it might be difficult for consumers to decide which one is healthier. They might pick up several boxes and read the Nutrition Facts panel if they have time. Wouldn’t it be more convenient if there was a way to rank and score foods so that the app considers both harmful and beneficial components with one number? MyNetDiary provides such a scoring system with its Food Grade feature.
MyNetDiary uses methodology published in the article, “Modeling Expert Opinions on Food Healthfulness: A Nutrition Metric,” by Jolie M. Martin et al. in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, June 2009. Used with permission.
MyNetDiary’s unique tool, Grocery Check, compares foods and selects the best one. Open Grocery Check and move the phone’s camera over the product’s barcode, and MyNetDiary will calculate a food grade for each product and use augmented reality to overlay them with color-coded, pulsating marks. Green indicates the food product scores the best; red indicates the food product scores the worst.
While in Grocery Check, when you point your phone camera toward a barcode, MyNetDiary will display product's grade, calories, and nutrients, and even show a macros chart, helping you evaluate and make an informed decision. See image below.
16 Website for Online Tracking
For those who prefer a large screen of a computer or laptop, MyNetDiary provides a full-featured, modern website for tracking and analysis. With a streamlined and clean dashboard, MyNetDiary.com lets you focus on your calories, macros, and weight-loss progress.
With a lightning-fast, in-place food search, MyNetDiary.com makes food logging a breeze compared to MyFitnessPal, which requires you to go to other pages to search for a food item.
An attractive and impressive logging system and modern infographics in MyNetDiary.com will help you focus on your diet.
17 User Reviews
Here are just a handful of user reviews of MyNetDiary from the iOS App Store, many of whom are former MyFitnessPal subscribers.
Great app for keeping track of calories
This app proved to be the most accurate, easy, and hassle free among competing apps of the same variety. I tried Weight Watchers and MyFitnessPal and Noom, and MyNetDiary was the one I found myself returning to again and again. Mainly because of the range of ready-to-choose food list and “all in one view” dashboard. It was easy to adjust weight loss goal and tailor the dashboard to suit my visual preferences.Sep 23, 2021
I was so tired of My Fitness Pal This app does all that My Fitness Pal does and More. The premium cost is also less … something that I can afford! I love the pictures of the food. I love the nutrient screen. I love the daily tips. I’m SO happy with this app!Sep 16, 2021
Makes MFP look pathetic
Very nice app. I am using the pro version which for $5 a month (yearly). Gives you a vast knowledge and resources for logging your daily calories. I use Strava on my Apple Watch which automatically logs calories burned on my daily bicycle ride. The dashboard is visually appealing. It’s a little different and took me a day or two to figure it out, but at this point this is I’m sold on app for your daily dietary log.Sep 11, 2021
Better than MyFitnessPal!
This app is so much easier to navigate and provides all the necessary functions for free, even though you can upgrade to premium but it’s really not neededSep 18, 2021
Love love love
Love the free version! Has everything you need and more. Have used other apps including the famous MyFitnessPal and this one is sooo much better than that and has more free features.Sep 8, 2021
Better than MyFitnessPal!
This app is so much easier to navigate and provides all the necessary functions for free, even though you can upgrade to premium but it’s really not neededSep 18, 2019
Makes MyFitnessPal look silly. What a great app with more features than calorie count.Sep 12, 2019
I used to use MyFitnessPal but tried this app on a whim and never went back! This is the absolute best tracker I have ever tried, at least for me!Jul 22, 2019
I like the interface much more than MyFitnessPal. The quick, easiness and pleasantness of noting my intake (less clicks required) ensures I am more likely to use it in daily life. Not being bombarded with ads really helps with usage as well. I like the insightful articles I have the option to click on but am not forced to click on. Just an all round great interface! Hope more people use this so more food calories from merchants are added.Jun 11, 2019
Better than MyFitnessPal!
I‘ve used many calorie/exercise tracking apps (including MyFitnessPal) for a long time, and always had difficulty with it as I mainly wanted to see how much of a deficit I was in, but this app is amazing! It’s easy to use, has a huge database of food (the largest I’ve used), and has an easy to view deficit/surplus chart! I love it!!Feb 25, 2019
100x better than MFP
I had been using MyFitnessPal for a couple years, then UnderArmor bought it and turned it into a horrible app. I then switched to MyNetDiary. I am so glad I did. I have been using it for 2 years and love the way Fitbit syncs perfectly (MyFitnessPal syncing rarely worked after UA bought it). My food and nutrient tracking is impressive, the advice tips are helpful, and love the analysis and charts provided for easy viewing of detailed info. And adding food via photo is great. It is easily a 5 star app.Oct 18, 2018
Most helpful diet app
I’ve used MyNetDiary and MyFitnessPal. MyNetDiary does WAY more of the math for you. Entering calories for portions of a whole is as simple as entering calories for a single item. I love all the charts and graphs. I’ve lost 34 pounds with MyNetDiary, a kitchen scale (a game changer), and discipline & patience. This app lives in the favourites bar on my phone. Update: goal weight achieved. 38 pounds lost. So long as I keep using the kitchen scale, & MyNetDiary does the math, I know I’ll be able to maintain it, too.Jun 25, 2019
STILL the best food log app!
Just as stated in the title, this app is simply the best. The most stable and user friendly app I've ever used - with some great, useful, powerful features (such as charts, measurements log, and diet analysis) not found in the other apps like MyFitnessPal or FatSecret. And you can customize your macronutrient goals! And... you can track exercise & calories burned. I love this app, and you will, too.Dec 15, 2018
I’ve used different apps and this one is definitely the best. I feel like it doesn’t stress you, like MyFitnessPal, which has too many features and it gets overwhelming. This app is simple, clean, easy to use, and just plain friendly. The daily advice is really neat, the Bike icon ready to go downhill is an incentive and the food grading is a great way to keep you aware of what you’re eating. Also, the scan code is super fast! Best of all, this app is more affordable than MyFitnessPal, for sure. Love it! Highly recommend it.Nov 12, 2018
Best nutrition app available
I’ve been using MyNetDiary for about 5 years to track nutrients and calories. I tried MyFitnessPal and several other apps before I found this one, but found the ads on most annoying and the apps mainly focusing on weight loss. MyNetDairy is by far the most comprehensive nutrient tracker if you want to see more than carb, protein, and fat breakdown. It lets me customize the dashboard for any nutrients I want (I like to track my potassium and Vitamin K intake on the dashboard since those seem to be good indicators of how many vegetables and greens I eat) and also lets me easily see all the detail I need. It also lets me track water intake and syncs with my Fitbit. I can add customized foods and recipes as needed, copy recent meals and pick from frequent foods. With each update, this app just keeps getting better!Nov 4, 2018
18 Benefits for Professionals– Dietitians and Trainers
MyNetDiary offers its services to diet, nutrition, and fitness professionals. The interface is easy to demonstrate to clients and encourage them to use so they can get the maximum benefits of professional guidance and training. Soon, look for access to shared client data, such as food and exercise logs, weigh-in history, daily and weekly reports, and more.
MyNetDiary offers the Professional Pack, which includes listing inthe MyNetDiary Professionals Directory and free Premium membership with complimentary gift cards for clients. MyNetDiary also offers a 50% discount for MyNetDiary Premium memberships, which could be provided complimentary or by fee to clients.
MyFitnessPal is a registered trademark of Under Armour Inc.