You cannot gain weight if you are not able to consume more calories than you are burning each day. So, it is very important to track your daily caloric intake when you are trying to gain weight. For this reason, calorie counter websites are great tools because they help you track the calories that you’re eating each day and helps you to know if you are meeting the minimum caloric requirements to help you reach your weight gain goals.
Calorie counter websites are usually used by people who are trying to lose weight. When you go to these sites, you’ll see pictures, quotes, and success stories all about people who have used their website to help them lose weight. Take a look at a headline from one of these websites:
“MyFitnessPal is a diet and fitness community built with one purpose in mind: providing you with the tools and support you need to achieve your weight loss goals.”
But did you know you could use such calorie counter websites to help you GAIN weight?
The focus of these calorie counter websites is to help people loose weight. But when you take a look at the true functionality of these great online tools, it is to help count calories and track daily caloric intake. So it actually makes sense that it could be a great resource to help someone when trying to gain weight as well.
To get a better understanding of the possibilities here, let’s first take a look at calorie counter websites.
What Calorie Counter Websites Do:
Calorie counter websites are simply sites that help you track your calories. There are a lot of features that make them fancier and easy to use, but that’s the basis of what they do. You start by creating your profile. You will enter your current height & weight, your goal weight, gender, age, activity level, how often you plan on exercising, and finally your weight goals.
Just like with most things on these sites, most of the goal options they give you are centered around losing weight. But there is one thing that many people don’t notice when they are inputting their goal. It doesn’t just give you weight loss options. Many of these sites give you the option to choose goals to maintain your current weight, or GAIN weight. So, even though they are marketed as weight loss tools, it is also possible to use these websites to help you with your weight gain goals!
Once you input your info and goals, it will tell you how many calories you need to be eating each day in order to reach those goals. If working out is part of your plan, it also takes into account how many calories you will be burning each week with your workout plan. It also tells you, that if you follow this plan that they’ve given you (of how many calories to eat each day), what your projected weight loss/gain is per week, and how many pounds you should lose/gain by a certain time (typically about a month away from the date you set your goals).
Once your goals are set and you know what is expected of you, you can get started!
How To Use Calorie Counter Websites for Gaining Weight:
From there, you just log in to your account and input the foods you are eating. From what you enter, the website will automatically calculate how many calories you are consuming. It even breaks it down and tells you how much fat, carbs, and protein are in each of those foods.
These sites have huge databases of foods. Not only do they include thousands of different foods (and how many calories they contain), but many of these tools even have it broken down by brand. This allows you to get extremely specific, and the data they give you to be very accurate.
If applicable, they also give you the option to enter any exercises you’ve done, and it will tell you how many calories you burned. It will factor that in when telling you your remaining calories needed for the day.
As you use their site, they save items you’ve entered before. So, the more you use their site the easier it becomes. The next time you eat an item you can just choose it from your personal drop down menu.
A few of the sites also have tools that allow you to enter specific recipes. So, if there are recipes that you make often, you can input the ingredients of that recipe just one time, and it will automatically calculate the calories per serving for that recipe. Then, every time you have that particular recipe or meal, you just have to select it. You don’t have to enter all of the ingredients separately every time. This saves you a ton of time!
Tracking Your Progress:
Using an online calorie counter website not only makes it easy to count your calories, but it also helps you to track your progress. Each time you log in, your home page will tell you exactly where you are for the day. It shows you how many calories you have left for the day. For people who are trying to lose weight, they are trying to make sure that they stay under this number. But for those of us who want to gain weight, we need to make sure that we consume at least that many calories by the end of the day.
Your home page will also show you your current goals. It will show you how many calories you need to eat each day, your fitness goals, as well as your diet profile, which includes how many calories you’ve burned and how many you’ve consumed that day. So they make it very easy to see exactly where you’re at at any given point in the day. It will also show you your projected weight loss/gain if you continue on that path.
Many of these sites also have a “check-in” or “weigh in” option. This is where you can keep track of your weight throughout your journey. You can enter your weight and even your neck, waist & hips measurements if you want. This allows you to continually track your progress along the way. Sometimes it’s hard for us to notice our results. It’s much easier to see your results and progress when you have the numbers right in front of you. This tool gives you the numbers to remember where you started, and to see how far you’ve come.
Free Webstie Options:
I was not asked by any of these companies to promote them. I are not being compensated in any way for promoting these companies, I am just going to list some of the features in the websites.
1) MyFitnessPal.com http://www.myfitnesspal.com/
At the top of my list is MyFitnessPal.com. This is the service that I currently use. It has all of the features that I am looking for, and all of the features that I’ve discussed above. Here are a few other reasons why I like MyFitnessPal:
• Free. There are many free online calorie counters, and some paid services. I like MyFitnessPal because it is completely free to use.
• Mobile. To make things even easier, they offer a free mobile app. This allows you to have access to your account from anywhere. So that means that you can see exactly where you are anytime you want.
• Large Database. MyFitnessPal.com says that they have the world’s largest nutritional and calorie database, with over 1 million foods. Whether that’s true or not that they are the largest, I don’t know. But I do know that I have been shocked by how many food options they have in there with their calorie, fat, carb, and protein content. They are very specific with the foods you are entering. Example: if you go to enter a potato it gives you the options of mashed with whole milk and margarine, baked and skin on, sweet potato, potato salad, etc. So, you know you are getting as specific and accurate as possible.
• Brands. This is the tool that I spoke about above, that allows you to select the exact brand of the product you are inputting. Example: when entering peanut butter, it gives you the options of brand such as Skippy, Jif, Smuckers, Great Value, etc. it also lets you choose the exact product type (Jiffy Creamy, Skippy Reduced Fat, Great Value Chunky, etc). Again, this helps you to be as specific as possible. A few of the sites I’ve looked into don’t have this option.
• Recipe Tool. This is another tool that I love that many of the sites don’t offer. Again, this tool allows you to input and save recipes that you use often, so that you don’t have to input all of the ingredients and amounts all the time. You just input the info once, save it as a recipe, and you can select it from your Recipes menu whenever you eat it.
• Easy to Use. For me, the interface on this site is the easiest to use. Other than the features above, that was the other reason why I chose MyFitnessPal.com. The interface is simple, easy to navigate, and simple to use.
Other options you can try:
2) My-Calorie-Counter.com http://www.my-calorie-counter.com/calorie_counter.asp
3) CaloriesPerHour.com http://www.caloriesperhour.com/
If you are trying to gain weight, a good place to start is by tracking your daily caloric intake. Using an online calorie counter tool or program is a great resource. You can use these sites to 1) figure out your necessary daily caloric needs, 2) track your daily caloric intake, and 3) track your progress along the way.
Don’t shy away from these services because they’re marketed towards the weight loss community. When used properly, they can be great tools to help you set, monitor, and achieve your weight gain goals.