Fit Healthy Momma Rating: 9/10
MacrosFirst is the most powerful and intuitive macro tracker on the market. With a simplified, easy-to-use interface that’s free of ads and clutter and features on the free version that you won’t find elsewhere, it’s no surprise that MacrosFirst is quickly rising above the competition.
Use code: FHM10 for 10% off the annual subscription.
Tracking macros can feel overwhelming and intimidating when you’re just starting out. Trust me, I’ve been there. Just a few years ago, in fact.
But one of the most important tools you can have in your macro-tracking tool belt to ease yourself into the lifestyle is a great macro-tracking app that makes the process as simple and pain-free as possible.
Now, there are a lot of options out there when it comes to macro trackers, and there’s certainly no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are definitely some apps that seem to be very in-tune with what real folks like you and I are looking for when it comes to tracking our food and staying consistent with it. One of those apps is MacrosFirst.
I discovered MacrosFirst recently when MyFitnessPal announced that they would start charging for some of the features that they were previously including in their free plan. And while I have always been a fan of MyFitnessPal and don’t blame them for wanting to monetize more, I also understand that those who were used to the features on a free app were a little miffed about the announcement.
This is where MacrosFirst comes in. MacrosFirst is an intuitive macro tracking app that includes several key features in its free version that you can’t get with most free apps. Of course, there’s an upgraded paid version as well that unlocks even more features that make macro tracking a breeze.
The Fit Healthy Momma team is very excited to be partnering with MacrosFirst to bring you our full review of the app so that you can decide if getting started with MacrosFirst, or making the switch from another macro app, is worth it for you.
MacrosFirst Review: Overview & Quick Facts
“The Easiest Macro Tracker, Period.”
Free or $6.67/month for the Premium Version
FHM10 for 10% off!
Those who want to take the stress and guesswork out of macro tracking.
Unique Value Proposition:
A free app version that includes features not seen on other macro tracking apps.
Why We Love It:
Clean, simple, easy-to-use interface, flexibility & adjustability, very beginner friendly
What Could Be Improved:
The ability to allow coaches to access client logs, daily weight tracking & trends, and syncing with more fitness trackers. **All coming soon
Average App Ratings:
4.5/5 App Store, 4.2 / 5 Google Play
What is MacrosFirst?
MacrosFirst is a macro-tracking app that’s designed to help you hit your nutritional goals with confidence and ease. By including features that take the guesswork and math out of tracking macros, users can confidently track their foods and make adjustments to not only hit their daily macro targets but to stay consistent with them.
Developed by a team who also tracks their macros daily, MacrosFirst understands that the key to macro tracking success is ease of use and accuracy of data. You can expect that through all the powerful features packed into their app. You can expect that through all the powerful features packed into their app.. MacrosFirst offers two versions of the app; free or premium. Many users find that the free app provides plenty of functionality for their basic level macro tracking needs, however, the upgraded premium version takes things to the next level and, for many, is well worth the upgrade. We’ll discuss the standard vs. premium version features in greater detail later.
Perhaps the two greatest free features of the MacrosFirst App that have helped it to become one of the fastest growing macro-tracking apps on the market include the following:
1. You have the ability to auto-calculate your serving size based on your macro objective for that food. What does this mean? No more macro math! If you've ever gone through the arduous task of adjusting your portions back and forth to get them to fit your macros, this feature will be a game-changer!
2. A 100% FREE Smart Label Scanner that instantly scans your nutrition label if you can't find your food already in the database and the app will automatically read all of the nutrients off the label and populate them for you - no more manual food entry!
We'll dive more into the many unique features and benefits of choosing MacrosFirst next, but these two benefit address and solve two of the biggest pain points for macro trackers.
- Simple, clean, and easy-to-use app interface
- Low barrier to entry for getting started (minimal learning curve)
- Auto-calculate food portions based on your macros. No more macro math and adjusting portions back and forth.
- A huge database of foods and recipes with more being added daily
- The food database is monitored and assessed for quality and accuracy assurance
- Ability to adjust your protein, carbs, and fats in order to reach the desired serving size (totally unique feature and super handy!)
- When no food is found for your search, a handy nutrition label scanner pops up and automatically reads all of the nutrients right off the label so you don't have to type them in manually.
- Tons of popular recipe bloggers and macro coaches are adding their recipes to the database
- Easy, intuitive barcode scanner
- Accurate alcohol tracking
- Ability to save your foods, meals, and recipes in your “kitchen” for easy access
- Ability to export your meal data to your email to share with your coach*
- Option to add notes about your day*
- Water logging feature*
- Ability to edit your daily goals to accommodate your macro needs (i.e. carb cycling, rest days, etc.)*
- Net carb tracking*
- *Indicates features available on the paid version of the app.
- MacrosFirst doesn’t integrate yet with all of the fitness trackers **Coming Soon!
- There’s not yet a weight tracking option (scale weight for progress tracking) - the team has advised that this is coming very soon!
For 10% off the annual subscription, use code FHM10
MacrosFirst Features and Benefits: Standard Vs. Premium
As with most macro tracking apps, MacrosFirst offers both a free and a paid version. However, one of the key differentiators between MacrosFirst and competing apps is that MacrosFirst includes an abundance of free features that are normally behind a paywall for other apps.
What this means is that those seeking a completely free macro tracking app will find that they can enjoy a ton of functionality without having to spend a dime. What’s even better is that MacrosFirst isn’t full of ads that clutter your screen and distract you from your nutrition information.
That said, for those of us who want to enjoy all the best features and are in it for the long haul with macro tracking, upgrading to the Premium version of MacrosFirst is most definitely worth the consideration. We’ll break down the differences between the features and benefits of the standard vs premium versions of MacrosFirst next.
MacrosFirst Free App Features (Standard)
- Personalized calculated macro targets.
- Meal level calorie and macro goals.
- Offline access.
- Free barcode scanner and smart label scanner.
- Daily macro tracking against your custom macro goals.
- Unlimited custom meal creation.
- Reverse engineer your tracking by specifying how many proteins, carbs, or fats you need to meet your goal and allow MacrosFirst to calculate how much of each food is needed to hit your target.
- Choose from various food measurement metrics to match your measurement style or preferred method.
- Save your favorite meals and organize them in your kitchen for easy access.
- Copy and paste your meals or an entire day to other days.
- Water tracking.
- Create custom foods or edit the macros in any database foods to match your dietary needs.
- Food label scanner that automatically uploads the relevant nutrition information from the label to your app.
MacrosFirst Premium App Features
- All of the free app features, plus:
- Ability to customize your macro goals for different days of the week (i.e. high/low carb days, rest days, etc.)
- Data exporting via excel reports to share your daily meal history and macro breakdowns with a coach or to keep for your own tracking.
- Track net carbs with automatic deduction of fiber and sugar alcohols from your daily carb intake.
Is Upgrading to MacrosFirst Premium Worth It?
If you’re someone who is planning to make macro tracking a part of your lifestyle, then yes, upgrading to the premium version of MacrosFirst will be worth it for you. With the ability to customize your macro targets by the day, you can easily make your macros fit your lifestyle and needs, and that feature in and of itself makes the upgrade worth it to me.
Additionally, if you’re working with a coach or if you’re a data person, the ability to export your data from the app into an excel spreadsheet and then share it or log it elsewhere is quite a perk. Of course, we’re all going to be waiting for MacrosFirst to include a feature that would allow users to grant their coaches access directly to their logs, however, this is the next best thing and I imagine a coach access feature would be under the premium version anyway.
For less than $7 per month, you’ll get access to the most robust and easy-to-use macro tracking app out there, which is a pretty great deal if you’re serious about reaching your goals. Plus, as a relatively new app with new features being added all the time, you can count on the value to continue to increase.
MacrosFirst vs. MyFitnessPal
Perhaps the spark that lit the fire for MacrosFirst was the fact that the long-time macro-tracking app king, MyFitnessPal, decided to put their barcode scanner behind a paywall. For years, MyFitnessPal users enjoyed the free barcode scanner and had become accustomed to utilizing the feature. This was the impetus for many calorie counters and macro trackers alike to start seeking another free app that offered more.
Let’s break down and compare the basic features and functionality offered on MacrosFirst and MyFitnessPal, comparing the free versions of both apps.
App Store Rating:
4.7/5 - recent reviews reflect a much lower average
Google Play Rating:
4.2 / 5 - recent review reflects a much lower average
Barcode Scanner Included:
No (not yet anyway)
Yes, pretty annoying too
Simple, distraction-free interface:
No (need to upgrade to premium)
Ability to reverse engineer macros (change protein, carbs, and fats to meet your needs):
Large Database of Foods:
Yes (plus, you can scan barcodes or manually enter)
Yes (but no barcode scanner)
Meal Level Macro Goals:
No, must upgrade to premium
Meal Level Macro Totals:
No, must upgrade to premium
Summary of MyFitnessPal Vs. MacroFirst
MyFitnessPal was the reigning king of free macro and calorie tracking apps for years, however, with their recent decision to put one of their best free features behind a paywall, many users have begun to look elsewhere.
But that’s not the only reason why MyFitnessPal is in its decline, there’s also the fact that the app has become extremely bloated. With ads flashing everywhere, it’s distracting to the user who is more than likely just there to track their macros and move on. Plus, MyFitnessPal has created an entire library of resources for its users, which is great, but it distracts from what most folks are there to do.
MacrosFirst is offering a clean, simple, intuitive interface that’s easy to use and completely distraction-free. They have enough features in their free version that users will find it sufficient, but offer up enough value to justify the small fee to upgrade to the premium version.
While MacrosFirst is a newer entrant into the macro-tracking arena, we’re sure to see many app features and benefits added in the future, my hope is that they pay attention to the shortcomings of MyFitnessPal and stick with their promise to be “the easiest and most powerful macro tracker on the market.”
How to Get Started With MacrosFirst
Getting started with using MacrosFirst to log and track your food is simple and very beginner friendly. Here’s a brief overview of what the onboarding process will look like:
First, you’ll be guided through calculating your macros. These are standard macro questions that will look like this:
- What’s your goal? (gain weight, lose weight, or maintain weight)
- What’s your activity level? (not very active, moderately active, active, or very active)
- What are your preferred units? (imperial or metric)
- Do you lift weights? (yes or no)
- Your gender, height, weight, and your target weight
Once this short questionnaire is completed, the app’s algorithm will quickly compute your customized macros. For those who are brand new to macro tracking, the data that the app provides you will be a great starting point, however, many folks who track macros have had their macros calculated by a coach or are currently being coached, in which case it’s very simple to add your own custom macros into the app.
Once you have your targets set, you’re ready to get logging!
How to Log Your Meals In MacrosFirst
As with any app, it will take a little getting used to and exploration before you’ve become accustomed to the nuances MacrosFirst, but the learning curve here is minimal. Here’s a brief rundown of how to log your first meal in MacrosFirst:
- Tap the + symbol next to the meal in which you would like to log food
- Type in the search box the name of the food that you would like to add, and chances are you will find it pre-loaded in the database for you.
- Modify the portion size and unit of measurement based on how much you’re consuming.
- Repeat this process for all of the foods you’re adding to that meal.
- Click the checkmark in the top right corner when you’re done and watch how your total calories and macros for the day automatically recalculate to show your updated target totals
Who Should Try MacrosFirst?
MacrosFirst is a fantastic macro tracking app for anyone who wants to track their macros without all the math and Tetris that usually accompanies trying to figure out how much of what foods to eat. For beginner trackers, MacrosFirst makes it easy to get started and doesn’t include any features that will confuse or frustrate you i.e. macro changes based on activity and a bunch of ads.
For the MyFitnessPal free app users who are disappointed that MFP started charging to use the barcode scanner, MacrosFirst offers a great barcode scanner and it’s included with the free version of the app.
Lastly, macro trackers who are looking for the easiest, most convenient, and intuitive way to keep track of their calories, macros, and meals will appreciate all of the well-thought-out features that the MacrosFirst team included in the app, especially when it comes to the Premium version. If you have an extra $7 to spare each month, it’ll be worth the upgrade to make your life simpler and more streamlined.
My Personal Experience With MacrosFirst
Although I wasn’t an active user of MyFitnessPal at the time, I was well aware of the uproar that their decision to remove critical features from their free version created in the community. Luckily for MacrosFirst, this allowed their app the opportunity to get a ton of exposure and recommendations, which is how I found them.
I downloaded the app and was immediately struck by how simple and clean it was when compared to MyFitnessPal. To be honest, my biggest gripe with MFP wasn’t the loss of the free barcode scanner it was how cluttered and bloated the app had become, so using MacrosFirst was like a breath of fresh air.
I started out with the free version of the app and found that it included plenty of features for me to effectively track and log my food. However, I was very interested in the premium version for the fact that I could customize my macro targets on specific days. I sometimes like to carb cycle and having the ability to customize my high/low carb days makes tracking so much easier.
Since upgrading to the premium version of the app, I have enjoyed the added features and benefits and do believe that the small monthly cost to upgrade is worth it for those who are serious about tracking and want to get the best, most simplified functionality that makes their life a tad easier.
Wrapping Up: Should You Try MacrosFirst?
MacrosFirst is a beautifully simple macro tracking app that provides just enough functionality in its free version but offers up even more when you switch to the Premium plan. When compared to other popular macros trackers, MacrosFirst stands apart from the pack thanks to its simplicity, focus on making macros easy, and the obvious thought and attention to detail that has been put forth in the development of the app.
If you’re seeking a simplified way to track your macros or calories, MacrosFirst won’t disappoint. While there are still a couple of features that they’re missing, the team has promised that more are in the works, and I have no doubt that the app will only continue to become more valuable.
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