After hearing that Dr. Layne Norton (aka Biolayne, a pro physique coach, bodybuilder, and powerlifter) had created his own macro-tracking app, I knew that I had to try it out for myself.
Having been exposed to Layne Norton and his “no BS” approach to fitness and nutrition, my expectation was for his app to be extremely precise and backed by science.
So I decided to purchase Carbon Diet Coach for a month to see if it would live up to my expectations.
Quick Overview From Using Carbon Diet Coach
I honestly really enjoyed my experience with this app, and if I was on the market for an easy-to-use calorie and macro-tracking app that could help me determine my optimal intake, Carbon Diet Coach would be the one.
There was really nothing that I actively disliked about the app since it delivers exactly what it promises. There are some features missing compared with other apps I’ve tested, but the features it does have are designed excellently and worth the cost.
Here are my key takeaways
- The app was the most user-friendly calorie and macro tracking app I have ever used (i.e. it doesn’t require a huge learning curve).
- The food database was impressive, even down to the specific brands I was eating.
- There is no free version, but at $9.99 USD per month, you get an extremely accurate calorie and macro tracker (which for context is cheaper than MyFitnessPal, but more expensive than MyMacros+).
- The app offers weekly check-ins, where your calories and macros adjust automatically based on your progress (a feature rarely seen in other apps).
- The app is not good for recipes, meal plans, workouts, or other wellness information, so look elsewhere if those features are important to you.
Overall Rating: 4.0/5
What Is Carbon Diet Coach?
Carbon Diet Coach is a meal-tracking app that is available on both iPhone and Android.
Unlike other apps that only help you log food, Carbon Diet Coach determines the best calorie and macronutrient targets to reach your body composition goals and then continues to adjust these targets on a weekly basis so you don’t hit a plateau.
There is no free or premium version of the Carbon Diet Coach app. The app simply costs $9.99/month (with some added savings if you subscribe for longer). So what you see is what you get right off the hop.
The app provides insight into both your calorie and macronutrient targets for the day, without focusing heavily on one or the other like many apps tend to do. For example, the Fooducate app is mostly focused on calories, and the MacroFactor app is mostly focused on macronutrients.
With Carbon Diet, there’s no priority on one over the other (which I think is the best way to have a diet-tracking app designed).
Carbon Diet Coach: My Experiences & How it Works
I purchased the Carbon Diet Coach app and used it for 1 month. During this time, I used the app to log all of my food, track my weight, and follow the macronutrient and calorie guidance that the app automatically provided me.
Onboarding & Screening Questions
When I first opened the app, I was immediately met with my subscription options.
I could either choose a subscription of 1 month, 6 months, or 12 months, so I chose the 1-month option.
I was a little surprised that there was no free trial, and initially thought it was a bit pricy, however, as I’ll explain further below, I think the price of the app is justified.
Once I had made my purchase, I was immediately prompted to set a goal of either fat loss, mass gain, maintenance, or reverse diet (FYI – we have an entire guide on this concept if you haven’t heard of it before).
I wanted to see what the app would set for me as a weight loss goal, so I decided to opt for that.
I should note here that I did not fully follow the app’s recommendations since I am currently pregnant and not looking to lose weight, but since most users want a diet-tracking app to lose weight, this is what I wanted to test.
After I had chosen the goal of fat loss, I was asked if I knew my maintenance calories. I answered “no” to this, since I wanted to see what the app would calculate for me.
From there, I was asked questions pertaining to my age, weight, daily activity level, and exercise level. I was also asked if I preferred a certain type of diet (balanced, low carb, low fat, plant-based, or keto), so I decided to choose a balanced diet.
Carbon Diet Coach
A user-friendly calorie and macro tracking app provides insight into the daily calorie and macronutrient targets, and the food database was impressive.
Weight Loss Recommendation
At this point, the app recommended that I lose 0.9 lb per week.
This was displayed on a sliding scale, and if I slid the scale drastically to the right to increase my rate of weight loss (i.e. 3lb per week) the app would put a warning saying that I have a higher risk of muscle loss and weight regain with this rate of weight loss.
This was a really cool feature that the app offered since it allowed me to personally design the rate of weight loss that I wanted to see but also put out a fair warning that this is likely not a sustainable way to diet.
With all of this in mind, I decided to round it to an even 1lb per week of weight loss, which the app deemed acceptable and maintainable.
As a nutrition coach, I thought both of these calculations were accurate and reasonable based on the personal information I had provided and my chosen goal of fat loss.
From there, I was taken to my home screen where my daily calorie budget was displayed in a visually appealing way that was simple to decipher. Both my calories and macros were very visible, which I loved.
Logging My Food
It was time to start logging my food, which was the ultimate test for this app. The food logging system HAD to be good, and if it was clunky to use or lacked accurate food sources, I would have considered the entire app to be a failure.
I was pleasantly surprised when I logged my food. The process was extremely simple, all of the foods I chose to log were accurate and not accompanied by a surplus of other inaccurate food sources in the search engine (something I have noticed is very common amongst food tracking apps).
I loved how easy the measurements were to manipulate. I surprisingly didn’t have any issue finding any foods that I needed, even if they were more “specialty” gluten-free items.
The functionality of this part of the app sold me since I absolutely hate using food tracking apps where it is difficult to find the foods you need or log the correct measurements.
The calories and macros were boldly displayed for each food I needed, again this is something I appreciated since this is not always the case with other food-tracking apps.
In my food log, I also had the option to redistribute my calories from one day to another using the “planner” option. What this means is that I could easily schedule eating 200 calories more on one day if I had an intense workout, and then on another day, eating 200 calories less if I wasn’t being as active.
I really loved this feature because it gave me the feeling that I could be flexible with my diet while still reaching my goals (Note: only three other apps I’ve tested have this feature – Fooducate, Avatar, and MacroFactor).
Adjustments To My Calorie Targets
Other than the food log, the other key part of this app is the “Coach”. This is where I did my weekly check-in, which was very simple.
When I clicked the check-in button, the first thing the app displayed was my calorie and macro targets, along with my weekly average intake of each of these targets.
It then asked me: “were you compliant with your macro targets?”
The app provided a range with my targets (so I didn’t have to hit my targets exactly, but had to be within a close range).
In my first check-in, I did not hit my targets, so I clicked “no”.
It then asked me to log my weight, along with my body fat if I knew it (which I didn’t so I left that blank).
I had the option to record my weight daily as well, which I would recommend doing since it gives the app more feedback on how your body is responding to your diet.
Once I had done those two things, the coach decided to keep my calories and macros the same for another 7-days.
I really liked that the app did not try to alter my calorie or macro targets at all when I had not hit my original targets.
As a coach, I would need to see a client hit their targets and see how their body responds before making any adjustments that may not be necessary.
At this point, I am sure I am sounding like a broken record, but I just loved the simplicity of the check-in and how straightforward it was.
Navigating The App
The rest of the app was very simple. There are only four tabs at the bottom of the screen, which are labeled:
- Diary: This is where my daily calories, macros, and food log was
- Coach: This is where I did my weekly check-in, and the app would provide me with appropriate feedback (more on this below).
- Me: This contained my body values such as my weight and body fat, along with graphs displaying my weekly averages for my calories and macros
- Settings: This deals with all of the account info and preferences you’d expect.
What I Liked About Carbon Diet Coach
A few things that I really love about Carbon Diet Coach are:
Clean looking and enjoyable to use
This feature alone is worth the price of the app if you are going to be consistently using it. Unlike many free or cheaper tracking apps, I found it to be very visually appealing with no annoying ads.
Does what it says it’s supposed to with no extra fluff
This is exactly how I think a calorie and macro tracking app should be. I often get frustrated with tracking apps that have a million different tabs and features which can make using them much more confusing.
Carbon Diet Coach markets itself as an accurate calorie and macro tracking app, and that’s exactly what it is, without all of the unnecessary extra features that I have seen offered in other apps.
Extremely easy food logging process
I held this part of the app to a very high standard since it was essentially the core part of what the app offered, and it didn’t disappoint.
I found logging foods, changing measurements, and creating foods to be so easy and seamless.
I loved that it remembered my frequent foods and I really loved how I didn’t have to sort through a ton of inaccurate foods in the database to find what I needed.
Weekly macro calculations based on my intake and compliance
Similar to the rest of the app, the weekly check-in was extremely straightforward, and I really liked how it would not change my targets if I marked myself as “not compliant” with my calories and macros the week before.
What I Didn’t Like
To be completely honest, there really wasn’t anything that I didn’t like about this app. Carbon Diet Coach advertises itself as an app that can help you reach your body composition goal and take out the guesswork, and I really think it delivers on this claim.
However, one potential downside of Carbon Diet Coach is:
There’s no workout, meal plans, or recipe content
If you are in the market for an app that offers more in terms of content like workouts, meal plans, or recipes, then you might feel disappointed with the app.
For me personally though, If I wanted workouts or other content, I’d expect to look elsewhere anyways.
A few features that Carbon Diet Coach offers that sets it apart from other food-tracking apps are:
The option to redistribute calories and macros
The “planner” feature gives you the option to easily increase your calories and macros for any day of the week, while the app automatically adjusts the rest of the week in order to keep you within your overall targets.
This is an extremely handy feature because if you ended up having a day where you knew your calories were going to be higher, the app would decrease your calories slightly for the rest of the week.
A weekly check-in with calorie/ macro adjustments and feedback if necessary
While there are other food tracking apps that I have seen offer this, Carbon Diet Coach by far had the most straightforward and simple check-in process.
I found the weekly recommendations (whether it was to change my intake or keep it the same) to be very accurate.
The app also learned more about my body and how it responds the more I used the app.
Aesthetic visual of your daily calorie/ macro consumption
It’s easy to see your daily calorie and macronutrient budget for the day.
The option to add additional meals
The daily food log offers a breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack option, with the option to add in meal #5, meal #6, and meal #7.
The ability to follow the app’s targets or customize your own
While I do feel that the Carbon Diet Coach did a fantastic job with calculating and adjusting my macros, you have the option at any time to customize your own macros.
Who Should Use Carbon Diet Coach
- If you are serious about tracking your calories and macros, but don’t know how to set your own targets or adjust them over time based on your goals.
- If you have a healthy relationship with food and dieting, and you value a flexible approach to your nutrition tracking.
- If you don’t want to pay for a nutrition coach, but still want a science-backed process for calorie and macro tracking.
- If you want an app that does 1 thing VERY well (macro tracking) and don’t expect additional features.
Who Should Not Use Carbon Diet Coach
- You only casually track your food intake. I only recommend the cost of the app if you are using it consistently.
- You desire additional nutrition content, such as workouts and recipes.
- You are on a tight budget. Free apps do exist, and even if they are inferior, you might want to save money.
What Other Customers Think
After I had formed my own opinion about Carbon Diet Coach, I started to take a look at some reviews for the app online, and I was not surprised to see that the majority of the reviews were very positive.
The app had marked an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars from 1.5K reviews on Google Play, with an identical 4.8 out of 5 stars from 3.8k reviews on the Apple Store.
Many of the reviews that I saw were from satisfied customers who were able to reach their body composition goals while using the app, with one customer saying:
“I have used the app for a month now and have seen better weight loss results than I have ever seen before. Not only are the results there, I’m not super hungry and grumpy like on other meal plans. It is super easy to use and the coach feature is just like a real coach telling me each week what my calories and macros need to be at to reach my goal”
Similarly, this review boasts about how the app is user-friendly, effective, and worth the price, saying:
“I love this app! It has been life changing. Previously I was paying for a coach & MyFitnessPal. This gave me the option of both and for way cheaper! The app is extremely easy to use. And it takes out all the guess work!”
On the other hand, I did see a few negative reviews, and they were mainly surrounding the price, with one user saying:
“Great Food Tracker but this app is not really different than the free apps that track proteins, carbs, calories, etc. Macro tracking is the selling point for this app, but there are free ones that measure macros, and those apps are FREE!!!”
While I initially would have agreed with this review, after using the app for a month I could really see how it was set apart from other free calorie/macro tracking apps on the market (I think I’ve made my points clear on this already).
One other user gave it a low star rating due to its lack of push notifications:
“It’s almost there. I like that you can set goals and have the weekly check-in but this thing needs push notification reminders. Once they get those it will be as good as my fitness pal.”
Although I can understand the complaint this user has, I personally hate push notifications on my phone, so I didn’t even notice that the app didn’t offer them.
How Much Does Carbon Diet Coach Cost?
- $9.99 USD per month
- 6 months at $49.99 USD
- 12 months at $79.99 USD
Sign Up for Carbon Diet Coach
If this article has you convinced and you are ready to give the Carbon Diet Coach app a try, the steps to sign up are very simple:
- Download the Carbon Diet Coach app in your App Store
- Click into the app and create your account by providing an email, and create a password
- Select your subscription plan (1 month, 6 months, or 12 months)
- Provide your age, height, weight, activity level, and body composition goal so that the app can calculate your ideal calorie and macro target.
- Begin tracking your daily food intake
Carbon Diet Coach Alternatives
If you are interested in tracking your food intake, but you are also interested in acquiring more helpful information on nutrition, then MyNetDiary is a great alternative to the Carbon Diet Coach app.
- Read my review of MyNetDiary
Not only does the MyNetDiary provide an impressive library of calorie and macro friendly recipes to fit into your diet, but it also encourages the consumption of healthy whole foods with its “food grade” system, where it gives each food in its database a grade based on how nutritious the food is.
The free version of MyNetDiary will help you customize your calories and macros based on your goals just like the Carbon Diet Coach, and if you upgrade to the premium version for $6.50/ month you get access to personalized meals and recipes that you can log directly into your day of eating.
If you want to track your calories and macros, but you can’t afford the monthly cost of an app, then MyFitnessPal could be a good option for you.
The free version of MyFitnessPal allows you to customize your calorie and macro targets, and offers an extremely large food database of around 14 million different foods. The app will also help you to determine your calorie targets based on your personal stats and body composition goal.
However, if you are looking for the additional features in MyFitnessPal such as calorie and macro breakdown by meal, along with no annoying ads, it’s going to cost you around $20.99 per month.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Carbon Diet Coach Good for Weight Loss?
Yes, the Carbon Diet Coach app is a great tool if you have a weight loss goal, and it costs much less than hiring a monthly nutrition or macro coach would cost. The app provides you with weekly feedback and calorie modifications based on the check in information that you provide.
Is Carbon Diet Coach Free?
No, the Carbon Diet Coach is not a free app. The minimum subscription you can choose is 1 month and costs $9.99 USD. If you are ready for a bigger commitment, you can choose the 6-month subscription for $49.99 USD, or the 12-month for $79.99 USD. If you choose the longer subscriptions you actually end up saving money.
Is Carbon Diet Coach Accurate
Yes, not only does the Carbon Diet Coach food database contain food with accurate calorie and macronutrient counts, the app also does a great job at correctly calculating your calorie and macro targets based on stats such as your age, height and weight, activity level, along with your personal body composition goal.
How Do I Cancel My Carbon Diet Coach Subscription?
You can easily cancel your Carbon Diet Coach subscription by entering your iPhone settings, clicking into your iCloud subscriptions, selecting Carbon Diet Coach and pressing the cancel option. You can also access this directly through the app under the “manage my subscription” tab located in your settings.
How To Contact Carbon Diet Coach
You can contact the support team with Carbon Diet Coach directly through the app by first entering your “Settings”, then “Support”, and then choosing “Contact Support”. From there, you can list your reason for contact, type your message, and submit it to the Carbon Diet Coach Team.
Other Diet App Reviews:
- Noom Review
- RP Diet App Review
- Lifesum App Review
- Lose It! App Review
- BetterMe App Review
- Cronometer App Review
- FatSecret Review
Carbon Diet Coach
A user-friendly calorie and macro tracking app provides insight into the daily calorie and macronutrient targets, and the food database was impressive.
About The Author
Colby Roy is a holistic health and nutrition coach. She is certified through Precision Nutrition and has a passion for all things nutrition and healing the body. More specifically, Colby likes to work with clients who want to optimize their gut health and energy levels.