Updated on March 17th, 2018
Weight loss can be a challenge no matter who you are. However, there’s an overwhelming amount of technology to help make it easier. But where to begin? A quick search for “weight loss apps” on a smartphone turns up hundreds of results. That’s a lot of information, and potentially, a lot of wasted money figuring out which one is best.
These are the best weight loss apps you can download to get in shape and lose weight by turning your iPhone or Android into a personal trainer and dietician without paying big bucks for either expert.
This list of apps will help you stick with your plan to eat healthier and lose weight and help keep weight off. Whether you are working out in a gym, walking at lunch or hitting the weights these apps will help you monitor your activity and your food.
1. My Fitness Pal
Health experts theorize that writing down what you eat can help you lose weight. My Fitness Pal is popular choice for a digital food diary, given its database of more than 6 million foods and meals. The app also syncs to wearables like Fitbit, Jawbone UP and Garmin to help you log your exercise. It’s compatible for Apple and Android phones.
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The Fooducate app points you in the direction of healthier, more wholesome food choices. The app scans a packaged item’s barcode and produces a letter score (A, B, C or D) based on its nutritional value. The app analyzes the item and reveals information about the ingredients, such as the amounts of added sugar, preservatives, MSG and controversial food colorings. The program aims to help users learn about a product’s pros and cons in order to think about whether eating it makes sense for weight loss goals and overall health. The app is compatible for iPhones and Androids.
Locavore tells you about which fruits and vegetables are in season based on your location. It also instructs you where to find that produce by pointing you in the direction of local farmers’ markets and farms that are open in your area. The app wants you to cook with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients for the best culinary experience. That could be a big help: Research shows that some of the healthiest diets around the world are heavy in produce and whole foods. Locavore is stocked with recipes, too, so you can put those ingredients to good use. The app is free and iOS and Android compatible.
4. Lose It!
Similar to My Fitness Pal, the Lose It app sets you up with a personalized calorie budget based on your health goals. You can search foods, scan packaged products or take a photo of an item to track it in the app. You can also track your exercise and engage in the app’s community center to get support, inspiration or try a challenge with other members. The Lose It app syncs with several wearables such as Fitbit, Jawbone, MapMyFitness and RunKeeper. A good version of the app is free. It’s compatible for Apple and Android phones.
If weight loss is a science that ultimately comes down to calories consumed versus calories burned, then it would be helpful to know how many calories you’re eating. But honestly ― what do they really look like? That’s the exact question the Calorific app is out to answer. The app is stocked with beautiful photos that depict 200-calorie portions of food. It’s a fun, visual way to learn about portion sizes without having to scour labels. The app is free and is compatible on an iPhone and iPad.
The Pact app puts your money where your mouth is ― truly. Here’s how it works: You’ll make a weekly commitment, or “pact,” to meet an exercise goal or eat healthier. Then you’ll decide how much money you are willing to pay other users if you break the pact. If you meet all of your commitments, you’ll earn a cash reward paid by other members who did not meet their goals. Rewards usually range from a few cents to $5 depending on how many pacts you make. And if you don’t meet your goals, be prepared to lose your cash. The app is compatible for Apple and Android devices.
7. Healthy Out
Going out to dinner can be a pain when you’re watching what you eat, but the Healthy Out app tries to make it easier for you. You tell the app your location and your dietary restrictions (like being low carb, for example). The app then tells you which dishes are being served at restaurants around you that meet your needs. It also explains how to modify a meal once you get there to make it fit your food goals. The app is free and is available for Apple and Android users.
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8. Couch To 5K
Getting to a healthy weight isn’t just about food, but your movement, too. The Couch To 5K program eases non-runners into jogging 3.1 miles ― also known as a “5K,” or a five kilometer distance ― comfortably and without stopping. The smartphone app is a nine-week plan, so you should expect to do three workouts a week, each 30 minutes long. The program works well even if other apps like Spotify are open on your phone. You’ll hear the app’s instructions to walk or run over the music.
9. Diet Hero App
If you don’t want to count calories, there is an interesting alternative that turns this activity from something you do after you eat, to a meal planning style approach that is proactive. You tell Diet Hero what foods you like and what foods you have, and the app will tell you how much to eat and what to eat. If you only have a few things handy at home the app can adjust to that so you don’t need to scramble to find something that may not be as healthy. Diet Hero is free and then it is $1.99 and it is only available on iPhone at this time.
10. Nike+ Training Club
If you don’t know where to start with a new workout that will help you lose weight, you can use the Nike Training Club app. This app helps you chose a workout or a four-week program that will help you get lean. There are over 100 workouts and the app can help beginners, intermediate or advanced users.
11. iPhone Health App
Apple includes a free Health App on the iPhone that you can use to track your progress towards a goal weight and activities levels. You can use this app to track steps, stairs walked and more. If you own an iPhone 5s or newer it will track a lot of this information automatically without the need to use another app or a fitness accessory. The iPhone Health app is installed by default with iOS 8 and iOS 9 on the iPhone, and you can use it with a variety of services.
12. Google Fit
Google Fit is a free weight loss and fitness app from Google that helps you track your activity simply by carrying your Android phone. This also works with devices like Android Wear smartwatches. You can also connect apps to the service to extend the tracking and fitness. Google Fit is free for Android and works with most Android smartphones.
13. Weight Watchers App
The Weight Watchers app is a great tool for losing weight, but it is pricier than the other options with monthly fees of $19.95 depending on your subscription. There is a lot that you get from this subscription, and offers to join for free that you should check out. The Weigth Watchers Fitbreak app is also a powerful companion that can motivate and remind you to be more active with short 1 mintue fitness breaks throughout your day.
14. 7-Minute Workout App
You are a busy person without a lot of time to work out. You might not be able to go to the gym to work out, which is where the NYT 7-Minute Workout app comes in to play. This is a scientific workout that maximizes your time spent exercising by delivering the Scientific 7-Minute Workout and the Advanced 7-Minute Workout that The New York Times reported on earlier this year. This high-intensity workout can help keep your appetite in control, improve metabolic health and cardiovascular health.
15. Kinect Fitness for Xbox One
This is not an app for your smartphone, but it is a great way to get in shape using technology that you already have in your home. If you own a Xbox One with Kinect, you have what you need to start training with virtual professionals. There are free and paid options to help you get in shape, and the Kinect can tell you if you are doing the exercise right, so that you don’t need to worry about wasting time with bad form. There are many trainers to choose from and you can track your progress with the Kinect Fitness app.