Everyone’s glued to their phones these days, and while taking a break from the constant connectedness can certainly do wonders for one’s mental and physical health, we are, after all, attached to our devices for a reason. They don’t have to be negative. They can easily be a source of endless information and inspiration, especially for those of us looking for the right kind of diet plan. If, like us, you’re on the hunt for diet and weight loss apps that can actually make a difference in your health and in your day to day life — and not just take away time from the screenless world that’s out there waiting for you, too — here are just a few favorites you’re bound to love:
We admittedly use this one ourselves. We love it for how easy it is to log my food intake and manage my calorie goals. With the MyFitnessPal app, available for both iPhone and Android phones, and in both free and premium versions, you set your current and goal weight, as well as your activity levels, and the app helps you to select the number of calories needed to achieve your goal. Throughout the day, log onto the app to record your food. If your smartphone has a built-in step tracker like mine does (Apple HealthKit), MyFitnessPal can even pull your steps over into the app, and it will subtract your estimated calories burned from your daily allowance.
Another cool trick - you can easily search through foods other people have added to the app’s food catalog and add those foods to your own log, saving you the hassle of trying to figure out each piece of nutritional information for every component of your meal. You can also scan the barcode of foods to instantly have the nutritional information saved to your daily meal list. Plus, the app remembers your foods, so if you have oatmeal and toast for breakfast every morning, you can transfer that same meal over to the next day, stress-free.
MyFitnessPal can also allow you to see your entire nutritional profile, letting you know if you have a bit too much of a sweet tooth, or if fatty foods are your weakness so that you can find the right balance for your health. The app connects with many health and fitness accessories, too, like the FitBit, and other apps, like MapMyRun.
While the free version provides all of these services, MyFitnessPal does also offer a subscription version that goes into greater detail, and offers a 1-month free trial, giving you the chance to explore its additional nutritional analysis services. You’ll also enjoy the recipes and health news pieces that appear across the app as you go to log your meals and weight changes.
This is another popular app that I’ve also tried myself. Similar to MyFitnessPal, Lose It! is an app that allows you to log your dietary intake, as well as your activity level and weight loss progress. Lose It! is available in both free and premium versions, but the premium version is certainly the more tempting of the two, offering pleasing, customizable themes, weekly meal planning, and workout guides to its subscribers.
Lose It! is also a social app, allowing you to add friends and share your progress with others. This might be particularly fun if you’re participating in a team weight-loss event, or even if you just want to support fellow friends and family who are trying to lose weight alongside you. Feeling properly motivated and inspired goes a long way toward long-term weight loss success.
Like MyFitness Pal, Lose It! connects with other devices and apps, including Nike+. It’s available for iPhone and Android phones, as well as the Kindle. Its creators even wrote a book.
While MyFitnessPal and Lose It! are both rather similar apps, MyFitnessPal, at least for now, seems to offer more for free than its counterpart. Lose It!, however, is more customizable, even allowing its premium members to customize meal names, so if you like those kinds of options, the premium version of Lose It! may just be for you.
This unique diet and weight loss tracker provides a wealth of tips and recipes to help keep you educated, per the app’s creative name, and informed as nutritional science shifts and changes. Just like Lose It! and MyFitnessPal, you log your daily meals, weight changes, and fitness progress, but you can also scan the barcodes of foods to determine their nutritional value. I don’t know about you, but grocery store aisles can easily be so intimidating. Things that seem healthy to me don’t always turn out to be healthy, and the strange ingredient names on labels and can be enough to make me put down product after product in confusion.
With Fooducate, you scan the barcode of a food and are instantly given a letter grade (like an A+ for a good choice!) and a detailed explanation as to why that food received that score. You can even see user comments on the food. Earlier, I scanned a bag of nuts claiming to be heart-healthy and was comforted by Fooducate’s A- rating. Fooducate explained that while my product is certainly a healthy choice, it also contains a lot of fiber, which is amazing for the body but should still be eaten in moderation. Wow! If you’re disappointed in your product’s score, Fooducate even gives you a list of alternative foods that are potentially higher in nutritional value.
Fooducate lets you feel good and confident about the food you eat.
Confidence is Key
Deciding to lose weight and improve our health is a vulnerable, challenging time. For every step forward, it can sometimes feel like there are two steps back. Sometimes an app is just what we need to keep going.
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