Top 6 diet apps
Wearable tools like Fitbit and Jawbone help measure your physical activity from day to day, but there are sophisticated apps for your phone that let you do even more. Beyond calorie counting and recipes, these diet apps let you connect with professional advisors, scan barcodes to get caloric information, and network with other users in various ways to support your fitness and dieting goals.
These are six of the best apps to use for a fitter, leaner, and more energetic year.
1. Weight Watchers
The Weight Watchers app (Android and iOS) is free to download, but with a subscription users can access a number of features, including Expert Chat which lets you chat with a Weight Watchers-certified Coach 24/7. The coach provides motivation and advice to help you achieve your diet and exercise goals.
You can use the app to monitor your food, weight, and physical activity by using the company’s points program, and the app can be synced with wearables such as Fitbit or Jawbone. Within the app there are thousands of food profiles, restaurant meal information, restaurants, and recipes, and you can scan barcodes at the supermarket to get product information.
Rating: 3.5 stars for both iOS and Android
“Great app, easy to use and a great tool for support in managing the program.”
2. Calorie Counter, MyFitnessPal
Absolutely free to use, Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal is a popular, user-friendly calorie counting app (Android, iOS, and Windows Phone). The app gives you access to a database of over six million foods. After you enter relevant information, such as height, weight, and target weight, the app generates a custom plan with a recommended calorie-intake goal for each day.
You log your food intake and exercise levels and the app immediately deducts calories from your recommended calorie intake. Users can link to over 50 fitness tools and platforms such as Fitbit, which makes it easy to track physical activity without having to enter information twice. Other features include a barcode scanner for food profiles and a recipe importer.
Rating: 4.5 stars for both iOS and Android
“PERFECT! I have had no problems at all with this app. I don’t even use all of the features and when I find something new, such as how many carbs, protein and fats you’ve eaten for the day, I’m even loving this app more.”
3. Diet Assistant – Weight Loss
Diet Assistant (iOS and Android) is a meal-plan generator that is free to use. Once you set it up by entering some information about yourself – such as your goal weight and any special diets (vegetarian or high protein, for example) – the app creates daily meal plans along with shopping lists, nutritional information, and reminders.
Other included tools are the BMI calculator, weight graph for visualising your progress, and weight-loss tips. You can add your own diets with the custom diet editor, and in the paid premium mode, you can create your own meals, export your data, and remove ads.
Rating: 4 stars on Android, no iOS listed rating
“This app helps me change my diet almost immediately. I never tried changing what I eat because I didn’t even know how. With this app it’s so easy I wish I would have started sooner.”
—Review by Pham Quoc Viet
4. Diet Point – Weight Loss
Diet Point – Weight Loss (Android) is a free meal-plan app that makes it easy to eat healthfully while losing weight. Offering users over 130 different diet plans that come with complete shopping lists, the app makes it easy to shop and cook. The app caters to different types of diets such as low carb, paleo, and master cleanse.
Notable features include mealtime reminders, hundreds of diet tips to assist you with achieving your goals, a BMI calculator and weight-loss estimates for each plan to help you choose the right plan for your particular weight-loss goal. The app also comes with a weight-loss monitor and tracker.
Rating: 4 stars on Android, no iOS listed rating
“Amazing! I love the way it reminds me when I need to eat and what I have to eat.”
5. 5:2 Diet Complete Meal Planner
A for-purchase app based on the The 5:2 Diet, the 5:2 Complete Meal Planner (available on Android) is a feature-packed app that provides full diet plans and over 100 recipes to use. For this diet you can eat what you like (up to 2,000 calories) on five days of the week, and for the other two days you are to consume just 500 calories.
The app gives users access to low calorie snack ideas, email shopping lists for every recipe, calorie count lists and low carbohydrate recommendations for tailoring recipes to suit you, as well as an easy measurement guide for cooking.
Rating: 3 stars on iOS, 2.6 stars on Android
“Love this app. It’s clear, well structured format makes it very easy to plan a 500 cal day menu that is delicious and fits well with my 9 hour work days.”
Pact (iOS and Android) is the app for those looking to get motivated for their weight-loss or fitness goal. This app is based on an unusual concept whereby users place bets on themselves to work out and lose money when they don’t make it to the gym. The motivation process also works in the reverse: if you successfully hit your target, you end up earning more money. Users set goals for exercise and healthful eating, and they choose how much money they place on themselves.
The money lost by users who don’t hit their goals is used to pay those who do. The app syncs with accessories such as Fitbit, Jawbone, and RunKeeper, so you can track and verify your activities. According to its makers, Pact has already helped users meet over 95% of their goals.
Rating: 3 stars for both iOS and Android
“Pact has made a huge difference in my life this year. The accountability has kept me logging faithfully five days a week, even when I’m tired and want to skip it.”
—Review by Lael Harrelson
10 May 2016