Weight Loss

7 Best Weight Loss Apps to Help You Reach Your Goals

Published on: February 22, 2019

7 Best Weight Loss Apps to Help You Reach Your Goals

Many people give up on their weight loss journey when they forget or find it harder to track their progress. Weighing yourself on the scale every day might not always help either.

Weight loss apps can make it easier and convenient for you to track each aspect of your journey on your mobile device. We’re going to discuss some of the best weight loss apps you should consider to help reach your goal.


What Are Weight Loss Apps?

Weight loss apps are apps you can download on your phone to track various aspects of your weight loss journey. Self-monitoring is effective for weight loss, and weight loss apps can make it easier for you to do that [1]. Most apps will create a customized daily calorie plan for you to follow, and help you track your daily calorie intake, water intake, and exercise.

What separates each app is their additional features, cost, and how easy or difficult it is for users to use them. For example, some apps have their forum, and some have their chat features to make it easier for users to interact with each other.


How Do They Work?

Weight loss apps work by providing you with a set of features that can make it easier to follow your weight loss plan. For instance, some apps allow you to track specific macros of food items, and this feature might be best suitable for those on a low carb diet such as the keto diet.

Some apps allow you to take pictures of your food when you don’t have the time to enter the food details. Some apps can also create customized meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists.

They gather information such as your current weight, weight loss goal, and age to create a daily calorie plan you should focus on to reach your weight loss goal.


7 Best Apps That Help You Track Your
Weight Loss Goals

1. LoseIt!

loseIt! helps you lose weight by tracking your calories and weight. It has a clean and easy to use interface.

How it works: It creates a personalized daily calorie and weight loss plan after taking into account information such as your current weight, age, height, and gender.

LoseIt allows you to track your food intake by searching its food database, barcode scanner, and a new snap it feature that will enable you to take pictures of your food. You’ll also be able to track your exercise.

Cost: The free version of LoseIt pretty much has everything you need, but there’s also a premium version for $39.99 per year with some additional features.


LoseIt-app-screenshots

Pros:

  • Minimalistic design and clean interface

A lot of users have commented and compared the clean and easy to use interface of LoseIt! with other apps.

  • Snap It

LoseIt is has a snap it option that allows you to take pictures of your food.

  • Fewer ads

LoseIt has fewer ads compared to other apps and commercial free for premium members.

  • Gives motivational comments such as “you tend to stay within your calorie goal.”
  • You can track food macros

(carbs, fat & protein) which is excellent for those on low carb and the ketogenic diet.

  • Support and challenges

You can ask questions in the forum and participate in weight loss challenges with other users where you can motivate each other to reach your goal.


Cons:

  • Can sometimes suggest too many calories for sedentary people, however, you can manually change it.
  • Smaller database compared to MyFitnessPal
  • You cannot pre-log food unless you have a premium membership.
  • Can sometimes give inaccurate calorie count for scanned items.

Platform: LoseIt! Is available on both Appstore and Google Play, and you can also download it from Amazon. Download LoseIt!


2. MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal is another popular weight loss app, and users often compare MFP with LoseIt!. It helps you lose weight by tracking your daily calories and exercise.

How it works: MFP has scan barcodes, save meals, recipes, and quick tools to make it easier for you to track your food and calorie intake.

Cost: There are a free version and a premium membership with additional features for $9.99 monthly or $49.99 per year.

Pros:

  • Largest food (over 5 million) database.

MyFitnessPal weight loss app currently has the most extensive food database.

  • Quick add

If you’re short in time or just can’t be asked to add the details of your meal, MFP has a quick add feature to add the calories instead.

MyFitnessPal-app-screenshots
  • You can pre-log and meal plan.

You can pre-log your food items to meal prep.

  • Community board

MFP has one of the largest support community board where you can connect with other users, ask questions, see success stories, and more.


Cons:

  • Inaccurate macronutrient information

User logged in macronutrient information may not always be correct or accurate.

  • Overwhelming

Some users find it overwhelming to browse through the enormous database especially because it has multiple options for every item.


Platform: MyFitnessPal is available on Android and iOS apps. Download MyFitnessPal.


3. SparkPeople

SparkPeople works by allowing you to log your food intake, weight, and exercise. It also has a large food database of over 3 million items.

Cost: free.

Pros:

  • More options

SparkPeople allows you to create your groups, interact with others, and you can also have your blog.

  • Exercise demo

Photos and descriptions of exercises to help you.

sparkpeople-app-screenshots
  • Reward system

This one is considered as a pro and con. The SparkPeople app will reward you with points as motivation and some people like it, and some people don’t.


Cons:

  • Overly promotional

Some users don’t like the idea of SparkPeople app promoting products for spark points and the idea of earning points and adding friends.

  • Information overload

Some users feel that there’s “so much going on” that they find it hard to focus on one thing.

  • Unskippable ads

Not everyone’s happy with the unskippable ads.


Platform: SparkPeople app is available on iOS and Google Play.


4. FitBit

FitBit app helps you lose weight by tracking your daily physical activity using their wearable devices. You will also be able to log in your food intake, water intake, and sleep habits, all of which can contribute to weight loss.

Cost: FitBit app is free; however, their devices are pretty expensive and can range from $50-$230+.


fitbit-app-screenshots

Pros:

  • Fitness tracking motivation

A lot of users love that FitBit devices can record all of their physical activities by recording the number of steps taken, stairs climbed, heart rate and miles walked. The device can vibrate to let you know when you have some steps to catch up on.

  • Easy to use

FitBit app is easy to use and requires minimal effort to track your weight loss progress.


Cons:

  • Expensive devices

FitBit app can only be used with their expensive devices.

  • Update bug

A lot of users are having problems with the FitBit app’s recent update.


Platform: It’s available on Google Play, App Store, and Windows Store. Download FitBit.


5. Cron-O-Meter

Cron-O-Meter weight loss app helps motivate your weight loss plan by tracking your food, exercise, and other related data.

What makes it different from other apps is that it also allows you to track your BMI, and has a macro calculator to help you decide the exact foods you should be eating to suit your diet type such as ketogenic, and vegan.

Cost: There’s a free version with ads and a premium version without ads for $2.99. They also have Cron-O-Meter Gold, which is a monthly or annual subscription service with additional features.


cronometer-app-screenshots

Pros:

  • Tracks more nutrients

Cron-O-Meter allows you to track more nutrients from your food intake than other apps.

  • Additional features

Allows you to track other aspects of your health like BMI.

  • Snap it.

Enhances motivation by allowing you to upload progress photos of your weight loss journey.

  • Support system

It has a blog and a forum where you can receive more support and encouragement.


Cons:

  • Update bugs

Quite a lot of users are complaining about recent update bugs.

  • Premium

Not everyone likes the idea of paying to get an ad-free version.


Platform: Cron-O-Meter is available on Android and App Store. Download it.


6. Happy Scale

The goal of Happy Scale app is to make it easier for you to track your weight loss journey by helping you understand the trend of your weight loss, and how to overcome plateaus.

If you have a lot of weight to lose, this app will also help create short and achievable weight loss goals to enhance your motivation further.

Cost: There is a free and premium version available with some additional features.

Pros:

  • Short term weight loss goals

As stated above, Happy Scale app can help you set smaller and achievable goals to motivate you if you have a lot of weight to lose.

  • Helps you understand the difference

If you see weight fluctuations due to water retention or something similar, this app can help you know that without making you feel like you’re not losing weight.

Happy-Scale-app-screenshots
  • Helps you stay focused

It reminds you how much weight you’ll lose on specific days, weeks, and months.


Cons:

  • Limited availability

Happy Scale can only be downloaded on the App Store.

  • Overwhelming

Some users may find it overwhelming to track too many aspects of their weight loss journey.


Platform: Happy Scale can be downloaded from the App Store.


7. LifeSum

Lifesum helps you lose weight in a number of ways such as providing you with a three-week weight loss plan which includes pre-planned meals, five ingredient recipes, and shopping lists. It allows you to count your daily calorie with the help of a large food database, scan barcodes, and also allows you to track your exercise.

Other features of lifesum include personalized diets, habit trackers, macro tracking, and body composition tracking.


Cost: $3.99 a month.


Pros:

  • Easy interface

Lifesum has an easy to use interface.

  • Useful features

All of the above features such as a 3-week meal plan, pre-planned meals, easy recipes, and shopping lists make it easier to follow your diet plan.

Lifesum-app-screenshots
  • Macros counting

People who’re on a diet that focuses on tracking macros like the keto diet will find this app useful because it helps count macros (including net carbs).


Cons:

  • Paid membership

Although there is a free version, most of the essential features such as recipes, and nutrient information are only available in the premium version.


Platform: It’s available on the App Store and Android. Download Lifesum


BONUS: 2 More Weight Loss Apps!


weightwatchers-app-screenshots

WeightWatchers

WeightWatchers is an ultra-popular weight loss app used by millions of people, including celebrities. This app is also supported by research [2,3]. WeightWatchers works by their smart point system which encourages you to eat more healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Another plus is that they have over 200+ zero point foods that you never have to portion or track.

Cost: Their online program is around $3.07 per week. The app can be downloaded on the App Store.


FatSecret


fatsecret-app-screenshots

FatSecret prioritizes on the importance of having a good support system to encourage your weight loss journey. It not only allows you to monitor your food intake and weight loss progress but also allows you to interact with other users via its community chat feature. Another key feature that most users love about this app is its vast collection of restaurant food items.

FatSecret a free app and can be downloaded on the App Store, Google Play, and Microsoft.


Takeaways

Weight loss apps can help make it easier for you to reach your weight loss goals by allowing you to track your daily food intake, exercise, and other habits. Some of them even have a great built-in support system such as forums and chat features to encourage you further.

As you may have noticed, most of the popular weight loss apps are free to download, and you don’t necessarily have to buy the premium version unless you want their additional features.

Read the positive and negative reviews of other users to see which one might be best suitable for you. Choose an app that you find more comfortable to use with a clean and simple interface.

References

  1. Burke LE, PhD et al. Self-Monitoring in Weight Loss: A Systematic Review of the Literature. 2012 January - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3268700/
  2. Gudzune KA et al. Efficacy of commercial weight loss programs: an updated systematic review. 2016 April - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4446719/
  3. O'Neil PM et al. Randomized controlled trial of a nationally available weight control program tailored for adults with type 2 diabetes. 2016 November - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27804264

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