MyFitnessPal is on of the largest food database of any food tracking app. It also has unique features that make adding food to your log a breeze. You can use the barcode scanner or import recipes via a URL. It’s also great for managing your own recipes because it can automatically calculate the calories for you based on the ingredients.
Another unique feature of MyFitnessPal is its end of the day summary. After you complete your daily food log, it reports back to you that based on your day’s intake of food that you will be X weight by X time. This can be helpful information in gauging the feasibility of your goals. As a safety measure, the app will only let you lose a maximum of two pounds per week and will give warning messages if you are losing weight too fast or not consuming enough calories.
The Lose it! app is great for beginners because of its simple function premise: You just log your food, stay within your calorie budget, incorporate exercise if you desire and eat what you want (so long as you stay within your calorie budget).
It helps with daily calorie goal setting by mapping out your weight loss goals and your desired timeline. To help maintain a low-calorie diet the app offers low-calorie dinner recipes.
Like other apps, Lose it! has the barcode scanner feature to help log foods. The app also has a unique feature for tracking food — using recognition software, the user can take a picture of their food and the app will do the rest.
People commonly start and stop weight loss apps, but social and community support increase the likelihood that users will stick with an app.
WW hosts meetings for users to discuss their weight loss journeys and encourage each other through the process. We love that the community feature of WW can be either virtual or in-person, which is nice to have for tangible accountability.
WW also centers around a proprietary points system that assigns points for food to help users make food choices while boasting that no food is off-limits.
Fooducate is truly a combination of food + education as it goes beyond just calorie counting to expand the user’s understanding of food by grading the quality of it. Much like school, Fooducate assigns an A, B, C, or D scale based on macros, or the nutrients that give you energy (protein, carbs, and fats). Macros play an important role in weight management including signaling to the brain when we are full.
The app also grades food based on other ingredients manufacturers may not want you to notice like high fructose corn syrup and other additives. Additionally, Fooducate also gives a rationale as to why food is graded a certain way and offers alternative choices to further assist in making better choices.
Fooducate is also flexible in how it tracks food as it uses a food point system to assign points instead of calories, as the latter may be triggering for folks with disordered eating. Using the point features helps users meet nutritional goals instead of caloric goals. It’s also great for fine-tuning an individual’s diet, especially for athletes.
If you’re looking for help with the exercise portion of your weight loss journey, the Future app is an excellent choice. To start, you’ll answer a survey about your exercise goals, preferences and previous stumbling blocks, and outline what you’re looking for in a coach. The app will then suggest a few trainers that you might like to work with.
Once you choose your trainer, they’ll create an exercise program that’s designed for your goals. You’ll get new workouts every week, along with instructions on how to perform any movements. We really like Future’s emphasis on communication—you have unlimited messaging with your coach through the app, and they’ll tweak your program if you’re struggling or need more of a challenge. You can even send them videos of you performing the workout moves, so you can be sure you’re doing them correctly.
The Cronometer app is to micronutrients as to what the Fooducate app is to macronutrients. Like Fooducate, this app is great for the person who wants to move beyond calorie counting and into understanding the quality of what they eat, at the micronutrient level. So if you’re questioning if you are getting the vitamins and minerals you need, the Cronometer app deserves a look.
It tracks and analyzes data over time so that you can gain insight into how your biometrics and micronutrient intake relate to one another, track your fasting times and their effect. The app can also help you set weight, macro and micronutrient goals.
Noom makes it clear that weight management isn’t just about diet and exercise, it’s about the brain and using psychology to “change the way you think and feel about eating.” Noom truly meets you wherever you are on your health journey to create a custom plan and it starts by completing their quiz.
While Noom compares to other paid platforms by tracking food and activity, not limiting types of food and having healthy recipes available, Noom doesn’t charge extra for one-on-one coaching. It aims to uniquely challenge how we approach weight management by coupling psychology with a three-colored “stoplight” system. The stoplight system categorizes food as green (eat more of), yellow (proceed with caution) or red (limit intake). For visual learners, this is a great tool to teach users what foods to eat.