Weight loss apps are programs you can download to your mobile device, allowing an easy and quick way to track your lifestyle habits such as calorie intake and exercise. Some apps have extra features, such as support forums, barcode scanners, and the ability to sync with other health and fitness apps or devices. These features aim to keep you motivated toward your weight loss goal. Not only are weight loss apps easy to use, but many of their benefits are supported by scientific evidence. Several studies have shown that self-monitoring may promote weight loss by increasing awareness of your habits and progress. Many modern apps also provide specific support for people who follow keto, paleo, and vegan diets.
Lose It! is a user-friendly weight loss app focused on calorie counting and weight tracking. Through an analysis of your weight, age, and health goals, Lose It! generates your daily calorie needs and a personalized weight loss plan. Once your plan is established, you can easily log your food intake into the app, which pulls from a wide database of over 33 million foods, restaurant items, and brands. Additionally, you can use the app’s barcode scanner to add some foods to your log. It saves foods that you enter frequently, so you can quickly select them from a list whenever you eat them. You’ll also get reports of daily and weekly calorie intake. If you use the app to keep track of your weight, it will present your weight changes on a graph. One feature that makes Lose It! different from many other weight loss apps is that it has a Snap It feature, which allows you to track your food intake and portion sizes simply by taking pictures of your meals. Studies have shown that taking pictures of your meals may help you keep track of portion sizes more accurately and observe trends in your dietary intake, both of which are helpful for promoting weight loss.
Pros – Lose It! has a team of experts that verify the nutrition information of foods in their database.
You can sync the app with other weight loss and fitness apps, including Apple Health and Google Fit. Cons – Lose It! doesn’t keep track of the vitamins and minerals that you consume, but they explain why. The food database is missing some popular brands that you might expect to find otherwise.
MyFitnessPal is a popular app that integrates calorie counting into its strategy for supporting weight loss. MyFitnessPal calculates your daily calorie needs and allows you to log what you eat throughout the day from a nutrition database of over 11 million different foods. This even includes many restaurant foods that aren’t always easy to track. After you enter your food intake, MyFitnessPal provides a breakdown of the calories and nutrients that you consumed throughout the day. The app can generate a few different reports, including a pie chart that gives you an overview of your total fat, carbohydrate, and protein consumption. MyFitnessPal also has a barcode scanner, which makes it easy to enter the nutrition information of some packaged foods. You can also track your weight and search for healthy recipes with MyFitnessPal.
Pros – MyFitnessPal has a “Quick Add” feature, which you can use when you know the number of calories you ate but don’t have the time to enter in all the details of your meal. MyFitnessPal can sync with fitness tracking apps, including Fitbit, Jawbone UP, Garmin, and Strava. It will then adjust your calorie needs based on what you burned via exercise. Cons – The nutrition information of the foods in the database may not be entirely accurate, as most of them are entered by other users. Due to the size of the database, there are often multiple options for one food item, meaning you may have to spend some time to find the “correct” option to log. Adjusting serving sizes in the app may be time-consuming.
One potential way to shed pounds is by keeping track of your exercise habits with a wearable activity tracker. Fitbits are wearable devices that measure your activity level throughout the day. They’re an excellent resource to help you track physical activity. The Fitbit can record the number of steps taken, miles walked, and stairs. The Fitbit also measures your heart rate. Using a Fitbit gives you access to the Fitbit app, which is where all of your physical activity information is synced. You can also keep track of your food and water intake, sleep habits, and weight goals. Fitbit also has strong community features. The app allows you to connect with your friends and family who use Fitbit. You can participate in various challenges with them and share your progress if you choose. Depending on the type of Fitbit you have, you can set alarms as reminders to get up and exercise, and Fitbit will send notifications to your phone to tell you how close you are to your fitness goals for the day.
Pros – Fitbit provides you with a considerable amount of information about your activity levels, so you can keep good track of your weight and health goals. The app is very easy to use and has several ways of showing you your progress and keeping you motivated. Con – Though users can use the app without a Fitbit device, in order to use the exercise, sleep, and heart rate components of the app, you must own a Fitbit. There are many types and some are expensive.
WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, is a company that offers various services to assist with weight loss and maintenance. WW uses a SmartPoints system that helps users stay within their daily calorie allotment to promote fat loss. The points system includes ZeroPoint foods like lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits. Based on individual goals, each person is assigned a specific amount of “points” to aim for in their diet. A few studies have demonstrated the positive effects that Weight Watchers may have on weight control. One review of 39 studies found that people who participated in Weight Watchers achieved at least 2.6% greater weight loss after 1 year than those who didn’t participate. You can participate in WW by attending their in-person meetings, which they hold in various locations throughout the United States. Otherwise, WW offers a program that’s entirely digital through the WW app.
Pros – The WW app provides details and graphs to show your progress over time. 24/7 live coaching is available as well as a social network of fellow WW members to help keep you motivated. Cons – Counting points can be difficult for some people. To get the benefit of this app, you have to pay a subscription fee.