The best weight loss apps really can help you stick to your plan. Slim down with these choices for iPhone and Android.
MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013, 10:36 AM
When it comes to losing weight, accountability is key — and smartphone apps can help with that. Here are a few top (mostly free) choices to get you on the right track.
Even better, research supports using apps to shed weight. A study from Northwestern University says that using a mobile app as part of your weight-loss program can help you drop as much as 15 pounds and keep it off for at least a year.
1. Lose It! – This popular app features a free barcode scanner, a recipe builder, and a comprehensive database of food and activities. Users can add food to the database and track nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Free. Availability: Android and iPhone.
2. MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter and Fitness Tracker – Reviewed by more than 300,000 people on iTunes and nearly that many in the Android Market, this top app comes with a barcode scanner to see what’s lurking in your favorite packaged foods and help you tally up the calories you eat every day. A database contains more than 750,000 foods. Free. Availability: Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Phone.
3. Fooducate – Fooducate lets you scan the barcode on food products to get a quick health grade from A to F. Tracks your weight but also clues into the nutritional quality of the food you’re buying. Helps you create healthy grocery lists. Free. Availability: iPhone, Android.
4. iTrackBites – This app assigns food scores and points to each food, similar to Weight Watchers. Users can keep a food diary and select foods with an assigned point value from the food database, or enter foods not in the database and receive point values for them. $1.99 for iPhone users and $2.99 for Android users.
5. Endomondo – This app, which offers both a free version and a Pro version for less than $3, can be used for a variety of sports, such as running, cycling, and walking, showing GPS tracking route, distance, duration, and calories burned. On certain handsets, the app also supports integration with built-in music players and Bluetooth heart rate monitors from Polar and Zephyr. Availability: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry.
6. Fitocracy – Launched for iPhone in 2010 by two former out-of-shape video-game addicts, Fitocracy has become a hot ticket, with more than 1 million registered “Fitocrats” playing against each other to enhance their fitness and swap workouts, advice, and inspiration. In the game, users begin at level one, then depending on the frequency, duration, and difficulty of their workouts, they earn points and bump up to the next level. Free. Availability: iPhone and Android.