Weight-Loss Apps Comparison
5 Best Weight-Loss Apps
Accountability is key in any weight-loss program. With most of us carrying a smartphone everywhere, diet apps make that possible at every moment of the day and night. But with hundreds of diet apps on the market, deciding on the best can be a bit much. In updating our list from last year we discovered a couple of newcomers that feature some nifty elements.
My Fitness Pal Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker
My Fitness Pal Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker.Ranking first on our list again for 2014, this diet app from My Fitness Pal provides calorie counts for more than 3.5 million foods and 300 exercises, a goal and calorie tracking tool, and a barcode scanner. Unlike other diet apps, all the features are free and built-in.
It's hard to ignore the convenience of Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker. Data is backed up in the cloud so it's easily accessible through your computer or the app itself. You can customize your goals and receive reports based on your progress and the food you have logged in. What reviews say: With more than 300,000 user reviews, the high rating on this diet app is very reassuring. Users really like the extensive features (with none requiring additional payment) and the complaints we read mostly deal with occasional software glitches, such as crashing and rare incompatibilities.
Fitocracy.This new entry on the list earns a spot for its unique approach to weight loss. Fitocracy treats weight loss almost like a game: Start at level 1 and move up by completing certain activities, training, and interacting with other "Fitocrats." Along the way you also earn badges; so-called "heroes" can "duel" a fellow Fitocrat.
Fitocracy offers a "hero account" for the lordly sum of $4.99 a month that gives you access to weekly reports on your Fitocracy activity, private messaging, dueling rights that let you challenge other users, a function that lets you save others' custom workouts, and unlimited saves of your own workout routines.
What reviews say: Fitocracy wins support from users who value the active community and competitive vibe, which keep them coming back for more. The game-like structure of the app is also a strong motivator for dieters who can't commit to traditional weight-loss regimens.
Lose it! and Fooducate.These two diet apps tie for third place. Both feature a barcode scanner, a food and exercise tracking function, and exercises. Lose It! includes a "budgeting" feature for calories and Fooducate's app grades foods you've eaten according to their ingredients and nutritional content. These two apps offer similar features, many requiring an outlay of money. Lose It!'s paid features ($39.99/year) include meal and workout planning, a pedometer, notepad, specified goals, and integration with other devices and apps such as Nike+ and Jawbone Up. Its free features only allow for tracking weight loss goals and linking with Facebook, Twitter, and Nike Fuelband.
Premium features in the Apple version of Fooducate, known as Weight Loss & Healthy Food Diet Tracker, come with an in-app purchase of Fooducate Pro ($4.99/three months or $14.99/year). The upscale Android version, called Fooducate+, merely requires a one-time outlay of $4.99. Both include a detailed analysis of food based on a personalized fitness program, info on GMOs, and a weekly newsletter.
What reviews say: Reviewers generally praise Lose It! for ease of use and the success they've had in losing weight, but some complain that a recent update causes the app to frequently crash. Fooducate reviews gripe about the charges levied for the best features, some of which used to come gratis. But others appreciate the detail in the food analyses, which users say enables them to make better food choices.
Nike+ Training Club.This weight-loss app focuses on exercise and working out rather than keeping track of calories. Nike+ Training Club provides exercise videos with voice guidance for clarity, and much like Fitocracy, a motivation/rewards system; this one unlocks videos featuring various trainers. There is integration with Facebook and Twitter, targeted and full-body workouts, and best of all, music to accompany those workouts.
What reviews say: Praise for this diet app centers on the videos and variety of workout routines, which contain some unfamiliar exercises. What reviewers don't like is the need to create and log into a Nike account to use the app and an approach that seems geared towards women.
|1. MyFitnessPal: Calorie Counter and Fitness Tracker (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone)||Free||Large food database; create custom goals; remembers favorite foods; syncs automatically with website for easy review.||4 stars current version, 4.5 stars all versions||4.7 stars||4 stars|
|2. Fitocracy (iPhone, Android)||Free*||Workout videos and guidelines; levels as motivation; large and active community||4 stars current version, 4.5 stars all versions||3.6 stars||n/a|
|3. Weight Loss & Healthy Food Diet Tracker by Fooducate (iPhone, Android) and Lose It! (iPhone, Android)||Free*||Barcode scanner; food and exercise tracking; grades for food (Fooducate) and budgeting for calories (Lose It!)||Fooducate: 4.5 stars on current and all versions; Lose It!: 3 stars on current version, 3.5 on all versions||Fooducate: 4.4 stars; Lose It!: 4.5 stars||n/a|
|Nike+ Training Club (iPhone, Android)||Free||Video guides to workouts and exercise routines; rewards system; background music||3.5 stars on current version, 3 stars on all versions||4.3 stars||n/a|