Need a trusty partner to help you achieve your weight loss goals? One that will always have the time to help and motivate you?
Look no further than your phone!
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Your smartphone is a perfect tool for eating right and getting in shape. It’s always around, and there are dozens of apps available for you to create great workouts and eating plans. But which weight loss and fitness apps do experts like the most?
If you have an iPhone…
Eat This, Not That! the Game
A game to help you lose weight? The game shows you two similar products, and you guess which one is more nutritious and less fatty. It’s surprisingly addictive, but also teaches you the surprising food tricks that can make for better meals. You’ll be glad you played.
This app welcomes you with a request to input your current weight. Once you’ve entered it, along with your desired weight, your height, age, gender and the amount of weight you’d like to lose each week (i.e., how quickly you’d like to slim down), Lose It! gives you a helpful calorie budget to help.
Calorie Counter by FatSecret
This app’s handy barcode scanner zaps the label of an item you’ve eaten and records the calories to help you stay within your daily calorie limit. But there are lots of iPhone apps that count calories. The real benefit of FatSecret’s app is its massive nutritional database, including many popular food brands and chain restaurants.
Need a McDonald’s fix but don’t want to stray too far from your diet? The Restaurant Nutrition app makes eating out healthier. It features the menus of more than 115 national restaurants and lets you see the nutritional contents of a meal before you order it. The app shows calories, carbs, protein and fat content.
Nike Training Club
If you want an instructor-led fitness routine but aren’t comfortable with the cost and awkwardness of a personal trainer, this app can fit the bill. This free app gives you dozens of workouts from Nike’s professionals, pro athletes, celebrity trainers, and more, and considers your requirements and abilities to pick them. Plus, these workouts are specifically designed for women.
This app, made by the fitness wizards at the popular health blog DailyBurn, is great for a beginner who isn’t sure how much power they need in their workout app. Out of the metaphorical box, this free app lets you view professionally-written wellness and exercise articles, create weight goals, and track workouts and weight. When you feel you need more, paid add-ons can be installed a la carte to add a bar-code-scanning food tracker, powerful tracking tools, more workouts, and even an in-app link to a fitness consultant.
This full-featured app aids your workouts by teaching you exercises, encouraging balanced workouts, and keeping you optimally-paced. The app helps you select a balanced routine that tightens and tones your entire body and continually tweaks the sets and reps to match your abilities. A rest timer and vibration alerts let you keep your iPhone in your pocket while it helps you cool off, and iTunes control enables you to play your power songs without missing an exercise. You can try the dumbbell-only version free, but the paid version is certainly our favorite.
If you have an Android…
If your exercise goals are cardio or Pilates, this isn’t the app for you. If you hit the gym religiously and need the most in-depth exercise tracking and training around, say no more. This app is for the true gym rat. It boasts hundreds of exercises that can be selected from an anatomical map; helps create power-packed Super-Set workouts; logs your progress photos so you can see the toning taking place, and more!
If you have either one…
Losing weight involves behavior change, exercise, and diet, and this app takes the guesswork out of the latter. By far the most powerful nutrition aid we’ve found, this app tracks your calorie and nutrition intake, as well as your exercise, to help you gain control of your intake. Charts and graphs provide powerful motivation as they show how far you’ve come. It’s also super-easy to use; just scan the bar code of packaged food or type the first few letters of a dish’s name to search the app’s 420,000-food database.
My Fitness Pal
From start-up, My Fitness Pal takes your weight, height, goal weight and lifestyle into account before giving its recommendations. Right away it breaks up your big goal into a smaller goal 1 month away form now, which is a fantastic motivator. You can also access calorie counts and nutritional information from local restaurants, taking the guesswork out of eating out. You can also access your calorie count online from any computer, and get some extra encouragement by sharing your progress with friends. Free: Apple, Android
Fooducate Nutrition Scanner
That protein bar you’re nibbling on certainly looks healthy… but could there be something better? Scan a food’s UPC and Fooducate goes beyond the nutrition facts to tell you more about your munchies (if the sodium level is dangerous, for instance, or if the vitamins come from nature instead of chemicals). It even grades the food relative to alternatives and helps you pick a healthier selection. A great companion to a nutrition plan, and a fun way for the non-dieter to improve his or her menu.