How to Choose the Right Weight Loss App for Your Health Goals
To say the market for weight loss, nutrition, and fitness apps is oversaturated is an understatement. “The myriad of health apps out there is confusing for both patients and providers,” says Reshmi Srinath, MD, the director of the Mount Sinai Weight and Metabolism Management Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. The ideal app, she says, both motivates you to make healthy changes and holds you accountable for enacting those changes.
The biggest problem is that people stop using the apps, says Dr. Wright. It’s okay to download a bunch of the apps (most are free) and sift through them to find the one that feels the most user-friendly to you. When you like the features, you’re more willing to stick with it, rather than the one your friend loves.
It can be tough to find accountability on an app, so look for those that feature a community of fellow dieters, offer daily reminders that pop up on your phone (make sure to adjust the settings accordingly), or have personalized professional support (via registered dietitians, for instance).
That said, if you find that you’re eating to a certain calorie target and charting food and exercise to the best of your abilities but you’re stuck in a plateau, you may need help from a weight loss professional, says Dr. Srinath. If you’re interested in seeing what a weight loss app can do for you, there are some stellar places to start.
The Weight Loss App Everyone Should Have
Lose It! Calorie Counter
App Store rating: 4.7
Google Play rating: 4.5
Free, with in-app purchases
The best apps for weight loss let you chart your food intake and document exercise, says Srinath. These may sound like bare-bones goals, but Srinath says that Lose It! excels in this regard. It’s easy to use and sets a daily calorie budget for you, and you can track food using their bar code scanner or by snapping a photo of your plate, making it easy to use.
Lose It! also allows you to connect certain fitness trackers so you can integrate everything in one place. The company says that users have lost more than 78 million pounds total. Impressive!