4 Best Diet Apps to Help You Lose Weight

By Raechel Conover, Cheapism.com

Accountability is key in any weight loss program. With most of us carrying a smartphone everywhere, diet apps are making accountability possible at every moment of the day and night. But with hundreds of diet apps on the market, deciding on the best option can be daunting. We've done the research for you and found the top three diet apps.

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1. MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter and Fitness Tracker. Far and away the most popular diet app on the market today, MyFitnessPal's Calorie Counter and Fitness Tracker is reviewed by more than 300,000 people on iTunes and nearly that many in the Android Market. The diet app has everything today's dieter needs, including the largest food database with more than two million foods listed. The app also remembers your favorite foods, automatically syncs with the website to store your information, has a free barcode scanner, works offline, and more.
Use a cheap diet app to help you lose weight! Pros and Cons: This easy-to-use diet app has garnered much attention lately. Consumer Reports recently named it the best diet plan after surveying 9,000 readers. Users who posted at both the Android Market-Google Play store and iTunes describe the app with superlatives and give special shout-outs to its user-friendliness and food database. One user calls it his lifeline, and hundreds of dieters report stunning weight loss results with this diet app.
Cost: Free
Availability: Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Phone

2. Lose It! Another very popular diet app, especially for iPhone users, Lose It! 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 with this diet app.
Pros and Cons: People who use the Android diet app report on Google Play that it's a practical and effective tool for making a positive lifestyle change and credit it for significant weight loss. That said, we noticed a few gripes, such as meal planning limited to one day at a time versus weekly, and occasional difficulty locating foods in the database.
Cost: Free
Availability: Android, iPhone

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3. Fooducate. Not as widely used as our top two diet app picks but a standout nonetheless, Fooducate takes a different approach to dieting. Instead of just focusing on weight loss, this diet app helps users modify their eating habits, with an emphasis on healthy eating. Like the two diet apps mentioned above, Fooducate has a barcode scanner and helps you track food intake and weight loss, but it goes one step further: It gives users information on the quality of the foods they're buying and eating by assigning each food a nutritional rating. The diet app also helps users create healthy grocery lists.
Pros and Cons: Users reviewing the iPhone diet app in the iTunes store say it has helped them lose weight and has also educated them about healthy eating and the food they're buying - a benefit to the entire household, not just the person dieting. Reviewers who posted in the Google Play store agree and say the diet app is easy to use. One minor complaint comes from some Android users who say the app freezes from time to time when calling on the barcode scanner.
Cost: Free
Availability: Android, iPhone

Interestingly, not many popular diets are accompanied by apps that caught our eye. Weight Watchers mobile turned up just short of the top three diet apps, but unless you're prepared to join with an online membership or eTools, you will only get access to recipes, articles, and a few cheat sheets - not an actual points tracker. Users on both iTunes and Google Play who have joined Weight Watchers and tried the diet app grumble about it freezing and not working properly.

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One diet app that deserves honorable mention is iTrackBites, which costs $1.99 for iPhone users and $2.99 for Android users. iTrackBites assigns food scores or points to each food in either a classic system or a plus system, which looks eerily like the Weight Watchers approach. The diet app lets users keep a food diary and choose foods with an assigned point value from the food database or enter foods not in the database and receive point values for them. Dieters can also weigh in and update their weight and celebrate weight loss milestones. The diet app receives a solid 4.5-star rating in the iTunes store and a 4.3-star rating on Google Play.

Top Weight-Loss Apps
Diet/Healthy Eating Apps Cost Notable Features iTunes rank Google Play (Android) rank Black-berry rank Windows Phone
1. MyFitnessPal: Calorie Counter and Fitness Tracker (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone) free Largest food database on iTunes with 2,000,000+ foods; create custom goals; remembers favorite foods; syncs automatically with website for easy review. 5 stars current version, 4.5 stars all versions 4.8 stars 3.5 stars 4 stars
2. Lose It! (iPhone, Android) free Barcode scanner; recipe builder; database of food and activities; add foods to database; track protein, carbs, fat. 4.5 stars current version, 3.5 stars all versions 4.7 stars

3. Fooducate (iPhone, Android) free Barcode scanner; tracks weight; provides information on food quality; see healthier food alternatives; create a healthy shopping list. 4.5 stars on current and all versions 4.4 stars

Honorable Mention: iTrackBites (iPhone, Android) 1.99 iPhone, 2.99 Android Choose classic or plus system to track point values of food; food database; create favorites list; weigh-in to see progress milestones. 4.5 stars on current and all versions 4.3 stars


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