The biggest struggles of weight loss and just improving your overall wellness involves a combination of remembering to write down what you eat, keeping track of your weight loss, calculating how far your run was and other such chores that can be easily forgotten.
Tracking your progress in the form of calories, miles ran and workout time is important for motivation and overall improvement of your health since it will allow you to see where you may be missing out. Since most people have a smartphone with them everywhere they go, mobile health and fitness apps have become quite popular.
Save yourself the time of searching for the best health and fitness app and download one of these 5 instead.
If you could only download one app, MyFitnessPal would be an ideal choice. This app allows you to keep a food journal, track your workouts and see your overall weight loss progress all in one spot. Some specific features include:
- A huge 5 million food database
- Add your own foods easily and quickly into your own personal database
- Set very specific nutrition goals for any diet
- Track water consumption
- Set reminders for adding food and exercise progress
- You can add a sync a step tracking device to the app
- App syncs automatically on mobile and online
- App is one of the easiest to use and set up beautifully
The app hits every single requirement of a good health and fitness app for weight loss. It is perfect for people brand new to using these types of apps and equally appealing to tech-junkies who crave a well-designed, quick to use app. You can also access your MFP information online. You will not be disappointed with this one.
Fooducate is an amazing app for those who don’t want to just count calories but really track the nutritional value of the foods they eat. This app uses a grading system to allow you to easily judge the quality of food you may buy. Being able to take our your phone right in the grocery store and scan a barcode means you’re more apt to do it.
Other features of the Fooducate app include:
- A-D food grading system so you can judge the health at a glance
- App will give you pros and cons of the food
- Focus more on the quality of the food you eat rather than how many calories
- Will show you hidden ingredients not easily deciphered from just reading the nutrition label
- Add in your own food that you eat often to make using the app easier
- Includes personalization for elimination diets like gluten-free
- Takes health conditions like illness and pregnancy into consideration
You can also track exercise with Fooducate though it primarily focuses on diet. This app also connects to Apple’s Health app to make sync both apps seamless. If you really want to know what you are eating or are needing to carefully keep track of what you eat because of food allergies, this app should be on your phone.
Lose It! uses a combination of tried and true weight loss methods like calorie counting backed with friendly community of peers there to motivate you. This app has quite a few features and works well as a stand-alone app much like MyFitnessPal.
Here are a few of Lose It!’s features:
- Allows you to set goals for weight, sleep, blood pressure and exercise
- Track body measurements
- Large food database with ability to add your own foods
- Scan barcodes on food items to make tracking easier
- You can be as open and social as you want with the community, or make it totally private
- Set up community fitness and diet challenges
Lose It! is a really fun app and a great choice for people who really want a social experience when it comes to weight loss and overall health. This app is also available on more uncommon platforms like the Nook and Kindle.
Noom Coach is a solely mobile-based app that includes the ability to track diet and exercise for those who are striving for weight loss. This app is praised as being more than an app to count calories but rather an app made for the everyday person who is more concerned about health than numbers.
Here are a couple of Noom Coach’s features:
- Color coded nutrition feedback
- Built in barcode scanner
- App memory for favorite foods
- Syncs with its own pedometer
- Offers health-related articles daily
- Very supportive community and forum to answer your questions
Noom Coach also claims that 9 out of 10 users have lost weight, with 10 lbs in 2 months being the average. The basic version is free. Upgrade for more features, like support groups and coaching.
Last but not least is the app Endomondo. Endomondo is all about exercise. This GPS-based exercise tracker focuses on distance exercises like walking, running, biking, kayaking and more. This app will be an invaluable tool for those who participants in these activities.
By using Endomondo you’ll be able to:
- See a live map of your workout and distance ran
- Sync a heartrate monitor to view your stats while exercising
- Includes customized tracking for more than 40 sports
- Syncs with the music on your phone so you can listen and run/walk/bike/etc
- Set up challenges in the Endomondo community
- Shows workout history and goals
- Motivates you with audio tracks
Though Endomondo isn’t a standalone fitness app since it lacks the diet aspect and goal setting, it is still a must download for anyone exercising at distances, even if you just enjoy walking. This app will also be ideal for those who compete or plan to compete in distance events, like 5k runs.
Health and fitness apps can really be invaluable tools, especially if you are just starting a new lifestyle. They simplify the whole process of creating and scheduling workouts, food journaling and tracking progress. If you don’t already have these 5 apps, visit the iTunes or Google Play store to download them.
Honorable Mentions: I also have to mention FitBit’s online community and app, the MapMyFitness app and the FatSecret app. These are solid choices as well.