The 5 Best Apps for Dieting and Taking the Guesswork out of Staying Healthy

The 5 Best Apps for Dieting and Taking the Guesswork out of Staying Healthy

For many, getting fit can feel like riding a frustrating rollercoaster of ups and downs. Thankfully, your smartphone and its many apps are there to help.

"Exercise apps can be a vehicle for behavior change in exercise the same way that a nicotine patch can be a vehicle for behavior change in smoking," Lander College psychology professor Leib Litman told Mic. Litman co-authored a study that found those who used fitness apps to be more active than those who didn't.

The right fitness app can motivate people by helping them get and stay organized with their goals, as well as provide a sense of community and support, Prevention reported. Plus, a 2008 study found that keeping track of daily food intake in a food diary can actually lead to almost double a dieter's weight loss. 

Read more: Here's How Wearable Health Tech Could Save Us Time and Money

Source: Crew/Unsplash

Although finding the right app for your fitness goals will probably require trial and error, here are a few to help get you running down the right path:

1. Fooducate 

Fooducate is a free app that simulates a weight loss coach by helping to guide people into making healthier food choices. The app allows people to scan food product barcodes to find out how healthy it is, and will provide alternatives if it's not. It seeks to track the quality, not the quantity of your diet. 

2. Lose It!

This free app has a simple interface for tracking calories. All you do is set a realistic and healthy calorie budget and each day, you input your exercise and whatever food you eat. It also connects to many other apps and fitness devices, such as the Jawbone Up, Fitbit and RunKeeper. 

3. Pact

Source: Pact/iTunes

Pact is a free app with a very tempting monetary incentive. When setting up a weekly fitness goal, dubbed "pact," you also set up an amount of money that will be deducted from your wager if the goal is missed. In turn, you get paid by reaching your goal — using the money from those who didn't. So, it really does pay to be healthy. 

4. My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal is exactly what it sounds like. This veteran fitness app seeks to be an all-in-one resource by allowing you to set and track your progress in what you eat and how much you workout. There are over 6 million types of food in its database, which allows for easy tracking. 

5. Diet Hero

If counting calories sounds unsustainable to you then consider downloading Diet Hero for $1.99. This app tries to be an alternative to counting calories by telling you healthy recipes and portion sizes based on the food already in your kitchen. If you don't like what it suggests, you can easily switch it out. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Kathleen Wong

Kathleen is a branded content staff writer at Mic. She is based in New York and can be reached at kathleen@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Hundreds rally in Times Square to protest Donald Trump’s transgender military ban

“I’m out here to support my trans brothers and sisters who have been serving our military for years and years and years."

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.

How many transgender people serve in the U.S. military?

There's no exact number, but here's what research shows.

Hundreds rally in Times Square to protest Donald Trump’s transgender military ban

“I’m out here to support my trans brothers and sisters who have been serving our military for years and years and years."

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.

How many transgender people serve in the U.S. military?

There's no exact number, but here's what research shows.