Apps are a great to motivate and keep track of what you eat and how much you exercise. We asked experts and two fitness and nutrition experts to look at the most popular diet and fitness apps for iOS and Android. This is their top five of the best diet and fitness apps.
1. Calorie Counter PRO – MyNetDiary
What is it? A diet and exercise tracking app geared towards healthy eating and weight-loss. You set a target weight that you’d like to achieve and the app then sets an appropriate daily calorie intake for you and charts your progress.
You enter the foods and drinks you consume at each mealtime plus the exercise activities undertaken and it then tells you how well you’re doing against your targets.
Expert view A very useful app for those wanting to lose or maintain weight. It has sound nutritional information and it’s easy to enter the meals and quantities you’ve eaten.
It’s full of useful information and dietary tips and it won’t let you try and lose weight too quickly. It gives good feedback on how you’re doing, analysing your diet and making suggestions on how it can be improved.
Users’ review This app was liked by our users – “It’s comprehensive, easy to use, attractive, educational and clever”. They found it motivating when trying to lose weight – “it’s a great app that I’ll continue to use. I’ve learnt a lot about the calorie content of what I eat”.
The only negative comments concerned the time it takes to enter your meals – “it’s easy to use but time intensive – entering every meal and snack was laborious”.
Bottom line A useful app that helps you diet sensibly if you can stick with it.
2. Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker – MyFitnesspal
What is it? A diet and exercise tracking app aimed at those wanting to lose weight and monitor their diet. It tailors its calorie recommendations based on your personal details and weight-loss targets but also monitors your diet to ensure it’s a healthy balance and contains the nutrients required.
Expert view This brilliant little programme tracks your complete diet – and neatly summarises where you are in terms of weight and exercise targets. Entering food data gets increasingly easy as it learns your habits. It’s excellent at feeding back on your calorie and nutrient intake, warning you of dietary deficiencies or excesses. Overall this app is a gem.
Users’ review Our panellists were unanimous in their recommendation of this app – “I’d use this app if I needed to lose weight. It’s got a really big food database and is very easy to use with great instructions.”
Another commented that “it’s very useful. I now have an awareness of the calories consumed when I eat certain things and an idea of how quickly I’d gain weight if I eat too much”. However they do mention was that it does require commitment to rigorously enter all your meals which means it may not suit everybody.
Bottom line A great app if you’ve the commitment to stick with it, plus it’s free! Recommended.
3. iFitness Pro – Health Xperts Inc
Price – 69p
What is it? An app mainly aimed at gym-users who want to build an exercise and training programme suitable for their needs and log their progress.
Expert view Definitely aimed at gym users working towards a certain goal who want to record their efforts and chart their progress. A well executed app, that’s easy to use with a good array of exercises for building a programme that caters for different abilities. It clearly shows your progress and is great for those who want a plan before going to the gym.
Users’ review Liked by gym goers who found it “very comprehensive, love the little videos, training programs seem sensible and it’s a useful way of logging your routine”. But it’s not for everyone, “not suited to home use, it provides a lot for the money but you need access to weights and specialist equipment or use a gym regularly”.
Bottom line Great if you’re a gym-user who wants a plan and a way of tracking your progress.
4. MapMyRun+ – MapMyFitness
Expert view A very useful app that lets you discover new routes and just concentrate on your running while it does the rest. It plots where you’re running, calculating distances, times and pace and vocally feeding them back to you at regular intervals. It then keeps a log of them for future reference and automatically uploads them to the website. It’s easy to use and it’s a great addition to have in your pocket.
Users’ review Our runners really liked this app – “Great for the competitive solo runner – adds that motivation to pick up speed with its voice prompts”. “It’s really easy to compare with previous runs and see your progress and theGPStracking works well”. “It just makes monitoring your routes and distances effortless – for the price, it’s a bargain”.
Bottom line Recommended for runners and others who want to log their routes and activities with minimal effort.
5. Pedometer PRO Step Counter – Runtastic
Price – £2.49
What is it?
A pedometer app that records how many paces you take each day using a phone’s internal motion sensors.
Expert view It’s easy to use and a very handy tool. It’s a great way of monitoring distances covered, steps taken, calories used and current pace along with any notes that you’d like to make. It’s no-frills but does a good job and is great for those who like to keep track of their activity levels.
Users’ review This one split our user panel. Some liked it –“It’s easy to use and simple. Helped me realise how far I walk during a day and think about times when I should walk rather than taking an easier option. My goal is to walk three miles every day. So far it’s provided motivation to do this and it’s simple to use, so I’ll continue to use it.”
But others found it less useful – “I don’t keep my phone on my person (it’s normally in my bag) so it wasn’t recording every step throughout the day.”
Bottom line A useful app if you keep your phone on you all day. It can motivate you to walk further and be more active.