For many people, just hearing the word "dieting" conjures negative thoughts. After all, dieting can be one of the most challenging lifestyle changes on the road to weight loss. However, there are tools available that can help steer you on the path to success, with smartphone apps being one of them.
Adopting a healthful diet and engaging in regular physical activity are considered key for shedding the pounds, and studies have shown that dieting apps can help us to stay on track.
One study found that adults who used a smartphone app alongside a weight loss program lost more weight than those who took on the weight loss program alone. So, why not give one a try?
Our editors at Medical News Today have reviewed the most popular dieting and weight loss apps on the market to bring you 10 of the best.
Lose It! meets all the criteria for a good weight loss app. Users can set weight loss goals, track food intake and exercise, and engage with other users for support and inspiration.
For those of you who need a little extra motivation, users can take part in head-to-head, team, and group-based challenges, earning badges for weight loss along the way.
One of MNT's favorite features is Snap It, which enables users to track their meals simply by taking a picture. Easy!
One of the most popular apps for weight loss, MyFitnessPal works on the premise that simply tracking what you eat can aid weight loss and maintenance.
With MyFitnessPal, users have access to a database of more than 5 million foods, taking the guesswork out of calorie-counting. Furthermore, users can simply scan the barcodes of pre-packaged foods to automatically add them to their food diary, and entire meals can be added en masse.
MyFitnessPal's simplicity is a big selling point for us, and its other features - including a fitness tracker and access to a user community - are an added bonus.
As its name suggests, Fooducate aims to educate users about what is in their food and empower them to select the healthiest options. Do you want to know which cereal has the lowest sugar content? Fooducate can help.
The app still has all the capabilities of conventional diet apps; you can track your food and physical activity, as well as set goals. However, its ability to provide in-depth nutritional information for food products makes it stand out from the crowd.
You can use it to track your food intake and monitor your fitness, but Pact is far from a conventional diet app. Why? Because when you lose weight, you earn money.
Pact is the only app that uses cash incentives to help users meet their diet and exercise goals. Failure to meet those goals, however, could leave you out of pocket; cash rewards are paid for by members.
For those of you who need a lot of motivation to diet and exercise, Pact is a good choice.
The aim of calorific is to help users better manage their food choices by providing visuals of foods and beverages in 200-calorie servings.
You can't track your food intake on this app, but it is helpful when lacking in motivation; seeing just how much fruit you can eat in place of that donut is likely to sway you toward the former.
My Food Diary
With a database of more than 100,000 foods - including supermarket and restaurant brands - My Food Diary is an accessible, effective, and informative food-tracking tool.
We like the daily summary and nutrition reports the app provides, which allow users to quickly spot where they might be going wrong with their food choices.
Diet Watchers Diary
Diet Watchers Diary is an effective and easy-to-use app for those who have joined a weight loss program such as Weight Watchers.
The app includes a points calculator, a food diary, points lists, and a weight tracker, meaning that you have all the tools you need to track and monitor your food intake and weight at your fingertips.
My Diet Coach
My Diet Coach brings the fun to weight loss. Not only can you track your food intake and physical activity, but you can also set challenges and earn rewards, including clothes for your very own avatar!
Another feature we like is the "panic button." Available on the "pro" version, users are encouraged to tap the panic button whenever cravings arise for unhealthful foods. Type in the name of the desired food and add a photo, and the app will provide some tips to help you avoid eating it.
Android: Free for 30 days
iPhone: Free for 30 days
Daily Burn focuses solely on improving physical fitness. It provides access to more than 700 workouts, including yoga, strength training, and high-intensity cardio, which you can filter by level of difficulty or the time you have to exercise.
For beginners, there is a new 30-minute workout video added to the app every day, which is available for 24 hours.
We like the convenience of this app; you can stream any workout to your Android or Apple device, which is great for those who don't have the time to hit the gym.
Android: FreeiPhone: Free
FatSecret meets all the needs of a weight loss app. Users can track their food intake and physical activity, monitor their weight loss progress, and connect with other users for guidance and support.
What we really liked about FatSecret is that it allows users to share their data with healthcare professionals through FatSecret Professional, enabling users to get personalized advice and support from their physicians.