7 of the Best Free Weight Loss Apps – Clark.com – Clark Howard


Posted: June 30, 2020 at 1:46 am

If youve ever actively tried to lose weight, you know how important it is to track your progress. Thankfully, theres no shortage of options when it comes to weight loss apps.

In this article, were going to take a close look at a few of the best free weight loss apps.

I tested seven popular and highly-rated apps including Cronometer, MyFitnessPal and Lose It! to see what features youll have access to with a free account.

See the table below for a quick overview of those features and which apps offer them. Then, keep reading to find information on subscription options, availability and how to get started with each app.

Best for Nutrient Tracking

Free Features: Barcode scanner, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, nutrient tracker, progress chartsAvailability: iPhone or AndroidOptional Subscription: Gold Membership ($5.99/month, $24.99/semiannually or $34.99/annually)

The Cronometer app is simple to download and use whether youre an avid calorie counter or new to active dieting. What makes this app stand out is the amount of nutrient tracking you can access with a free account. In addition to calories, it monitors macronutrient goals and provides a nutrient summary including vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids and protein.

If youre interested in keeping tabs on all of this and more, consider downloading Cronometer. To sign up, youll be asked a few introductory questions including your gender, birthday, height and weight. Then youll be asked to set a weight goal, enter an email address and create a password.

On the home page, youll see the date, your food diary and a breakdown of daily calories. It includes those consumed, those burned and those remaining. You can click the plus sign at the bottom of the screen at any time to add food or scan a barcode. It also allows you to add a note, adjust your biometrics or log an exercise.

When you do add food, you can indicate the amount and serving size, then see a summary of calories and a complete nutrient summary. You can also save foods and recipes in the Foods tab of the app to quickly log in the future. In the Trends tab, you can see an overview of how many calories youve consumed in the past week and a nutrition report. The report shows you calories consumed, calories burned, calories remaining, micronutrients and more.

In the Settings tab, you can manage your target goals, connect devices or health data and update other account/ biometric information without having to upgrade to the paid membership.

Best for Community

Free Features: Barcode scanner, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, in-app community, in-app rewards, progress charts, recipes, reminders, water tracker, weight logAvailability: iPhone or AndroidOptional Subscription: Pro Membership ($6.99/month, $34.99/year or $89.99/lifetime)

If you need a community for support, Fooducate may be the best free weight loss app for you. The Community tab in the app allows you to see trending and recent posts from other Fooducate users. You can follow and message others on the app or start a discussion by writing a post or sharing a photo.

After youve downloaded the app, created a free account and answered a few questions about your lifestyle, youll be able to see your recommended daily calories and make modifications to your diet plan.

In the free version, you can add your target weight and a target date for achieving your goal. You can also see your weight loss progress up to six months in the past. In addition, you can track your calorie intake, calorie quality, some nutrients and water intake up to a month in the past.

Across the bottom of the app, youll find a few different features including the Food Finder barcode and the main Tracker home tab. On this page, youll see how many calories you have left for the day. You can also click the plus sign at the bottom to add water, food, exercises, mood, hunger, weight, sleep or additional notes. Unfortunately, the free version doesnt allow you to log body measurements.

The Recipes tab comes with tons of trending, recent and favorited healthy recipes from other users. You can also upload and share your own! The last tab, Diet Tips, contains recent articles, references, tips and tricks shared by other Fooducate users.

Additionally, the app allows you to change how often you receive motivation notifications to achieve your goals: every meal, once a day, once a week or not at all.

Best for Motivation

Free Features: Barcode scanner, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, in-app challenges, in-app rewards, remindersAvailability: iPhone and AndroidOptional Subscription: Premium Membership ($2.99/week, $6.99/month, $29.99/year)

My Diet Coach is a fun way to stay motivated and engaged. While its visually aimed more toward female users, there are male avatars and dietary recommendations in the app as well.

After youve downloaded My Diet Coach and set up your free account, youll be asked to enter your current weight and goal weight. Once you decide on a goal, youll be asked to select or enter a reason why you want to achieve your goal. It may be to feel good about myself, or to improve the quality of my life. Then, you can choose to be reminded of your goal at a time and frequency that works best for you. Your goal weight and reason will also be displayed on the home page of your app alongside your avatar.

You can use the Reminders tab to control motivational reminders and set new reminders to drink more water, go to the gym and more.

In the Diary tab, youll be able to see a running count of daily calories consumed versus calories remaining. You can swipe up on the tab to see more detailed information including a daily nutrition distribution chart. Above that, youll see options to log food and activities, scan a barcode and more.

In the Challenges tab, youll be able to set challenges for yourself and monitor your progress. The Motivation tab tracks your in-app points and provides a daily quote. It also displays motivational pictures that you take or upload and lets you customize your avatar. As you complete more activities in the app, youll earn more points to unlock digital rewards that allow you to style your avatar.

You can also click on your profile to connect other health and fitness apps for free.

Best for Calorie Counting

Free Features: Barcode scanner, body measurements, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, in-app challenges, in-app community, nutrient tracker, progress charts, recipes, reminders, water tracker, weight logAvailability: iPhone and AndroidOptional Subscription: Premium Membership ($9.99/month or $49.99/year)

I used MyFitnessPal for calorie counting a few years ago, and I was happy to see the app is still just as easy to use and has new and improved features. If youre looking for a simple calorie counter/food log, MyFitnessPal may be the best free weight loss app for you.

Once youve created your account and answered a few questions about your body type, activity level and goals, youll be ready to get started. You can start a one-month free trial of the premium features, or simply click the X to continue using the apps free features.

Based on your responses to those initial questions, youll see your target amount of calories for the day across the top of the app on the home screen. Itll also display how many calories youve logged, how many youve burned from exercise and how many you have left for the day. You can scroll down to browse recent articles, fitness tips and healthy recipes from around the web.

In the Diary tab, you can keep a log of your food, water and workouts for free. At the bottom of your daily entries, you can add food or exercise notes. You can also view a breakdown of your daily nutrition including calories, nutrients and macros. You can always click the plus sign to log your weight, food, water, exercise or add a new status.

In the Progress tab, you can view charts tracking your steps, weight, neck, waist and hip measurements. In the More tab, you can adjust your profile information, upgrade to premium status and set goals for yourself. You can also add meals, recipes, foods, reminders, and you can link other apps or devices without having to upgrade.

Best for Tracking Weight

Free Features: Barcode scanner, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, GPS access, in-app community, nutrient tracker, progress charts, reminders, water tracker, weight logAvailability: iPhone and AndroidOptional Subscription: Premium Membership ($8.99/month or $59.99/year)

Most of the apps on this list will keep track of your weight and help guide you to lose it, but MyNetDiary encourages you to weigh in daily and displays your weekly weight progress on the home page. If losing weight is your main motivator, MyNetDiary may be worth trying out.

Once youve downloaded the app and created a free account, youll enter some basic information. You can also import it from your phones health app. Then, youll need to create a goal weight, target date and a weekly weight loss goal.

The Coach tab allows you to view progress charts and advice. Youll also find additional resources here including a MyNetDiary App Guide, tips and tricks. It also includes a MyNetDiary Library that contains articles specific to nutrition and weight loss along with how-to guides.

The plus sign in the center allows you to log any meal or snack, scan a barcode, add an exercise or log your water intake. When you track workouts, you can search for activities or add a custom workout. You can also link your phones GPS to allow the app to track your run, walk, bike ride and more.

The Social tab gives you access to forums used by other MyNetDiary members. Scroll down to check out the featured dietitians blog or create your own personal blog to keep track of your journey.

Click on the Me tab to update your account settings, measurements and personal information. You can even take and upload before and after photos! You can also link other apps and devices and import recipes directly from the web. The grocery check feature in this tab allows you to scan barcodes and quickly compare the nutritional value of foods while youre shopping.

Best for Beginners

Free Features: Barcode scanner, body measurements, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, progress charts, water tracker, weight logAvailability: iPhone and AndroidOptional Subscription: Premium Membership ($21.99/quarterly, $29.99/semiannually or $44.99/annually)

If youre new to dieting or arent sure how to approach weight loss, an app like Lifesum is a great place to begin. While a lot of its features are reserved for premium members, its free classic dieting plan offers everything youll need to get started.

Once youve downloaded the app and created an account, youll be asked to fill out the standard information and set a goal weight/target date. The app will also ask you to allow notifications so that it can help you stay motivated.

To get started, you can click the plus sign at the bottom of the screen. This will allow you to log your weight, water intake, exercise, breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. While adding food, you can search the app, scan a barcode or choose from a recent favorite. While youll need to upgrade to get all the apps food insights, you can view calories, carbs, protein and fat for free.

The Diary tab will keep track of your logged food, water and exercise. Itll also show a breakdown of your remaining calories, carbs protein and fat.

In the Me tab, you can keep track of your favorite recipes, food, meals and exercises. Here, you can also check-in on your goal weight progress over time. You can even log and track your waist measurement for free. Under Statistics, you can view your average calorie intake.

The Recipes tab is reserved for premium subscribers. Still, the other free features of the app allow you to track your basic calorie intake, weight loss and keep a log of your food, water and exercise. That makes it perfect for beginners!

Best for Busy People

Free Features: Barcode scanner, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, progress charts, reminders, weight logAvailability: iPhone and AndroidOptional Subscription: Premium Membership ($39.99/year)

If youre looking for a free weight loss app that you can use on the go, Lose It! may be worth your time. Its fast and easy to set up, and the free features are more than youll need to begin tracking your calories, food quality and weight.

Once you download Lose It! and set up your free account, youll be able to enter your goal weight. Then, you can indicate how quickly youd like to reach your goal (by losing 1/2 pound to 2 pounds weekly). From there, you can follow the tutorial to get started or skip it to begin exploring the apps features on your own.

The My Day tab shows a summary including your daily calorie budget and a weekly summary of your calorie intake. It even includes macronutrients! Scroll down to see featured articles in this tab. The Log tab is where youll find your daily food diary and a breakdown of your daily calories/macronutrients. You can also swipe down to see a summary of the current week.

Use the plus sign at the bottom of the app to log your weight, breakfast, lunch, dinner, exercise and snacks throughout the day. Beside each meal in your food log, you can click to add an entry or scan food with your camera. In addition to barcodes, the app can scan food items and make estimates on its nutritional value.

The Goals tab includes a weight chart ranging from the past week to all-time. You can also see a chart depicting your future plans. In the Social tab, you can view or share posts with your friends who are also using Lose It!

No matter which free weight loss app you download, be sure to consult with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet or exercise routine. While each of these apps recommends a number of daily calories, nothing replaces the advice of a trained medical professional.

While all of these apps offer paid premium subscription options, you dont have to spend anything to begin tracking your weight loss or healthy eating journey. The free features available in each app are enough to help you begin counting calories, logging your food and tracking your progress.

Whats your favorite free weight loss app? Let us know in the comments below!

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7 of the Best Free Weight Loss Apps - Clark.com - Clark Howard

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