Research shows that people who set realistic weight goals and keep track of what they eat lose more weight – and there are plenty of smartphone apps that can help you achieve your weight loss goal and lead a healthier life, as well as apps to encourage and track daily exercise tailored to your needs.
We pick some of the best nutrition and activity apps to help you reach your goals and loose weight, eat more healthily and keep active.
First, an important note: be aware that if you have experienced an eating disorder in the past using one of these apps might not be beneficial and could potentially cause a relapse. We recommend speaking to a medical professional to make sure that any changes to your eating habits are safe.
Free, iOS, Android and Windows Phone
This popular calorie and exercise tracking app has helped millions of people lose weight and get fit.
Add details such as height, age and target weight and the app calculates how many calories you can eat each day. The phone’s camera can scan food packaging barcodes to log calories of the food you eat. MyFitnessPal has a vast database of more than five million foods, as well as a recipe calculator for adding your own meal recipes.
Weight loss is shown is a useful graph, and it’s easy to track your exercise and share your progress with others.
Top fitness and exercise apps
2. MyNetDiary Calorie Counter
Free, iOS and Android
MyNetDiary's Calorie Counter app makes tracking your calorie intake and exercise simple.
Set a weight-loss goal, then use the app to scan food packaging barcodes to log calories and nutritional information. If an item isn’t in the database, you can create custom foods or recipes.
Logging exercise is straightforward with over 500 different activities included, along with an option for manual entry of calories burned, with time and distance tracking for walking.
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Free, iOS, Android
Track your daily calories burned and calories consumed with Cronometer. Set your targets depending on your needs (a safe calorie deficit for weight loss, or equal burned/consumed for maintenance) and set the macros you would like to use (protein, carbohydrates and fat). Micro nutrients are also available to track making it a good option for anyone on a restrictive diet, for example vegans or vegetarians wanting to monitor B12, calcium or iron, or people wanting to reduce the sodium in their diet. Link up with a fitness tracker on your phone to automatically import calories burnt through walking around, and log workout sessions as you do them for an estimate of calories burned based on your height, weight, age and gender.
Check out our recipe pages for more healthy meal ideas
4. Drinkaware Track and Calculate
Free, iOS and Android
If you want to reduce your alcohol consumption, this free app from charity Drinkaware can help.
Its large database of alcohol brands helps you accurately track the units and calories in your drinks. You can set goals to moderate your alcohol consumption with personalized feedback for support and motivation.
There’s even an option to add drinks prices so you can see how much you’ve saved by cutting back on alcohol.
For ideas for fun non-alcoholic drinks, visit our guide to 'mocktails'
5. 5:2 Diet Complete Meal Planner
£1.99, iOS and Android
Fans of the popular 5:2 diet will appreciate this meal planning app from TI Media Limited.
Designed to help with the challenge of what to eat on the diet’s two 500-calories days, it has over 100 breakfast, lunch and dinner 5:2 diet recipes as well as snack lists.
With calorie counts and diet tips, this app should provide all the know-how and motivation you need to lose weight on the 5:2 diet.
Brain tricks to help you lose weight
6. Daily Workouts - Home Trainer
Free, iOS, Android
Your own personal trainer in your pocket. Small, easy workouts between five and ten minutes in length with on-screen instructions and a timer. You don’t need to be connected to the web to do the sessions either.
Need more time to talk to a doctor? Saga's GP phone service offers unlimited access 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Find out more about our GP phone service.