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Weight loss apps are programs you can download to your mobile device that provide an easy and quick way to track your lifestyle habits, such as calorie intake and exercise.

Some apps have extra features such as support forums, barcode scanners, and the ability to sync with other health and fitness apps or devices. These features aim to keep you motivated toward your weight loss goal.

Many apps also provide specific support for people who follow keto, paleo, and vegan diets.

Here are 11 of the best weight loss apps available in 2022 to help support your goals.

  • Best meal planning weight loss app: PlateJoy
  • Best weight loss app with coaching: Noom
  • Best weight loss app for community: WW
  • Best weight loss app for activity tracking: Fitbit
  • Best user-friendly weight loss app: MyFitnessPal
  • Best weight loss app for logging meals: Lose It!
  • Best free weight loss app: FatSecret
  • Best weight loss app for nutrient tracking: Cronometer
  • Best weight loss app for grocery shopping: Fooducate
  • Best weight loss app for diabetes: MyNetDiary
  • Best habit tracker app: Strides

The weight loss apps below were chosen based on the following criteria:

  • Vetting. All the apps on our list have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards.
  • Ratings. We chose apps with mostly positive ratings for both Apple and Android devices.
  • Features. We recognize that weight loss is a highly personalized process. The apps included on our list have a range of features to suit a variety of needs, such as community challenges, food tracking, and personal coaching.
  • Weight loss approach. It’s important to have realistic expectations and maintain (or foster) a healthy relationship with food and your body. We chose apps that support realistic weight loss goals and encourage a whole body approach.
  • Expert-recommended. All the apps below have been recommended by nutrition experts.

Best meal planning app for weight loss

PlateJoy

PlateJoy is a meal planning app designed by dietitians.

It’s one of the most customizable meal planning apps, allowing you to set goals, such as weight loss, and even choose from several dietary patterns, like keto, dairy-free, paleo, and more.

It also allows you to filter out ingredients that you prefer to avoid and offers the option to set different portion sizes for each person in your household.

Using your responses from a brief questionnaire, the app creates a custom meal plan for you each week, including a curated grocery list.

You can replace recipes on the meal plan with others and can even enter your own recipes into the app to keep everything in one place.

The app also integrates with several grocery delivery services, allowing you to order your groceries online. What’s more, the app’s digital pantry lets you keep track of ingredients you already have on hand.

While the app typically costs $12.99 per month, Healthline readers can access PlateJoy for $4.99 per month. There’s also a free 7-day trial for new members.

Pros

  • suitable for a variety of dietary needs
  • focuses on meal planning and healthy cooking
  • customizable portion sizes
  • suitable for families

Considerations

  • requires a subscription

Best weight loss app with coaching

Noom

Noom is a popular weight loss app that helps users lose weight by making sustainable lifestyle changes.

The app assigns a daily calorie budget based on answers to lifestyle- and health-related questions. It also factors in your current weight, height, sex, and weight loss goals.

While the initial calorie recommendation tends to be low, you can adjust it to a more appropriate and realistic number.

The Noom app allows users to track food intake using a database that includes more than 3.5 million foods. Users can also log their weight, their exercise, and other important indicators of health, such as blood sugar levels.

One of the key features of Noom is virtual health coaching. Coaches provide accountability and help users set realistic weekly goals to keep them on track. However, the coaching feature works more like email than a live chat, so coaches may take a day or two to get back to you.

Noom’s effectiveness is also supported by research. One study in more than 500 adults found that food and exercise logging, along with coaching, through Noom was more effective for weight loss over 6 months than food logging or personalized coaching alone (1).

However, keep in mind that Noom is still a calorie-counting tool. Because calorie counting can increase the risk of disordered eating in some people, Noom may not be the right fit for everyone (2, 3).

Noom costs $59 per month or $199 per year.

Pros

  • one-on-one coaching
  • community group with group coach
  • focuses on behavior modification
  • curriculum that offers educational resources
  • food and exercise logging
  • color-coded system to help users choose low energy density foods

Considerations

  • can get expensive depending on which subscription you choose
  • initial calorie budgets that may be too low
  • may take a day or two to get a response from a coach
  • potential for calorie counting to lead to a disordered relationship with food and body image in some people

Best weight loss app for community

WW app

WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, is a well-known weight loss program that has been shown to be effective for weight loss (4, 5).

WW uses a points system in which foods and drinks are assigned point values based on their nutrient content and calorie density. Most importantly, no foods are off-limits.

Based on the results of an online quiz, customers receive a daily PersonalPoints allotment and a customized list of zero-point foods.

WW offers three plans, all of which provide access to the WW app. Depending on which plan you choose, WW costs approximately $23–$50 per month, though the company frequently offers monthly discounts to new customers.

Using the app, customers can easily keep track of points, monitor weight trends, and log workout sessions. There’s also a barcode scanner that makes it easy to enter foods.

The WW app offers weekly workshops, social networking, a rewards system, and 24/7 live coaching.

Another benefit of the WW app is its large collection of more than 8,000 WW-approved recipes that you can search based on meal type and dietary requirements.

Pros

  • 24/7 live coaching
  • social networking with fellow WW members
  • food and exercise logging
  • weekly in-person workshops on some plans
  • barcode scanner
  • tracks points rather than calories

Considerations

  • can be difficult for some to track points
  • no free version

Best weight loss app for activity tracking

Fitbit app

Wearable activity trackers offer a convenient way to keep tabs on your exercise habits and stay motivated to move more (6, 7, 8).

Fitbit is a wearable technology company that offers a variety of fitness trackers and smartwatches to suit a wide range of budgets, style preferences, and health goals.

While some offer more high tech features than others, Fitbit products are designed to be used alongside the Fitbit app.

In the app, Fitbit users can view their daily health and fitness data, including their step count, miles walked, heart rate, sleep quality, and more. The app also allows you to manually log your weight, current stress level, and food and water intake.

One of the strengths of the app is its community features, which allow you to connect with friends and family members and participate in community challenges.

To help you stay motivated, you’ll receive awards for achieving specific goals. There’s also the option to set a reminder to get up and walk every hour.

For those who are interested in more detailed health insights, Fitbit Premium provides Daily Readiness, Sleep, and Stress scores to help make your health data more actionable.

To get the most out of this app, you’ll need to own a Fitbit, which can be costly. The app itself is free with an option to upgrade to Fitbit Premium for $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.

Pros

  • automatic activity syncing from your wearable device
  • food and water logging
  • provides detailed data on your activity levels
  • may allow you to track additional health data, such as heart rate and sleep
  • ability to connect with friends and compete in challenges

Considerations

  • Fitbit device required to access certain data, such as exercise, sleep, and heart rate
  • subscription required to access more detailed health insights

Best user-friendly weight loss app

MyFitnessPal

Calorie counting can help many people lose weight (9, 10).

MyFitnessPal is a popular app that integrates calorie counting into its strategy for supporting weight loss.

MyFitnessPal calculates your daily calorie needs and allows you to log what you eat throughout the day using a nutrition database of more than 11 million foods — including many restaurant foods, which aren’t always easy to track.

After you enter your food intake, MyFitnessPal provides a breakdown of the calories and nutrients you consumed throughout the day.

The app offers several reports for viewing your data, including a pie chart that gives you an overview of your total fat, carbohydrate, and protein consumption.

MyFitnessPal also has a barcode scanner, which makes it easy to enter the nutrition information of packaged foods.

You can also track your weight, search for healthy recipes, and connect with other users to share tips and success stories.

The app is free to download. You can access some premium features, such as setting your own nutrient goals, for $9.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

Pros

  • user-friendly features such as “Quick Add” and a barcode scanner that makes logging quick and easy
  • syncs with fitness tracking apps, including Fitbit, Jawbone UP, Garmin, and Strava
  • provides detailed feedback on your intake
  • offers graphs and charts of your macronutrient intake
  • allows you to input entire recipes and log one serving

Considerations

  • some user-generated nutrition information in database that may not be entirely accurate
  • often includes multiple options for one food item, meaning you may have to spend some time to find the “correct” option to log
  • may be time consuming to adjust serving sizes and enter recipes in the app
  • potential for calorie counting to lead to a disordered relationship with food and body image in some people

Best weight loss app for logging meals

Lose It! App

Lose It! is a user-friendly weight loss app focused on calorie counting and weight tracking.

Through an analysis of your weight, age, and health goals, Lose It! generates your daily calorie needs and a personalized weight loss plan.

Once your plan is established, you can easily log your food intake in the app, which pulls from a database of more than 33 million foods, restaurant items, and brands.

The app offers several features to make logging your intake even easier, including a barcode scanner and a customer recipe builder. It also saves foods that you enter frequently, so you can quickly select them from a personalized list.

One unique aspect of Lose It! in comparison to many other weight loss apps is its Snap It feature, which allows you to track your food intake and portion sizes simply by taking pictures of your meals.

Studies have shown that taking pictures of meals may help people keep track of portion sizes more accurately and observe trends in their dietary intake, both of which are helpful for promoting weight loss (11, 12).

Like some other apps on this list, Lose It! offers a community component, including challenges and forums. The company also encourages focusing on non-scale victories such as lowering your cholesterol levels and feeling more energized.

Pros

  • expert-verified nutrition information in database
  • huge food database
  • syncs with other weight loss and fitness apps, including Apple Health and Google Fit
  • community and option to participate in challenges
  • Snap It feature allowing you to take photos to track food and portion sizes

Considerations

  • doesn’t keep track of the vitamins and minerals you consume, but they explain why
  • some complaints that the food database is missing a few popular brands
  • potential for calorie counting to lead to a disordered relationship with food and body image in some people

Best free weight loss app

FatSecret

  • Price: free; optional premium subscription for $6.49 per month, $15.99 per quarter, or $38.99 per year
  • iPhone rating: 4.7
  • Android rating: 4.6

Whether you’re trying to lose a few pounds or maintain your current weight, having a support system is incredibly helpful.

In fact, research suggests that people who have social support tend to be more successful at losing weight and maintaining weight loss than those who do not (13).

FatSecret understands the importance of community, offering a unique community chat feature. You can also join groups to connect with people who have similar goals.

What’s more, the free version of FatSecret gives you access to most of the app’s features, including food tracking, exercise logs, a personal journal, and a large collection of healthy recipes. This is not the case with some other apps.

The app is also unique in that it offers a Professional tool that allows you to easily share your food, exercise, and weight data with a healthcare professional.

For those who want even more resources, FatSecret’s premium subscription includes a water tracker, a meal planner, and custom meal headings.

Pros

  • vast food database that includes many popular restaurant and supermarket foods
  • monthly calorie averages that are helpful for monitoring progress
  • Professional tool to allow users to share data with healthcare professionals
  • journal for keeping tracking of your experience
  • syncs with other health apps and trackers

Considerations

  • can be difficult to navigate because it has many components
  • potential for calorie counting to lead to a disordered relationship with food and body image in some people

Best weight loss app for nutrient tracking

Cronometer

When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s not uncommon to focus only on calories. However, when it comes to eating for optimal health, it’s important to consume an overall balanced diet that helps you meet your nutrient needs.

Cronometer focuses on helping you obtain optimal nutrient intake while meeting your calorie goals. It tracks up to 82 micronutrients, so you can make sure you’re meeting your daily vitamin and mineral needs.

Like some other apps on this list, Cronometer features an extensive food database and a barcode scanner to make logging your meals a breeze.

As a bonus, there’s a Pro version of the app that allows you to share your data with a registered dietitian or another health professional.

The app is free to download, but you’ll need to upgrade to Gold membership if you want to access certain features, such as progress charts, data trends, and a recipe importer.

Pros

  • tracks significantly more nutrients than other apps
  • tracks biometric data, including cholesterol levels and blood pressure
  • offers blog and forum to allow users to ask questions and find answers about the app
  • syncs with other apps and devices, including Fitbit and Garmin

Considerations

  • subscription required to access the recipe importer, remove ads, and access more in-depth analysis tools
  • potential for calorie counting to lead to a disordered relationship with food and body image in some people

Best weight loss app for grocery shopping

Fooducate

Deciphering nutrition labels and ingredient lists while grocery shopping can be overwhelming.

Using an app like Fooducate may help you better navigate all the different products at the grocery store.

Fooducate is a nutrition scanner that allows you to scan a food’s barcode and receive detailed information about the food, including ingredients and nutrient composition. It lets you scan more than 250,000 product barcodes.

One unique aspect of Fooducate’s nutrition scanner is that it notifies you of less healthy ingredients that are commonly hidden in products, such as trans fats and high fructose corn syrup.

Fooducate not only brings certain characteristics of foods to your attention but also gives you a list of healthier alternatives to purchase.

For example, if you scan a specific type of yogurt that contains a high amount of added sugar, the app will show you lower sugar options to look for instead.

The app is free to download, but keep in mind that certain features, such as micronutrient tracking and potential food allergy warnings, require in-app purchases.

Pros

  • grading system to help you make choices according to your goals
  • tracks exercise and calories
  • can scan some products for allergens

Cons

  • many features — including support for keto, paleo, and low carb diets and allergen tracking — available only with a paid upgrade

Best weight loss app for diabetes

Diabetes Tracker by MyNetDiary

Known for its original user-friendly calorie counter, MyNetDiary also offers Diabetes Tracker, an app specifically designed for people with diabetes and prediabetes.

The app includes access to MyNetDiary’s extensive food database and barcode scanner. It also provides total carbs, net carbs, and carb counts for each item logged, making it even easier to keep tabs on your carb intake.

Other notable features include:

  • blood glucose tracking, including custom pre- and postmeal target ranges
  • reminders to test blood sugar levels
  • insulin and medication tracking
  • A1c tracking (a measure of blood sugar control over 3 months)
  • exercise tracking
  • weight tracking

The app also offers detailed charts and reports to help identify trends in your blood sugar levels.

Just keep in mind that a subscription is required to access most of these features.

Pros

  • supports carb counting
  • includes customized blood glucose tracking
  • provides optional reminders to test blood sugar levels
  • offers insulin and medication tracking
  • can sync with other health apps, including Garmin, Apple Watch, Fitbit, and Google Fit
  • contains a built-in GPS tracker for running and walking

Considerations

  • subscription required to access most features

Best habit tracker app

Strides

  • Price: free, with in-app purchases costing $4.99–$39.99
  • iPhone rating: 4.9
  • Android rating: not available on Android

Strides is a customizable habit tracker that allows you to track any specific habit you’d like, such as drinking water or getting to bed earlier.

You can even set up an ideal daily routine and tag certain habits or tasks to keep yourself organized and moving toward your goals.

To check in on your progress, Strides offers weekly, monthly, and yearly reports.

Unlike other apps on our list, Strides isn’t specific to weight loss and doesn’t focus on food or exercise logging. As a result, it’s a good fit if you prefer to focus on lifestyle habits rather than calorie counting.

The free version of the app allows you to track up to three habits. To track more habits, make notes, or analyze more data, you can make in-app purchases of $4.99–$39.99.

Pros

  • focuses on habit tracking rather than calorie counting
  • weekly, monthly, and yearly progress reports
  • customizable goals and habits
  • can be used to track other life goals, such as financial or career goals

Cons

  • not available on Android
  • subscription required to unlock all features

Here’s a quick look at how our top picks compare:

Free versionMonthly subscriptionBest forNotable features
Cronometeryes$8.99 (optional)nutrient tracking• micronutrient tracking
• helpful resources
• syncs with third-party apps
• food and exercise logging
Diabetes Trackeryes$9 (optional)diabetes management• supports carb counting
• blood glucose tracking
• testing and medication reminders
• syncs with third-party apps and fitness trackers
• GPS tracker for activity tracking
FatSecretyes$6.49 (optional)sharing data with a healthcare professional• tool for sharing data with healthcare professionals
• journal
• food and exercise logging
• syncs with third-party apps
Fitbityes$9.99 (optional)activity tracking• syncs with Fitbit devices
• food and water logging
• community features
• curated Sleep, Stress, and Daily Readiness scores
Fooducateyesin-app purchases of $9.99–$89.99grocery shopping• grading system to help you choose foods
• food and exercise logging
• scans for some allergens
Lose It!yes$9.99 (optional)calorie tracking• food database verified by experts
• food and exercise logging
• syncs with third-party apps
• Snap It feature for easy meal tracking
• barcode scanner
• recipe builder
MyFitnessPalyes$9.99 (optional)calorie tracking• syncs with fitness trackers
• food and exercise logging
• “Quick Add” feature
Noomno$591-on-1 coaching• 1-on-1 coaching
• group coaching
• food and exercise logging
PlateJoyno$12.99 ($4.99 for Healthline readers)meal planning• suitable for a variety of dietary needs and household sizes
• accounts for ingredients and kitchen tools you already have
• organized shopping list
• integrates with grocery delivery services
Stridesfreein-app purchases of $4.99–$39.99goal setting and habit tracking• habit tracking
• works for non-health goals as well, such as career or financial
WWno$23–$50community-supported weight loss• 1-on-1 coaching
• group coaching
• food and exercise logging
• extensive WW community

When deciding which weight loss app is right for you, there are a few factors to keep in mind, such as:

  • Budget. Many weight loss apps have a free version as well as the option to access premium features for an additional cost. Others require a subscription or a one-time purchase for use.
  • Special features. It’s important to consider the features you want an app to have, such as one-on-one coaching, meal planning and recipes, food and activity logs, barcode scanners, or macro counting. Some apps can also sync to a wearable device, such as a fitness watch, to make activity tracking seamless and convenient.
  • Weight and wellness goals. Certain apps may be better suited for certain goals. For example, if your goal is to lose weight by increasing your activity level, it’s helpful to choose an app that offers recommended workouts and integrates with an activity tracker.
  • Your experience level. If you’re new to exercising and healthy eating, you’ll want an app that includes plenty of beginner-level resources or even one-on-one coaching.

While calorie counting has been shown to be effective for weight loss, it’s important to note that it has also been linked to an increased risk of disordered eating in certain people. Therefore, it may not be appropriate for some individuals (2, 3).

What is the best free weight loss app?

Several of the apps on our list offer a free version as well as an option to subscribe for access to premium features.

FatSecret’s free version is one of the best, as it allows users to access nearly all the app’s available features. Currently, the only tools that require a subscription are the meal planner, custom meal headings, and water tracker.

If you’re primarily interested in logging your food intake and exercise habits, the free versions of Lose It! and MyFitnessPal are also worth considering.

What are motivating factors to lose weight?

There are many reasons you might want to lose weight, and research suggests that these factors can change throughout your weight loss journey (14).

That being said, research has found that physical appearance and self-esteem are two of the biggest driving factors for wanting to lose weight (14, 15).

One small study also found that acknowledgment from a healthcare professional and comfort speaking with a doctor played a key role in participants’ desire to lose weight (16).

Other motivating factors supported by research include health-related concerns, illnesses, societal pressure, and body dissatisfaction (17).

Do weight loss apps really work?

Research suggests that weight loss apps can be effective for weight loss and may even help improve lab values, such as triglyceride levels (9, 18).

Still, keep in mind that the research is limited and inconclusive, with some studies showing no benefit of mobile apps for weight loss (19).

Furthermore, several studies note that the effectiveness of weight loss apps largely depends on the individual’s level of engagement with the app, which appears to be low in many instances (20, 21).

For example, factors such as age, health literacy, socioeconomic status, and other disparities have been shown to affect users’ level of engagement, which in turn could make weight loss apps less effective for certain populations (21).

Finally, keep in mind that while calorie counting can be effective for weight loss, it can also increase the risk for disordered eating in some individuals (2, 3).

Heads-up

Trying to “do it right” when it comes to nutrition may feel tempting, but it can backfire. If you are preoccupied with food or your weight, feel guilt surrounding your food choices, or routinely engage in restrictive diets, consider reaching out for support. These behaviors may indicate a disordered relationship with food or an eating disorder.

Disordered eating and eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of gender identity, race, age, socioeconomic status, or other identities.

They can be caused by any combination of biological, social, cultural, and environmental factors — not just by exposure to diet culture.

Feel empowered to talk with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, if you’re struggling. You can also chat, call, or text anonymously with trained volunteers at the National Eating Disorders Association helpline for free or explore the organization’s free and low cost resources.

If you’re looking to lose weight, there’s no shortage of apps to choose from.

Offering tools such as nutrient tracking, goal setting, and meal planning in the palm of your hand, these apps can help support your diet and weight goals.

Still, keep in mind that while they have several possible benefits, weight loss apps can be time consuming, overwhelming, or problematic for your mental well-being.

Many apps offer a free version or free trial, and we recommend experimenting with a few to see which one, if any, works best for you.