By Anita Fernandes
There’s an app for just about everything these days and weight-loss apps are among the most popular apps right now. There’s been plenty of debate as to whether these apps actually work and whether they provide substantial and accurate information. A recent study found that there are several weight-loss apps that provide effective strategies and practices for weight loss but there are also many apps that do not. Researchers emphasize the need to use only evidence-based apps as the others can do more harm than good.
5 Weight Loss Apps That Work
SparkPeople: the best of the best! SparkPeople is one of the most popular apps, which is not surprising as it allows users to track their food and water intake as well as their exercise. SparkPeople has over 500,000 healthy recipes as well as exercise demonstrations and related videos. Spark also offers dietary advice for people with digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome. SparkPeople also has a support group and users can even participate in challenges with other users from all over the globe. This is a free app but you can opt to pay for a SparkPeople Premium which does not have ads and offers enhanced tools in addition to the free ones.
- Lose It!
Lose It! offers a free and a premium version of the app (the premium costs $39.99 for a year). Lose It! has easy-to-use calorie and exercise tracking tools and allows you to set your own daily calorie budget. One of the best features of Lose It! is the “Snap It” feature which allows users to simply take a picture of what they are eating instead of typing it which makes it much easier for users to track their food intake. This means that if you decide to eat an apple, you don’t have to type it in your daily diet journal; instead, you simply take a picture of the apple and the app updates your journal accordingly.
Weight loss occurs when calorie expenditure is greater than calorie consumption. MyFitnessPal (MFP) is based on this fundamental weight-loss principle as it helps you calculate your daily food intake versus the calories you expend. A weight-loss diet needs to be low in calories but high in nutrition to ensure healthy weight loss. This is where MyFitnessPal stands above the rest as it allows you to calculate all the nutrients in your diet and even helps to identify potential deficiencies. The app also provides the reasons for its recommendations. MyFitnessPal connects with other mobile apps and tracking devices to ensure that you meet your weight-loss goals. The app has over 28 million recipes and the new recipe tool allows users to log and save recipes from anywhere on the web.
DietBet is an unusual but surprisingly effective weight-loss app. Users contribute to a pot and then compete in kickstarter (4 weeks) or transformer (6 months) games to meet their weight-loss goals. Everyone who wins gets a share of the pot in real cash. The aim of this weight-loss app is to provide a little added incentive for people to lose weight. Bets can be as low as $10 and on average people win approximately 1.5 to 2 times the amount they spend. DietBet can be accessed through iOS and Android smartphones and has over 700,000 players from 90 countries around the world. According to DietBet, 96 percent of their players lose weight.
Unlike most weight-loss apps that focus on calorie intake, Fooducate helps people make smarter and healthier diet choices. Fooducate shows you how to make better weight management choices by grading foods based on their ingredients. Using this app, you can scan foods and find out their nutritional value and get healthier recommendations. For instance, if you scan your box of breakfast cereal, the app will show you if it has a high sugar content and suggest healthier breakfast cereals that have a lower sugar content. Fooducate ranks foods according to how healthy they are and less processed and healthy foods get a higher grade. Fooducate is a great weight-loss app for those who not only want to lose weight but also learn to eat healthier.
5 Weight Loss Apps That Don’t Work
- Alkaline Diet Plan
The Alkaline Diet is based on the idea that different foods can have an effect on the acid (pH) balance of the body. The Alkaline Diet plan app offers dietary recommendations based on the concept that changes in diet can affect the pH of the body and that can be used to treat or prevent disease. However, researchers found that the theory is false which is why it is not recommended by the medical health community.
- Blood Type Diet
The Blood Type Diet is based on the idea that a person’s blood type is the most important factor in determining the foods they should and should not eat. Several studies and tests have proved that this diet fad is completely unsupported by scientific evidence and the consensus among scientists and physicians is that people would be better off following a healthy balanced diet.
Vora is an app that allows you to track how long you are able to fast and share this with others. The idea is to build a community of people who encourage one another to fast. While short intermittent fasting may have some health benefits, people using this app feel encouraged to push the envelope, which is likely to have a negative impact on their overall health and well-being.
- Water Diet Plan
The Water Diet requires you to drink large amounts of cold water, as the proponents of this diet plan believe that the cold water increases weight loss and flushes out toxins. Medical experts say that while it is healthy to consume an adequate amount of water throughout the day, drinking too much water can pose a health risk and can even be fatal. The Water Diet Plan app does outline the risks of drinking too much water but you would be better off choosing a more reliable app to track your food and water habits.
- 17 Day Diet
The 17 Day Diet aids weight loss by restricting calories. However, the diet is based on the idea that constantly changing food groups and calorie intake will “confuse” your body and boost your metabolism— a claim that is unsupported and unsubstantiated by the scientific community. The first stages of the 17 Day Diet severely restrict your intake of carbs, which can have a negative impact on your workouts. Furthermore, many of the recommended foods are very expensive and the diet also recommends that you buy their products to help boost your weight loss. Instead of using the 17 Day Diet app and spending money on their products, you would be better off using a less restrictive and balanced diet plan for weight loss.
Anita Fernandes has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome chronic back pains. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.