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The Best Weight Loss Apps of 2022

If you're looking to lose weight, we created a comprehensive guide to pick the app that's right for you.

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Managing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while being a real person who is also working or studying 40+ hours a week, raising kids, navigating a pandemic, or taking care of aging parents can be challenging.

There are a ton of apps available to help with weight loss and lifestyle management, but who has time to sift through all of them to figure out which app is best? Or an even bigger question, can an app REALLY help you lose weight or meet body size goals?

Long story short, if you are ready to use an app, then yes, apps can help you with your weight loss journey. We did the legwork to create a list of the best weight loss apps in 2022 and a comprehensive guide on how to pick the best app to meet your goals.

If you are someone who has a history of disordered eating, some features within weight management apps may be triggering. You can get help for disordered eating via theNational Eating Disorders helpline.

Our Picks for the Best Weight Loss App:

  • Best Overall:Noom
  • Best Weight Loss App for Community:WW
  • Best for Tracking Nutrients:Cronometer
  • Best Free Weight Loss App: MyFitnessPal
  • Best Weight Loss App for Tracking Macros: Fooducate
  • Best Exercise-Focused Weight Loss App: Fitbit
  • Best Weight Loss App for Beginners: Lose It!
  • Best Keto Weight Loss App: Carb Manager
  • Best for Hydration: Waterlogged

Almost all of our “best apps” include research-based behavioral strategies that help with weight management including setting weight and activity goals and food tracking. They are also all available on iOS and Android platforms and offer either a paid or free version. Beyond the basics of food, weight and exercise tracking, each app offers a slightly different approach to weight loss.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Weight Management App

People commonly start and stop using weight management or fitness apps. So it is important to find an app that you can stick with. To get the most out of your weight management app, you should start by asking yourself these questions:

What change do I want (or need) to make and why?

Whether you want to lose, maintain or gain weight, you need to have a clear understanding of why you want to make this change. Then, you need to evaluate if our reasoning is external or internal. For example, external motivation is your doctor telling you to lose weight via diet and exercise because they think you are unhealthy. Internal motivation is more aligned with your personal values. For example, you want to take care of my body because without it you wouldn’t be able to enjoy my children. Research shows that people are more likely to have sustainable long-term weight loss if they are internally motivated. Internal motivation creates autonomy and ownership of the new behaviors, which makes people more persistent when it comes to meeting their goals.

What support/resources do I need to make this change?

Think about a time when you have successfully made a change and reflect on what it took to make that change. Do you need help with accountability? Is having a community important to you? How engaged do you need to be?

Or do you feel like you have your exercise figured out but you are struggling with reading and understanding labels? Or do you feel like you understand nutrition but need help with activity tracking? Look for an app that helps support you in the ways that are most effective for you.

How much time do you have to engage with the app?

Time matters because the more you engage with the app, the more likely you are to be successful in meeting your goals. Determine what a reasonable amount of time is for you to dedicate to using the resources you have identified to meet your goals.

Is cost an issue?

While most apps have a free version, paying extra for premium versions that unlock more features may be helpful. In addition, some apps require additional accessories to increase their functionality, like a fitness tracker. While not a requirement, having a food scale can increase the accuracy of your food journal as well. But don’t worry, we have included apps that fit everyone’s budget.

Our Picks for the Best Weight Loss Apps

Best Overall: Noom

Tracks: Food, weight, physical activity, blood glucose, blood pressure and water.

Cost: Free seven day trial, otherwise $59/month but has a per month auto-renewal pricing with an annual renewal price of $199.

Noom is for you if you:

  • Struggle with setting appropriate weight loss goals
  • Have a complicated relationship with food
  • Have time to commit to your journey

Noom makes it clear that weight management isn’t just about diet and exercise, it's about the brain and using psychology to “change the way you think and feel about eating.” Noom truly meets you wherever you are on your health journey to create a custom plan and it starts by completing their quiz.

While Noom compares to other paid platforms like WW (formerly Weight Watchers) by tracking food and activity, not limiting types of food and having healthy recipes available, Noom doesn’t charge extra for one-on-one coaching. It aims to uniquely challenge how we approach weight management by coupling psychology with a three-colored “stoplight” system. The stoplight system categorizes food as green (eat more of), yellow (proceed with caution) or red (limit intake). For visual learners, this is a great tool to teach users what foods to eat.

Noom’s website boasts that it has over 40 peer-reviewed articles — a fancy way of saying that scientists have formally studied and published data showing that Noom not only works in the short term but that users have lasting results.

Noom may not be for you if:

  • Cost is a concern as it starts at $59/month, after a free seven-day trial.
  • You have a history of disordered eating or body dysmorphia. The app recommends that users weigh in daily, which may be triggering.
  • Do not have much time to engage with the app. However, Noom does assess how much time you are willing to commit and tailors its engagement along with its education offerings based on your availability.

If you're interested in trying Noom, check out our Noom review!

Best Weight Loss App for Community: WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers)

Tracks: Weight, physical activity, food and water intake.

Cost: Pricing is a little more complicated and depends on which one of three plans you select:Digital, Digital + Unlimited Workshops and Digital + One-on-One Coaching. Promotions start at $5/mo for the first three months, but be sure to read the fine print regarding start-up fees, early termination and weekly versus monthly charges.

WW is for you if you :

  • Need external accountability
  • Want to celebrate wins with a closely connected community
  • Need help with goal setting
  • Have time to track food and participate in virtual or in-person meetings (time commitment depends on plan purchased)
  • Like to purchase food created by the weight management brand/program

People commonly start and stop weight loss apps, but social and community support increase the likelihood that users will stick with an app.

WW hosts meetings for users to discuss their weight loss journeys and encourage each other through the process. We love that the community feature of WW can be either virtual or in-person, which is nice to have for tangible accountability.

WW also centers around a proprietary points system that assigns points for food to help users make food choices while boasting that no food is off-limits.

If you want the perks of the WW app like endless recipes or sleep and activity tracking, but want to have a more self-guided approach, then the completely digital plan may be right for you. If you are unsure of which membership is right for you, take its quiz to find out.

The WW app may not be for you if:

  • Cost is a concern. There is no free version of the app
  • Time is a concern due to tracking points and meeting with counselors

Best for Tracking Nutrients: Cronometer

Tracks: Food, micronutrients, macronutrients and intermittent fasting time.

Cost: The basic version is free, and access to the Gold Features costs otherwise $4.16/month for Gold Features. Going Gold gives you access to an ad-free experience, a fasting timer, a more customized dashboard, easier food logging and the ability to set macro goals for each day of the week. It also offers more detailed insights into your nutrition and trends over time and nutrition scoring so that you can measure how well you are meeting your nutritional goals.

The Cronometer app is for you if you:

  • Want to move beyond calorie counting
  • Want to understand the quality of what you eat
  • Are focused on meeting micronutrient goals

The Cronometer app is to micronutrients as to what the Fooducate app is to macronutrients. Like Fooducate, this app is great for the person who wants to move beyond calorie counting and into understanding the quality of what they eat, at the micronutrient level. So if you’re questioning if you are getting the vitamins and minerals you need, the Cronometer app deserves a look.

It tracks and analyzes data over time so that you can gain insight into how your biometrics and micronutrient intake relate to one another, track your fasting times and their effect. The app can also help you set weight, macro and micronutrient goals.

Like the MyFitnessPal app, you can sync the Cronometer app with most activity apps like Apple Health, Google Fit, Samsung Health, Garmin and Fitbit.

This app is not for you if you:

  • Want a robust food database. Its food database is smaller than MyFitnessPal, which may make adding personal recipes more difficult

Best Free Weight Loss App: MyFitnessPal

Tracks: Food, exercise and water.

Cost: The basic version is free, but there is a premium version for $19.99/month or $79.99/year. The premium version is ad free and includes features such as a more customized dashboard, the ability to set goals for each day of the week or by meal, greater precision in tracking macros and calories and access to workouts, recipes and coaching.

MyFitnessPal is for you if you:

  • Are not looking for a structured diet plan
  • Want to lose, gain, or maintain weight
  • Want an app to connect to your activity tracker (it works with almost all fitness trackers)
  • Want to log your dietary intake quickly and easily

MyFitnessPal boasts the largest food database of any food tracking app. It also has unique features that make adding food to your log a breeze. You can use the barcode scanner or import recipes via a URL. It’s also great for managing your own recipes because it can automatically calculate the calories for you based on the ingredients.

Another unique feature of MyFitnessPal is its end of the day summary. After you complete your daily food log, it reports back to you that based on your day's intake of food that you will be X weight by X time. This can be helpful information in gauging the feasibility of your goals. As a safety measure, the app will only let you lose a maximum of two pounds per week and will give warning messages if you are losing weight too fast or not consuming enough calories.

While there is a paid version, we found the basic free version to be incredibly full-featured. Most people like don’t need to upgrade.

This app is not for you if you:

  • Want a personalized weight management program. Calorie goals are created by an algorithm which may not take enough variables into account to set an accurate calorie goal.
  • Don’t have time to track all of your food and activity

Best Weight Loss App for Tracking Macros: Fooducate

Tracks: Food intake, physical activity, sleep, mood and hunger.

Cost: The basic version of the app is free but it has in-app purchases that vary in price. In-app purchase prices depend on what features you would like, for example, if you want additional assistance identifying allergens or managing various diets like Keto or paleo. You can also make in-app purchases to work with a nutritionist to meet your nutritional goals.

The Fooducate App is for you if you:

  • Want to move beyond basic calorie counting
  • Want to learn more about the quality of what you are eating
  • Want to analyze macronutrients
  • Need help making better food choices
  • Are into strength training

Fooducate is truly a combination of food + education as it goes beyond just calorie counting to expand the user's understanding of food by grading the quality of it. Much like school, Fooducate assigns an A, B, C, or D scale based on macros, or the nutrients that give you energy (protein, carbs, and fats). Macros play an important role in weight management including signaling to the brain when we are full.

The app also grades food based on other ingredients manufacturers may not want you to notice like high fructose corn syrup and other additives. Additionally, Fooducate also gives a rationale as to why food is graded a certain way and offers alternative choices to further assist in making better choices.

Fooducate is also flexible in how it tracks food as it uses a food point system to assign points instead of calories, as the latter may be triggering for folks with disordered eating. Using the point features helps users meet nutritional goals instead of caloric goals. It’s also great for fine-tuning an individual's diet, especially for athletes.

This app is not for you if you:

  • Want a robust food database. Its food database is smaller than MyFitnessPal, which may make adding personal recipes more difficult.
  • Also want detailed micronutrient information.

Best Exercise-Focused Weight Loss App: Fitbit

Tracks: All movement, sleep, food, workouts, weight and menstrual health.

Cost: The basic Fitbit app is free, but Premium membership is $9.99 a /month or $79.99 for a /year. With FitBit Pp Premium you get more advanced insight into your sleep habits and stress scores, access to workouts, mindfulness sessions and 90 day trends, and start your day with a readiness score to gauge if you are ready to workout or need a recovery day.

The Fitbit app is for you if you:

  • Want to take a comprehensive approach to weight management
  • Want to make exercise a critical part of your weight management program
  • Own or plan to purchase a Fitbit tracker or smartwatch
  • Want all movement tracked, not just “traditional” workouts

Although the Fitbit app can be used on its own, its functionality expands if you have a Fitbit tracker, smartwatch or scale. Unlike other apps mentioned above, Fitbit excels at tracking activity and offering workouts. Wearing a Fitbit tracker gives your real-time data regarding your all-day activity including the number of steps you have taken which converts steps into miles, the number of floors climbed, the calories burned and your heart rate. It's like getting credit for anything and everything you do. Plus, getting Fitbit Premium (free for 90 days) unlocks over 240 workouts.

In addition to supporting weight management via exercise and diet, the Fitbit app also supports users by tracking sleep, which impacts weight and weight loss.

This app is not for you if:

  • You want an app to sync directly with your Apple watch (you will need third-party software to sync).

Best Weight Loss App for Beginners: Lose It!

Tracks: Calories, macros (fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, sugars, and protein). If you upgrade you can also track: blood glucose, sleep, water intake, and more detailed nutrition information.

Cost: The basic version is free, but the premium version is $3.33 a /mo or $39.99 per year. The premium version allows you to sync the Lose It! app with your Fitbit, Apple Watch, Misfit, and Garmin fitness tracker, customize your meals to meet dietary needs, advanced tracking of macros, water intake or/and blood pressure, and gain a deeper insight into your habits and patterns.

The Lose It! app is for you if you:

  • Are new to weight loss apps
  • Desire a simple interface
  • Are focused on calorie intake and want an easy to use calorie counter
  • Desire weight loss rather than weight maintenance or gain
  • Want an additional tool to connect with your trackers like Fitbit or Garmin

The Lose it! app is great for beginners because of its simple function premise: You just log your food, stay within your calorie budget, incorporate exercise if you desire and eat what you want (so long as you stay within your calorie budget).

It helps with daily calorie goal setting by mapping out your weight loss goals and your desired timeline. To help maintain a low-calorie diet the app offers low-calorie dinner recipes.

Like other apps, Lose it! has the barcode scanner feature to help log foods. The app also has a unique feature for tracking food — using recognition software, the user can take a picture of their food and the app will do the rest.

This app is not for you if:

  • You desire diet-specific meal plans like keto or paleo.
  • You want to track intermittent fasting

Best Keto Weight Loss App: Carb Manager

Tracks: Water, exercise, and weight. In the premium version, you can also track ketones, blood glucose, insulin, intermittent fasting, glycemic load, sleep and GKI.

Cost: The basic version is free and the premium membership is $3.33 a month. By going premium you get access to recipes, curated meal planning and a shopping list generator, the ability to sync the Carb Manager app with your fitness tracker, more detailed nutrient tracking, sleep and blood pressure tracking, implement carb cycling and learn more about jumpstarting your keto journey.

The Carb Manager app is for you if you:

  • Want to make a keto, or a low-carb diet a lifestyle
  • Need help figuring out if what you’re eating fits in the keto diet guidelines
  • Want an additional tool to sync with your fitness trackers like Fitbit or Apple Watch

Going keto could be particularly helpful if you have Type 2 diabetes, but according to The University of Chicago Medicine, keto diets aren’t for everyone, especially those with a liver, pancreas, thyroid, or gallbladder condition. Clinicians also have mixed feelings about going keto as the diet restricts the intake of certain food groups. They recommend that you work with a clinician or dietitian to make sure that keto is the best diet for you.

The Carb Manager app aims to be the one-stop-shop for users who want to follow the high-fat, low-carb keto diet. The app even rates food based on how well it fits in the keto diet, which helps users know if their favorite foods will keep them in a state of ketosis.

To help streamline your keto lifestyle, the app also offers meal plans and ideas and then converts your meal ideas into grocery lists.

Like the Lose it! app, the Carb Manager app also makes logging food easier by using photo recognition software, however, this is only available in the premium version.

This app is not for you if you:

  • Have concerns about the sustainability of a keto diet
  • Have any medical conditions that make following the keto diet inadvisable

Best for Hydration: Waterlogged

Tracks: Water intake.

Cost: The basic version is free, but for $3.99 you can unlock premium features to get drinking reminders and to integrate the app with your Fitbit.

The Waterlogged app is for you if you:

  • Want an app just for logging water
  • Need reminders to drink more water
  • Want to customize your water goals
  • Are short on time
  • Want a tool to integrate with trackers like Fitbit and Apple Health

The Waterlogged app is as straightforward as it seems — it's just for logging how much water you take in. It helps users create water consumption goals, graphs your intake over various time points, creates reminders to drink more and has a feature where you can take a picture of your own water glass to make logging intake even faster.

Tracking water intake can also help create a positive visual for people who need to lower their intake of sugary drinks like juice and soda. The importance of appropriate water intake and limiting sugary drinks should not be overlooked as water intake is associated with weight loss.

This app is not for you if:

  • Consuming the appropriate amount of water is not an issue for you.

Are Weight Loss Apps Bad for You?

Using a weight management app is only one piece of the weight management and healthy lifestyle puzzle. Apps can increase the risk of disordered eating and can be particularly problematic for people already struggling with disordered eating.

How to Have a Healthy Relationship With Weight Loss Apps

According to Dr. April Prunty PhD, RN, an athletic training and weight stigma expert, “It is important to develop healthy relationships with diets and weight management apps.” Prunty has several recommendations on how to have a healthy relationship with diet apps:

Recognize that body weight isn’t just a number on the scale.

Body weight is complex and influenced by factors including race, ethnicity, environment, genetics, sleep and stress. Muscle weighs more than fat, so as you build muscle, you may not see drastic changes on the scale.

BMI is not the best indicator of health.

BMI or Body Mass Index is a very skewed view of our health. BMI is measured using two characteristics: weight and height. As mentioned above, body weight is complex and influenced by many factors and we can’t change our height. If we focus only on BMI we ignore other factors that represent overall health and well-being.

Pick an app based on your goals.

You need to understand why you are seeking support from an app and then you need to identify a clear picture of what your goals are. For example, you may want to increase a specific macro to X% or increase activity to 30 minutes three times a week. Then select an app that will help you track those specific goals. Taking the time to set goals and align the best app to meet those goals reduces “app hopping” and cyclic dieting or exercise behaviors that are counterproductive to overall health. Goals also need to have a realistic time parameter. This avoids seeking quick fixes, fosters sustainability and can help users work through plateaus.

Listen to your body.

It is important to listen to your body and to pay attention to how you feel mentally and physically. Many people lack a comprehensive understanding of caloric intake and what nutrients we need. Instead, food is looked at as something to be restricted, not as a source of nutrients to help pursue what we love and to support our body.

Being more in tune with our bodies can also reduce injuries and make lifestyle changes more sustainable. Research shows engaging in physical activities that you enjoy, like walking or gardening, increases the likelihood you will remain active.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, it is important to reflect on why you want to use a weight loss app. You may need to consult your healthcare provider before starting a diet and exercise regimen.

If you are someone who has a history of disordered eating, some features within weight management apps may be triggering. You can get help for disordered eating via the National Eating Disorders helpline.

Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.

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