6 Apps for Achieving a Healthier Diet


Apps for healthier eating

When people think of the word "diet," the first thought is usually about weight loss. But, really, a diet is just a system of eating. Some of us have a healthy diet, others not so much. Still others have a "special" diet which requires avoiding certain foods like salt or sugar. A special diet can be healthy or unhealthy, but it isn't necessarily either by definition. Over the next few weeks, we're going to be looking at a series of apps for different types of diets. We're starting with an overview of apps for a healthier diet. Whether you're goal is to lose weight or eat more vegetables, these apps can help you track your food or find new recipes to support a healthy way of eating.

Lose It! – Weight Loss Program and Calorie Counter (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Lose It! – Weight Loss Program and Calorie Counter
Developer: FitNow, Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store

Experience is hard to beat and as one of the first diet apps for the iPhone, Lose It! has plenty. Over the years they've learned a lot about what features are important to mobile users. This personalized weight loss program is extremely easy to use for logging daily food and fitness and tracking progress over time. Most importantly, Lose It! offers a unique feature set that includes social integration and gamification. Users can choose to share recipes, exercises, and progress with friends and also earn award badges for reaching various goals. And for personal stat junkies, the web interface at LoseIt.com will generate reports that show progress over time. 

A Basic account with Lose It! is free, or access more comprehensive tracking for things like sleep patterns and nutrition with a Premium account for about $40 a year.

Nom Nom Paleo (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Nom Nom Paleo
Developer: Nom Nom Paleo LLC
Price: $5.99 Download on the App Store

Thinking about taking your diet back in time with the Nom Nom Paleo app? Then think about this: the app has 118 recipes and more than 1,800 photos. Seriously, this app takes step-by-step cooking instructions to a whole new level. Of course, no diet plan can succeed on eye-candy alone. Nom Nom provides beginners with a complete resource that explains the benefits of a Paleo diet as well as links to learn more. Those already on the Paleo bandwagon can get started right away by creating meal plans and grocery lists from their favorite recipes. With stunning photos, simple recipes and smart commentary Nom Nom Paleo is a must-have app for ancestral eaters.

Raw Food Diet Pro - Healthy Organic Food Recipes and Diet Tracker (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Raw Food Diet Pro - Healthy Organic Food Recipes and Diet Tracker
Developer: FitKit, LLC
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store

Raw Food Diet Pro offers up a selection of recipes based on the idea that a healthy diet includes all or mostly uncooked foods. Raw foodists believe that cooking food above 118 °F interferes with the natural enzymes that aid digestion. Despite being uncooked, some raw foods can require a lot of preparation. In addition, having a good recipe collection helps ensure variety, and that is the spice of life. This app showcases more than 100 raw food recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's intuitive and simple so a healthy, raw food meal idea is never more than a click away.

Weight Watchers Kitchen Companion (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Weight Watchers Kitchen Companion
Developer: Weight Watchers International, Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store

For more than 40 years, Weight Watchers has been helping people lose weight. Their basic tenets remain the same, but the company is constantly re-inventing itself with new research, updated plans and even a digital push that includes strong mobile components. Weight Watchers Kitchen Companion does more than just supply recipes. It guides users through the entire cooking process. Starting with how to plan a menu, it also offers tools to shop for ingredients, and step-by-step meal preparation. If your old diet consisted of a drawer full of take-out menus, you will especially appreciate the technique videos. Use the app and, over time, it becomes a truly personalized diet tool with options to add new recipes and edit favorites to reflect taste preferences or special needs.

Atkins Carb Tracker (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Atkins Carb Tracker
Developer: Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store

There are different types of low carb diet — South Beach, Atkins, etc — and even more reasons for choosing one. For example, limiting daily carb intake is also suggested as a healthy way for for diabetics to eat, not just folks looking to drop a few pounds. Unfortunately for users, the official Atkins app is iPhone only making it hard to follow recipes and the South Beach app requires a monthly subscription to access nearly all of its features — even though it is a paid app. In the end, the Atkins Carb Tracker is a better choice. The free download includes a searchable database of foods, more than 1000 recipes, a food guide, and a useful location-based tool to find nearby restaurants based on how many carbs you want to eat. Additional features for meal planning and tracking progress require a free account on the Atkins' website.

Jillian Michaels Slim-Down: Weight Loss, Diet, & Exercise Solution (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Jillian Michaels Slim-Down: Weight Loss, Diet, & Exercise Solution
Developer: Everyday Health, Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store

Jillian Michaels Slim-Down Solution motivates users to eat healthy with star power from the popular trainer of NBC's The Biggest Loser. The free app comes with a calorie counter and food tracker, a barcode scanner that gathers nutritional information from pre-packaged foods, a selection of healthy recipes and instructional exercise videos. A key reason for using this app over similar solutions for healthy eating is the motivation users get from the no-nonsense trainer. Jillian's daily tips and weekly podcasts will help keep dieters on track.

If you need a more personalized approach, and can afford it, Slim-Down Solution offers a subscription plan for $3.99 a week. Premium users get a personalized Jillian Michaels fitness plan that is customized for on a user's body type and end goal. Subscribers also receive a weekly meal plan designed around their actual eating habits.

What apps do you use to keep your healthy diet on track? Leave a note in the comments about your favorite healthy diet apps. And, if you've tried one of these apps we'd love to hear about it.

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