By Deven Hopp, Byrdie (TNS)
Looking to kick your health and fitness into high gear? The app store is where you want to be. We’ve sorted through the thousands of calorie trackers and step loggers to bring you the best of the best.
For calorie control: Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal (free-$10)
MyFitnessPal is a calorie counter and so much more. The database has over four million foods (and growing) _ you can look up your eats by scanning the barcode or use the recipe calculator for your own creations. It will also track your activity. Want to know how many calories you burned cleaning the kitchen? It’ll tell you. It also helps you set up a custom plan based on your goals.
For runners and cyclers: Strava Running and Cycling (free-$6)
Whether you use it for running or cycling, Strava allows you to track your time, distance, speed and cadence while also recording elevation changes. And there’s a competitive aspect to it, too. You can try to outdo your best record and the records of the app’s other users. The large active user base means there’s always plenty of competition on the leaderboard.
For the fitness fanatic: FitStar Personal Trainer (free-$5)
From full gym routines to quick at-home ab workouts, FitStar Personal Trainer has whatever you want. Like with actual personal training, you start with a fitness test to begin at a level that’s right for you, and after each workout, the app asks you questions to help tailor the next workout to better suit your needs. Complete with instructional videos and audio tracks, it really is a personal trainer in your pocket.
For weight loss: Lose It! (free-40/year)
With an extensive database of grocery items, recipes and restaurant meals, Lose It! is still one of the top apps for weight loss. Not only does it track your food (calories and nutritional value), activity and set up custom plans for you, but it’s also a community. You can share recipes, exercise routines and motivation with your friends. It gives you all the information you need in easy-to-read graphs and easy-to-follow instructions. Plus, it reminds you when you forget to log your food, which never hurts.
For smarter shopping: Fooducate (free-$2)
Navigate the grocery store aisles with ease. Simply scan a food’s barcode to receive the nutritional information and the fine print you would otherwise miss (e.g., additives, preservatives). Scan something that’s not such a good choice, and Fooducate will provide some healthier alternatives. And for produce and other non-barcoded items, just type them in and the app will deliver all the pros and cons, plus a quick reference letter grade from A to D-. It’ll also look out for and alert you to allergens, if you so need.
For better takeout: HealthyOut (free)
This app makes it easy to eat out without undoing your diet. Find local restaurants in your area (you can filter by cuisine and type of dish), enter your dietary preference and restrictions (e.g., low fat, low calorie, gluten free, heart healthy, Atkins, Paleo, etc.), and this will do the rest. It’ll note the healthiest choices on the menu, break down all of the nutritional information and suggest modifications to make your order even better.
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