Diet and Nutrition Apps to Help You Towards Your Health Goals

Eating mindfully and making sure you're feeling your best is never a bad thing.

ishonest / Design by Amelia Manley

Whether you’re wanting to eat more mindfully, take better care of your health, or are just looking to make healthier food choices, there’s a diet and nutrition app out there for you. From tailored meal plans to a community and coach available to act as your support system, each diet app is unique in its own way, and it’s important to select one that meets your goals and needs. For many, the focus isn't on weight loss, but on mindful eating and habit changes to help you feel better from the inside out. Here we rounded up the best diet apps, so you can start taking care of your body and mind.

Best Overall: WW


Why We Chose It: There’s no doubt about it: When it comes to reputation, WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) has proven time and time again that its method works. We chose WW as the best overall diet app based on the trustworthiness of the brand, and because it's Oprah-approved.

What We Like:

  • Community support
  • Science-backed behavior change techniques
  • Meal planner

What We Don’t Like:

  • Very focused on calorie counting
  • No one-on-one coaching

If you’re determined to shed weight and implement a more balanced lifestyle, the WW app might be the perfect fit for you. Once you sign up to become a member of WW, you will gain access to the WW app—a vital tool in helping you lose weight, track your fitness, and much more.

Unlike some other weight loss programs, WW is based on a “SmartPoints” system. The SmartPoint value of a food is a number that WW assigns to help make deciding what to eat simpler. Rather than counting macronutrients or total calories for the day, WW bases its SmartPoint system on complex nutrition and distills it down to one easy number. Based on your goals, the WW program will suggest a specific amount of SmartPoints should be consuming each day to help you lose weight.

There are multiple features within the app that will help you work towards achieving your weight loss goals. Of course, there are the basics, including tracking food intake, water, activity, and sleep. You can also read expert content that’s personalized to the goal you set in your Weekly Check-In, and access your check-in cards daily, which are designed to help you build healthy habits, one day at a time. The app also features meditation sessions from Headspace, as well as fitness content from FitOn and Aaptiv.

Another very useful feature is the “What’s in your fridge?” page. All you have to do is enter the ingredients that you already have in your fridge, include the number of SmartPoints you want to spend, note any foods that you want to exclude, and the app will come up with a delicious recipe for you to create. If you like to plan more in advance, the WW app also offers the Meal Planner feature, which allows you to choose from one of its 5-day menus.

WW offers four pricing plans to choose from. The first is the Digital plan, which costs around $3 per week and is a self-guided experience (so no one-on-one coaching). The second option is the Digital 360, which costs about $5 per week and includes access to a squad of WW Coaches and community, plus live and on- demand experiences, all in the WW app.

The third plan is the Unlimited Workshops + Digital, which costs roughly $7 per week and includes virtual or in-person Workshops with your WW Coach and your group for ultimate convenience and weight-loss success. Finally, the fourth plan is the 1-on-1 Coaching + Digital, which costs approximately $14 per week and includes your own, private WW Coach who helps build your customized weight loss plan as a team.

Best Free: MyFitnessPal


Why We Chose It: It really just doesn’t get simpler than MyFitnessPal. If you’re looking for a free dieting app that can help you reach your weight loss goals and encourage you to pay more attention to what you’re eating day-to- day, MyFitnessPal is the perfect one for you. We chose this app because of its simplicity, ease of use, and affordability (it’s free!).

What We Like:

  • Simple to use
  • Easy barcode feature to record packaged foods

What We Don’t Like:

  • No guided program
  • No one-on-one coaching
  • Calorie-count might not be very accurate

If you’ve ever counted calories before, you’re probably familiar with the MyFitnessPal app. Unlike other apps, which feature one-on-one coaching or guided programs, MyFitnessPal is a simple calorie-counting service that helps you track the calories you’re consuming daily, as well as your weight, water intake, and any fitness sessions.

MyFitnessPal offers a searchable food database of more than 300,000,000 items— from both homemade meals to pre-packaged products. Additionally, you can create your own personal food database and add any foods or recipes that you make from home, allowing you to easily record that food type or recipe again in the future.

While the food database is very vast, it’s sometimes hard to find the calorie- count for a specific recipe you’re making. For example, if you’re making a chicken tortilla soup, you can either find a chicken tortilla soup recipe that’s already been recorded in the app (and hope that the calorie-count for that recipe is the same as the one you are creating), or you can input each ingredient amount for your soup into the app, which can get very time-consuming. Thankfully, the app also features a barcode scanner, so that if you’re eating your fave Trader Joe’s potstickers, you can easily scan the barcode and find the food to record in your daily diary.

While the app does offer discussion forums where you can chat with others and share your own tips and encouragement, it’s certainly not as involved as other diet apps. On the plus side, the app is able to support whichever diet you might be following, whether that be the Atkins diet, the South Beach diet, or another popular fad diet.

MyFitnessPal is free, but the app does offer a Premium plan if you are looking for more features within the app (like customizable carbs, protein and fat goals, and guided fitness and nutrition plans). The Premium plan offers two subscription models: an annual subscription costs around $50 per year, and a monthly one costs about $10 per month.

Best for Non-Calorie Counters: Wellory


Why We Chose It: If you're looking to have a healthier relationship with food, sans calorie-counting, Wellory is it. We chose Wellory for its one-on-one personalization, as well as its holistic approach to eating healthier.

What We Like:

  • No calorie-counting
  • One-on-one counseling with a nutritionist
  • Initial “Get to Know You” video consultation

What We Don’t Like:

  • Might not be the right app for those who already have a healthy relationship with food
  • No specific measure of calories or macronutrients

Fed up with the crazy yo-yo dieting culture, Wellory founder Emily Hochman created the program to help folks build a healthier relationship with food, one photo at a time.

Unlike other apps that have you tracking calories or macros, Wellory focuses on helping you create a long-lasting, healthy relationship with food with help from a nutritionist. The science-based and credential-backed app educates users on their food choices while providing personalized support to meet their health goals.

Rather than inputting each type of food (and amount) for each meal you consume throughout the day, Wellory has users take photos of each of their meals. After you sign up for the app, you will be matched with a licensed nutritionist, where you’ll partake in a 30 minute “Get to Know You” video consultation to evaluate your goals.

Your nutritionist will offer ongoing, concierge-level support, and a plan based on your specific health goals, concerns, food preferences, and communication style. You will then share photos of each of your meals with your nutritionist, where they will offer advice and suggestions based on your goals.

Because Wellory offers one-on-one coaching and access to a digital community of vetted licensed nutritionists, certified health coaches, and registered dietitians, the program is a bit on the pricier side at around $60 per month.

Best for Community Support: NOOM


Why We Chose It: Noom is another anti-diet app that aims to help you change your relationship with food for the long-term. We chose Noom because not only does it pair you with a coach to help guide you through your health journey, but the app also places you into a group of other Noomers who are trying to make healthier food choices, too.

What We Like:

  • One-on-one coaching
  • Support in your small group
  • Focused on long-term success
  • No strict meal plan

What We Don’t Like:

Noom is a psychology-based program that empowers you to make healthier choices by better understanding yourself, your brain, and the science of choice. This service is all about making behavioral changes to your diet and offers a one-on- one coach to help guide you through the process.

The Noom approach focuses on behavior changes so that you can achieve long-term, sustainable results using evidence-based psychological techniques. Unlike some other apps that strictly count calories or offer a rigid meal plan, Noom allows you to track the foods you’re eating based on colored labels: green, yellow, and red. The app also includes short bursts of healthy habits to incorporate into your life and to rate your motivation, where you will be quizzed afterward.

Not only do they offer personalized coaching, but the app will also group you into a small gang of like-minded folks who are also trying to achieve the same goals. This allows you to get motivated (and motivate others) together.

The downside of Noom is definitely the price—the program costs around $59 per month, with a 14-day free trial included once you sign up.

Best for Tracking Macronutrients: Cronometer


Why We Chose It: Cronometer is a great (free) option that allows you to not only track your calorie intake daily but also provides extensive detail on which macro and micronutrients you’re consuming with each meal. We chose this app because we love how it goes beyond just calorie-counting.

What We Like:

  • Extensive micro and macronutrient tracking
  • Tracks various vitamins and mineral intake

What We Don’t Like:

  • No community support
  • No one-on-one coaching
  • Tracking each food-type can get time- consuming

Some nutritionists and dietitian would argue that tracking your micronutrients and macronutrients is a healthier, more effective way to lose weight and achieve your goals than constantly counting calories.

While Cronometer does help you track calorie intake and calories burned, it also shows you how much energy, protein, carbs, and fat you’re consuming based on the foods you’re eating each day. After inputting your weight and goal weight, Cronometer will suggest a specific calorie amount to target daily, which will also include a macronutrient target, too. You can track up to 82 micronutrients from more than 300,000 foods within the app.

Unlike other diet apps, Cronometer can also track the percentage of vitamins and minerals you’re ingesting each day, based on the foods you track within the app. Similar to MyFitnessPal, the food database is vast, but it might be difficult to find a specific meal that you’re eating (such as a soup or salad, which has multiple ingredients).

Additionally, Cronometer also has a barcode scanner, similar to MyFitnessPal, so that you can easily scan any pre-packaged foods you’re eating and get to counting faster.

Final Verdict

Finding the best diet app for you really depends on your specific goals, relationship to food, and how in-depth you’re willing to go in terms of calorie- counting and food tracking. If you really want to invest in your health and receive personalized meal plans, advice, and nutritional help, we recommend signing up for Wellory or Noom. Additionally, these two programs aren’t focused on calorie-counting at all but are aimed at helping you change your eating habits for long-term success.

If you’re looking to make healthier food choices, but don’t have the budget for personal coaching, MyFitnessPal or Cronometer would be your best bet. Both work well in making you more aware of your food choices and how you can change them to meet your weight loss goals.

Finally, if you want to join a huge community of folks who are trying to make better food choices, WW is the one for you. This program helps people lose weight, gain more energy, and change their lives.

What Are the Best Diet Apps?

The best diet apps are those that empower you to make healthier food habits daily, rather than making you feel restricted or hungry. There are so many diet app options out there and they vary drastically, so finding one that will help you meet your specific goals is important.

Who Should Use the Best Diet Apps?

Whether you’re looking to shed some weight, make general, healthier food choices, or just want to better your bad relationship with food, diet apps are great for those who want to take charge of their health.

How Much Do Diet Apps Typically Cost?

The price for diet apps can range greatly, from being completely free to being around $60 per month. It really all depends on whether you want personalized coaching or not—the more individualized you get with your program, the higher the app will cost.

How We Chose the Best Diet Apps

We chose the best diet apps based on multiple factors—price, ease of use, community support, and personalized coaching. We based our search on the most highly rated programs out there and assessed which apps had the most users, were backed by science and research, and catered to different health goals and needs.

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