The 12 Best Weight Loss Apps of 2023

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Some of the best weight loss apps are completely free — including MyFitnessPal, Lose It!, and FatSecret.

Weight loss apps are programs you can download to your mobile device that provide an easy and quick way to track your lifestyle habits, such as calorie intake and exercise.

Some apps have extra features, such as support forums, barcode scanners, and the ability to sync with other health and fitness apps or devices. These features aim to keep you motivated toward your weight loss goal.

Many apps also provide specific support for people who follow diets like:

Here are 12 of the best weight loss apps available in 2023 to help support your goals.

  • Best meal planning weight loss app: PlateJoy
  • Best weight loss app with coaching: Noom
  • Best weight loss app for community: WW
  • Best weight loss app for activity tracking: Fitbit
  • Best user-friendly weight loss app: MyFitnessPal
  • Best weight loss app for logging meals: Lose It!
  • Best free weight loss app: FatSecret
  • Best no-diet weight loss app: Way
  • Best weight loss app for nutrient tracking: Cronometer
  • Best weight loss app for grocery shopping: Fooducate
  • Best weight loss app for diabetes: MyNetDiary
  • Best habit tracker app: Strides

We chose the weight loss apps below based on the following criteria:

  • Vetting: All the apps on our list have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards.
  • Ratings: We chose apps with mostly positive ratings for both Apple and Android devices.
  • Features: We recognize that weight loss is a highly personalized process. The apps included on our list have a range of features to suit a variety of needs, such as community challenges, food tracking, and personal coaching.
  • Weight loss approach: It’s important to have realistic expectations and maintain (or foster) a healthy relationship with food and your body. We chose apps that support realistic weight loss goals and encourage a whole-body approach.
  • Expert recommended: All the apps below have been recommended by nutrition experts.

Here’s a quick look at how our top picks compare:

When deciding which weight loss app is right for you, there are a few factors to keep in mind, such as:

  • Budget: Many weight loss apps have a free version as well as the option to access premium features for an additional cost. Others require a subscription or a one-time purchase for use.
  • Special features: It’s important to consider the features you want an app to have, such as one-on-one coaching, meal planning and recipes, food and activity logs, barcode scanners, or macro counting. Some apps can also sync to a wearable device, such as a fitness watch, to make activity tracking seamless and convenient.
  • Weight and wellness goals: Certain apps may be better suited for certain goals. For example, if your goal is to lose weight by increasing your activity level, it’s helpful to choose an app that offers recommended workouts and integrates with an activity tracker.
  • Your experience level: If you’re new to exercising and healthy eating, you’ll want an app that includes plenty of beginner-level resources or even one-on-one coaching.

While research shows calorie counting is effective for weight loss, it’s important to note that it has also been linked to an increased risk of disordered eating in certain people. Therefore, it may not be appropriate for some people (2, 3).

What is the best free weight loss app?

Several of the apps on our list offer a free version as well as an option to subscribe for access to premium features.

FatSecret’s free version is one of the best, as it allows users to access nearly all of the app’s available features. Currently, the only tools that require a subscription are the meal planner, custom meal headings, and water tracker.

If you’re primarily interested in logging your food intake and exercise habits, the free versions of Lose It! and MyFitnessPal are also worth considering.

What are motivating factors to lose weight?

There are many reasons you might want to lose weight, and research suggests that these factors can change throughout your weight loss journey (15).

That being said, research has found that physical appearance and self-esteem are two of the biggest driving factors for wanting to lose weight (15, 16).

One small study also found that acknowledgment from a healthcare professional and comfort speaking with a doctor played a key role in participants’ desire to lose weight (17).

Other motivating factors supported by research include:

  • health-related concerns
  • illnesses
  • societal pressure
  • body dissatisfaction (18)

Do weight loss apps really work?

Research suggests that weight loss apps can be effective for weight loss and may even help improve lab values, such as triglyceride levels (9, 19).

Still, keep in mind that the research is limited and inconclusive, with some studies showing no benefit of mobile apps for weight loss (20).

Furthermore, several studies note that the effectiveness of weight loss apps largely depends on the individual’s level of engagement with the app, which appears to be low in many instances (21, 22).

For example, some factors have been shown to affect users’ level of engagement, such as:

  • age
  • health literacy
  • socioeconomic status
  • other disparities

In turn, these factors could make weight loss apps less effective for certain populations (22).

Finally, keep in mind that while calorie counting can be effective for weight loss, it can also increase the risk for disordered eating in some individuals (2, 3).

If you’re looking to lose weight, these apps can help support your diet and weight goals, offering tools in the palm of your hand, such as:

  • nutrient tracking
  • goal setting
  • meal planning

Still, keep in mind that while they have several possible benefits, weight loss apps can be:

Many apps offer a free version or free trial, and we recommend experimenting with a few to see which one, if any, works best for you.

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