12 Apps to Help Reach Your Health Goals
Looking for ways to enjoy tasty, healthy meals and fit in a bit of exercise to an already hectic schedule is something many of us struggle with daily. But the good news is your phone can help you lead a healthier, happier life. You just need to know the right apps to download. Whether you’re trying to mix up your workout routine, looking for help planning weekly meals or finding new ways to make healthier choices, mobile phone apps can help.
To help you start your new year right, we have compiled 12 nutrition, meal planning and fitness apps that will have you making simple lifestyle changes in no time!
Rise – Work with a personalized health coach and take the guesswork out of dieting. One Medical Group, the national leader in technology-enabled primary care, developed this user-friendly approach to help people make critical lifestyle changes and lose weight. Every day, you will send photos of the food you’ve eaten to a nutritionist, who will help you tweak your diet based on your specific goal (losing weight, gaining strength, feeling more energized).
MyFitnessPal – Track your exercise and diet all in one convenient place with MyFitnessPal’s Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker. The app’s database of more than 6 million foods makes it easy to track your diet, no matter what you eat – find the nutritional content, scan barcodes to get information on what you’re buying, log your food and upload your favorite recipes.
HealthyOut – Eating out can be challenging when you are trying to stick to a healthy diet plan, but HealthyOut makes it easier. Choose one of the apps’ many diet and nutrition filters – like “low-carb” or “not a salad” – and you’ll find restaurants and dishes that fit your filters and diet plan. Once you choose your dish, you can then view detailed nutrition information to help you stay on track.
Lifesum – Lifesum proves a lifestyle change is all about small, sustainable changes. Pick a goal (lose weight, bulk up, or eat better) and the app sends you reminders (drink more water), feedback to improve your diet, and ways to visualize your progress.
Cook Smarts – Cook Smarts isn’t so much a meal planning app as it is an entire meal planning service. In addition to helping you plan out your weekly meals, the service aims to help its users learn to cook, explore new recipes, get familiar with and comfortable in the kitchen, and eat more healthy, homemade food. You tell the service how you want to eat – vegetarian, high protein, low-carb, paleo, or just a plain balanced diet – and you’ll get four new and interesting recipes every week along with ingredients, a downloadable and printable grocery list, and even step-by-step instructions and cooking videos to help you make everything.
Pepperplate – This tool excels at organizing your recipe collection, planning your meals based on those recipes, building shopping lists, and helping you cook the recipes you want to try. Build menus for special events or any night of the week, and from there, Pepperplate will generate a shopping list based on your meal plan that you can take with you and cross off at the grocery store.
Paprika – Paprika’s focus is on recipe management, but it also includes smart grocery lists and a menu planner that lets you add recipes to your plan, rate them once you’ve prepared them, and generate a grocery list for the week based on the things you want to make. This app will also help you when you’re in the kitchen, walking you through each recipe step-by-step, complete with cooking timers and notifications when it’s time to move on to the next step.
Meal Plan – Meal Plan is perfect for first-time planners thanks to an easy-to-navigate interface where you drag and drop recipes (or keywords like “burgers” and “salad”) into a home screen organized by meal. This app is great for those who need a simple way to map out their weekly diet, and once completed, you can email or print out the generated grocery list (sorted by aisle – so helpful).
Nike+ Training – Sometimes, we all need a fitness pro in the palm of our hands to push us through those tough workouts, and this app is the perfect motivator. It will help guide you through beginner, intermediate and advanced exercises focusing on drills such as HIIT, yoga and Pilates, with workouts designed by professional trainers and athletes, customizable fitness programs, and sharing capabilities to compare your progress with others.
Couch to 5K – If you’ve always wanted to try running but didn’t know where to start, this is the app for you. The free eight-week program gives users three workouts per week, which will get you ready for your local Turkey Trot or Fourth of July road race.
Sworkit – Tell Sworkit the type of workout you’re looking for (strength, cardio, yoga, or stretching) and the amount of time you’ve got (anywhere from five minutes to an hour), and the app delivers the moves to follow during your sweat session.
Seven – This app challenges you to seven minutes of fitness a day for seven months using no more than a chair, wall and your own body weight. The app guides you through the workouts with illustrations, visual timers, spoken instructions and feedback to let you know when to switch between exercise and rest, plus you’ll be able to track your progress on graphs and calendars, as well as earn rewards and unlock achievements.
BONUS! Charity Miles – You’re going to workout anyway, so why not workout with a purpose! This app lets you earn money for causes you believe in simply by tracking your bikes, walks or runs. Each mile you complete will be even more rewarding because you’ll know you’re helping support organizations that are making the world a better place.