FITNESS WEEK: Great diet apps
18 Jul 2012
The best iPhone/iPad/Android/Windows Phone apps for eating healthy
Now that you’re the pinnacle of human physicality thanks to our fitness app reviews and Apple exercise accessories test, it’s time to sort out that diet and unclog your arteries. No more cheesy chips or fried chicken omelettes – these iPhone/iPad/Android apps will help you cut the bad stuff from your meals and start eating healthy, to make you feel as good as you look.
Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker (MyFitnessPal) (Android, iOS) – Free
After entering all of your info, including weight, height, and your target weight, Calorie Counter gives you a calorie limit to hit each day in order to lose your intended weight in a month. Using either the app or your PC, you can enter each meal you eat to add up your consumed calories and see if you’re meeting your target. The food database is enormous, and we always managed to find exactly what we were looking for – whether it was two poached eggs on dry wholemeal toast for breakfast, or a Dr Oetker pepperoni pizza for dinner.
If you’re worried about what you’re eating, this app does a great job of giving you feedback – of course, if you’re a fan of pizza, fried foods and other greasy delights, it won’t make for pleasant reading.
Recipe Search (Android) – Free
The homepage for the Recipe Search app is a colour explosion, with a bright changeable background covered in chillis, bananas, peppers and more. Unfortunately it makes the icons hard to read, but get past this hurdle and you’ve got a comprehensive database of delicious meals. From bread and snacks to mains and desserts, pretty much every type of food is covered, with tens of thousands of recipes to browse. Ingredients and instructions are clearly listed with photos and reviews included.
An impressive range of features include the ability to bookmark your favourite recipes, newsletters listing the best new entries, and the option to change from US to metric measurements. You can also check out special diet recipes for vegetarians, diabetics and more. If you love food, this app is a must.
MyShopi (iOS) – Free
We’ve all been there – you make a shopping list of vegetables and healthy snacks, then you leave it at home and end up with a basket full of cake, booze and more cake. MyShopi is the best solution, allowing you to quickly create a list of groceries on your phone. Start a list and you can browse a full database of items, with handy photos in case you forget what a banana looks like, selecting or removing as you go along.
The database isn’t exactly comprehensive – for instance, the breakfast section is limited to corn flakes, porridge and toppings. Thankfully you can add your own items and categories, so if you don’t mind taking the time you can build up a full list. When it’s done, you can email or text the list to your partner to delegate the shopping trip. Then, as you grab the items from the shelves, you can tick them off to make sure you don’t miss anything out.
VegOut (iOS) – £1.99
If you balk at the thought of a steak, preferring to keep your meals creature-free, then this handy little restaurant finder will ensure you’re never stuck eating bread rolls as the sole ‘veggie option’. By locking onto your position using GPS, the app shows you a list of vegetarian, vegan and veggie-friendly eateries in your local area. Essential info such as a star rating, cuisine type and price band are all clearly visible. You also get an option to call and book a table, as well as a link to each restaurant’s website if you want more info or a gander at the menu.
Most of the features you’d expect are in place – for instance, you can view the listed restaurants on a map for easy navigation. We’d have liked more user interaction, such as the ability to leave feedback on an eatery or suggest others that have been missed, but the app certainly serves its purpose if you’re simply after a veggie snack.
Libra Weight Manager (Android) – Free
What’s the point in keeping to a strict diet if you can’t tell if it’s working? Tell Libra your height and weight, then set a target weight for some time in the future, and you can quickly and easily track your progress on a day-to-day basis.
Every time you weigh in, simply enter it into Libra’s database and your weight loss – or gain, if you’ve been bad – is clearly displayed on a graph. We were thankful for the in-depth options, which allow you to change the metrics from lbs to stones or kg, alter your diet plan if you’ve slipped up and toggle what information appears on the graph.
The Libra app is free if you don’t mind ads appearing below the graph, or just a pound if you’d rather do without.