Weight loss apps: a comparison

After Daniel was born I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight fairly quickly. And then I stayed there. Which would be fine if that weren’t still like 20 lbs above my goal weight. I’ve used a couple different weight loss apps, so today I’m going to tell you what I liked and didn’t like about both of them. (Hey, I said I’d post every day in November. I didn’t promise not to be boring.)

First: Weight watchers. I’ve used WW after each of the kids, and it’s what I used to get down to my pre-pregancy weight this time. Here’s what I like about their app:

1) Fruits and veggies are no points, so I felt encouraged to eat more of them. If I was hungry but low on points, I’d have an apple instead of drinking a diet coke.

2) Point values are easy to remember. I tend to eat the same thing over and over, so I could calculate a meal’s point value once and remember it.

3) WW encourages slow and steady weight loss. And it’s not a “diet” so the number of points I eat while I’m losing weight is the same number I’d need to maintain my goal weight.

4) Weekly points (extra points each week) help me feel like I’m not being deprived. Plus I can save them up for an indulgence- eating out, birthday cake, popcorn at the movies, etc.

5) It tracks percentage of body weight lost. Better than just keeping track of pounds lost.

What I don’t like:

1) It costs money and I’m poor. 😦

2) There’s no barcode scanner (this will make more sense after I review the next one.)

3) No way to share created recipes directly with a friend. You can share on WW forums, but not straight to another person.

4) I love the recipe base, but many of the recipes include lots of no fat/reduced fat stuff. Use less or leave it out! Reduced fat stuff is gross.

Okay, the other app I’ve used (and am using now) is LoseIt! which is basically just a calorie tracking app. Things I like:

1) It tracks nutritional information, so you can see where your calories are coming from– fat, carbs, or protein.

2) It has a barcode scanner! Scan the barcode on your food packaging and it automatically comes up with the nutrition information.

3) You can create recipes or meals and then send them to friends.

4) It’s free!

5) If you eat the same thing a couple days in a row, you can go back to previous days and add the whole meal at once.

Things I don’t like:

1) Every time you weigh in and you’ve lost weight it cuts the amount of calories you get.

2) You can only see your start weight and your current weight on your weight chart. (On WW you can scroll over and see all the numbers. You can also view in table form.)

3) You have to choose a weight loss increments (1/2 lb per week, 1 lb per week, etc) not just a goal weight. I guess theoretically this keeps you more on track, but it means the app keeps cutting my calories so I’m losing the “appropriate amount” per week. Not a fan.

4) Even though I’m theoretically paying attention to how many calories a food has, it’s much harder for me to remember that than a point value.

So! I prefer WW, but I can’t pay for it right now, and I really wish it had a barcode scanner. Is there some other super awesome (free) weight loss app I need to try?

9 thoughts on “Weight loss apps: a comparison

  1. Weight Watchers actually does have a scanner app…it’s called Weight Watchers Scanner! It’s an app in the App Store and its free with a weight watchers account so if you aren’t paying for WW you wouldn’t be able to use it.

  2. Used WW for many years. Switched over to myfitnesspal this fall. It’s free, has a huge food database, and does not cut back on my calories from week to week.

  3. Yep, I was going to say that WW does have a scanner; it’s a stand alone app but you can also get to it from within the WW app as well. I LOVE IT!

  4. I use “hey, I did the eliptical for 20 minutes, that means I can eat 11 cookies, right?” So far it’s not working, but I’m going to keep trying it and see what happens…

  5. I use MyFitnessPal. I don’t remember if it’s free, but it’s fantastic. It’s kind of like Facebook, but for health and weightloss. You have friends that cheer you on and you can let them see your diary or not. It has a bar scanner. It also lets you track your exercise. I seriously love it.

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