The 6 best iPhone apps for weight loss

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you told yourself that you’re going to lose weight as a New Year’s resolution. Congratulations! The bad news is that there’s a good chance you’re going to fail, at least if thousands of personal anecdotes and studies have any weight.

But these days it’s easier to avoid falling into that trap. The iOS App Store is as stuffed with helpful apps for losing weight as I was stuffed with turkey and bread in the aftermath of Christmas dinner.

These are the best of the bunch. Almost all of them track activity and calories, but a couple go so far as to pester you throughout the day to stay on focus (and some of us need that). I recommend parking them on your home screen, as they’ll be there to glare at you every time you’re tempted to open Uber Eats or check Safari for the hours of the local Chipotle.

MyFitnessPal: The best overall weight loss app

Exercise is a big part of losing weight, but you could pump iron for weeks and see little difference if you keep stuffing your face with calories when the workout’s done. Thank goodness, then, for calories counters like UnderArmour’s MyFitnessPal. If you don’t want to fatten your phone with a smorgasbord of apps, this is the one to download.

The star attraction, though, is MyFitnessPal’s massive database that lists the nutritional information of millions of different foods. You’ll see the best benefits from MyFitnessPal if you log every single munchie that enters your mouth, and the app simplifies this process with a barcode scanner and a centrally placed button. As I’ve said before, the mere obligation to log each food is often enough to dissuade me from overeating.

myfitnesspalLeif Johnson/IDG

Hope you like blue.

That’s merely the tip of what MyFitnessPal offers. The interface is a little drab, but it provides charts for tracking everything from weight to the width of your neck. I especially admire how it lets you document your journey with photos. It also has a busy blog filled with articles like “What to Eat and Avoid for Better Sleep” and recipes like the scrumptious-sounding “peanut butter banana sushi.” It syncs with virtually every fitness device out there, ranging from the Apple Watch and Fitbit devices to apps from Pact and Garmin.

MyFitnessPal is also one of the few apps listed here that comes with a dedicated Apple Watch app. I wouldn’t recommend using it for logging calories since the watch app has no access to the database, but it’s excellent when you need a quick look at how many calories you have left to work with.

Lose It! The best app for streamlined calorie counting

With Lose It!, you could be forgiven for thinking you were looking at screenshots of MyFitnessPal with the blues swapped to orange. They’re so similar, in fact, that choosing one over the other makes little difference in the long run.