These are the best apps for fitness and weight loss

A new study has found the best apps include feedback, rewards and challenges.

A new study has found the best apps include feedback, rewards and challenges. Photo: Getty

There’s an app for just about everything so it’s only natural that when it comes to losing weight, there’s plenty to choose from.

But how do you decide which ones are worth your time?

Well, when it comes to losing weight and getting fit, research shows the best apps are those that include techniques for changing your behaviour.

In fact, in a world-first study of the accuracy and scientific basis of weight loss apps, University of Sydney experts found the most successful are those that include:

  • Motivational components
  • Point scoring
  • Levels
  • Feedback
  • Rewards
  • Challenges

So, to help you sort through the growing catalogue of fitness and nutrition apps on the market, here are our top seven to try in 2017.

My Fitness Pal

App Store and Google Play

This is one of the most popular fitness apps in the world and includes a nutrition and calorie database of more than five million foods. The app, which connects with other apps including Apple Health, Fitbit, Garmin, MapMyFitness, Runkeeper, Strava and Runtastic, allows you to track your diet and exercise in less than five minutes a day. It also features a barcode nutrition scanner and recipe importer.

Noom Weight Loss Coach

App Store and Google Play

After examining 800 apps, the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre billed this as the most likely app to change behaviour and assist weight loss. It’s designed to help you not only lose weight, but also gradually master the habits you need to get and stay healthy for the long-term. Noom’s trained coaches help you reach your health goals, while the 16-week Healthy Weight Program, is the most popular. Check out the Diabetes Prevention Program, designed to help you acquire the knowledge and skills needed to change habits and reduce your risk of diabetes.

Overhaul your behaviour. Photo: Getty

Overhaul your habits. Photo: Getty


App Store and Google Play

Packed with personalised workout videos, this app allows you to fit a trainer-led session into your schedule when it suits you. Choose from guided workouts including strength, stretching, cardio, Pilates and yoga, which run from five to 60 minutes. You can upgrade to Sworkit Premium to save unlimited custom workouts, for ad-free workouts and to access the ‘ask a trainer’ feature.

Couch to 5K®

App Store and Google Play

Updated in January 2017, this running app and training coach helps you set a nine-week program to achieve a 5km run. Using the app, you can hear human audio cues to guide you through each workout, listen to your favorite playlists, calculate your distance and pace and map your routes with free GPS support. Then, log your workouts and share your progress on Facebook.

Get off the couch and hit the pavement. Photo: Getty

Get off the couch and hit the pavement. Photo: Getty

Fitbit App

App Store, Google Play and Windows Store

You don’t need a Fitbit tracker to use this app. Instead you can record basic stats such as steps, distance and calories burned using your smartphone. Then, view progress towards your daily goals and see your trends over time. Use the app for motivation notifications, to track your weight, log food, measure hydration and more.

PEAR Personal Coach

App Store and Google Play

PEAR offers a coaching platform of interactive audio workouts from professional trainers. It features real-time training guides to motivate you and keep you company while you work out. Olympians and world champions lead hundreds of sessions covering running, HIIT, treadmill, elliptical, spin, strength, yoga and more.

Make healthy food decisions. Photo: Getty

Make healthy food decisions. Photo: Getty

Lose It

App Store and Google Play

This app helps you set a personalised daily calorie budget and weight loss plan. It then tracks your meals and exercise, connects with your devices and apps for seamless biometric tracking, and hooks you up with a weight loss community for inspiration, support and challenges. It includes a database of more than seven million foods, restaurant items and brands from around the world. Plus, its latest feature Snap It identifies the foods it sees in photos you take and provides you with the relevant calorie count and nutrition information.

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