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The Best Free Weight-Loss Apps

best-free-weight-loss-apps.jpgPhoto: courtneyk / Getty Images

Your smartphone is a perfect tool for getting and staying in shape. Think about it: It's always with you, it lets you listen to music during your workout, and it provides you with many powerful (free!) apps, right at your fingertips. A fitness app can lead you through workouts without the high price of a personal trainer, and using a calorie-counter app is as simple as sending a text. Together, they're a quick and easy way to start getting in shape. Here, the best free weight-loss apps worth trying. (Also read: The 10 Rules of Weight Loss That Lasts)

Noom Weight Loss

Available for: Android & iOS 
Download it:  Noom

Noom is a head-to-tail weight-loss toolkit that helps you set goals and track your progress. The app has three main functions: It helps you set a weight-loss goal and see your progress; it tracks your food intake to help keep you accountable; and it logs your exercise, even from daily out-and-about activities, to help you make healthier choices.

Endomondo Sports Tracker

Available for: Android & iOS
TrDowy it: Endomondo Sports Tracker

Designed for runners, bikers, and anyone with a workout that gets them out and about, this sophisticated app uses GPS to track your routes and make the daily jog fun again. The app records your run, giving you a Google Maps view, lap times, and browsable workout history. Get motivated by pep talks from your friends and notifications every time you break a mile. If you take your runs really seriously, you can upgrade to the $3.99 paid version that integrates with Facebook and Twitter and can pull in data from popular heart-rate sensors and pedometers. (Related: The 10 Best Free Apps for Runners)

Eat This, Not That! the Game

Available for: iOS
Try it: Eat This, Not That! the Game

A game to help you lose weight? It's more likely than you think! It's like The Price Is Right for food. The game shows you two similar products, and you guess which one is more nutritious and less fatty. It's surprisingly addictive, but it also teaches you the surprising food tricks that can make for better meals. The next time you go to Quiznos, order a grilled-chicken sub instead of tuna salad, and save yourself 1,000 calories (seriously!). You'll be glad you played.

MyNetDiary

Available for: Android & iOS
Try it: MyNetDiary

Losing weight involves behavior change, exercise, and diet, and this app takes the guesswork out of the latter. By far the most powerful nutrition aid we've found, this app tracks your calorie and nutrition intake, as well as your exercise, to help you gain control. Charts and graphs provide powerful motivation as they show how far you've come. It's also super-easy to use; just scan the bar code of packaged food or type the first few letters of a dish's name to search the app's 420,000-food database. (Healthy body, healthy mind? Download these mental health apps too.)

JEFIT

Available for: Android & iOS
Download it: JEFIT

If your exercise goals are cardio or Pilates, this isn't the app for you. If you hit the gym religiously and need the most in-depth exercise tracking and training around, say no more. This app is for the true gym rat. It boasts hundreds of exercises that can be selected from an anatomical map; helps create power-packed super-set workouts; logs your progress photos so you can see the toning taking place, and more! (If you're also interested in interval training, you need these HIIT workout apps.)

Nike Training Club

Available for: Android & iOS 
Download it: Nike Training Club

If you want an instructor-led fitness routine but aren't comfortable with the cost and awkwardness of a personal trainer, this app can fit the bill. This free app gives you dozens of workouts from Nike's professionals, pro athletes, celebrity trainers, and more, and considers your requirements and abilities to pick them. Plus, these workouts are specifically designed for women.

Daily Burn (Free 30-Day Trial) 

Available for: Android & iOS
Download it: Daily Burn

This app, made by the fitness wizards at the popular health blog Daily Burn, is great for beginners who aren't sure how much power they need in their workout app. Out of the metaphorical box, this free app lets you view professionally written wellness and exercise articles, create weight goals, and track workouts and weight. True: It's not free forever, but you can do a 30-day trial and decide if you want to spend $20 per month to keep using it. If you decide to keep going, you'll get new workouts every day, tailored to your needs.

Fooducate Nutrition Tracker

Available for: Android & iOS
Download it: Fooducate

That protein bar you're nibbling on certainly looks healthy—but could there be something better? Scan a food's UPC and Fooducate goes beyond the nutrition facts to tell you more about your munchies (if the sodium level is dangerous, for instance, or if the vitamins come from nature instead of chemicals). It even grades the food relative to alternatives and helps you pick a healthier selection. A great companion to a nutrition plan, and a fun way for the non-dieter to improve his or her menu.

My Diet Coach

Available for: Android & iOS
Download it: My Diet Coach

My Diet Coach has a fun design to help keep you motivated throughout your weight-loss journey. It features a mini avatar of you at your current weight and at your desired weight to help you visualize where you want to be. Like most other weight-loss apps, it lets you track your food and exercise, but also offers other challenges: Pledge to drink more water, exercise more often, or get rewarded for every food craving that you curb. You can also pay $4.99 to receive special features.

Lose It!

Available for: Android & iOS
Download it: Lose It!

If you're all about no-fuss apps, then Lose It! could be what you're looking for. It's simple: You input your goal and track your food and exercise as well as your progress toward that goal. The app also helps you find better food alternatives that are healthier and good for your body. You can use their barcode scanner to track calories, take pics of your meals for easy tracking, and even sync with the Apple Health and Google Fit apps. Upgrade to premium for $3.33/month to get access to additional features such as a meal planning tool, water tracking, macronutrient analysis, and connection with your Fitbit or other activity trackers.

Happy Scale

Available for: iOS
Download it: Happy Scale

It can be super frustrating when you get on the scale and the number you see is higher than the one from yesterday—even after a long workout or a day of eating well. Happy Scale helps you understand why that number fluctuates so much while also keeping track of your long- and short-term goals, monitoring your weight loss or gain, and predicting when you could possibly reach your goal. (Read how non-scale victories are totally changing weight loss for some women.)

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