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Lose Weight and Get Healthy With These Free Apps for Your Android or iPhone.

Multiple studies show that being overweight leads to higher annual medical costs, not to mention not feeling well. There are several easy to use, free to download smart phone apps listed below that can help you both lose weight so that you feel better and, maybe just as importantly, save tens of thousands of dollars on your medical bills.

A study of 180,000 Americans done by the Food Policy and Obesity Organization at the University of Connecticut indicates annual costs for even being slightly overweight is about $1,900 per year. The CDC shows indicates that about 42% of Americans are obese. That leads to thousands of extra dollars for healthcare and medications over a lifetime, and these smart phone apps can help you lose weight and save money!

Perhaps it's from overeating during the holidays or the result of some bad habits you've developed while working from home, but whatever the reason, you've put on a few extra pounds and you're just not feeling as well as you used to. Gaining weight is easy. It's taking it off that can be hard.

Fortunately, there are apps available at low or no cost (for free) that will help you count calories, make healthier food choices, lose that extra weight, and be more physically fit. Or try signing up for the free Cooking Matters Classes, which also teach nutrition and healthy eating/shopping skills. All of these apps are available, for free, from the App Store and Google Play to install on your iPhone or Android.

Set goals and track your caloric intake with the Lose It! app

Lose It! walks you through setting your weight loss goals and developing a plan for meeting them. Once you have your plan in place, the app keeps track of your daily caloric intake. At any time, you can check the app to see how many calories you can still consume without exceeding your daily limit.

You can get the free version of Lose It! that includes the planning, calorie intake monitoring, and some smart camera functionality or you can pay $39.99 annually for the upgrade. With the paid version, you'll get the DNA Insights add-on, exercise planning, and some advanced tracking and synchronization capabilities. To use DNA Insights, you'll need to first submit a sample and obtain your DNA profile from AncestryDNA or 23andMe, then upload the data to the Lose It! app. If you do, Lose It! will give you information based on your genetic profile that will help you optimize your diet and provide you with some insight as to how your genes effect your ability to lose weight and stay fit.

 

 

 

Scan barcodes and plan your healthy diet with Fooducate

This app helps you find out what's actually in the food you eat. Simply scan the barcodes on the packages with Fooducate before you buy and you'll know whether the food contains things like excessive amounts of sugar, artificial sweeteners, or other chemical additives. The app can even recommend healthier options based on the barcodes you scan.

You can use the personalization features in Fooducate to plan a diet that includes these healthier choices. There is also a Fooducate user community where you can go to ask questions and find out how others are using and benefiting from the free app.

Fooducate also can be combined with a number of free charitable and government run assistance programs. As buying healthy groceries can be costly. Especially in feed “insecure” areas, which tend to be lower income neighborhoods that lack affordable or healthy food options. Find free healthy food from emergency food pantries.

Free and paid premium options are available. You can explore all of them via the App Store or Google Play.

The WW app

You've no doubt heard of Weight Watchers, or WW as it is now known. WW also offers an app that tracks your daily activities, your food intake, how much water you drink, and how much sleep you're getting. The app will make recommendations to help you lose weight and live healthier (which equates to saving money) based on the data it gathers.

 

 

 

 

The WW app also has a "what's in your fridge" feature that can provide you with healthy recipes based on what you have on hand. You just tell it what you've got and it gives you menu suggestions. It comes with a barcode scanner as well.

This app is feature-packed. It integrates with FitOn and Aaptive, giving you access to fitness content. You can even learn to meditate using the access it provides to Headspace. Coaching sessions and five-day meal planning functionality is also available.

This is not a free app and there are several paid options available that you can check out using the App Store or Google Play. You can also find special offers at weightwatchers.com/us/plans.

The Cronometer app is a bit different

The Cronometer motto is "eat smarter, live better." This app does track caloric intake, but it places more focus on nutrition and the micronutrients your body is getting based on your diet. In order to lose weight and stay healthy during the process, you need to make sure you're getting the right nutrients.

As noted, buying food, ingredients, and groceries that are higher in nutritional value can be difficult for low income families, the disabled, and households that live on a budget. This is where shopping by unit pricing can be beneficial - as it allows families to compare and find healthy food for them and their family. Start unit pricing to buy healthy food. Which is what the free Cronometer app is all abut.

Cronometer tracks and logs more than 80 micronutrients and will generate charts and reports to help you measure your weight loss progress while maintaining a healthy diet. The app also analyzes your biometric data and makes recommendations regarding exercise.

Cronometer is a free app.

 

 

 

 

What are you waiting for?

These are four highly-rated apps that can help you take off those extra pounds and get healthier in the process. There are free options and paid options from which to choose based on your individual needs. These tools can help you tailor your own custom weight loss and fitness plan. So what, exactly, are you waiting for?

By Jon McNamara

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