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this is NOT a New Year's resolution
December 12, 2012 1:54 PM   Subscribe

I've been using Weight Watchers online for years now, but it's stopped working for me. Is there an iPhone app with a similar function?

I'm not blaming it all on the website/app, but I'm getting really frustrated. It's hard to stay motivated to track everything when it never works very well. Plus their restaurant listings are really weighted (ha) toward the sort of fast-casual places I never eat at...and the foods I actually eat aren't listed at all. Plus I'm finding all sorts of errors where the same item is listed with different values.

I'm ok with paying for an app, but would like to get out of the monthly fee thing, if possible. I know there's a ton (ha) of apps out there, but am looking for personal recommendations. Thanks!
posted by JoanArkham to Health & Fitness (29 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love the "my fitness pal" app, it is very user friendly. There is a website that works together with the app, but I have not used it.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 2:01 PM on December 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Everyone I know who uses one of these apps seems to like the My Fitness Pal the most.
posted by SMPA at 2:04 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thirding myfitnesspal ! It's absolutely changed my life. Have lost 37 kilograms this year, I had no idea food was so calorific, and tracking calories was so bloody easy.

And it's free!
posted by taff at 2:10 PM on December 12, 2012


You might look at Calorific. It doesn't count calories exactly, but kind of brackets your food into three "classes" (Great, OK and Bad) and then gives you a star rating on your daily eating. It's an interesting approach that may be less of a burden than the Point-based WW system.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:15 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I use LoseIt!, which is pretty similar to My Fitness Pal. I tried both of them side-by-side and I found that adding custom foods to LoseIt! was easier than it was with MFP. Either way, both have pretty extensive databases of foods, and you can add your own custom ones for recipes that you make often. I've lost 36 lbs in the last 5 months using it as my food tracking app.
posted by bedhead at 2:18 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure that My Fitness Pal is using the same food database as WW, so that's probably not going to help you out. I've found the limited options frustrating too (with both of those apps).
posted by donajo at 2:23 PM on December 12, 2012


My wife has both MyFitnessPal and LoseIt on her iPhone. I think she prefers LoseIt. Not sure why.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:31 PM on December 12, 2012


I use LoseIt (both the app and the website) and add whichever foods I can't find in the database by looking them up on CalorieKing.com.
I tried MyFitnessPal but hated the interface. Ymmv, of course.
posted by third word on a random page at 2:32 PM on December 12, 2012


People keep telling me that they use LoseIt but when I compare the size and accuracy of LoseIt's food database to the CalorieCounter app from caloriecount.about.com that I use it's clear the LoseIt database is much smaller.

(Maybe I am doing something wrong)
posted by Cosine at 2:35 PM on December 12, 2012


Nthing My Fitness Pal. Their database of foods is larger than most, according to my dietitian.
posted by michellenoel at 2:37 PM on December 12, 2012


+1 for My Fitness Pal.
Between the exhaustive website database and the friendly iPhone app, it should have you covered.
posted by THAT William Mize at 2:39 PM on December 12, 2012


Nope, just checked again, of the last 5 food items with a UPC code that I have consumed caloriecount.about.com had 5, LoseIt had 0.
posted by Cosine at 2:40 PM on December 12, 2012


I am using MyFitnessPal right now. What I like about it is it's easy to access the food you use often, it already has most foods in it. You can track calories from exercise as well.

What I don't like is that it uses calories, and in Australia, while a lot of manufacturers list both calories, and kilojoules, they are only required to list kilojoules, so on the rare occasions when I have to add a food, I have to do the calculation myself.
posted by b33j at 2:42 PM on December 12, 2012


I've heard great things about MyFitnessPal as so many others have already stated.

But, if you want to use WW and are just finding it frustrating with the app then I have some other apps that would be helpful:
"Nutrifactor" figures out points based on the new and old system

Some other helpful weight loss and fitness related apps:
"Epic Workout" is great because it has a calendar and allows you to keep track of how often you've been exercising and
"TargetWeight" which is great for as the name suggests, tracking your weight loss progress
posted by livinglearning at 2:42 PM on December 12, 2012


Not to hijack a thread but:

MyFitnessPal users: How do you get around the fact that you can't enter a custom serving size for foods? I don't always consume 1 cup or 1/2 cup only of granola???
posted by Cosine at 2:49 PM on December 12, 2012


I like MyFitnessPal especially because there is an additional emphasis on exercise which is helpful for me. There are a LOT of calorie entries that are made up by users which can get distracting, but I've found their recipe-creator aspect to be very helpful since I am one of those people who has basically the same breakfast every day and frequently has the same meal at a restaurant. Once you spend the time fiddling with how many calories are in your special sandwich, you can set it and forget it and just enter "1 sandwichthewayilikeit" or whatever. Also they seem to have a wider variety of restaurant foods so I can usually find something close to what I ate.

How do you get around the fact that you can't enter a custom serving size for foods?

Either make a recipe/meal if it's a regular thing that you do, or get good at fractions and decimals. So like if a serving of granola is one cup and I've eaten 2/3 of a cup, i just enter .66.
posted by jessamyn at 3:00 PM on December 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks, everyone! I guess if they're pretty much all free I can try a couple and see which works best. I should have mentioned that I try to exercise 6 days a week, so logging activity would be a plus.
posted by JoanArkham at 3:03 PM on December 12, 2012


My fitness pal also logs your exercise, and gives you graphs.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 3:05 PM on December 12, 2012


Either make a recipe/meal if it's a regular thing that you do, or get good at fractions and decimals. So like if a serving of granola is one cup and I've eaten 2/3 of a cup, i just enter .66.

That seems really clunky, also a cup is a measure of volume, not mass, and is a terrible way to measure anything other than liquid.

The rest of MyFitnessPal seems really quite good but this is a deal-breaker for sure. I am not willing to weigh something and then try to figure out if the 125 grams of a food item is .376 of a cup...
posted by Cosine at 3:10 PM on December 12, 2012


I use MFP on the web and add my own serving sizes all the time... I must have at least four variations on "Mott's apple juice," thanks to the different size bottles provided to different restaurants...

And the serving size thing is just from the labels on foods. If you want to, you can use weights. But it's a lot easier to find volume measurements in a lot of cases. I think the only time I actually use grams or whatever is when I've used CalorieKing or About, and that's basically 100% fresh fruits/veggies/meat.
posted by SMPA at 3:18 PM on December 12, 2012


Just throwing out another option - I really like Calorie Counter PRO by MyNetDiary, but there's a free version as well. Haven't tried the others though. The app has got the usual suspects - scan a barcode, enter a recipe, use whatever serving size you want, track your intake, calories, weight, measurements, etc etc.
posted by cgg at 3:22 PM on December 12, 2012


I have MyFitnessPal and LoseIt both on my phone. I use MFP when I need good nutrition information to manually enter into LoseIt. Its database is orders of magnitude larger than LI's. But I hate the interface. LoseIt is easy to use, gives accurate information quickly, syncs with my Withings scale and with RunKeeper, and doesn't have a steep learning curve. Inputting the nutrition or exercise information takes about 30 seconds and the presentation of your data is both intuitive and really helpful.

I think the world of the app. It's literally changed my life.
posted by R. Schlock at 3:44 PM on December 12, 2012


Oh, and to echo jessamyn, the recipe feature on MFP is great. When I'm cooking something that has a lot of ingredients, I usually create the recipe in MFP, calculate a serving size, and then manually enter that data into LoseIt. It sounds cumbersome, but it really isn't.
posted by R. Schlock at 3:47 PM on December 12, 2012


I am not willing to weigh something and then try to figure out if the 125 grams of a food item is .376 of a cup...

Oh sorry I didn't understand you. Most of the foods that I've found are there in cup-type measurements and also in gram/ounce type measurements. You just sometimes have to poke around and figure it out. Not really for everyone, but I'm not sure if nutrition data is much better than that.
posted by jessamyn at 3:53 PM on December 12, 2012


I like Calorie Counter by Fat Secret, though I run the Android version, not the iPhone one. It also syncs up to the Fat Secret website which is nice if you'd rather enter your data on a computer rather than your phone sometimes.
posted by platinum at 4:09 PM on December 12, 2012


Do you go to WW meetings or just use the eTools? I'm not sure I would have lost 45 lbs (and counting) without going to the meetings. The structure and support are really useful for me, and I learn a ton from other members and the leader.
posted by radioamy at 4:40 PM on December 12, 2012


I've never gone to meetings; just not my thing. I don't really sue the online support communities much either, except for technical questions.

I think I'm downloading a bunch of apps this weekend...
posted by JoanArkham at 6:11 AM on December 13, 2012


Oh sorry I didn't understand you. Most of the foods that I've found are there in cup-type measurements and also in gram/ounce type measurements. You just sometimes have to poke around and figure it out. Not really for everyone, but I'm not sure if nutrition data is much better than that.

When I look up my yogurt on MFP it only has options for eating half a cup, one cup, four cups, which is nuts. And no way to say I had 130grams, seems like that would be simple. That is how CalorieCount.About.Com site works, their food db seems not quite as large as MFP but every food it has can do the math on whatever amount you consumed (not the mobile app though, it sometimes only has set amounts).
posted by Cosine at 10:53 AM on December 13, 2012


So, been using My Fitness Pal for a few days. It's pretty much the same as using the WW app, but better! The scanner, in particular, recognizes a lot more things. I'm somewhat concerned it may be too generous with the calories, as I keep coming in a bit under, but I assume that will adjust as I use it.

Thanks again!
posted by JoanArkham at 6:17 AM on December 22, 2012


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