Are Weight Loss Apps Worth it?

Are Weight Loss Apps Worth it?

Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: March 10, 2022

Billions of people are overweight. Unfortunately, it’s not only adults. In 2020, as many as 39 million children under 5 were classified as overweight [1]. It’s not only limited to the U.S either. It’s become a global epidemic with worldwide obesity nearly tripling since 1975 [1].

Luckily, it’s preventable.

While preventable, it’s also very difficult to lose weight. If you’ve ever attempted to lose weight, you’re likely well aware of how difficult it can be to accomplish. A lot of businesses have seen this pain point as an opportunity to fill a gap in the marketplace.

Enter weight loss apps.

Diet apps promise to make losing weight much more manageable and achievable. Do they work? Continue reading to find out.

What Are Weight Loss Apps?

Weight loss apps are mobile applications designed to be used as tools for weight loss. While it can vary based on the app, they generally make it easier to track weight loss objectives, track caloric intake, and more. Some apps will allow users to log their meals to avoid having to manually count calories. Some apps will provide information about diet and weight loss and more.

Top Benefits of Weight Loss Apps: Reasons They’re Worth it

1. Convenience

a woman doing yoga on the beach

One of the things that gets a lot of people into trouble when it comes to losing weight is convenience. Many people avoid eating healthy because it’s inconvenient. After all, it’s much more convenient to reach for a bag of chips than to prepare a plate full of vegetables for snacking.

Likewise, it’s much more convenient to go through the McDonald’s drive-thru than to buy fresh ingredients, prep, and cook a meal on your own.

A weight-loss app can make things a lot more convenient which makes you more likely to do them. These things include counting calories and macronutrient intake.

If you don’t know how many calories you are consuming, you won’t know whether or not your diet is effective for your weight loss objectives.

After all, the basic principle of weight loss is burning more calories than you are consuming. Without tracking your caloric intake, you won’t even know if you are doing that.

2. Gamification

One of the things that an app can do for your weight loss efforts is turn your weight loss journey into a game. If you are a competitive person, this could be one of the main reasons to use a weight loss app.

Some weight loss apps will have you constantly striving for objectives and goals. You will earn rewards and other things showing your progress. This can provide you with extra motivation to push harder and to continue with your journey. Losing weight can be a struggle for anyone.

Having things in place to push you further and to constantly motivate you can be key to your success. After all, you’re much more likely to push yourself harder if you are a couple of points from the next tier on the public leaderboard.

Watching yourself move up some ranks on a leaderboard can be a very motivating experience. You will find yourself constantly striving to get a better score every time you workout.

A mobile app can be a great way to gamify your weight loss experience and make you much more likely to achieve your weight-loss objectives.

3. Social Aspect

a group of friends taking a selfie

Another big benefit that can be gained from using a weight loss app has to be the social aspect of it. Some apps will allow you to connect with your favorite social networks. Others will have their community that you can join and be a part of. Losing weight can be lonely.

If you are going through a difficult journey on your own, you’re likely to find yourself feeling alone at some point. Having someone that you can share with or having a platform to vent can provide you with the guidance you need. It can also provide you with the support that you need to push forward.

Not everyone can go through such a difficult journey on their own. The social aspect can help to further motivate you and give you the added push to keep you consistently striving for your goals.

Noom and WW are two weight loss apps that offer a huge social component.

4. Expert Advice

A lot of the apps out there are taking things even further with helping people lose weight. They are connecting people to weight-loss coaches, nutritionists, and more. This can be one of the best things you do for your weight loss journey if you’re someone who has tried and failed.

As mentioned, losing weight is no easy task. Many lack the knowledge and education that is needed to make smarter dieting and exercise decisions.

If you don’t know what you are supposed to be doing to lose weight, there’s a high likelihood you won’t succeed. Getting actionable advice from nutritionists and experts can be a great way to ensure you are putting yourself in the best position to succeed.

This is where weight loss apps can shine. By giving people the information they need to put into action, it makes it much more likely they get the results they are seeking.

On top of that, many of them have custom foods lists, points systems, and other useful tools for helping you make smart eating choices.

5. Progress Reports

a man points to his weight loss progress report

If you’ve ever been on a weight loss journey, you are likely well aware of how good it can feel to step on a weight scale to see you’ve lost your targeted weight. Having something that can show you tangible progress is essential to keeping you properly motivated.

A weight-loss app typically includes tracking and performance reports.

These things can be used to show you how much progress you’ve made. It will also show you where you need to work harder and some of the things you may need to change.

Having progress reports can be a great way to further motivate yourself and to get you on the right track.

6. Custom Plans to Meet Your Unique Needs

Some apps utilize algorithms to analyze your diet and fitness habits to recommend personalized plans that you can follow and implement. These include fitness programs and even dietary recommendations. Everyone has a different body and lifestyle.

Because of this, you’re not going to have the same needs as everyone else. Having something that can analyze your body and lifestyle habits to provide a personalized and tailored plan can be integral to your success.

The app can tell you how many nutrients you should be getting into your diet, whether you should be supplementing with vitamins, and even what workouts you should be focused on.

All of these things can improve your chances of having success with losing weight. If you attempted to lose weight using a cookie-cutter approach, it’s not likely to have nearly the positive impact that a tailored plan can have.

7. Accountability

This goes along with the social aspect of these apps. One of the things that everyone needs to have when they are looking to lose weight successfully is an accountability partner or something to hold them accountable.

You need something that is going to hold you accountable for not taking action.

Whether it’s not working out one day, eating an ice cream cone, or something else. You need something that can hold you accountable for your actions or lack thereof. While it can be difficult to get this on an app, you’ll find some of them do have accountability aspects.

Whether it’s the community itself or pop-up notifications telling you that you’ve exceeded your caloric intake threshold, you’ll have something constantly reminding you to stay on track.

8. Apps Can Help You Make Important Lifestyle Changes

a big bowl of salad

Losing weight is likely your goal, but the only way you’ll keep the excess weight off is by making key lifestyle changes. A lot of the apps out there are designed to help you make those changes. They encourage you to learn more about healthy eating, fitness, and lifestyles.

Knowing why you are doing what you are doing is just as important as doing it. These apps encourage you to get more familiar with healthy lifestyle habits and they teach you how to incorporate them into your life.

Summary

Overall, there is an app for just about everything now. Some of the apps out there are gimmicks. A weight-loss app is not one of them. A weight loss app can be an essential tool in your weight loss efforts.

Losing weight is not easy.

Having all of the tools and information you need to make the journey easier can be key to your success. The right app can make all of the difference when it comes to tracking and monitoring your progress.

It can help you self-monitor and give you the consistent motivation you need to continue forward on your journey. Losing weight can be a lonely experience if you are going at it alone. Having an app that allows you to share your journey with other like-minded people in similar situations can be advantageous.

You simply need to find the weight loss app that has all of the features that you want and need. An app can be an invaluable part of your weight loss success story.

It can help you track your calorie intake which can put you on the right path towards success.

Knowing which apps to choose is important too. There are many great ones out there – often just looking at the top of the Apple or Android app stores is a good place to start.

Beyond that, Noom, myWW+, and DoFasting are just a few that we recommend.

References:

  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight