If you’ve ever actively tried to lose weight, you know how important it is to track your progress.
There’s no shortage of options when it comes to weight loss apps. And in this article, I’m going to take a close look at a few of the best ones you can use for free.
The Best Free Weight Loss Apps
I tested seven popular and highly-rated apps — including Cronometer, MyFitnessPal and Lose It! — to find out which features of the apps you can access with a free account.
See the table below for a quick overview of those features and which apps offer them. Then keep reading to find information on subscription options, availability and how to get started using each app.
Best for Nutrient Tracking
Free Features: Barcode scanner, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, nutrient tracker, progress charts
Availability: iPhone or Android
Optional Subscription: Gold Membership ($49.99/year)
The Cronometer app is simple to download and use whether you’re an avid calorie counter or new to active dieting. What makes this app stand out is the amount of nutrient tracking information you can access with a free account. In addition to calories, the app monitors macronutrient goals and provides a nutrient summary including vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids and protein.
If you’re interested in keeping tabs on all of this and more, consider downloading Cronometer. To sign up, you’ll be asked a few introductory questions including your gender, birthday, height and weight. Then you’ll be asked to set a weight goal, enter an email address and create a password.
On the homepage, you’ll see the date, your food diary and a breakdown of daily calories. It includes those consumed, those burned and those remaining. You can click the plus sign at the bottom of the screen at any time to add food or scan a barcode. The app also lets you add notes, adjust your biometrics and log your exercise.
When you add food, you can indicate the amount and serving size, then see a summary of calories as well as a complete nutrient summary. You can also save foods and recipes in the “Foods” tab. In the “Trends” tab, you can see an overview of how many calories you’ve consumed in the past week and a nutrition report. The report shows you calories consumed, calories burned, calories remaining, micronutrients and more.
In the “Settings” tab, you can manage your target goals, connect devices or health data and update other account/ biometric information without having to upgrade to the paid membership.
Best for Community
Free Features: Barcode scanner, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, in-app community, in-app rewards, progress charts, recipes, reminders, water tracker, weight log
Availability: iPhone or Android
Optional Subscription: Pro Membership ($9.99/month, $49.99/year or $119.99/lifetime)
If you need a community for support, Fooducate may be the best free weight loss app for you. The “Community” tab in the app allows you to see trending and recent posts from other Fooducate users. You can follow and message others on the app or start a discussion by writing a post or sharing a photo.
After you’ve downloaded the app, created a free account and answered a few questions about your lifestyle, you’ll be able to see your recommended daily calories and make modifications to your diet plan.
In the free version, you can add your target weight and a target date for achieving your goal. You can also see up to six months’ weight loss progress. In addition, you can track your calorie intake, calorie quality, some nutrients and water intake up to a month in the past.
Across the bottom of the app, you’ll find a few different features including the “Food Finder” barcode and the main “Tracker” home tab. On this page, you’ll see how many calories you have left for the day. You can also click the plus sign at the bottom to add water, food, exercises, mood, hunger, weight, sleep or additional notes. Unfortunately, the free version doesn’t allow you to log body measurements.
The “Recipes” tab comes with tons of trending, recent and “favorited” healthy recipes from other users. You can also upload and share your own! The last tab, “Diet Tips,” contains recent articles, references, tips and tricks shared by other Fooducate users.
The app also allows you to choose how often you receive motivation notifications designed to help you achieve your goals: every meal, once a day, once a week or not at all.
3. My Diet Coach
Best for Motivation
Free Features: Barcode scanner, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, in-app challenges, in-app rewards, reminders
Optional Subscription: Premium Membership ($4.99/week after a one-week free trial)
My Diet Coach is a fun way to stay motivated and engaged while counting calories and tracking exercise.
After you’ve downloaded My Diet Coach and set up your free account, you’ll be asked to enter your current weight and goal weight. Once you decide on a goal, you’ll be asked to select or enter a reason why you want to achieve your goal. It may be “to feel good about myself,” or “to improve the quality of my life.” Then, you can choose to be reminded of your goal at a time and frequency that works best for you. Your goal weight and reason will also be displayed on the home page of your app alongside your avatar.
You can use the “Reminders” tab to control motivational reminders and set new reminders to drink more water, go to the gym and more.
In the “Diary” tab, you’ll be able to see a running count of daily calories consumed versus calories remaining. You can swipe up on the tab to see more detailed information including a daily nutrition distribution chart. Above that, you’ll see options to log food and activities, scan a barcode and more.
In the “Challenges” tab, you’ll be able to set challenges for yourself and monitor your progress. The “Motivation” tab tracks your in-app points and provides a daily quote. It also displays motivational pictures that you take or upload and lets you customize your avatar. As you complete more activities in the app, you’ll earn more points to unlock digital rewards that allow you to style your avatar.
You can also click on your profile to connect to other health and fitness apps for free.
Best for Calorie Counting
Free Features: Barcode scanner, body measurements, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, in-app challenges, in-app community, nutrient tracker, progress charts, recipes, reminders, water tracker, weight log
Availability: iPhone and Android
Optional Subscription: Premium Membership ($19.99/month after a one-month free trial or $79.99/year)
I used MyFitnessPal for calorie counting a few years ago, and I was happy to see the app is still easy to use and has some new and improved features. If you’re looking for a simple calorie counter/food log, MyFitnessPal may be the best free weight loss app for you.
Once you’ve created your account and answered a few questions about your body type, activity level and goals, you’ll be ready to get started. You can start a one-month free trial of the premium features or simply click the “X” to continue using the app’s free features.
Based on your responses to those initial questions, you’ll see your target amount of calories for the day across the top of the app on the home screen. It’ll also display how many calories you’ve logged, how many you’ve burned from exercise and how many you have left for the day. You can scroll down to browse recent articles, fitness tips and healthy recipes from around the web.
In the “Diary” tab, you can keep a log of your food, water and workouts for free. At the bottom of your daily entries, you can add food or exercise notes. You can also view a breakdown of your daily nutrition including calories, nutrients and macros. You can always click the plus sign to log your weight, food, water, exercise or add a new status.
In the “Progress” tab, you can view charts tracking your steps, weight, neck, waist and hip measurements. In the “More” tab, you can adjust your profile information, upgrade to premium status and set goals for yourself. You can also add meals, recipes, foods, reminders, and you can link other apps or devices without having to upgrade.
Best for Tracking Weight
Free Features: Barcode scanner, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, GPS access, in-app community, nutrient tracker, progress charts, reminders, water tracker, weight log, recipes
Availability: iPhone and Android
Optional Subscription: Premium Membership ($8.99/month or $59.99/year)
Most of the apps on this list will keep track of your weight and help guide you to lose it, but MyNetDiary encourages you to weigh in daily and displays your weekly weight progress on the home page. If losing weight is your main motivator, MyNetDiary may be worth trying out.
Once you’ve downloaded the app and created a free account, you’ll enter some basic information. You can also import it from your phone’s health app. Then, you’ll need to create a goal weight, a target date and a weekly weight loss goal.
The “Coach” tab allows you to view progress charts and advice. You’ll also find additional resources here including an app guide, tips and tricks. It also includes a library that contains articles specific to nutrition and weight loss along with how-to guides.
The plus sign in the center allows you to log any meal or snack, scan a barcode, add an exercise or log your water intake. When you track workouts, you can search for activities or add a custom workout. You can also link your phone’s GPS to allow the app to track your run, walk, bike ride and more.
The “Social” tab gives you access to forums used by other MyNetDiary members. Scroll down to check out the featured dietitian’s blog or create your own personal blog to keep track of your journey.
Click on the “Me” tab to update your account settings, measurements and personal information. You can even take and upload before and after photos! You can also link other apps and devices and import recipes directly from the web. The grocery check feature in this tab allows you to scan barcodes and quickly compare the nutritional value of foods while you’re shopping.
Best for Beginners
Free Features: Barcode scanner, body measurements, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, progress charts, water tracker, weight log
Availability: iPhone and Android
Optional Subscription: Premium Membership: $14.99/quarterly, $34.99/semiannually or $49.99/annually. The app may offer discounts.
If you’re new to dieting or aren’t sure how to approach weight loss, an app like Lifesum is a great place to begin. While a lot of its features are reserved for premium memberships (which we’ve seen as low as $3.33/month with a discounted annual subscription through the app), its free “classic dieting” plan offers everything you’ll need to get started.
Once you’ve downloaded the app and created an account, you’ll be asked to fill out the standard information and set a goal weight and target date. The app will also ask you to allow notifications so that it can help you stay motivated.
To get started, you can click the plus sign at the bottom of the screen. This will allow you to log your weight, water intake, exercise, breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. While adding food, you can search the app, scan a barcode or choose from a recent favorite. While you’ll need to upgrade to get all the app’s food insights, you can view calories, carbs, protein and fat for free.
The “Diary” tab will keep track of your logged food, water and exercise. It’ll also show a breakdown of your remaining calories, carbs protein and fat.
In the “Me” tab, you can keep track of your favorite recipes, food, meals and exercises. Here, you can also check in on your goal weight progress over time. You can even log and track your waist measurement for free. Under “Statistics,” you can view your average calorie intake.
The “Recipes” tab is reserved for premium subscribers. Still, the other free features of the app allow you to track your basic calorie intake, weight loss and keep a log of your food, water and exercise. That makes it perfect for beginners!
7. Lose It!
Best for Busy People
Free Features: Barcode scanner, calorie counter, exercise log, food diary, goal setting, progress charts, reminders, weight log
Availability: iPhone and Android
Optional Subscription: Premium Membership ($39.99/year after a one-week free trial; promotional pricing is sometimes available.)
If you’re looking for a free weight loss app that you can use on the go, Lose It! may be worth your time. It’s fast and easy to set up, and the free features are more than you’ll need to begin tracking your calories, food quality and weight.
Once you download Lose It! and set up your free account, you’ll be able to enter your goal weight. Then, you can indicate how quickly you’d like to reach your goal (by losing 1/2-2 pounds weekly). From there, you can follow the tutorial to get started or skip it to begin exploring the app’s features on your own.
The “My Day” tab shows a summary including your daily calorie budget and a weekly summary of your calorie intake. It even includes macronutrients! Scroll down to see featured articles in this tab. The “Log” tab is where you’ll find your daily food diary and a breakdown of your daily calories/macronutrients. You can also swipe down to see a summary of the current week.
Use the plus sign at the bottom of the app to log your weight, breakfast, lunch, dinner, exercise and snacks throughout the day. Beside each meal in your food log, you can click to add an entry or scan food with your camera. In addition to barcodes, the app can scan food items and make estimates on its nutritional value.
The “Goals” tab includes a weight chart ranging from the past week to all-time. You can also see a chart depicting your future plans. In the “Social” tab, you can view or share posts with your friends who are also using Lose It!
No matter which free weight loss app you download, be sure to consult with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet or exercise routine. While each of these apps recommends a number of daily calories, nothing replaces the advice of a trained medical professional.
While all of these apps offer paid premium subscription options, you don’t have to spend anything to begin tracking your weight loss or healthy eating journey. The free features available in each app are enough to help you begin counting calories, logging your food and tracking your progress.
What’s your favorite free weight loss app? Let us know in our Clark.com Community!