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Lose it all with these great weight loss iPhone apps

by Kate Currin

Smartphone owners hoping to shed a few pounds can choose from a wide selection of calorie-counting and nutritional consumption apps to meet and maintain their weight loss goals. The iPhone, and to a lesser extent Blackberrys and Android devices, can be a dieter's best friend. While the free and popular Lose It! iPhone app remains a great option for tracking your intake and activities, dialing into these alternatives can also keep you fit, healthy and trim.

Fast Food Calorie Counter (99 cents)

Finding a healthy choice at your local fast food joint can be a daunting task. Sometimes life’s craziness requires a quick stop at Mickey D’s, so download the Fast Food Calorie Counter app (99 cents) to help rein in the crazy calorie counts. With its wide selection of restaurants, you should have no problem finding a semi-healthy lunch on the road.

DailyBurn (Free)

This calorie, workout and weight tracker is a free iPhone app extension of a popular online fitness social network. Similar to Lose It!, which was made for the iPhone, DailyBurn tracks results from your daily workouts and keeps track of nutritional counts. DailyBurn is useful if you are looking for easy access to the service from your laptop or desktop computer. If you like DailyBurn, you should also check out its companion iPhone app FoodScanner (made by the same developer). Currently available for 99 cents, FoodScanner detects caloric and nutritional information by scanning food UPC barcodes with your iPhone.

Weight Watchers Mobile (Free)

I’ve used Weight Watchers online tools in the past, and they definitely worked for me. I used the Points system to track my daily food allotment and lost more than 10 pounds. After a while, I got bored with going online every day to track my food intake, but I would consider trying it again now that they’ve launched this handy mobile app. The app is free, but requires a subscription to Weight Watchers in order to use the tools.

CookWell ($1.99)

A cardinal rule of weight loss is to cook more at home, while eating out less often. If you aren’t the cooking type, check out the CookWell app. At $1.99, this app has everything the novice cook needs to start cooking well in the kitchen while moving closer to achieving any weight loss goals. The app includes a comprehensive tutorial that walks you through the basics, and keeps you coming back with daily tips and assignments.

Fresh Fruit (Free)

Lately, my number one weight maintenance mantra is eating the rainbow and choosing fruits of all colors. Luckily, I spent a couple years working at a Whole Foods Market so I know how to eat a kumquat and when guava is in season. If you aren’t so up on your fruits, get this free fresh fruit app and start impressing fellow shoppers in the produce section.

Women’s Health Slim Down Shopping List (Free)

While we are on the topic of becoming a better grocery shopper, check out the free Women’s Health Slim Down Shopping List. The app gives you the lowdown on more than 240 packaged goods that are healthy-diet worthy. It also doles out recommendations based on your performance goals. For instance, did you know that nutrient-heavy Vitamuffins promote weight loss? Me neither, but I do now.

Affirmations for Health (99 cents)

We all know that a good diet and workout regime can be instantly ruined by a bad day at work. So make sure to pamper your mental state whenever embarking on a new fitness and diet plan. I like the Affirmations for Health by Louise L. Hay, “I Can Do It” cards app. For only 99 cents, it peps me up and keeps me progressing on my journey to becoming the best I can be.

Lose It! (Free)

If none of these options sound appealing, you can always tap into this pioneering app. One of the most downloaded titles ever to emerge from the App Store’s Healthcare & Fitness category, Lose It! challenges you to set daily calorie intake and workout regimen goals, while providing the tools and motivational encouragement to meet them. If you don’t see a particular food or activity in Lose It’s database, no worries. The app invites you to add new recipes and training programs on the fly. Once you achieve your desired weight, go ahead and share your success with Lose It’s thousands of fans on Facebook.

Ample Android options

The iPhone is no longer the only app game in town. There are nearly 100,000 apps that can be accessed from Android-based smartphones. At $4.99, Absolute Fitness is arguably the most comprehensive fitness and dieting Android app available. Absolute Fitness is similar to Lose It! and DailyBurn, but goes deeper with tools that calculate your daily nutrients as well as track body fat and blood pressure. There is also a Fast Food Calorie Counter ($2.99) Android app that lists dietary information for 73 restaurants, and a free Diet Points Calculator that tracks your daily fat and calorie intake.

Best of BlackBerry

While there are not nearly as many apps available for Blackberrys, owners of the more business-oriented smartphone can still find a few options to battle the bulge while on the go. “The Calorie Counter for BlackBerry by MyNetDiary app, which is free to download but requires a $5 monthly subscription to use, is the best place to start. The app also includes custom recipes and workout programs.” If you'd rather make a one-time down payment on a nutrition and activity BlackBerry app, try Fit Pro - Sport and Diet for $8.99. The cheaper Diet Calendar app is also a good, albeit more limited, option.