5 Best Weight-Loss Apps for 2015

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The start of the new year means resolutions, many related to healthy living and weight loss. Hitting your weight target and keeping yourself accountable for the calories you eat has never been easier thanks to the huge selection of weight-loss apps. This year our list of the best weight-loss apps includes a couple of newcomers. Here are the top five.

1. MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter.

Ranking first on our list again in 2015, this diet app provides everything needed for sustainable weight loss. The app features calorie counts for more than three million foods and the number of calories burned in some 350 aerobic and strength-building exercises. The resulting account of your caloric intake is plotted in charts against your goals. All data and analysis can be viewed on a website and on mobile devices.

Convenience is one of the app's main selling points. Everything is backed up to the cloud, so there are no worries about losing your information. All goals are fully customizable, and a built-in bar code scanner lets you input what you're eating. The app also supports custom recipes and calorie counts, which can be saved for easy use.

Between Android and iTunes, the app garners more than one million ratings and a near perfect score, with most of the few complaints centering on (infrequent) crashing.

2. Fitocracy.

Fitocracy shifts the focus on losing weight and getting in shape from calorie counting to motivation and exercise. Somewhat like a video game, Fitocracy treats exercise as quests -- each time you complete an activity, points are awarded. After enough successful workouts, you ascend a level.

This focus on attainable, incremental gains makes Fitocracy satisfying and addictive -- exactly what's needed for weight loss, weight management, and a healthy life style. Additionally, the app features a strong community of users who encourage exercise and provide tips for more effective routines. A paid account, for $4.99 a month, comes with private messaging, unlimited saves of your own workouts, and the ability to save others' workouts.

Reviewers rave about the game-like nature of the application and the strong community vibe. Many cite this app as being perfect for folks who want to exercise but have trouble finding the motivation.

3. Nexercise Challenges/NexTrack.

This weight-loss fitness app turns almost any activity into a possible source of calorie-burning fun. It lets users select from a database of approximately 200 different activities that are recorded by the app and crunched for weight-loss impact. There is a community leader board where you can measure your progress, and unlockable badges (again, think video game) that reward losing weight.

Reviewers generally enthuse about Challenges/NexTrack. Mashable placed it on a list of top health and fitness apps and the Huffington Post declared it a boon for lazy folks with a hankering to be fit. Online comments from users note how the app keeps them motivated and makes exercise a fun, communal activity.

4. Lose It!

This weight-loss app retains a spot on our list of "bests" due to its feature-packed functionality. The app boasts a barcode scanner for tracking calories in prepared foods, an exercise log, a tracking function for food and exercise and another for weight goals. It allows connection to Twitter and Facebook, and offers peer support and challenges that range from weight loss to the amount of fruits and vegetables eaten. Unfortunately, to make full use of Lose It!, you'll need the premium version at $39.99 a year, which includes a pedometer, notepad, meal and workout planning, and a calories-burned-per-minute calculation for exercises.

Reviewers note that Lose It! works extremely well for folks seeking a simple app with a lot of versatility. Everything about this weight-loss app is designed to be as seamless and user-friendly as possible, letting you focus on losing weight instead of messing with the app.

5. Endomondo.

A new entrant on our list of best weight-loss applications, Endomondo focuses on healthy exercise and working out rather than calorie counting. The application functions as a personal trainer in your pocket that provides encouragement through feedback and inspirational audio messages at regular intervals throughout the exercise session. The app also tracks distance-based exertions, ranging from walking to kayaking.

Like Fitocracy, Endomondo promotes a healthy degree of competition among friends. The application lets you share results on Google+ and Facebook and challenge friends through an in-app newsfeed. It also features workout goals, opportunities to win prizes, and the ability to send and receive audio pep talks to and from friends.

Online reviews report that the app accurately tracks activity and motivates users to engage in more challenging workouts than they would on their own.

Weight Loss App
Notable Features
Google Play
Windows Phone
MyFitnessPal Calorie CounterFreeExtensive food database; calorie count input for personal recipes; barcode scanner; exercise and calorie tracking; weight-loss and goal charting; detailed fitness reports online4.5 stars4.5 stars (Top Developer)2.5 stars
FitocracyFree*Workout videos and guidelines; forums and active community; levels to make it feel like a game4.5 stars3.5 starsN/A
Free*Tracking of almost 200 activities; competition with friends; medals unlocked with activity4.5 stars4.5 starsN/A
Lose It!Free*Food and exercise tracker; barcode scanner; calorie budgeting4.5 stars4.5 starsN/A
EndomondoFree*GPS tracking of exercise; competition with friends through social networks; pep talks during exercise4.5 stars4.2 stars (Editors' Choice)4.3 stars

* In-app purchases

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