Top 8 free health apps for tracking your diet, healthy habits, and mindfulness. to take Your health To the Next Level
Have you ever made a goal, written it down, but had a hard time making it happen? For most of us, we need a place to track, or have accessible information to review. We probably have our phones with us more than any other item. Utilizing what our phones offer such as apps can help us be successful with our health goals.
Apps have taken over the digital world including the nutrition/fitness world. Just about every company has their own app, or new companies have been created that started as an app. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out which ones are easy to use and actually helpful.
5 Steps for finding which app is right for you
- First, figure out what you’re already doing in your health journey that is working. Maybe you track your walking with a watch or you feel comfortable meal planning.
- Next you need to figure out what you need some extra help with in your health journey. Maybe it’s tracking macros or maybe it’s understanding nutrition labels and deciding between products.
- Now that you have figured out what you need you can focus on apps that fill that need. There can be overlap, with apps such as tracking macros throughout the day and searching nutrition within food products. You don’t have to use everything on the app to make it helpful for you.
- Read reviews (like this post), sometimes it’s hard to figure out what the app includes until you try it out. I like to read reviews to get a better feel for how the app is to use.
- Try different apps. It’s hard when apps cost money, but sometimes that extra $3.00 is worth it to find an app that you like.
I tested out multiple apps and narrowed them down to this list. I focused on ease of use, lack of annoying ads and if you could use the basics without having to pay.
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- The basics of the Livestrong app are free, you can pay for extra but everything you need is free.
- I like this app for tracking macros and overall calories.
- There are a lot of food options to choose from and you can even scan products to add.
- You can set goals for calories, macro, water and even individual nutrients like sugar or salt.
- You can add common meals you eat, so you don’t have to re-enter each part of the meal every time.
- You can track your exercise and there are even short workouts on there too.
- It’s very easy and simple to use.
You can use this app for what you need. Personally I have used this app to track some of my common meals to give me an idea of what I’m eating. It helped me see what changes I could make to meals and gave me an average for my meals moving forward.
I included the MyFitnessPal app because it’s pretty popular and it’s free for the basics.
- You can do the bare minimum without buying the premium subscription, it’s about $20/mo.
- It was simple to input foods, and you can scan products in too.
- I found the layout a little confusing.
- There are also workouts on it, but you have to pay for those as well.
If you don’t need to track, but want to find the nutrition info and macro breakdowns for food this is for you. This is a very basic app, but has a large database of foods.
- You can search foods and find different brands or scan products
- There is info on the macros and the nutrition label, which will change based on the serving size you choose.
Find app on Apple
There is only one part of Fooducate that I like, it can be handy to use when comparing products. The app rates food products based on the type and quantity of ingredients, and how processed it is. The downside is that the app considers all the ingredients, so if there are certain ones that you are more focused on you cannot filter it. The app just gives an A-D for the product as a whole. This is also a website so you don’t have to download the app.
- You can search products and compare them based on their ingredients.
- You scan products too
- There is more on the app, like a food/macro tracker, but I didn’t care for it as much as the other apps.
- You can upload recipes from websites (even the ones on here), pictures or manually.
- You can add any of ingredients to a shopping list
- You can plan out on the calendar which meals you’re going to make when.
An important part of health goals is staying focused and productively working towards those goals. I find practicing meditation or mindfulness can help me reset and refocus on my goals.
This is a free app that helps you track your goals. It has a timer for timed goals such as journaling.
- Simple layout and easy to use.
- Able to customize goals
- Have reminders if you want
- Can track your progress
- You can share your goals with someone else through the app for when you have a motivation partner.
Get it on Apple
Smiling mind app helps with mindfulness.
- Short mindfulness audios to listen to and follow along
- Programs on different topics like sleep, stress or basics of mindfulness
- Tracks your progress
- Easy to use and simple design
The Soothing Pod app has a little of everything. If you like more meditation style, there are guided meditations and meditation music options.
- Meditation music without audio
- Guided meditations
- No progress tracking options
Get it on Apple
All of these apps are free to try. You may have one in mind that would be helpful for a habit you’re trying to create. You don’t have to us the app forever, they can be helpful if only used for a few weeks. Sometimes when you need that little extra accountability, organization or motivation health apps can help.