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5 BEST new diet and fitness apps

There’s a guzillion diet and fitness apps out there right now and countless more launched everyday. So we tested the latest and handpicked  the best and in this video, spoke to Parisa Louie, founder of the new Watchfit app

1. FOODSWITCH (free)

The one that scans your food as you shop (and gives you healthy alternatives) 

FoodSwitch is created by leading dieticians at British health charity Consensus Action on Salt and Health. You scan the barcodes of the food you are thinking of buying/eating while yore in the supermarket and it gives you healthier alternatives that contain less fat, salt and sugars.

foodswitch app

What does FoodSwitch do?  FoodSwitch is free and assists people who struggle with understanding food labels. Once you scan a barcode it instantly tells you how good/bad the food is for you, with a colour code of red, amber or green illustrating high, medium or low. Along with showing how good/bad the item of food is for you, it also gives you a list of alternatives that are similar to the product but better for you.

When the app first opens you have the choice of FoodSwitch or SaltSwitch. FoodSwitch is for making healthy alternatives for you and your family and SaltSwitch is for people who want alternatives that contain less salt.

Healthista verdict I first downloaded FoodSwitch in the Healthista office, to test out how it worked I scanned the wrapper of the cereal bar that I had snacked on earlier. Everybody stopped in the office as I let out a little squirm, ‘I didn’t realise how bad that was for me.’ I never realised the amount of sugars, calories, saturated fat and salt could be in a little healthy looking package. Within minutes everybody was marching around the office finding things to scan; porridge, yoghurts, fruit and even water.

FoodSwitch is a brilliant app, not only is it easy to use but it really could make a huge difference to my lifestyle. After the dreaded cereal bar incident, I now know that I could rely on the app to change my diet. This one app has changed the snack I eat almost daily, so I know it could change what I eat for my meals too.

2. WATCHFIT (free with subscriptions to progammes from £4.99)

The one that turns diet food logging and exercise into an interactive game

Whether you are wanting to lose weight, tone up, lower your cholesterol, eat a balanced diet, cater for your gluten free diet – there is a plan on Watchfit for you. Users can subscribe to diet and fitness plans of all kinds from experts from around the world including leading nutritionist Amanda Hamilton and superchef Pete Evans.

WatchFit App

How does WatchFit work? WatchFit is simple. When you first open the app you have a variety of different options to choose from, including losing weight, calorie counter, tone up, be happy and more.

The app includes workout plans, a food diary and a list of the achievements you have made. WatchFit also has tonnes of content to help you including how-to articles and workout videos with top trainers along with the option to share a picture of each meal you eat with your social networks (keeps you on your toes!). It also doubles up as a calorie counter which allows you to keep an eye on your progress over time.

Healthista verdict WatchFit is an excellent app, there are so many different exciting layers to it. I enjoyed how you could upload photos of your meals; this was motivating for me because it meant I could show off to everybody what a healthy meal I had enjoyed. I wouldn’t want to post an unhealthy meal, so therefore I ate well and prepared everything myself.

I’m not a member of the gym so this app was perfect, I told it that I was exercising from home and it still gave me a brilliant workout using videos. It just shows that you don’t have to go to a gym or own equipment to be super fit and healthy.

I also liked the gaming aspect. You can gain points for doing well, this seemed more like fun than a health and fitness regime to me. The extra points kept me motivated and brought the competitive streak out in me.

3. POWERWALK (£1.99)

The one that turns couch potatoes into power walking machines

This app is for all of you couch potatoes out there, its aim is to get you off the sofa and out there walking. This is for women who aren’t used to working out, there is no running needed; just walking and its total training programme claims to get you fit in 12 weeks.

powerwalk app

What does PowerWalk do? PowerWalk is an easy step into living a more active lifestyle. It only requires you to walk four times a week and will create a schedule for you to live by which is simple to follow and gets you really motivated. There is also a wide variety of playlists to choose from which will make you want to go out there and get walking. It also records the distance and pace of where you have walked, along with a map route of your exact journey.

HEALTHISTA VERDICT Sometimes I can be a little bit of a lazy couch potato, especially at the weekends. I was slightly reluctant to try this app out as I was unsure that walking could make a big difference to my lifestyle – however I was pleasantly surprised. PowerWalk is an encouraging app, with the fitness schedule already planned out and a good choice of music it just made me want to walk further and further each time.

The good thing about this app is that you can use it on a treadmill too, so it is not just restricted to walking outside. This app is perfect for people who are worried about going to the gym or lack will power in working out.

4. NUTRACHECK (free app with full club membership from £1.93 a month)

The one that logs your emo-eating moments along with your food and fitness

Nutracheck is a free calorie counter app; it has a variety of  clever parts to it that can change your eating habits quickly including creating you a food diary where you can keep an eye on your progress overtime and record your emo-eating moments.

nutracheck app

What does Nutracheck do? You can scan the barcode of food, or you can choose from a variety of different pictures to find the food you’re looking for. It’s simple to use especially when you’re in a hurry. A special part of this app is called ‘emotional eater,’ which allows you to choose which mood/situation you are in when you’re eating. You can choose from: angry, bored, contented, ravenous, reward, stressed, celebratory meal, hangover recovery, nothing to eat at home, too tired to cook. From these options you can see when you are most likely to eat unhealthily and how to avoid these cravings. Its calorie counter is fantastic on the fast-food and restaurant eating front with just about every take away known to mankind listed.

Along with it being a calorie counter it also records how much exercise you do and how many calories you have burnt. This app is aimed at ‘normal’ people who want to get fit and healthy without feeling like they are training for the Olympics.

The idea is for you to join the paid Nutracheck diet community – it’s kind of like a high-tech slimming club – which brings you tonnes of online resources such as live weigh-ins (yikes!) and extra expert support for around £1.93 a week.

HEALTHISTA VERDICT The picture catalogue of food makes it very easy to use, in seconds you can find what you are looking for rather than going through lots of writing and settling for something similar. This makes it very accurate and reliable. I have found in the past that some calorie counter apps are confusing to use, whereas Nutracheck avoids this completely.

My favourite part of the app is ‘emotional eater’, this highlighted that I was snacking the most when I was bored. From this app I have worked out what my triggers are for unhealthy eating and how I can avoid this happening in the future.

5. VIVA LA VITA (free)

The one that lets you book alternative fitness classes in London

Viva La Vita is a brand new app launched last week that allows you to book quirky fitness classes in London from rooftop yoga at the Shard to Krav Maga. This app is a fun way of choosing a last minute activity you might not usually do, and opening new opportunities of exercise that you may enjoy.

viva la vita app

What does Viva La Vita do? Viva La Vita enables you to log in with your Facebook details, it highlights the top 20 best sessions that are happening today, tomorrow and in the next few days. You can book the class instantly and receive a ticket of admittance to the class, which is saved to the app. Through booking though Viva La Vita the classes are all discounted too which means you can work out in an eccentric way for a good price.


Healthista verdict As you can only order the tickets last minute it adds an element of excitement as you’re being spontaneous and trying something different. The tickets are easy to purchase and the app is set out in a simple way. Viva La Vita shows that working out can be different and fun at the same time. Great for anyone bored with their Body Pump class.


Although these five new apps will be your new best friends, don’t forget our old favourites – here are the two apps we (still) couldn’t live without.

MyFitnessPal_610x386My Fitness Pal

This is a brilliant calorie counter which allows you to keep a food diary everyday. You choose your aim, whether you want to lose a certain amount of weight or just want to  have a healthier diet. At the end of each day you can see your progress and watch your diet improve.


Sworkit is the perfect app which allows you to work out wherever you are. All you  have to do is choose the part of your body which you want to focus on, and how much time you have and then it takes you through a high intensity interval training (HIIT) work out with only your body weight – no equipment needed. And the workouts are different each time. Our editor Anna Magee is addicted.


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