Digital Dieting: Apps for Healthy Eating

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Digital Dieting: Apps for Healthy Eating
Photo courtesy Green Kitchen

If the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, then the journey of a healthy lifestyle begins with a single app. Or, in this case, 10 apps, all of them designed to help you eat healthier, cook healthier and live healthier. Sounds like 10 steps in the right direction.

Cook This, Not That! ($7.99)
Photo courtesy Cook This, Not That!

Cook This, Not That! ($7.99)

The app version (Android, iOS) of the popular cookbook of the same name promises healthier (and cheaper) home-cooked alternatives to popular restaurant fare. For example, learn to cook a steakhouse-caliber steak while saving $11.23 and 515 calories. CTNT includes more than 140 recipes and lets you pick and choose ingredients to add to a grocery list for easier shopping.

Cook This, Not That!

DietBet (Free)
Photo courtesy DietBet

DietBet (Free)

You've heard of competitive eating? How about competitive weight-loss? Put some money on the table with friends or strangers, then try to lose 4 percent of your body weight in 28 days. The winner takes the pot; multiple winners split the pot. This iOS app helps you track (and brag about) your progress.

DietBet

Fooducate (Free)
Photo courtesy Fooducate

Fooducate (Free)

Most shoppers know the importance of reading food labels, but few have the dietetics degree necessary to decipher them. Fooducate, a free app for Android and iOS, takes the guesswork out of it. Use your smartphone’s camera to scan any barcode and you’ll get an instant overview of that food, including how many calories it contains, what makes it especially good or bad for you, and a letter grade. The app even shows you healthier alternatives.

Fooducate

Green Kitchen ($4.99)
Photo courtesy Green Kitchen

Green Kitchen ($4.99)

If you still think of vegetables as something that need to be choked down, this iOS app might change your outlook. It offers 84 handpicked vegetarian recipes, each with step-by-step cooking directions and gorgeous photos of the dish. You can build a shopping list, save favorites and talk up your favorites on Facebook or Twitter.

Green Kitchen

Livestrong MyPlate (Free)
Livestrong

Livestrong MyPlate (Free)

Successful dieters will tell you that one way to reliably lose weight is to track what you eat. Livestrong's MyPlate lets you set weight loss goals and then track your progress by entering each meal as well as your exercise progress. A huge database of over a million food items means you can choose what you ate from a list without knowing its calorie content.

Livestrong MyPlate

Healthy Desserts ($1.99)
Photo courtesy Healthy Desserts

Healthy Desserts ($1.99)

From the same folks who brought you Green Kitchen, Healthy Desserts (iOS) lives up to its name by serving up indulgent desserts without the guilt. OK, without as much guilt. Thus, you'll get 48 recipes based on natural sweeteners, whole grains, fresh fruits and other healthy-ish ingredients. It's proof positive that you can take the "die" out of "diet."

Healthy Desserts

HealthyOut (Free)
Photo courtesy HealthyOut

HealthyOut (Free)

Restaurants can be the bane of a dieter's existence. Questionable ingredients, huge portions, unknown carb and calorie counts -- it's enough to make you want to stay home. HealthyOut for iOS helps you find the healthy menu items for most major restaurant chains and can give you results based on specific diets (Atkins, low-calorie, Paleo). You can even filter the options by criteria like "not a salad."

HealthyOut

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian ($9.99)
Photo courtesy How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian ($9.99)

Most serious foodies have at least one Mark Bittman cookbook on their shelf. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (iOS) re-creates the eponymous book in app form, with more than 2,000 recipes for meat-free dishes. And unlike print cookbooks, this one features virtual bookmarks, grocery lists, unit converters and timers. The iPad version has even more features. You can even email recipes (up to 10 per month) to family and friends.

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

Locavore (Free)
Photo courtesy Locavore

Locavore (Free)

You've heard of carnivores and omnivores. Now get ready to become a "locavore" -- someone who shops for locally grown foods at farms, farmers markets and community-supported agriculture destinations. The free Locavore app for Android and iOS finds all the places near you, tells you what's in season, lists recipes based on those in-season items, and even connects you with fellow locavores.

Locavore

MyFitnessPal (Free)
Photo courtesy MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal (Free)

Think you're a healthy eater? Try keeping a journal of what you ingest; the list may surprise you. MyFitnessPal, a free app for nearly all mobile devices, tracks every detail of your day, from the foods you eat to the exercises you perform. You can scan barcodes, enter foods manually, or choose favorites from a customized list; the app keeps a running tally of how many calories you have left for the day. It’s a surprisingly effective way to eat healthy and lose weight at the same time.

MyFitnessPal

Smoothies From Whole Living ($1.99)
Photo courtesy Martha Stewart Living

Smoothies From Whole Living ($1.99)

When it comes to healthy eating, it's hard to beat a smoothie. You can toss just about any combination of fruits or vegetables into a blender and end up with a nutritious, delicious drink. Well, maybe not any combination. This iOS app from the folks at "Martha Stewart Living" offers dozens of smoothie recipes divided into six categories, including detox, immunity boosting and weight loss. And each one includes nutrition stats and health perks.

Smoothies from Whole Living

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