5 Health and Fitness Apps to Help You Stay Healthy

If you're trying to lose weight or have to work at maintaining a healthy weight, you're not alone. An estimated 68 percent of all adults in the United States are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Packing around too many pounds is a major risk factor for chronic disease, so it's important to figure out what works for you to shed those unwanted pounds.

Hiring a personal trainer, chef, and wellness coach to follow you around would probably help you get the weight off. But that's probably not realistic for most people. Fortunately, a host of mobile apps are available that can help you set weight loss goals, eat healthier, and exercise regularly to tip the scale in the right direction. In fact, in a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, people who combined traditional weight loss practices along with using a mobile app lost an average of 15 pounds and kept it off for a year.

Check out these top-rated health and fitness apps to help you stay healthy:

Lose It! > Walk into the grocery store armed with this mobile app, and it will help you make healthier food choices. Scan any packaged product with the app's barcode scanner, and you'll get easy-to-understand nutrition data to help you decide if you should buy that item or put it back on the shelf for something healthier. This app helps you track calories, make healthier food choices, get regular exercise, and work towards realistic weight loss goals.

MyFitnessPal > Add this mobile app to your weight loss efforts, and you'll have the tools you need to improve your diet, get regular exercise, and drop those unwanted pounds. MyFitnessPal helps you track daily calorie intake and exercise. And the reporting tools can help you see your progress and motivate you to stick with the program.

Fooducate > If you're not used to paying attention to what you eat, you've got a bit of a learning curve to clean up your diet. Fortunately, Fooducate makes the process easy. Use the app's barcode scanner on any packaged food, and you'll see if the item is a healthy A-grade food that should be part of your diet, or gets red-flagged with an F for being totally unhealthy. The app can even help you create a healthy shopping list that goes with you to the store (unlike the one written on a scrap of paper that always seems to go missing).

iTrackBites > Modeled after the highly successful point system similar to Weight Watchers, iTrackBites helps you manage calories, make healthier food choices, and change your eating habits. Stick to your point-total goal for the day, and you'll get results.

Fitocracy > If you've ever felt like exercise was a chore, you're not alone. But that's the very reason two out-of-shape video game addicts created this app. Join the Fitocracy, and you'll soon see how exercise can be fun instead of something you try to avoid.

These apps can help you improve your diet and get regular exercise. And if you need a little help figuring out what to eat, don't forget to check out the Portion Control meals at MagicKitchen.com