Many of the best known diet plans, such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Nutrisystem, and South Beach Diet, have been around for decades—much longer than the iPhone, Apple Watch, and other mobile devices have existed. Yet, to help make these well-established diet plans easier to follow on a day-to-day basis, they each offer a proprietary iPhone (and in some cases Apple Watch) app.
Skip Meetings with the Weight Watchers App
Weight Watchers encourages its subscribers to follow a very specific diet plan, to participate in in-person group meetings, and to interact with a personal Weight Watchers specialist who is trained to keep clients motivated and on track.
For people who are too busy to attend in-person meetings, but want to benefit from the Weight Watchers program, the iPhone app allows paid subscribers to interact with a certified coach via text message, any time day or night. These coaches are on hand to offer guidance, motivation, and advice directly from the app (assuming your iPhone has Internet access).
The tools built in to the app also make for easy tracking of your food, weight, and activity on an ongoing basis, and can take advantage of a fitness/activity tracker (from Fitbit or Jawbone) for data gathering. The app also includes many healthy Weight Watchers-approved recipes (one of which is shown in Figure 10.13).
Figure 10.13 The Weight Watchers iPhone app offers tools that can supplement your in-person group and one-on-one coach meetings, and help you efficiently log your meals.
Throughout the day, you can use the app for information about foods, restaurants, and recipes, and access tools to help you decide what to eat based on your personal goals. The Cheat Sheets, for example, let you select a food, like pizza, add virtual toppings, and then see the “PointsPlus” value of that food prior to eating it (shown in Figure 10.14).
Figure 10.14 Use the app’s Cheat Sheets option to try “what if” food scenarios. For example, you can see the impact of eating a slice of plain cheese pizza versus eating a slice of pizza with pepperoni, ham, and/or other toppings.
Diet High-Tech with the Jenny Craig App
The goal of the Jenny Craig app is to provide ongoing support when and where you need it, beyond what you receive from your in-person, one-on-one personal consultant. However, to access the tools and features of this app, you must be enrolled in a paid Jenny Craig program.
Among the features of this app include the ability to monitor calories consumed, and view your progress using an “at-a-glance interactive tracker.” You can also use the app to plan daily meals and track your fluctuating body measurements.
From the app, you can view (and order) more than 80 Jenny’s Cuisine menu items, and locate the closest Jenny Craig Weight Loss Center to wherever you happen to be.
Follow the Nutrisystem Diet Plan from Your iPhone
Designed exclusively for Nutrisystem customers, the proprietary NuMi app not only helps you monitor your food and drink intake, as well as your activity throughout each day, it also includes a database of more than 250,000 restaurants nationwide, and you can use it to help you choose the best menu options based on your personalized goals. (Your phone’s GPS displays all the supported restaurants that are close to you.)
When dining at home, you can scan barcodes for pre-packaged foods, or easily enter the foods you consume. The app also offers on-the-go weight loss advice, and syncs data with many of the popular fitness/activity trackers on the market, so manual data entry is kept to a minimum.
This app is customized based on your particular Nutrisystem plan. The app grants you access to thousands of recipes, and it offers recommendations throughout the day in terms of when to engage in physical activity, and when to eat. This information is tailored to your personal diet plan and goals.
The NuMi app supplements the in-person resources and other tools the Nutrisystem diet plan offers. The app shares data with the Health app, enabling you to more easily gather and organize all fitness/activity, diet, nutrition, and sleep information.