Best Meal Planning App For 2019
Have you ever tried making your own meal plan to hit specific macro goals? Or do you like flying by the seat of your pants and logging everything you eat, hoping that in the end you’ll hit all of your macro goals for the week? It’s 2019 (and almost 2020)- time to put technology to good use and have it do all of that hard work for you. Check of the best meal planning app for 2019.
These best meal planning apps will help you automate your diet so you can hit those targets with with less work, more fun, and more delicious food. Whether your goal is to gain weight, lose weight, build muscle or just eat healthier- there’s an app to help you accomplish that.
And now onto the list of the top 10 best meal planning apps.
- Strongr Fastr
Strongr Fastr was built to help people get ripped. Not only do they have high-protein meal plans that are customized to your diet and macro needs, you can get a strength-building gym or bodyweight exercise plan too. It’s loaded with features- adding custom recipes, grocery lists, importing your own workout routines, barcode scanning for off-plan meals, family meal planning, and even super-detailed analytics about how what you’re eating is affecting your weight over time and suggestions for how much to eat, how much protein powder, to reach your goals more efficiently.
The best thing about Strongr Fastr is that it’s the only fitness app you’ll need. It covers diet and exercises and every aspect of the plan is customizable to you. Not feeling chicken for dinner this week? Swap it for a different meal or add in your mom’s famous recipe you’ve been craving. Want to let loose on the weekends? Set your meal plan up for M-F and log (or don’t) what you eat with the barcode scanner or manually add it in. Love your workout routine, but hate a specific exercise? Swap it out for a different exercise. The app will track your progress and automatically increase your load so that workouts remain challenging.
You can download Strongr Fastr for free on the Play Store or App Store or even just use their website. Depending on where you sign up you get either a free trial or a 7 day money back guarantee so you can get a risk-free feel for all the features. Nutrition is 70% of fitness success, exercise is 30%, and Strongr Fastr is one of the few apps that gives you a plan for 100% of what you need to do to get ripped.
Next on the list of top 10 best meal planning apps is MyFitnessPal. A staple for loggers and trackers that is always mentioned on lists like this. It’s perfect for the person who likes a hands off approach and just wants to do what they want and not be told what to do. Also great for people who have their go-to recipes that they use frequently but just need an app to help them fill in the gaps.
With features like barcode scanning, restaurant logging, and nutrient tracking, it can really help people be mindful of what they’re eating. Many people log their meals for a few weeks or months and slowly develop an understanding of how much they’re eating and what they can eat to meet their macros and then learn to apply that knowledge to their life without the app. It can be a great teacher for improving eating habits or making sure you hit precise goals when you’re bulking or cutting.
Another benefit of MFP is that you can log your exercise to make more room in your diet. It really does a great job of highlighting calories-in vs. calories-out and also has a community page where users share tips, ask questions, and post success stories. Upgrading gives you greater analysis and tracking capability and gives you an ad-free experience which is totally worth it.
3. Mealime – Best Meal Planning App
Probably the most simple meal planner out there- you essentially just pick some recipes that look good and add them to your shopping list. Mealime is great for finding recipe inspiration or getting yourself out of a diet rut. Their recipe photos are big and beautiful and the instructions are great for people who need a little extra help in the kitchen.
You have to upgrade in order to see or sort by nutrition information, but the free version is great for those who just want to expand their repertoire and get some more veggies into their diet. They add new recipes each week so there’s always something new to try. A super helpful bonus feature that’s even available in the free version is a hands-free cooking mode. Just place your hand near the top of your phone and the proximity sensor senses it and automatically advances you to the next step in the recipe. It’s perfect for when you have sticky hands or are touching raw meat.
In short, Mealime is perfect for those who want a little bit of guidance and inspiration and aren’t overly concerned with hitting specific nutrition targets but do want some more healthy, vegetable-rich dishes in their diet.
4. Eat This Much – Best Meal Planning App
“Put your diet on autopilot” is their tagline and that’s exactly what Eat This Much does, after telling you how much to eat, of course. Eat This Much started as a tool used for bodybuilders to hit their macros, but has rebranded in order to be able to better help all types of dieters build meal plans that hit their nutrition goals. Along with building a meal plan around you that’s full of healthy recipes, you can even include restaurants as part of your meal plan, scan in barcodes or add custom recipes. It’s a one stop shop for meal planning and is definitely among the top 10 best meal planning apps.
The person who likes to plan and be told what to do and not have to fly by the seat of their pants when dieting would love Eat This Much. Oh- and you can get the groceries delivered via Instacart or Amazon Fresh, which makes it even more of a time and effort saver of an app.
Next on this top 10 best meal planning apps list comes FitGenie. FitGenie is kind of like a meal planning app who went to college. This smart app uses AI to optimize your meal plan, adjusting it overtime so that you don’t plateau and can maximize results. Each week you’ll get an update that details how the app recommends you change your macros and then it will build you a meal plan around that or will give you the details and allow you to track what you eat on your own.
It takes into account a bunch of metrics: body composition, adherence, weight change rate trends, hunger, fatigue, etc. It’s definitely for the person who likes to track everything they eat, except unlike most apps, you’re rewarded with a progress update and new goals based on all that information that’s hiding in your data. Android users beware, right now it’s only for iOS- though they do plan to develop an Android app eventually.
8fit is for you if you want quick HIIT/tabata style workouts and healthy foods galore. It’s another app that addresses the whole fitness gammet- diet and exercise. No equipment or commuting to the gym is required, as the exercise portion is all bodyweight and at-home exercises with workouts that only take about 15-20 minutes. Once you upgrade you are able to have full access to the meal planning side that allows you to build a meal plan around a calorie goal. While you can’t customize down to individual macro levels, meeting your calorie goal is really step number 1 to any weight goal which makes 8fit the perfect addition on this top 10 best meal planning apps list for the person who wants the basics and doesn’t want to spend too much time with the nitty gritty.
8fit is also a great option for the person who gets more inspired by instagram-worthy, healthy meals with some exotic ingredients. With ingredients like bok choy and parsnips, this app will definitely help you get out of your rut and help you expand your palate too while you’re at it. This one’s even got the Editors’ Choice label over at the Play Store so you know it’s going to be pretty to look at and be functional to boot.
I know that now that we’re at #7 on this list of top 10 best meal planning apps, someone is over all of the instagram perfect meal plans that look great but seem totally unrealistic and could never hold a candle to mom’s recipe book. This app is for you- Paprika. It’s full of all your own recipes or recipes you’ve imported from your favorite food bloggers on the internet.
Just type up or import your favorite recipes then build a meal plan full of the recipes you know you’ll love. Though it doesn’t really support meal planning by your macros, you can save meal plans that you know meet your needs so you can go back to them in the future. It takes a little extra leg work, but you can make it happen. Once you have your meal plan built, you just use the grocery list to get everything you need. A unique feature of Paprika is that it has digital pantry where you can keep track of which ingredients you have on hand and when they expire so you can be especially on top of your grocery game. Oh, and it syncs to all devices via the cloud so you can build your meal plan on the work computer and access it later that day on your phone.
Lastly, Paprika also lets you meal plan for an entire month while most apps only let you do the next week or two. Paprika is definitely for the control freak who wants to be in charge of everything- from what they’ll be eating a month from now to the stock levels of their pantry!
Number 8 on the list of the top 10 best meal planning apps is quite a unique one, KptnCook. And it is addicting too. Have you ever spent way too long scrolling through endless recipe ideas, scrolling past the paragraphs of the blogger’s life story, just feeling totally overwhelmed and swamped with all the possibilities? If so, KptnCook is for you. Each day it gives you 3 recipes to look at. That’s not a typo- 3 recipes! That’s it! Then they disappear unless you favorite them. The ones you favorite will slowly collect in your favorites section. Each day there are 3 brand new recipes to check out, so it’s easily digestible and totally not overwhelming. Once you have your list of favorites you can mark the ones you’d like to add to your shopping list and then the grocery list generates for easy shopping.
KptnCook collaborates with food bloggers so the recipes link to the original author in case the 3-recipes-a-day thing isn’t enough for you (or maybe you actually are curious about the blogger’s life story). The recipes always take about 30 minutes to prepare and are fairly realistic. Oh, and they have pictures for each step of the recipe to guide you along the way so being a novice in the kitchen is no excuse!
If you’re a flexitarian or are looking to have some more veggies in your life, this app is for you. While they do have recipes with meat and fish in them, the majority of the recipes are vegetarian or vegan-friendly. Now that you’ve read all that about why KptnCook is on this top 10 best meal planning apps list- I’ve saved the best reason for last- Alcoholic. Cocktail. Recipes. For many people, every realistic meal plan includes a bit of alcohol here or there. The cocktails are all pretty easy but feel fancy, which makes them an ever bigger treat when you’re trying to relax (or show off to your friends).
Lifesum is another classic app for meal planning, another Editors’ Choice app on the Play Store, and both for good reason. The sleek design makes meal planning more fun. There’s tons of cute animations, pretty charts that track your progress, and words of encouragement to keep you going.
The free version allows you to track your diet, water intake, and exercise as well as basic measurements of your progress like weight, BMI, and waist. When you upgrade, you can really up the functionality of the app with a meal plan, healthy recipes, macro tracking, and syncing with other health apps. It’s another option where there’s a spectrum- from do it all yourself through daily tracking to being told exactly what to do. All exercise is self-directed, however.
Lifesum premium is either for the person who just wants to set their own macros and do it their own way or for the person who loves trying new recipes and is looking for recipes with more unique ingredients that are a bit more elevated and evolved (but also more fun). It’s also for the person who could use a bit more encouragement as the app definitely guides you and rewards you when you follow along for the day by saying things like “You should be proud of yourself, you’ve done good!” That kind of encouragement may or may not be for you, but who doesn’t need a little extra encouragement in life?
10. Carb Manager
If you’re keto and struggle to find meal planning apps that are really tailored to your needs, Carb Manager is definitely the way to go. It’s built for carb-conscious people. Sick of recipes that include sugar alcohols and fiber in their carb count? This is the app for you. There are very clear indications of total vs. net carbs, and a massive recipe database filled with low carb and keto recipes. There are also curated keto meal plans if you need more guidance. It’s part tracking, part inspiration, and part curated which makes it an overall quality app worthy of its spot in the top 10 best meal planning apps.
Carb Manager has some crazy features too. Tired of laboriously logging? You can just take a picture of your salmon and broccoli dinner and the app will analyze the picture using its image recognition technology and recommend you log salmon and broccoli. If speaking is more your style, you can also log by just using your voice which makes it all a breeze.
If you’re keto or low-carb, definitely try this app out and join their community. You can participate in challenges, groups and forums which will give you loads of support and motivation to keep it up.
Conclusion of the top 10 best meal planning apps:
Yes, there are tons of meal planning apps to choose from. They all do very similar things- allow you track calories and track macros, help you build healthy meal plans, and in general help you to eat healthier. That doesn’t mean they’re a dime a dozen, though. Want a strength building routine to go along with a high protein meal plan? Strongr Fastr is for you. Want a super pretty app with a lot of extra encouragement but you want to use a different app for working out? Lifesum is for you. How about super quick workouts and instagram-worthy recipe inspo? Then go with 8fit.
Each app has its own spin, its own target market, its own crazy features (looking at you, Carb Manager). It all comes down to what your specific goals are and what you’re looking to use an app for. Just remember, the best diet (or meal planning app) is the one you can stick to for the long term. No matter which you choose, just make sure you take a good before picture because if you stick with the plan, that after picture is going to be 🔥
Alex Rogers is a supplement manufacturing expert. He has been formulating, consulting, & manufacturing dietary supplements since 1998. Alex invented protein customization in 1998 & was the first company to allow consumers to create their own protein blends. He helped create the first supplement to contain natural follistatin, invented whey protein with egg lecithin, & recently imported the world’s first 100% hydrolyzed whey.