Four killer iPhone apps that help you lose weight

Tired of that spare tire? These apps give you all the tools you need to get off the couch, run a 5K, track your calorie count, and even plan your meals.

Intelli-Diet for iPhone not only tracks your calories, but also lays out entire meal plans based on foods you actually like.
Intelli-Diet for iPhone not only tracks your calories, but also lays out entire meal plans based on foods you actually like. Barracuda Partners LLC

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday with way too much pizza and cake. Much as I enjoyed myself, the bulging belly I'm staring at today is a reminder that it's time to drop a few pounds.

I know from past experience that apps can make this a whole lot easier. After all, weight loss is nothing more than math: you just need to burn more calories than you consume. And apps take the guesswork out of it by tracking your caloric intake, deducting calories burned during exercise, and so on.

I've rounded up four winners. Take a look:

Calorie Counter Pro  This is my go-to tool, the one I consider the single most comprehensive diet app available today. I can't list every feature here, but I will point out the coolest: bar code scanning. Just point your iPhone 3GS or 4 at, say, the Cheerios box, and presto: it's added to your daily log. And that helps overcome one of my only complaints with the app: its mammoth database can be hard to search. Calorie Counter Pro costs $2.99.

Couch to 5k  Diet alone won't get the job done. Exercise must be part of the equation--and few exercises burn as many calories as running. Not sure how to start? Couch to 5k ($2.99) gives you a complete program designed to get you off the couch and through a 5K run inside of nine weeks. 

Lose It One of the all-time great freebies, Lose It sets a weight goal, then tracks your daily calories and exercise via one of the prettiest interfaces in the diet-app category. It also lets you connect with friends who use the app and keep tabs on each other's progress. 

Intelli-Diet Apps like Calorie Counter Pro and Lose It merely keep track of what you eat, but Intelli-Diet ($3.99) tells you what to eat, and when. In other words, it actually lays out a diet plan for you, one that's based on the foods you like and/or have. It even generates a shopping list for the meal plans it generates. This is a rising star among iPhone diet apps.

Have you found a diet app you like better? (I understand the newly updated DailyBurn is excellent--and it's a freebie to boot). Talk up your favorites in the comments!

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