The best way to keep up with your New Year's resolution of staying fit and losing weight is to use diet and fitness apps that not only guide you toward your goal but also motivate you to stay fit and healthy.

How Does A Weight Loss App Work?

A weight-loss app monitors your daily activity and your food habits. It concentrates on three main aspects: physical activity, food intake in terms of calories and inspiration to follow the course. You need to mix these features to get into shape and try not to gain weight again.

These apps first need to be installed on a smartphone with an operating system that supports them, such as Android, iOS, and Windows. Smartphone features such as sensors and GPS are also necessary to help you track your daily physical activities. Some apps also make use of the phone's camera for scanning bar codes to help you keep a log of what you eat.

Some fitness apps feature a virtual personal trainer that will direct you to do the right exercises, while others share success stories of people who lost weight using the app. To inspire you to go on, these apps provide a collection of before and after progress photos of people who followed the course and nailed it.

The Top 10 Weight Loss Apps

GottaBeMobile.com has compiled a list of the best iOS and Android weight-loss apps for 2016. Most of these apps are free to use, while some offer premium weight-loss program options at affordable prices. Here are 10 of the best weight-loss apps according to the site.

1. Lose It!
2. MyFitnessPal
3. Pact
4. Diet Hero
5. Fooducate
6. Nike+ Training Club
7. iPhone Health App
8. Google Fit
9. Weight Watchers
10. 7-Minute Workout

Features Offered By Weight Loss Apps

Weight loss apps have numerous supporting features available on your fingertips. They help you maintain a personalized weight loss plan and let you monitor your progress. They let you connect to your other devices or health apps and monitor your overall fitness and well-being.

Weight loss apps also allow you to create groups and connect with your friends. You can share recipes with them, post fitness challenges or get motivation from them when needed. These apps also have a huge verified food database that can provide you with all kinds of nutritional information and help you maintain your food log efficiently.

Stress Management For Weight Loss

For sustainable weight loss, experts say it's important to first train the brain to manage stress.

"When we are stressed our brain seeks pleasure and that's the problem," said neuroscientist Selena Bartlett from the Queensland University of Technology. "[I]t is common to reach for alcohol, sweet treats and comfort food. This is a problem for two reasons - they are high in calories leading to weight gain, and they are addictive.”

One of the steps suggested by Bartlett to train the brain to take the healthy route is to replace smoking, drinking alcohol or eating comfort food when you're stressed with a movement that feels good. This means that in a particularly stressful situation, do some deep breathing, take a walk or go for a run instead of diving into that tub of ice cream.

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