Diet Assistant

Android (Free from Android Market)


RDN Rating: 2 Stars

Reviewed by: Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD

 

Synopsis of the App

Diet Assistant provides diet plans for those who want to gain, lose or maintain their weight. The app ties it all together with a weight tracker and supportive tools to execute a diet.

 

Pros

  • Easy-to-use.
  • Profile requires basic height, weight, activity, gender information. This is useful for making recommendations and tracking.
  • Offers 16 weeklong meal plans that range from "Vegetarian: Cleaning Your Body" to "Healthy: Variety is Key." Allows users to create and add their own meal plans and replace components of the existing meal plans for a fully customized experience.
  • Automatically build a shopping list based on the selected diet plan.
  • Integrated weight chart graphically displays weight loss progress.
  • Weight management data can be shared and synced online with Google Docs, Dropbox or via email.
  • Random healthy eating tips appear on some screens of the app.

 

Cons

  • Meal plans are inconsistent and many are not nutritionally balanced.
  • Many recipes are presented as a list of ingredients with no instructions rendering them useless to many users.
  • Meal plans overlook the need for hydration and don't specify beverages which can impact weight loss.
  • Menus are not specific and many are not nutritionally balanced. For example, "natural juice" is listed as an afternoon snack for the "Salads are Great" plan. And for the "Vegetables Going Wild" plan, breakfast includes coffee or tea and crackers. Further, the suggested dinner meal of steamed vegetables and a baked apple in the "Soup Lover" plan will leave dieters hungry and frustrated.
  • The shopping lists are in ounces while the ingredient measures for recipes are in grams, which is inconvenient and could be confusing for the average user.
  • Advertisements appear on every screen. (Ad-free upgrade available for $0.99.)

 

Bottom Line

This app scores low because of the variable quality of the meal plans. It may be possible for the average person to lose weight using this app but it's not a sustainable long term solution.