• How to Create a Diet and Nutrition App

    How to Create a Diet and Nutrition App

    Anton Kashpor
    Anton Kashpor
    CEO & Co-founder

    The alarming obesity statistics — 39% of men and 40% of women are overweight — would make one believe that people don’t care about fitness and well-being these days. However, it turns out America is, on the contrary, hitting a gym boom.

    According to the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association, over 71 million Americans used health clubs and gyms to stay fit and lose weight. 

    Application and software developers are jumping on the bandwagon of the fitness industry. If you, too, want to cater to a multi-million audience with a high-quality diet and nutrition app. This post is a full rundown on creating a well-rated mobile tool for planning meals and losing weight. 

    The Best Diet and Nutrition Apps

    As an app developer, make sure you know the most famous projects in the nutrition domain — thus you will be able to draw inspiration from these apps when developing your product. Use the list of following best diet and nutrition apps to draw inspiration for developing a diet planning application. 

    1. Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker

    Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker
    Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker

    This daily food intake tracker combines an intuitive interface with an essential set of features. Aside from counting daily calorie intake, you will be able to track your diet and exercise.


    • Wearable gadget integration;
    •  A goal system for users;
    • Calculating the daily intake of calories and the energy burned during exercising;
    • Saving the user’s favorite meals. 

    Diet food app Calorie Counter uses a freemium monetization model and charges $49.99 per year for the advanced features.

    2. FatSecret

    FatSecret Mobile App
    FatSecret Mobile App

    FatSecret is an all-in-one nutrition management app. The fitness app has a custom nutrition diary option for logging meals, a broad healthy recipe database, a weight chart, and other convenient features. 


    • User-friendly interface;
    • A community forum for sharing nutrition tips;
    • Net-carbs nutrition counter app for those who follow a low-carb diet. 

    The application is jam-packed with features — as a result, it is challenging for an inexperienced dieter to navigate. The app is 100%-free.

    3. Fooducate

    Fooducate app
    Fooducate app

    The app helps healthy eaters assess all products based on their effect on the body and health. Fooducate successfully implements AI and barcode scanning to provide users with a fast and seamless nutrition evaluation. 


    • A custom grading system that determines if a given dish or a product is healthy;
    • Barcode scanning;
    • A search engine that helps look foods up by names;
    • A built-in calorie tracker;
    • Tracks weight goals. 

    Fooducate is a freemium app. In order to get a deeper insight into how many proteins, carbs, and fats you consume with every meal you’ll have to pay $4.99 per month or $75 per lifetime.

    4. Lifesum

    Lifesum app
    Lifesum app

    Lifesum is a healthy meal planning app aimed primarily at weight-losers. The tool helps track the calorie intake, sets a flexible calorie limit (it’ll stretch out if a user exercises regularly and shrink if lives a sedentary life). After downloading Lifesum, you’ll be asked to enter your goal — the number of pounds to lose and the time you have to make this happen. 

    The food intake app takes care of the rest — planning meals, tracking calories, and breaking down how many proteins, fats, and carbs every meal comprises. 


    • Vegetable, fruit, and water intake tracking;
    • Integrated with the most popular wearables;
    • Sets nutrition and exercise goals;
    • A minimalistic, intuitive interface. 

    After upgrading the app, users get access to the step counter and advanced diet plans (high protein, ketonic, and other types of nutrition). The project implements the freemium monetization model, offering users subscriptions for improved experiences.

    Must-Have and Additional Features of Diet and Nutrition Application

    Diet and nutrition app features

    The nutrition app market is diverse — there are calorie trackers, meal planners, water intake trackers, and other types of projects on the market. While it’s nearly impossible to create an ultimate list of diet assistant app features, as a rule of thumb, developers add the following functions to their projects:

    • Calorie calculator. When a user logs his daily meals, a diet planner app should be able to calculate the calorie intake. High-functional calorie calculators take walking and exercising into account to provide the audience with an estimate of how much energy was gained and spent at the end of the day. 
    • Diet planner. This feature helps users estimate calorie intake before cooking or ordering a meal. A built-in diet planner comes in handy when planning a restaurant order, a party, or a trip. 
    • Chat with experts. Losing weight is a responsible activity — it’s better to not walk the path unsupervised. Make sure your app users can get assistance from leading nutritionists to adjust meal plans and workout schedules. Hosting live shows with dieticians is a way to build a community around the app and provide the audience with value. 
    • User’s nutrition statistics and goals. A top-notch nutrition tracking app keeps a user constantly aware of their dieting progress. Make sure to enable a food diary and nutrition progress tracking. The best way to help users follow the journey is by having them enter custom goals and control their achievement pace. 
    • Push-notifications. Sending reminders via push notifications is a way to ensure a user will not forget to have a meal at the right time and will exercise regularly. This way, the app is helping users to construct healthy habits — a product owner will benefit from a steady flow of daily active users and increase the number of interactions with the product. 
    • Barcode scanning. This feature helps users check the nutrition value of every product, make sure they are not consuming excessive sugar, carbs, or fats by buying packaged foods. Thanks to barcode scanning, busy dieters will not have to spend a lot of time logging meals manually. 
    • Wearable integration. Wearables provide app developers with accurate data on the number of steps a device owner takes and helps track the user’s vitals. By integrating an iOS or Android nutrition app with wearables, you get more control over the audience’s approach to losing weight. This way, the app’s estimates will be more precise and user satisfaction with the product will increase.

    How Much Does It Cost to Develop Diet and Nutrition App?

    Diet and Nutrition App Development Cost

    Before developing a balanced diet app, make sure the budget will not be a constraint on a way to develop a product with high functionality. When calculating the costs of the future product, here’s the condition list to take into account:

    • Availability: Android, iOS, cross-platform;
    • Features: basic, advanced;
    • Integrations: wearables, third-party applications; 
    • The amount of time you have to bring the app to the market;
    • The team’s location: your home country, an outsourced team. 

    Based on our experience as a development agency, we estimated how much it costs to create a food journal app- take a look at the breakdown in the table below:

    Stage of developmentThe number of hoursAn hourly rateTotal cost (rounded)
    Documentation80 hours$32$2,560
    Design60-80 hours$28$1,680-$2,240
    Development300-350 hours$35$10,500-$12,250
    Project management60 hours$33$1,980
    Testing140 hours$25$3,500
    TOTAL640-710 hours

    How to Make Money With Diet Apps?

    Launching a mobile app is a responsible investment — so development teams want to ensure the amount of time, money, and effort put in to build a solution will pay off in the long run. The good news is, most diet and nutrition apps are quite profitable — Calorie Counter made over $1 million by June 2019

    How do mobile app developers manage to generate such impressive revenue? Here are the ways to monetize a diet and nutrition app: 

    1. In-app advertising

    An average person spends 80% of screen time browsing apps and only 20% — checking out websites. As a result, advertisers are attracted to the mobile app market. As a fitness application development, you can benefit from the rise of ad placement. 

    Implementing in-app advertising doesn’t take much time or marketing skills. Here are the steps that’ll help you start a project:

    • Choose an ad network;
    • Choose an ad format — banner, video, native, etc;
    • Choose a pricing model (cost per mille, cost per click, or cost per action). 

    2. Freemium

    It’s, by far, the most popular model among fitness app development. In a nutshell, following the freemium monetization method presumes charging users for advanced features only. There are several ways to integrate freemium monetization:

    • Setting up the virtual currency users can purchase to access advanced features;
    • Offering a subscription for an improved experience;
    • Allowing users to pay per every advanced feature they want to unlock.

    3. Paid apps

    Launching a paid food diary app for iPhone is another way to ensure each download will pay off. It resonates with users who want to get a convenient experience with a single downtime payment, without having to pay for monthly subscriptions or additional features. 

    Acquiring users to get paid apps is more challenging than attracting an audience to give a free tool a try. On the other hand, such a monetization model is a way to ensure every app user brings app developers revenue. 

    4. Sponsorship

    Another way to get an iOS or Android nutrition app off the ground is by finding a brand that would sponsor development and maintenance. In case you are wondering why companies are eager to support app developers, here are the reasons:

    • To strengthen their corporate image;
    • Get access to new audiences and prospective customers;
    • Stand out from competitors;
    • Increase the level of involvement in the community. 

    Sponsorship is an effective monetization model as it allows app developers to get financial support without compromising or limiting the user experience. 

    Final thoughts

    Food diary app for iPhone

    Building a food diary app for iPhone is a way for developers and company managers to benefit from people’s increasing awareness of the need to improve their diet and monitor weight. While there is no lack of nutrition tracking tools on the market, the odds of attracting a high number of users to try your app are still high as you’ll be catering to a multi-million audience. 

    It’s crucial to find a skilled development team to bring your project to life. Lotasoft is a team of software engineers, capable of building a feature-rich diet and physical shape monitoring app from the ground app.

    Take a look at our portfolio to see the full range of domains and technologies we have been working with. If you have an app idea, leave us a message — Lotasoft developers will help you make a nutrition app that will bring the world to its feet.

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