The Best Meal Planning Apps for Triathletes

By Mary Weidner | Oct. 15, 2019, 4:21 p.m. (ET)

the best meal planning apps

Not all meal planning apps are built for athletes. Many meal planners are catered toward those looking to lose weight or generally eat healthier and don’t really have the customization or analyzation options that athletes need.

The following are, in my opinion, the best meal planning apps for athletes. They offer a combination of being able to fine-tune macros to your needs, advanced customization options, or in-depth analytics.

strongr fastr app

Strongr Fastr

Web, iOS, Android

Strongr Fastr’s highly customizable meal planner can be set up to hit any daily calorie or macronutrient goal. Just fill in your profile and each week you’ll get a meal plan to support your training. With thousands of meals to choose from and the ability to customize everything from meal sizes and dietary restrictions, to your grocery budget and recipe complexity, the app makes it easy to build a plan suitable for almost any athlete. It can even fill in the gaps around staples in your diet. For example, if you have your go-to race day meal, you can add it to the app as a custom recipe and have Strongr Fastr build you a meal plan around it. Over time, it will track your food intake and weight fluctuations and show advanced analytics to help you adjust your macro goals. Another thing that sets Strongr Fastr apart is that it optionally provides you with a strength-building routine that can take your training to the next level. Strength forms the basis of much of athleticism: all else equal a stronger athlete is a better, less injury-prone athlete. So the app is particularly good if this is an area of your training you’ve been neglecting or just want some more guidance paired with your meal plan. Editor's note: The author is co-founder of Strongr Fastr.

fit genie

Fitgenie

Web | iOS

Fitgenie comes next on the list of the best meal planning apps for athletes for its analytical, yet flexible approach to meal planning. You can log off-plan meals, customize your meal plan, and also log workouts. The meat of the app, however, is how it automatically adjusts your macro goals based on a variety of factors from how your weight changes to adherence rates to hunger levels. Each week you’ll get an update report that recommends how you should adjust your meal plan and macros going forward. Fitgenie is great for the athlete who struggles with meal planning and needs a little help sticking to it. Instead of just winging it yourself, the app analyzes your data down to each nitty gritty detail which makes it great for the scientifically-minded user who wants to optimize their diet. This smart app really helps you use your data to make better choices about how to adjust your diet overtime.

lifesum app

Lifesum

Web | iOS | Android

Not all meal planning apps sync with the other health apps that you’ve been using for years, but Lifesum does. It syncs with Apple Health, Google Fit, Samsung Health, and it even syncs with Runkeeper. Not to mention it’s beautifully designed with cute little animations that keep you interested and engaged with the app. Lifesum has a somewhat unique approach to their meal plans where you can take a quiz to help you enroll in one of their curated meal plans. From high protein meal plans to strict keto there are a variety of meal plans to be sorted into. There is also a habit tracker to track your water intake, servings of fruits and vegetables and even a clock counting the time you’ve been meat-free. Last but not least, it gives you a Life Score, where it gamifies your diet and gives you points for the better choices you make. In short, Lifesum is a pretty substantial app that has a lot to offer. While it may be a bit too much or have recommendations more for the average dieter rather than the average athlete, it offers a lot of flexibility and employs lots of engagement tactics to keep you following along.

eat this app

Eat This Much

Web | iOS | Android

Eat This Much is another great meal planner that you can customize and will meet your macros. Eat This Much got its start as a meal planner for bodybuilders, but has since broadened its appeal to the masses who are just looking for an easy way to hit their macros. It’s one of the most long standing meal planning apps on the market and for good reason! On their website they have a great example meal plan for a day that you can customize to get a feel for what it’d be like to plan out a week. Once you subscribe, you can customize a full week of meals and can swap out meals until your heart's content and your meal plan and macros are perfect. Eat This Much is perfect for the person who wants to put their diet on autopilot (which happens to be their tagline). It’s simple and fast and cuts to the chase. The recipes are mostly realistic and simple and will keep you interested. Perfect for the busy athlete who wants to hit their macros but just wants to get meal planning done and eat simple meals.

paprika app

Paprika

Web | iOS | Android

So if you’ve gotten this far on the list and all the apps above seem to take too much control over your meal plan and you really just want complete control and only a little extra help, then Paprika is for you. Paprika is more of a recipe manager, so you have total control to build and edit as you see fit. You can add your own recipes or import recipes from the web. You can even plan a month in advance so you can have it all done in one sitting so you can focus fully on training and have one less thing to do each subsequent week. Bonus, you can save your previous meal plans to make it all even more streamlined and speedy. If you’re the type of person who has got their meal plan all figured out, but just want to be more organized and see it all on paper or a screen, then Paprika is for you. 

Mary Weidner is a meal planning pro and co-founder of meal planning and fitness app, Strongr Fastr. 


The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.