How to Make a Diet and Nutrition App: Monetizing and Development Tips
13 min.

“Why take up diet and nutrition app development? I’m not sure the market is profitable enough”.

Well, how about this:

  • By 2023, the revenue from this segment is estimated to reach almost $5 billion.
  • The annual CAGR till 2027, according to forecasts, will be at 11.28%, steady and stable.
  • By 2027, the market volume may reach $7.6 billion.

Becoming a part of this market with a successful solution for your target audience will make your company a part of this multi-billion volume. Not to mention that you have a chance to bring something very useful to the table of potential customers (literally).

The nutrition app market is growing and won’t stop until at least 2027

Impressed by the numbers and our own experience in the niche, we at ProCoders decided to create a guide for non-technical founders looking to join the leaders of the industry!

Key takeaways:

  • A nutrition app is a digital solution that provides materials and features for people interested in dieting, weight maintenance, healthy eating, etc. There are many classes of such apps, including weight loss diaries, calorie counters, recipe libraries, and combination apps.
  • The best features to integrate into the diet app you develop are sign-up, goal setting, wearables support, reminders, food library, and customer support.
  • The tech stack for the development of a diet planner app includes SDKs and APIs from food databases, Google Fit and Apple Healthkit, special feature integrations like camera recognition, and more.
  • The stages of development include analysis and planning, looking for the right mobile app developers for hire, creating an MVP, choosing the final tech stack, building the ready-to-go version of the app, as well as testing and launching it.
  • As to monetization, freemium applications with in-app purchases and relevant advertisements are quite popular among other methods.

Nutrition App: Definition and Classification

A nutrition application is a digital solution that offers materials and functionality connected to eating habits and lifestyle, dieting, weight loss or gain, etc.

There are several types of nutrition applications you can develop:

  • Calorie counters – calculators like MyFitnessPal that can estimate how much you’ve consumed and burned in a day. It’s important to mention that these counters aren’t exact, so don’t fall for such claims if you choose to make a diet and nutrition app.
  • Diet or meal planners – personalized meal plan creators according to the user’s preferences, allergies, a diet they want to try like keto or paleo, healthy snacks and dinners for friends, etc. 
  • Social – social networks for people who want to get professional advice. You can make it a regular social media platform or contact trained professionals and collaborate with them officially to consult users.
  • Special dieting – solutions for pregnant women, people with diabetes or other health conditions where they need special diets.
diet tracker app development

As you decide what type of app to focus diet and nutrition tracking mobile app development on, you need a list of essential features that will make the program useful and, as a result, successful among the target audience.

Main Features of a Successful Nutrition Application

Aside from choosing the type of diet and nutrition app you want to build, the functionality decision is just as important. ProCoders, based on our experience, offers the following features for your future application.

Feature 1: Sign-up and onboarding

To gather necessary data about the user and to enable them to sign in and track their progress, sign-up and onboarding are crucial. First of all, an individual profile will make the experience with your application much more personalized, which is always a good thing.

Besides, you need information about their goals, preferences, allergies, current and desired weight or parameters, etc., to be able to offer suitable menus, recommendations, and other materials.

Pro tip: Integrate social login. It’s much easier to log in with a couple of clicks and have the basic information already filled in for you. No more passwords to remember and emails to wait for (although a welcome email is not bad).

Feature 2: Goal setting

Setting a goal will add some gamification to the app, which will increase engagement. Notifications with motivating messages or reminders to come back to the app to check progress or input new data will also make users open the program more often.

This, in its turn, may result in more subscriptions and/or purchases from your eStore (if you have one), which means building an app for nutrition and dieting will pay off faster.

Feature 3: Dashboard

Create a neat dashboard where the user can see their progress, adjust their goals, see the special menu options prepared for them, etc. A neat visualization of data within this interactive board will contribute both to the engagement and gamification of your app.

Feature 4: Wearables integration

For a more wholesome experience, offer integration with wearables. For example, if your app estimates the ratio of calories consumed and burned, it can become a wonderful addition to use fitness wrist-wear data for proper calculations. According to Statista, by 2026, there may be over 320 million users of such fitness trackers worldwide, so you’re going to encompass a larger audience by offering such an integration.

Consider wearables integration for your diet planner app development, as by 2026, there may be over 320 million users of fitness trackers worldwide.

Feature 5: Food library

If your diet tracker app development includes the ability to add custom meals, offer a food library. You can work with nutritionists or integrate FoodData Central by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or any other official library.

You can also add this feature simply for reference users can turn to when they want to diversify their meals.

Customer support

If you go as far as working with a nutritional institution that provides specialists for consultations, good. But make sure you comply with the laws of the states or countries you want to promote in.

If you don’t want to go this far, it’s also OK. However, there has to be some customer support, resolving potential concerns with app use, goal-setting, etc.

Pro tip: In your messages, FAQ sections, etc., promote mental health care weight-wise. Many people suffer from all these fitness trackers as they start taking calorie counting and exercise more seriously than their health and well-being. Studies show that diet and fitness applications may trigger eating disorder symptoms, so it’s better to soothe the tension by supporting your users.

So, how to make a diet and nutrition app implementing all those features? For that, you need a professional hand and a suitable technology stack. Gladly, we know what tech to use for such a program.

Tech Stack to Build a Diet and Nutrition App

Before thinking about how to build healthcare app, you’ll have to choose the tech stack for it. This is a combination of frontend (client’s side) and backend (server side) technologies used when developing a diet and nutrition app, APIs, and other elements that make a wholesome solution. 

Here are some special options you may want to include:

  • Food database – USDA Food Composition Databases, INRFood, FoodData Central. These will help you with food libraries, meal planning and control, ingredients seeking, customer education, etc.
  • Camera recognition – APIs like Calorie Mama enable users to use their smartphone cameras to detect food and get information about it.
  • SDKs and APIs for wearables integration – Fitbit, Garmin, Nike+, Misfit will help you diversify your diet planner app functionality.
  • Activity information – Google Fit for Android, Apple Healthkit for iOS.
  • Safe payments – PayPal, Stripe, Braintree.
  • Push notifications – Pusher or OneSignal.

Pro tip: We at ProCoders recommend opting for cross-platform development using Flutter or React Native, for example. It’s cheaper than creating two native applications, and you can still engage audiences on both Android and iOS.

Estimate your Application on React Native

Also, you can focus on mobile app development as the web version isn’t necessary in nutrition solutions. Thus, you can save money on engineering and focus on the mobile program.

Alright, as we now know what technology to use and what features to plan for the type of diet planner app you want to develop, let’s plan the actual building process. 

Stages of Diet and Nutrition App Development

So, how to develop a fitness app through nutrition recommendations? We’re going to guide you through the essential steps for a non-tech product owner. From market research to launching the final version of the application – find an effective algorithm in this section.

Stage 1: Whys, Whats, and Hows

The initial stage includes a lot of thought and planning:

  • What type of app do you want to build?
  • How to make a nutrition app to fit your budget, time, and quality expectations?
  • What’s best for the project: cross-platform or native development?
  • What features are essential?
  • How many people do we have on board already?
  • How many more will we need to complete the project on time?

This is the tip of the iceberg. You may need analysts, technical specialists, and other helpers to create a proper vision of the project from the practical side. ProCoders can help you with it if you apply to our Discovery Phase service.

We use your data and our knowledge to outline the process of app development, which includes all the details: steps, timeframe, cost estimates, number of people you may need, alternatives to save money and time, depending on your preferences, and so on.

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Stage 2: Hire the right partnering company

If you’re here, chances are you don’t have all the needed people on board. Maybe you don’t even have a concept, let alone a prototype. You can look for a team, gathering it from all around the world or even your location. However, this may take months.

By finding a decent, honest, skillful, and supportive partner that provides full technical assistance from stage 1 to post-launch, the result of your successful relationship will be the perfect nutrition application.

You need someone who:

  • Already has or knows where to get the right staff for the project; people who know how to develop a diet and nutrition app not just in theory but in practice as well.
  • Offers honest remarks about the process, opting to tell the truth from the beginning for the sake of trust and future success.
  • Actually cares about the performance of your application, the reputation of your company, and your opinion.
  • Is open to suggestions, discussions, and adjustments to the plan, whether it’s a tighter budget or urgent upscaling.

Just to mention, we were describing ProCoders. You can actually contact our customers to find out more about their experience with the company to see if we’re on the same page.

Stage 3: MVP development

The “How to create a diet app?” part begins from stage 3 where the actual development occurs. A minimum viable product contains only the most basic features like registration and profile setup.

You can use it to pitch the idea to potential sponsors or even to launch it as a free beta version with some in-app purchases. This may help you start monetizing the solution early, gather an audience, and build a reputation for the app.

Moreover, an MVP will help you see what features work out and what just doesn’t fit into the nutrition and dieting app you make.


Stage 4: Final tech stack choice

Whether or not the MVP helped you detect some issues, it’s just about time to determine the right tech stack by either leaving it without changes or opting for different elements. Your stack has to:

  • Be modern but not a hot trend that will fade away in a month
  • Be easily scalable to accommodate a wider audience and/or more features
  • Support IoT technologies integration in case you want the app that integrates with wearables and other devices.
  • Fit your budget; the rarer the tech is, the fewer skilled pros there are, therefore their salary expectations are usually higher.

The best-case scenario is to have a reliable technical partner who can pick a perfect stack for you. If you don’t have one, ProCoders can become your ally! After thoroughly researching your project, we’ll compile the most suitable tech set for it.

Stage 5: THE development (of the final version)

This stage involves all the same MVP development but at a much larger scale. The people working for you must know perfectly how to create a nutrition app according to your requirements and based on your business goals. 

But you should also be in control of the project, knowing what happens and when it happens. We at ProCoders always encourage honest communication and keeping the clients updated at all times.

communication is the key

Stage 6: Testing the diet app

Testing the diet app you’ve developed is just as important as actually building it. This task has to involve experts in quality assurance, not the same engineers that created the solution.

Separate specialists know what tech to use for the fastest and most efficient bug detection and elimination. They know tricks that may make your time to market closer, and after proper debugging, rest assured you won’t get negative reviews about the speed or functionality of the app.

If you choose to skip testing, though, your reputation might suffer, and the nutrition application you have developed with so much effort may simply flop.

In case you don’t have a QA specialist on the team, outstaffing is the way to go. This approach has multiple benefits, including a speedy hiring process, skillset guarantees, and cost-efficiency.

Stage 7: Launch and feedback analysis

Finally, as the development of the diet tracker app is finished, it’s time to launch it, as well as your marketing campaign. Make sure you pay close attention to the first reviews and customer support messages, as they may show you points of improvement for the next version.

Monetization Models for Your Diet App

Another very important aspect of diet and nutrition tracking app development is monetization, clearly. There are several things you can do that won’t jeopardize the quality of the user experience yet increase your revenue.

freemium mem

Here are some monetization tactics for fitness and nutrition applications that proved to be useful:

  • Subscription plans – several plans for all budgets and goals may include various marathons, trackers, podcasts, webinars, menus, etc. A free limited version is also a must to raise brand awareness and benefit those who aren’t looking to invest in your solution yet can become loyal advocates.
  • Premium content – ad-free materials, a larger food library, and lectures with top nutritionists may become a part of your Premium plan. You can also skip the plans whatsoever and just sell these features and content on the spot.
  • Advertisement – some targeted relevant ads won’t hurt the user experience of your app, allowing you to monetize your diet and nutrition solution-building efforts faster.

To combine all of this, including proper features for the app, the right tech stack, and profitable monetization approaches, you need specialists with experience. This may be the most difficult part of the plan – to find partners that won’t disappoint.

We know one such partner. It’s called ProCoders.

How ProCoders Can Assist You to Develop a Diet and Nutrition App?

ProCoders can create a plan for you containing:

  • The timeframe
  • Estimated budget
  • Tech stack
  • Steps to launch, etc.

You can get this through our Discovery Phase where specialists research and analyze your needs and ideas and, using their experience, market data, etc., come back with detailed information on how to develop an app according to your requirements.

Then, you can continue our partnership by hiring a fully dedicated team or additional staff for your existing team that will aid diet app development. We have experienced engineers hired full-time with contracts of 6+ months. So, we’re sure these people will assist you in nutrition app development.

In case we don’t have any programmers that aren’t engaged in a project or your type of application requires narrow-niche skills, we can find the right people for you in weeks. In comparison, even with skilled recruiters, you may spend months seeking proper people for the project.

To find out what ProCoders services you need, let’s schedule a call and discuss your needs. The sooner we start, the faster you’ll get a perfect product to the market.

FAQ. Have additional questions on nutrition application development? Here, we have the answers on the cost of the process, wearables compatibility, and more!
How to make a diet app compatible with wearable devices?

Use an API like Google Fit, Fitbit, Garmin, Movesense, etc., depending on the wearable devices you want to integrate the app with.

Wearables compatibility will make your application more user-oriented as they will be able to perform regular analysis of their progress, receive full reports on their nutrition, activity, and sleep, and manage data.

How much does it cost to create your own diet and nutrition app?

If we’re talking about diet planner app development from scratch, it’s going to be around $60-80K. We’re talking about a situation where you only have an idea and no team. Based on your point A, the amount may get smaller or bigger.

If you need a multifunctional application that will cover both fitness and nutrition, offer meal plans and workouts, webinars, and feature an eStore, the final number may be over $100K. However, we can discuss cost estimates based on how many people you need for the project and what stage you’re on.

How to save on cost to create a diet and nutrition app?

You can focus on the basic features for the first version of the app, choose cross-platform development, and use the benefits of staff augmentation. Explained below:

  • Launch a basic app – focus on the most essential features when launching. You can add more later as the program starts bringing profit.
  • Opt for cross-platform – instead of developing the same application twice for Android and iOS, choose the cross-platform approach. You need one team for that, less time, and, obviously, not that much investment.

Use the benefits of staff augmentation – whenever you need additional staff or a narrow-niche developer, instead of hiring an in-house specialist, consider staff augmentation. A qualified team will find the needed expert for you quickly, ensuring the level of their skills.

How long does it take to develop a nutrition application?

4+ months, depending on the type of app and the stage you’re at. You have to understand that we’re only providing very rough estimates. ProCoders can give you a final number when you share information about the project with us.

We can correct the timeframe if you want the app to launch as soon as possible. However, if you need fast and high-quality results, prepare to invest in more people with the needed skills.


Nutrition apps aren’t simple libraries with recipes anymore. There are these many types you can choose from, including calorie counters, special diet apps, dieting communities, and more.

We recommend adding essential features to the app you pick: registration, profile setup, all kinds of trackers, push notifications, customer support, and more. ProCoders can help you integrate all of these using modern yet stable tech stacks and vast experience in the Health & Wellness sector.

We can guide you through all the development steps, including planning and consideration. Our Discovery Phase will help you create a picture of a perfect application. Then, our engineers and testing specialists will make sure that picture comes to life and becomes a useful solution for your target audience.

As to monetization, there’s nothing to worry about. We recommend some gentle advertising, an opportunity to buy Premium materials, and more.

If all of this sounds good to you, let’s plan a time for a call and discuss further details!

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