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I started following Renaissance Periodization (RP) several years ago when I needed more structure in my diet to support my CrossFit and strength training workouts. However, I’ve been using Avatar Nutrition for the past month to see how it stacks up against the RP Diet app.
- Both apps use AI to alter your diet based on weekly check-ins and how you’re progressing toward your goals. RP Diet app only tracks macros and uses nutrient timing to optimize workout performance and recovery. Avatar Nutrition follows a less structured approach and has daily calorie and macro targets.
- Out of 10 categories, Avatar Nutrition won in five, while the RP Diet app won in one. The other four categories were tied.
- The RP Diet app is better for those who prefer a lot of structure with their diets or athletes with very specific body composition goals. Because it focuses on nutrient timing, it’s also ideal for those who want to fuel their workouts properly. Read my full RP Diet app review.
- Avatar Nutrition is better for those who want to know how many calories they should eat each day instead of focusing solely on macros. It’s also an excellent option for those who need more guidance because you get access to a live coach. Read our full Avatar Nutrition review.
What Is RP Diet?
RP is an abbreviation for Renaissance Periodization. The company is known for its science-backed approach to nutrition, especially for competitive athletes. However, anyone can use its diet plan.
A main component of the RP Diet app is nutrient timing. It adjusts your carb and fat intake based on when you work out. Carbs are higher and fats are lower closer to your workouts, and carbs are lower and fats are higher farther away from your workouts.
The app differs from most nutrition apps in that it doesn’t track your daily calorie intake.
Instead, it tracks your protein, fats, and carbs for each individual meal. You can select foods from RP’s database, use a barcode scanner, or manually search for branded food items. There are also entries from some of the most popular restaurants in the US.
After you eat each meal, you have to check in and tell the app whether you were at, over, or under your macros. This information factors into a diet adherence score so you can see how consistent you are.
However, the main draw of the RP app is that it acts as a virtual diet coach.
You weigh in several days a week, and the app uses that data to determine whether your calories stay the same, increase, or decrease for the following week. You don’t have to pay for another nutrition coach or manually adjust your calories and macros if your progress stalls.
- Acts as a coach that automatically adjusts your macros based on your progress
- The barcode scanner makes it easy to manually enter food items
- Huge food database that is verified by registered dietitians
- Focuses on meal timing to ensure your body is properly fueled for your workouts
- Can’t see how many calories you eat every day
- No tracking for micronutrients (vitamins and minerals)
- Checking in for every single meal can be inconvenient
RP Diet App
Renaissance Periodization (RP) is a diet coaching company that takes an evidence-based approach to fitness and nutrition.
*This link also gives you 33% off your monthly subscription for 6 months if you decide to continue.
What Is Avatar Nutrition?
Avatar Nutrition is an app that tracks calories and macros and requires weekly check-ins. It’s like having a virtual nutrition coach in your pocket and removes a lot of the guesswork when it comes to dieting.
However, if you’re more experienced with calorie and macro tracking and know how much food you want to eat to support your goals, you can easily adjust your diet.
Within the app, you can choose to lose weight, gain weight, maintain weight, or reverse diet.
The app will set your daily calories and macros based on your daily activity level (i.e., whether you’re sedentary or lightly active throughout the day), the types of workouts you do, how long they are, and how intense they are.
- Women can indicate whether they’re close to their menstrual cycles during check-ins so that water weight won’t negatively influence macros for the upcoming week
- Recipe database for meal inspiration
- Easy-to-use, clean interface
- Price of a monthly subscription is reasonable
- Can speak to a coach through the live chat function or email
- Doesn’t track micronutrients or water intake
- Doesn’t show which food entries are verified by registered dietitians
Avatar Nutrition App
Avatar is best for those who don’t have a coach but want a sense of accountability. The app will accurately adjust calories and macros based on how your body is responding and progressing each week. As well, there is the ability to talk with a coach through the app for extra support.
RP Diet vs. Avatar Nutrition: Head-to-Head Comparison
1. Food Database
The RP database contains more than 750,000 food items, including meals from popular chain restaurants. You can also log food from RP’s lists of recommended protein, fat, and carb sources. All of the food entries are verified by a registered dietitian.
However, the RP Diet app doesn’t offer many international food options.
Avatar Nutrition has thousands of generic and branded food items in its database. I also like that it has an alcohol category because alcohol calories need to be tracked differently since they don’t provide your body with any nutrients.
The main drawback is that you can’t easily tell which food entries have been verified by a registered dietitian.
2. Tracking Capabilities
The RP Diet app tracks macros, food, and body weight. When you first sign up and when you start a new diet, it also asks for your body fat percentage.
The app doesn’t track workouts, per se, but it does ask you to input your workout intensity light, moderate, or hard) and duration. You also input the average number of steps you get daily. It ranges from less than 7,000, 7,000-14,000, 14,000-21,000, or more than 21,000 steps per day.
It doesn’t track calories, micronutrients, sleep quality, water intake, or body measurements.
Avatar Nutrition tracks calories, macros, weight, body fat percentage, lean mass, and fiber intake. It does not track step counts, water intake, or micronutrient intake.
While it doesn’t track workout performance or calories burned, you do have to enter your activity levels and workout preferences when you start a new diet.
3. Calorie Recommendations
As mentioned, the RP Diet app isn’t a calorie counter. However, I found its daily macro recommendations to be accurate at the start of my diet when I tested the app.
At the same time, I didn’t like how drastically the app cut my carbs if I had just one week where I didn’t lose weight. The app does have an option for you to decline the diet adjustments and repeat the previous week, though.
Furthermore, it’s essential to be honest about your workout intensity and duration and daily step counts. It’s also best to choose a more conservative weight loss goal if you’re concerned about potential significant calorie decreases.
I configured two different diets with different goals, fat loss, and maintenance, to see how accurate the calorie recommendations were.
For weight loss, it recommended 2,171 calories. I can maintain my weight at 2,600-2,700 calories. Avatar’s recommendations for weight loss represent a 430-530 deficit. This is slightly high for me, as I normally don’t like to drop my calories by more than 500 if I’m trying to lose weight. A large deficit makes me too hungry, and I can’t sustain it for long.
However, when I changed my goal to maintenance, Avatar Nutrition recommended 2,549 calories, which is much more accurate based on what I already know about my maintenance calories.
4. Level of Customization
You can choose whether you want 3, 4, 5, or 6 meals per day and an intra-workout shake on your training days. Beyond that, the RP Diet app doesn’t have a lot of customization. You cannot set custom macros or move macros around within the same meal.
However, you can move macros from one meal to another, though. This is a handy feature if you have dinner plans, for example, and want to save some food from earlier in the day so you can eat more at dinner.
You can customize your diet based on whether you want to gain weight, lose weight, maintain your weight, or reverse diet. You can choose whether you follow a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or dairy-free diet. There’s even a function that enables you to set up a schedule for intermittent fasting.
If you have a certain calorie target you know you want to meet each day, you can enter that number in the app and let it automatically set your macros. The app also enables you to adjust your fat and carb targets or add more protein to your day.
5. Education Opportunities
Within the app, you’ll find an FAQ section that explains how the algorithms work and how the data you input determines your macros. There are also guides throughout the setup process to help you choose the correct workout intensity, step count, number of meals to eat per day, and more.
Outside of the app, RP also has an educational blog and shares science-backed content about workout nutrition on its social media channels. These are excellent resources for those who are curious about the role diet plays in exercise performance.
Avatar Nutrition doesn’t have in-app educational resources, but it has a blog on its website that covers topics such as whether things like artificial sweeteners are bad for you and how sleep can affect your progress.
Like the RP app, Avatar Nutrition also shares research-backed content on its social media channels.
There are no human coaching capabilities within the app, but its algorithms do the same thing a coach would. As long as you log your weight a few times a week (and you’re honest about it), the app will adjust your diet to ensure you’ll reach your goals.
The app isn’t intended to be used by nutrition coaches for their clients since the AI functions essentially replace the need for an in-person coach.
One of the greatest features of Avatar Nutrition is that you get access to a live coach within the app. If you have questions about your diet or any other nutrition concerns, you can contact a coach through the live chat function or send them an email.
There is no function to automatically share your diet with a nutrition coach. But like the RP app, Avatar Nutrition has AI capabilities that adjust your calories and macros based on your weight trends, just like a coach would.
That said, if you are a nutrition coach who wants to use Avatar Nutrition with your clients, you can ask them to add you as a friend. This will enable you to see how often they’re tracking their meals and what they’re eating.
7. Recipe Database
There are options to log meals from popular chain restaurants in the RP Diet app, but there is no recipe database for meal inspiration.
It’s also time-consuming to log recipes with multiple ingredients. You have to add the ingredients into a tool like this one to get the calories, carbs, fats, and protein for the meal, then log the recipe as a custom food item in the RP app.
Avatar Nutrition has a large recipe database for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, and snacks. You can also create custom recipes within the app by adding the individual ingredients and stating how much of each you used.
8. Exercise Calories
The RP Diet app doesn’t have an exercise calories feature that enables you to eat back the calories you burned during a workout. However, the amount of food you eat each day depends on what kind of workout you do, how long it is, and its intensity.
For example, if you take a one-hour CrossFit class and follow it up with another hour of strength training, you’ll get more carbs than if you went running for a half hour.
The app also uses daily step ranges to determine your macro breakdown. If you get 14,000 steps per day, you’ll get more fat and carbs than if you get less than 7,000 steps per day.
Avatar Nutrition asks for information on your workouts, such as how often you train and at what intensity, when you first sign up. It also asks you to input your overall daily activity. However, it doesn’t have the option to eat back calories burned through exercise.
The RP Diet app is $19.99 per month for a monthly subscription or $99.99 per year for an annual subscription. There is a two-week free trial, but there’s no totally free version.
You can sign up with this link to save 33% on your first six months.
Like RP Diet, there is no free version of the Avatar Nutrition app. However, there is a two-week free trial.
The app costs $9.99 per month for a monthly subscription and $97.99 per year for an annual subscription.
The RP Diet app has an average of 4.3/5 stars based on over 4,800 reviews on Google Play.
Those who left positive reviews saw a lot of results, whether they wanted to lose weight or gain muscle, and stated that they didn’t have as much success with other nutrition apps.
On the other hand, those who left negative reviews were unhappy with the inflexible nature of having to hit specific macro targets for every single meal. They also found the constant meal check-ins inconvenient.
On Google Play, Avatar Nutrition has an average of 4.4/5 stars based on 251 reviews. Even though it came out in 2015, three years before the RP Diet app was released, I suspect that the lower number of reviews is because not many people know about it. It only has 10,000 downloads from Google Play, while the RP app has over 100,000.
Users who left positive reviews praised the app for repairing their relationship with food because it doesn’t label food items as good or bad. They also appreciated the look of the interface and how easy it was to use.
Those who left negative reviews stated that some of the food entries appeared to be outdated or inaccurate and complained about the app being glitchy.
RP Diet vs. Avatar: Quick Overview
|RP Diet||Avatar Nutrition||Our Interpretation|
|Food Categorization||Food is only categorized by whether it’s a protein, fat, or carb, not whether it’s good or bad.||None||Food is not labeled as good or bad in either app.|
|Tracking Capabilities||Both apps tend to focus more on how much you’re eating rather than getting into the nitty-gritty details, such as micronutrient and water intake.|
|Calorie Recommendations & Accuracy||RP Diet’s macro recommendations are accurate if you’re honest about your daily activity levels, workout intensity and length, and choose conservative weight loss goals.||Avatar Nutrition recommends too high of a calorie deficit for those who want to lose weight, but its maintenance calories are accurate.||Both apps can be accurate, but it depends on how drastic of a calorie deficit you can handle if you’re trying to lose weight.|
|Level of Customization||You can adjust the number of meals you want to eat per day, indicate whether or not you want an intra-workout shake, and move macros from one meal to another.||You can adjust your calories and macros and set diet preferences, such as gluten-free or vegetarian.||Avatar Nutrition is more flexible and allows for more customization, which is beneficial for those who already know how to eat to support their goals.|
|Education Opportunities||RP has an in-depth blog covering many facets of nutrition and publishes a lot of science-backed content on its social media channels.||Avatar Nutrition has a blog and also shares fitness and nutrition content on its social media channels.||You can learn a lot about fitness and nutrition and get science-backed information from both companies.|
|Coaching||The app itself doesn’t connect you with a coach, and there is no option to share your diet with a coach. But its algorithms do the same work a nutrition coach would do.||The app provides access to a live coach if you have questions or need nutrition guidance.||Avatar is better for those who need more support and want to be able to talk to a live person about their diet concerns.|
|Recipe Database & Meal Planning||There is no in-app recipe or meal planning database.||There is a large database of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts.||The recipe database in the Avatar app make it an appealing choice for those who get bored eating the same meals over and over.|
|Exercise Calories||There is no option to “eat back” the calories burned through exercise. However, it configures your macros based on your workout length and intensity and daily steps.||There is no option to eat back calories burned through exercise, but your calorie and macros are based on your daily activity and the types of workouts you do.||Both apps use your daily activity and data about your workouts to determine how much food you should be eating.|
|Price||Annual subscriptions for both apps cost about the same, but Avatar is more cost-effective if you prefer a month-to-month subscription.|
|Reviews||4.3/5 based on 4,800+ reviews||4.4/5 based on 250 reviews||The RP Diet app has more downloads on Google Play, so the low number of reviews on the Avatar Nutrition app appear to be because not as many people use it.|
Other Diet App Comparisons
About The Author
Amanda Dvorak is a freelance writer and powerlifting enthusiast. Amanda played softball for 12 years and discovered her passion for fitness when she was in college. It wasn’t until she started CrossFit in 2015 that she became interested in powerlifting and realized how much she loves lifting heavy weights. In addition to powerlifting, Amanda also enjoys running and cycling.