RP Diet App – A Full Review

Last year, Renaissance Periodisation (RP) released an app as an alternative to their extremely popular diet templates. They first released an iOS version; unfortunately for plebs like me, the Android version wasn’t released until much later, in December. I downloaded it immediately, but elected not to start my diet until after Christmas (good decision, Rory.) I’ve now been using the app for some weeks, and I feel like I’m in a position to give a reasonable review of it.

I’ve previously reviewed the RP Hypertrophy for Powerlifters template, and Avatar Nutrition, which is a sort of competitor to the RP Diet App. It’s worth noting that I have no affiliation to RP at all, I just admire their work from afar.

You can download the app in the Google Play Store or Apple Store.

First – What it is

If you’ve used the RP diet templates before, you’ll be familiar with the structure. You set a goal and a diet length up front, and define some lifestyle information, including things like what time you wake up, when you train, and how many meals you want to eat per day (you can set these on a day-by-day basis; you don’t have to stay the same every day.)

Today’s lifestyle

Each day, a series of meals is defined for you. They’re presented with little cards, and you can select food from an approved list, then the app tells you how much of each food to eat at that meal. If you flip the card over, it also shows your macros and calorie total for that meal. Two or three times per week, you weigh in, and the app adjusts your calories for the coming days to ensure you’re on target to hit the goal you defined right at the beginning.

That’s it!

Second – What it’s not

There seems to be some confusion around the Internet as to how this works with the existing diet templates, and how it’s different from Avatar Nutrition or MyFitnessPal.

This doesn’t play with the templates. It’s a completely separate product. You use one or the other, not both at the same time (and I probably wouldn’t recommend switching mid-diet either.)

Secondly, it’s not an If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) diet. Although your macros can be exposed, it’s meant to be used so that you eat the food from the lists, and at the suggested times (more or less.) In their book, The Renaissance Diet, (which I highly recommend), they explain that although calories and macros make up most  of the efficacy of a diet, they don’t make up all of it, and some small extra benefits can be eked out through nutrient timing and nutrient quality. That makes it different from MFP or Avatar Nutrition.

The Good

I’m going to say up front, I think this RP diet is the best way to diet for performance, hands down. The RP Diet App makes following the RP Diets so much easier than the old excel templates, giving you notifications of when to eat, and how much of each food to eat. It also takes ancillary macros into account (which the templates do not) which means you stay much closer to the overall (implicit) calorie goal, so that’s all fantastic. For each meal, you can only select one food of each category. If you’re happy eating quite boring mix-and-match meals, like I am, that’s probably not a huge problem, but if you’re a person who craves variety and coherent meals, that’s probably something that needs some improvement.


One of my weird, mix-and-match meals

It also has a cool Shopping List feature, where if you preplan a week’s worth of meals, it gives you a checkable list of how much of each food you’ll need. I started using this, but soon discovered that because I’m a bit disorganised, it was much easier just to buy a pile of each food type and mix and match on a meal-by-meal basis. It think this feature would be greatly improved if you could select a data range instead of just the options “This Week” and “Next Week”, which I found a little vague.

Finally in the good section, there’s a two week trial period, which is more than enough time to get a feel for if you like the app.

The Bad

The RP Diet does not play well if your social life revolves around eating, which many people’s do. There, I said it. I suspect this is the best way to eat for performance, but it is not flexible, and that leaves you with the option of not complying/partially complying, or making some sacrifices. If flexibility in your lifestyle is something you want, this is probably not a good app to start with.

Like many brand new apps, this one has some stability issues. It freezes occasionally. Sometimes food quantities don’t update immediately, and update on the next page refresh instead.

The app is relatively expensive, at $15 USD per month (~25 NZD per month.) Personally, I think that’s an acceptable price, especially during aggressive dieting phases, but if I was just maintaining, or was more casual, I probably wouldn’t be able to justify it to myself. I certainly wouldn’t buy the 1-year option, mostly because of the lack of flexibility.

The Ugly

By “Ugly” I mean things which are currently a little strange or slightly negative, but could easily be improved. I’ve also hidden some feature requests here.

All of the foods are localised to what I assume is American standards. I didn’t even realise the same cut of meat had different names in different countries until using the app, so I guess I learned something, but it turns out that what we call sirloin steak in NZ, is not the same thing as they call it in the States. I’ve managed to figure it out now, but some localisation would be nice. On that note, more food options are a must. I assume that growing the food lists is on their road map for the product.

They use point weigh-ins, two or three per week. If you’ve made it this far, I suspect you know that body weights fluctuate a reasonable amount day-to-day and that using a moving average tends to give more accurate results. I feel slightly cheated when I’m trending down but a random one-day spike causes my macros to be slashed. I could calculate a moving average and use that myself, but I feel like daily weigh-ins where the app calculates a trend for you should be an included feature.

There are a couple of strange UI things, most notably that I set my target weight at 88 kg and it insists on displaying it as 87.9 kg. I suspect this is something to do with translating between kilos and pounds for storage / display, but I find it a little odd none-the-less.


I did not set my goal as 87.9 kg

Your largest meal of the day is always the last one, I suspect to combat the evening hunger many people experience, but I’d really like to be able to make it the second to last meal of the day instead (just personal preference). I know I could manually make the swap, but again, I feel like that’s something the app should be able to do.

The default fat-loss setting was custom which means, that despite knowing better, I gave myself quite an aggressive goal (mild regrets now my macros have been slashed a couple of times.) I do suspect that setting the default goal as being moderate, and the user having to deliberately make it more aggressive, might end up meaning people make overall smarter choices. 

Final ugly note – I found an athlete referral option, but it was buried in the settings page and not obvious at all, definitely not part of the on-boarding flow. I’ve set it now, but was I meant to? Does the referring athlete get anything for having referred me? I don’t know. It’s not clear at all.


Hi, Melody!

The Verdict

The RP Diet App is not an app for a casual athlete or a novice, but if you’re an advanced athlete (or like to pretend you are, like me) it could be perfect. Having laid out all the things I’ve thought about the app, it feels a little arbitrary to now give it a score out of five, but on the “will I keep paying for it” scale, my answer is “yes.” At least, yes, for the rest of my current diet. Once I’m at maintenance and maintaining happily, I’ll likely cancel my subscription until the next time I want to do a serious diet or mass phase.

Have you used the RP Diet app, or the templates? What did you think? I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Until next time.


  1. Denise Lujan · May 15, 2019

    As for the RP templates, I wish weight wasn’t the tracking factor. I’m interested in fat loss which does not necessarily mean weight loss.


    • twowhitelights · July 28

      That’s a fair concern – in general, weight loss is a good proxy for fat loss however, and tracking fat loss accurately is next to impossible. You can, of course, hack them to work with bf% instead.


  2. Emily Paul · July 2, 2019

    Hi There,
    Thanks for the review. I just had a questions around workouts/training. How does the app cater to workouts? I’m quite new the RP diet template (I haven’t started it, as I want to build enough knowledge around the diet first before I fully commit) but from what I’ve previously read, this diet specializes in power lifting/Olympic lifting/cross fit. Would you agree?
    Emily (Auckland, NZ)


    • twowhitelights · July 2, 2019

      Hey Emily,

      Workouts in the app are basically defined as in the template – you set each workout as either light, moderate, or hard. There are guidelines for what falls into each category (and you should be careful about this – most people seem to get it wrong), but that’s it.

      I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s catering for powerlifting/weightlifting/crossfit explicitly. It is definitely a performance diet, and performance is especially important when your sport is so narrowly defined, but any kind of training will fit, especially if you’re focused on improving in a particular sport. If you’re part of the RP Facebook community, there are lots of Facebook groups catering to specific training types, such as endurance training, crossfit, etc.



  3. Jonathan · July 7, 2019

    I’ve been thinking about the full RP program but $100 for Excel sheets seems like a miss and a lot of work is left to me. This app seemed like the missing link to bring modern technology to a forward thinking and popular program. If this seems to be for athletes focused on performance, what apps would you recommend for a casual athlete/novice?


    • twowhitelights · July 7, 2019

      Hey Jonathan,

      RP also has a more low-key diet option which is a little easier to follow, but it is also a spreadsheet, so you could look into that. Otherwise, I’m not really aware of any apps that do all the work for you. You could look into Avatar Nutrition, which is a macro-coach service, but there’s still a learning curve for that one (albeit less steep than with RP.)



  4. Courtney · May 7

    I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and have noticed a few “issues“ it’s not 100% accurate since it calculates your macros rounding up or down by 5. Also it depends on which order you add your food, if I add my protein shake first then egg whites, it says I’m over carbs but my protein didn’t move. Strange. So I put in my egg white first, just as I suspect, protein count Goes up but still zero carbs. Then added my shake. Everything was fine. Also it’s important to note to knew users to use the rebalance button. And make sure anything they scan is accurately input into the system.


  5. Pingback: Rp Strength App - Nine Weeks Of Cutting Weight Using The Rp Diet App ...

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