With summer festivities underway, many Chicagoans are looking to go from beer belly to beach body overnight. LoseIt doesn’t create said magic but provides the exact health guidance and consumption tracking features sought after by the dieting community. Through the ‘dreaded’ calorie-counting approach, this app forces its users to become religious about their consumption habits. However, dieters that use the app regularly and honestly are typically rewarded with the desired results.
How It Works
The process begins by completing a fairly straightforward registration and developing a customized weight loss program. Users are requested to enter their: starting weight, current weight, goal weight, gender, height, age and weekly weight loss goal. To keep goals attainable and level-set the overly aggressive, LoseIt caps the weekly weight loss goal at two pounds per week. The app then spits out a daily calorie budget along with an estimated program completion date based on the input data.
For each meal, snack or beverage consumed, users log the corresponding items through LoseIt’s impressively large database of food and drinks. The meal during which each item was consumed is specified, which helps create a personal baseline of acceptable calories for each meal. As one would expect, various forms of exercise can be logged against a user’s daily caloric intake. The app is packed with convenient features such as the loading of previously consumed meals for those of us that eat the same thing each day.
To summarize progress toward the end goal, LoseIt provides a simple daytime and week-to-date dashboard, which includes tracking to calorie budget and a nutritional breakdown of food consumed. The latter is especially helpful for the dieter looking to reduce carbs and fats from their diet, though challenges exist in using this feature as noted in the next section. Users can opt into receiving weekly progress reports and other forms of health guidance via e-mail.
Knowing that dieters like to broadcast their achievements, LoseIt is fully integrated with popular social media channels, Facebook and Twitter. This ends up being twice as effective for the user that takes advantage of these features when you consider the fact that dieters also dislike publicizing their shortfalls (thus motivating them to ensure that they’re only posting success to their Facebook and Twitter pages).
The biggest issue with LoseIt has been and remains accuracy in what was logged in the app versus what was actually consumed. This issue is more prevalent when eating at home where nutritional information is less transparent after ingredients are blended together and portion sizes become difficult to measure. This is a shortcoming that is impossible for LoseIt to fully remediate and one that requires at least some attention to detail by the user in order to get value out of the app.
LoseIt markets itself on being an overall health wellness app that places the same importance on balanced nutritional intake as it does on pure weight less. However, when food items available in its database aren’t an exact match to what one consumed on a nutritional basis, nutrition tracking loses accuracy and one’s wellness plan becomes more about calorie counting than trying to balance nutritional intake. As a partial solution to this problem, LoseIt allows users to ‘create’ a food item by entering all of its nutritional information.
At the minimum, LoseIt has value as a weight tracking application. However, it’s comparative advantage is in calorie counting and making a user’s estimation of their intake as accurate as possible (there is nothing more frustrating than successfully tracking to a calorie budget in the app just to see your weight going unchanged from week to week). One alternative app to LoseIt is GoMeals, which boasts an equally as impressive nutritional database.