Metro, Business

A New Way to Lose It! With Boston-Based Weight Loss App

Obesity and its related health risks have been repeatedly regarded as a major national and international health crisis for years.

As of November of last year, more than one third of adults in the United States are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In response to this problem, Charles Teague decided to build the top weight-loss company in the world. The result: Lose It!

Lose It! is an app that was founded to help people reach their weight-loss goals through healthy eating and exercise without the price tags many other weight-loss companies attach to their programs.

The app, which is based in the Seaport District, takes advantage of smart phones and the App Store. Last week, Lose It! launched its latest feature: Snap It.

Snap It takes the common act of snapping a picture of a meal before eating it, and turns it into a way to input calorie consumption. With machine learnings and a smartphone camera, Snap It allows users to see and track their calorie intakes by simply taking a picture of their food.

“We know that people need to achieve a healthy weight in order to live a healthier and happier life. We know through studies that calorie tracking works, and is an effective way to lose weight,” said Elyse Winer, vice president of marketing at Lose It! “But, until recently, there hasn’t been an easy way to track daily consumption and calorie expenditure. So the smartphone and app store was a great way to achieve that.”

The app is the industry-leading health and fitness platform, allowing users to create goals, track daily food consumption and fitness activity, and create and join community activities or challenges, along with integrating with most wearable fitness devices.

Lose It! takes the effectiveness of calorie tracking and introduces it to the convenience that smartphone capabilities make possible. Now, Snap It is making the app easier to use.

“Snap It is in beta, so we’re still ironing out the kinks, but the reason we launched beta was because the nature of machine learning is that it gets better the more people use it,” Winer said. “So we believe we’re uniquely positioned to make it that much more specific. Today it may say ‘toast eggs bacon’ but in the future it will say ‘fried eggs, toast with butter, turkey bacon,’ and give you the exact portion size as well.”

This new function takes the tedium of searching for foods out of calorie tracking, and makes the whole process of healthy, informed eating less daunting to those who are just starting to track what they eat.

“We have the barcode feature, which also uses the phone camera to scan the barcode of packaged foods,” Wilner said. “we also have a robust database with over 7 million entries that will most likely return the food you’re looking for … we make it very easy to track your food, and have that moment of ‘Wow this is what I’m putting in my body, maybe I should make these kinds of adjustments.’”

Lose It! also offers users a premium option for $39.99 per year. Purchasing this option gives users deeper and more personalized insights into what works for them. A premium account allows users to track more than just calories, opening up the ability to set goals around macronutrients, exercise levels, blood glucose, and sleep. The app also offers deeper analysis on users’ data, and recognizes “trigger foods” that derails users from their goals for that day.

“So we look at triggers and foods that set you off towards going over your budget or your goals for that day, which is really what the job of a nutritionist really is,” Winer said. “So it’s almost like a virtual nutritionist that you get with our premium offer.”

Now a team of 20, the Lose It! team has seen 26 million downloads since 2008, with about 3 million active users at any given time.

Featured Image by Lose It!

October 6, 2016