Food for Thought
It can be challenging to keep up with all of the website tools and applications for nutrition and weight loss, but here are a few standouts you might like for your clients.
Whether or not you agree with the idea of “gambling,” you have to admit this idea is novel. HealthyWage™ (www.HealthyWage.com) is offering Americans the opportunity to make money from losing weight. The company recently announced the launch of its “10% Challenge,” an innovative program allowing health-seekers nationwide to “bet on”—and profit from—shedding their unwanted pounds through any diet regimen and/or fitness program they choose to follow (Weight Watchers®, Jenny Craig®, Nutrisystem®, Atkins™ or any other formal or informal diet/fitness program).
How it works. Participants pay $100 for an opportunity to double their money—earn $200—for losing just 10% of their starting body weight, BMI aside, within 6 months. Each participant’s starting and ending weights are verified at one of thousands of HealthyWage health club partners throughout the U.S., with each member also self-reporting their weight online once per week.
What are your thoughts on tying monetary incentives to weight loss? Do you think it works? Weigh in at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This website (www.MealLogger.com) enables professionals to offer cost-effective individualized nutrition coaching to large numbers of clients by using visual, rather than written, client food logs.
How it works. Clients snap photos of each meal, snack or beverage they consume to build a visual food journal. The MealLogger website allows the professional to review what clients are eating and to comment constructively on ways to modify habits to reach goals.
Launched at the end of September, the Honest Label Foods Scanner allows consumers to scan the bar codes of food products and receive clear, concise nutrition information based on customized settings. The app allows shoppers to quickly identify products made with ingredients they wish to avoid. It lists daily values based on a user’s personal needs rather than on an arbitrary serving size, making it ideal for all consumers, especially those with specific dietary needs. For more information, visit www.honestlabelfoods.com.
If you haven’t tried this website/app yet, it’s definitely worth a spin. Lose It! (www.LoseIt.com) is intuitive, it’s simple to use, and it gives users a good understanding of the energy-in, energy-out concept. Since Lose It! is preloaded with thousands of commercial food brands and fresh, whole foods that are quickly retrieved along with calories and serving sizes, users can simply create a diet-and-exercise log and tie it to weight loss goals. Lose It! takes age, height, weight, sex and activity level into account with target weight loss goals and then automatically adjusts daily calorie goals to fit the individual. The program teaches accountability subtly, yet effectively, and rewards milestones with gaming strategy (badges, levels, awards).
A study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center and the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services ranked the free mobile diet and fitness iPhone application from www.SparkPeople.com as the best iPhone weight loss application among 204 evaluated. The study was based on criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, among others. It was published in the Journal of Translational Behavioral Medicine.