Popular diet app The Eatery allows users to rate their food photos on a scale of fat to fit, but a new app called Rise does that — and then some.
With Rise, users can upload photos and consult diet coaches for a mere $15 a week (the actual app is free). When you consider how much sessions cost IRL, anywhere from $50 to $200, this is a pretty great deal. Coaches can reinforce what they see in user photos, too: "Great selection of greens!" or "Greek yogurt is a healthy swap for sour cream."
Suneel Gupta, the app's founder and Dr. Sanjay Gupta's younger brother, tells TechCrunch the idea bore from his own experience with one-on-one coaching. At 14, Gupta was 40 pounds overweight, and his parents were respectively struggling with obesity, diabetes, and cancer. His doctor's recommendations didn't exactly translate to the Indian household — chicken curry was more likely to be seen at dinner than Brussels sprouts — so Gupta and his family enlisted the help of a coach.
With their coach's understanding of South Asian diets and customized weight loss program, Gupta and his family were finally able to better their health. The key, Gupta learned, wasn't the actual diet; it was behavior changes. It's the only thing that helps a person find long-term health and fitness results, Gupta said.
But is it really? "Partially," nutritionist and strength training expert Mike Clancy, founder of MikeClancyTraining in New York, told Medical Daily in an email. "Behavioral modifications lead to lasting changes if introduced at the pace that matches the person's ability, and willingness, to change," he said. "The idea is to introduce behaviors slowly until they become automatic for the person. The behaviors can, and will, will change over time, e.g., favorite foods become mundane, but the inspiration and desire to stay healthy and fit will always be there if the person can connect with what drives them. Behavioral changes and inspiration are a winning combination with long-term health and fitness goals."
In terms of diet, Clancy likes to have his clients focus on one dietary modification at a time. "Typically, I will instruct a client to introduce a different vegetable each meal, but I won't tell them what vegetables to choose," Clancy said. "This gives the client a sense of ownership and confidence that they can make proper choices that fall within the parameter. As they progress with their nutritional habits, I will give more generalized instruction and monitor the success of their choices."
If you're not in a place to really change your habits, Rise, The Eatery, and any other diet app may not work as advertised. But if you're inspired to change, the second part of Clancy's winning combo, then weight loss success is yours for the taking.