Why is this iPhone App helping so many of my clients lose weight fast?

loseitpostThe stats and the reviews about LoseIt say it all, this great little app seems to have hit the mark when it comes to weightloss. I have seen the results with my own eyes as the pounds are dropping off of my clients, friends and family at a surprisingly fast rate.

Check out the Apple App store to learn about the functions, read the reviews, and view additional screen shots. I am not going to regurgitate that information here, I am more interested in understanding the psychology behind this app’s success.

What I find peculiar is LoseIt’s complete independence from “the pendulum swings of food scares or fads’ (Michael Pollan, Omnivore’s Dilemma, 2006). We are not metabolic typing, slow eating, keeping it raw, organic or fortifying it. We are simply counting calories.

For a nation that ‘shell[s] out millions for the quackery (or common sense) of a new diet book every January’ (Pollan), it is odd that this free App with no trend associations is gaining such momentum.

From a sports psychology perspective, here are 3 (of many) reasons why I believe this App is a successful tool for behavior change.

1)  LoseIT provides Knowledge of results

The hourly, daily and weekly feedback in the form of the sliding budget bar, the calorie tally and net calories keep you informed about the accuracy and success of your program at all times.  For example, you may ‘see’ that every evening your second glass of wine ‘puts you in the red’. From this you are able to learn what you are doing wrong and create a benchmark for future ‘performance’. Conversely, successful days provide reinforcement of behaviors that you can try to duplicate on subsequent days.



2) Loseit rewards performance, not only the outcome.

You know the anxiety you feel in the moment before stepping on the scale for your weekly weigh in. Your entire weeks discipline is measured in a single moment as the scale flashes your success, or not. This is no way to live! LoseIt allows you to be successful all week long. The ‘visual’ display shows your progress, provides knowledge of improvement, and it encourages self praise every day!



3) Loseit targets specific behaviors

Our culture is so intricately linked to food and meals that behavior change surrounding what we eat can require an entire lifestyle change. We know that drastic behavior changes rarely stick.  LoseIt targets a specific behavior (customizing and balancing your calorie intake). It clearly defines what ‘new’ behaviors are expected yet allows you to make small changes to your lifestyle without being overwhelmed.



LoseIt is a great starting place for weightloss. Once you have a good understanding how to balance energy intake, it its advisable that you take the next step and ensure that all of the calories that you consume nurture your body and not just fill your belly!

Talkback Questions

Have you had success with LoseIt? What do you like/dislike about it?

Have you had success with a different program?

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