App developed in Pittsburgh lets you see yourself losing weight before it happens

App developed in Pittsburgh lets you see yourself losing weight before it happens

PITTSBURGH — With all of the stress and disruption to our daily routines lately, you may be looking for new ways to stay healthy and eat better. Consequently, there is a growing trend in personalized diet apps. One woman said her weight loss journey is different with a new app.

Janice and Patrick Walsh are in a groove, having fun and losing weight together. The couple said their secret weapon is an app that was developed here in Pittsburgh called "View-2-Lose." The app takes their picture and calculates what they'll look like every six weeks during weight loss.

"It's a progression," said Patrick Walsh. "You can see the progress that you're going to make."

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The Walsh’s said the app’s predictions have been correct down to about an eighth of an inch. So how does it work?

Developer and personal trainer Dee Barker said it’s all thanks to a trunk filled with hundreds of clients’ weight and measurement journals from the past 25 years. She used the data anonymously to create an algorithm for something she’s been able to calculate in her head for decades.

"I actually could look at them and see how their body would change if they lost 10, 20 or 30 pounds," said Barker. "I thought, wait a minute, if I can do that, what if they could see it."

The app also teaches you how to exercise and set goals. The Walsh’s said it has changed the way they eat. That’s a very common theme in other weight loss apps right now, like my Fitness Pal, Lose It and Noom.

"You can improve your strength, your cardio, you can improve your meal plan," said UPMC dietitian Lisa Martich.

She says to put it simply, the apps teach you how to navigate your biggest exercise or diet road blocks like emotions, stress, lack of time and scheduling conflicts.

Janice Walsh said it makes you more aware, "I think it forces you to think more."

Patrick Walsh said he likes the app because it hold you accountable: “You have nobody to blame but yourself if you dont reach the mark.”

Martich says before choosing an app, do your homework: define your goals and if an app provides a “health coach,” ask for credentials. A “health coach” title doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve had professional training.