Lose It!, the Boston-based meal-tracking app, announced on Wednesday that it has partnered with Rise, a dieting app that links users with nutritionists and health coaches. The partnership signals the first time that Lose It! will incorporate a human element directly into its weight-loss tracking efforts, which so far have helped over 24 million people lose 40 million pounds.
While tracking caloric intake has been proven to help people lose weight — in part because just making someone aware of just how many calories are in that Big Mac can help people make better food choices — research has also found that having a weight-loss coach can be instrumental in long-term weight management efforts. A 2011 study conducted at Johns Hopkins Medical Center found that obese patients who worked with health coaches, either online or by phone, not only managed to lose an average of 5 percent of their body weight, but kept the weight off for the next two years.
Lose It! had already created a dashboard-like tool, Ascend, which allows health professionals access to their client’s daily eating habits. But with the partnership, users can now have their Lose It! food information imported directly into Rise, where they can interact with a coach on a daily basis.
“We love the idea of coaching and we think it’s really powerful,” Lose It! chief executive Charles Teague said. “We’re excited to be making progress in that area for our users.”
For $48 a month, Rise pairs its users with nutritionists who can offer guidance on healthy snacking and meal planning. Its users log into the app between 25 to 30 times a week, and they’ve logged over 1 million meals since launching in 2013. The company’s roster of advisers is impressive — Harvard Medical School professor Russ Phillips, White House Innovation Fellow Adam Dole, and Sunjay Gupta, CNN’s health correspondent, who also happens to be the brother of Rise’s chief executive and founder Suneel Gupta.
“This is great for Lose It! users because it gives them another tool to lose weight, or reach whatever health goals their working toward,” Suneel Gupta said in a statement. “Health and fitness technology is great at measuring and tracking people’s data and giving them a quantified view into their activity or diet. Rise‘s coaching adds a layer of personalized advice and context on top of that that will help users make informed decisions, reach their goals and build healthy, sustainable habits for life.”