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My New Diet Is An App: Weight Loss Goes Digital

By Yuki Noguchi

As they have with so many other industries, apps are shaking up the weight loss business, including big-name companies like Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers. And it’s basically because more consumers feel the way Jessica Holloway-Haytcher does.

A couple years ago, she tried diet shakes and supplements. She hated them. She also hired a former NFL player turned personal trainer — but his schedule never matched hers.

She spent $600 a month for programs that weren’t sustainable. She says she couldn’t keep up with the “astronomical” costs.

Now Holloway-Haytcher uses an app called Noom. (Noom is an NPR sponsor.) She has shed over 30 pounds so far, by changing her habits. She now prepares healthy meals in the morning, so she’s not ravenous at night; she focuses on conversation to slow her eating.

The app also helps her track meals, exercise and keep in touch with an online coach. It’s always with her, and works with her busy schedule as the owner of a staffing firm in Kennewick, Wash. Sometimes, it even feels as though the app knows what she is thinking.

“It’s kind of funny how I’ll open the app one day, and it’ll be exactly what I’m struggling with is what they’re talking about,” Holloway-Haytcher says. Like when she stopped losing weight, and got discouraged. “They talked about how that can affect you and how to work through it and then how to work through the negative self-talk that you have,” she says.

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