I had the opportunity recently to sit down and chat with the CEO of Lose It!, Charles Teague, to talk about upcoming integration with Microsoft Health. I was more than pleasantly surprised with our discussion. Being a long-time fitness freak, myself, it was great to talk with someone else that gets it when it comes to the importance of food for overall health and fitness. A lot of people think they can eat 5 Oreo cookies and then go spend 10 minutes on the treadmill to reverse the health detriment. That’s just not true. Our bodies don’t work that way. Each body type is different and so reacts differently to categories of exercises.
Cardio and weight exercises are only a small part of overall health and fitness, with a good sleep regimen and food taking up the rest. It’s estimated that what you eat is 85%-90% of the big picture, leaving just 10% for sleep and exercise.
And, this is what Lose It! is based on. Lose It! is a service that allows anyone to set food goals and then get support for success through the app (iOS and Android – for now), through the web, and through the Lose It! community.
As Charles put it:
“We have a pretty simple goal: mobilize the world to lose weight. Be healthier and more fit. Part of that goal is thinking about what you eat. Microsoft gives such useful data with Band v2 - but food is even more important.”
The unveiling of the integration with Microsoft Health and Lose It! was part of the overall device launch announcement in NYC at the beginning of October. And, though the partnership has already been announced, the full integration is still in the works. Right now, a piece of that integration already exists in the company’s iPhone and Android apps. You can go into the app today and choose to pair the service with your Microsoft Band v2. Today, the integration is simple. Lose It! integrates steps data and shows how active you are versus the calories you consume. It tells you how active you should be to reach your goals.
But, bigger integration is still on the way. Charles could give no hard dates or timelines, but only suggested that its coming pretty quickly. A Windows 10 Mobile app will be available when Microsoft finally makes its developer “bridge” technology available, i.e., Lose It! will port the Android version of the app to Windows 10 Mobile. Additionally, all of the apps will eventually integrate more deeply with Band v2, providing a special Band tile for calorie alerts to help with real-time food decisions. So, the 1st generation is just focused on steps, but is being evolved to meet customer needs.
Microsoft already integrates with similar food tracking services such as myFitnessPal and MapMyFitness, but Charles believes that Lose It! offers much more. Launched in 2008, Lose It! can do things like look for patterns of success. It can use data about specific meals and specific exercises and determine the proper mixture. Example: Is a lower carb breakfast working for you?
If you have any experience with MyFitnessPal or the food database for MapMyFitness, you know there’s still a lot to be desired – primarily because the food database is so screwed up. New food entries aren’t vetted correctly – or ever, in some cases – so that there’s multiple values for the same food items. The Lose It! food database is curated for quality. The current database contains 2-3 million foods, but it is all personally managed for accuracy. Search for a glazed donut and you’ll get a single item that has all the correct calorie and ingredient information. To me, this is hugely valuable. I attempt to use MapMyFitness today to manage food intake, but have to also use CalorieKing to make sure I’m always selecting the correct data.
There are two editions to Lose It! – a free version and a premium version.
Lose It! Free is free forever. The free service focuses on losing weight and managing calories and is completely oriented around the weight goal.
Lose It! Premium on the other hand, adds new, richer sets of goals (health, body measurement), deeper insights, patterns, and trends. Lose It! Premium costs $39.99 per year. That’s a pretty great price considering Lose It! offers much more than Weight Watchers Online which costs almost $230 per year.
I thoroughly enjoyed my chat with Lose It! CEO, Charles Teague. It’s great when you can sit down with like-minded people because the conversation is compelling and more comfortable. I’ve signed up for my free Lose It! account and am anxiously waiting for the Windows 10 Mobile app and the bigger integration features. Charles promised me a look at the Premium version of Lose It! when the expanded Band v2 integration is available and I’m looking forward to it. I’ll report back with a review.