Can a Phone App Help You Lose Weight?

Can a Phone App Help You Lose Weight?

In both my downtown Toronto and Leaside clinics, I often see many stressed out patients who would like to lose a bit of weight.  For these patients, I will always start off by recommending that they download an app called MyFitnessPal.  Researchers in Liverpool, UK have found that smartphone apps can help people lose weight because it encourages them to pay attention and record the amount of food that they consume.

What Made The Run This Study?

These researchers developed an app and found that an average of 1.5 kg of weight loss was observed over their 4 week study.  They based this on their previous research which concluded that distractions (eg. TV, radio, computers, etc) increased food intake by up to 50% during a meal and later in the day.

All About Their App

They designed the app to consist of 3 parts:

  1. Before eating or drinking, users photograph the food/drink they are about to consume.
  2. Users are instructed to focus on the image after the meal, and enter the quantity eaten and feelings of satiety.
  3. A chronological slide show of the consumption episodes recorded during the day is opened and a short text message instructing the users to remember what they have eaten and remind them to eat attentively and to take a picture of their next meal

The Study Details

There was a total of 12 participants (5 were overweight and 7 were obese).  At the end of the 4 week study, 6 of the 12 participants lost 1 kg or more, 4 of the 6 participants lost between 0-1 kg and the remaining 2 of the 12 participants gained between 0.1-0.4 kg.

The Take-Away Message

It is important to note that this is just a preliminary study and much bigger and longer term studies are required in the future in order.  However, the take-home message is that we should all be aware of what we are putting in our mouths in order to pay attention to what we are actually eating, the amount of food that we consuming and signals from our brain that we are full.

You can find the study HERE.


If you’d like to sit down with me to discuss how I can help create a customized treatment plan for you to help you reach your weight loss goals, CONTACT ME HERE to set up a complimentary 15 min discovery call/meeting and we can get started.

What’s a discovery call/meeting?  It’s where we get to know each other better to ensure that I’m the right practitioner for you and that you have the opportunity to ask your questions about Naturopathic Medicine before we move forward with an initial Naturopathic consultation.


Here are a few more posts on healthy habits that you might also be interested in:




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