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Feel the Burn on Skype: Video Chatting is Transforming Weight Loss

In 2003, a handful of young software developers from tiny Estonia wrote the code for a voice-over IP program and called it Skype. Derived from the words “sky” and “peer,” Skype was a video chatting and instant messaging application that allowed grad students studying abroad to chat with their significant others back home. OK, that wasn’t the only thing it was used for, but more than 10 years and $8.5 billion later—thanks Microsoft!—the uses of Skype have outgrown simple peer-to-peer communication.

skype

The live and instant nature of Skype holds the senders and receivers of information accountable, making the program perfect for dietitians and personal trainers. Citing affordability and optimum time management, both our resident nutrition expert Mary Hartley RD, and the wellness team at Retrofit, among many others in their shared industry use Skype to counsel patients on diet and fitness.

“I could base an entire practice around Skype,” said Mary, who meets with clients in real life and over video chat. Living in New York City, Skype saves her and her patients gas money, traffic time, and office expenses. “Their (patients) appointments are booked on their Gmail calendars, they pay via PayPal before their appointment, and then we’re on,” said Mary.
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Fat is Just a Word and it Feels Good to be Sweaty! Insights from Jenny Hutt’s Sirius XM Radio Show

“I’m comfortable with the word fat. I like the word fat. It’s honest,” said Jenny Hutt this morning during her Sirius XM Radio show. I joined her on the air for about 18 minutes wherein we discussed the new F word and why we’ve given it too much power.

“It’s a word. It has as much value or meaning as a person places on it,” I told her, explaining why the word ‘fat’ doesn’t bother me.

LISTEN HERE to our chat and then weigh in on the fat conversation, hear why we love being sweaty, and why we picked the diets we called the best!

Jenny’s been on the air for eight years, one year longer than we’ve been greasing the wheels over here at DietsInReview.com. It was a joy to be invited on the show to talk about what we do here, why we do it, and what’s going on in the industry.
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New Mobile Apps Aren’t Replacing Weight Loss Companies

Despite what you may have read, mobile apps focused on weight loss aren’t eliminating weight loss companies as we know them. It has been reported that weight loss companies like Weight Watchers and Retrofit are losing business due to a rise in free apps like MyFitnessPal and technology like FitBit. While some individuals trying to lose weight may use those options before paying for a weight loss service, industry analyst John LaRosa believes they have little impact on the overall success of larger weight loss companies.

weight loss app

“I can think of about 10 things that have contributed to the diet companies’ poor showing so far this year,” LaRosa said. “It is not just about free apps like MyFitnessPal. It’s just that this app is now hot and it’s getting lots of attention and recent investor funding.” The activity-monitoring startup FitBit has also received a lot of funding lately and has seen its popularity grow  since its debut. Free apps and new devices may not be the sole cause of the diet companies’ downward trend, but something is definitely shifting.


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Retrofit Announces a New Half-Price Advisor Program, Debuts New Commercial

The word retrofit means to add new technology or features to older systems, and the weight loss company of the same name has done exactly that. With the use of state of the art fitness monitoring technology and a team of wellness experts offering hands on instruction to clients, Retrofit has experienced a 90 percent success rate and revolutionized the way people lose weight. There’s just one problem, it costs a lot of money to provide high tech gadgets and 24/7 client support, so Retrofit’s 12-month package hovered around the $3,000 range. In an effort to reach a broader audience, and make it less cost prohibitive for the people who need Retrofit most, the company recently announced a new, more affordable product – Retrofit Advisor.

Retrofit Advisor will feature the same successful products and services as the premium packages, but will cost half as much. Retrofit’s two high tier packages guarantee a 10 percent weight loss and a 15 percent weight loss, respectively. With the Advisor, there is no guarantee, and clients are assigned one weight loss advisor as opposed to three weight loss experts.
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Retrofit Finds That Tech Gadgets Make Weight Loss More Manageable

Weight loss is rarely a walk in the park, and some plans are so complex they can be downright intimidating. The strict dietary limitations and harsh fitness regimens of a new weight loss plan can conjure feelings of anxiety and can cramp the process entirely. A study involving the weight loss company Retrofit has revealed that their state of the art data tracking technology limits stress and confusion while producing positive weight loss results.

fitbit

Retrofit uses a 3D motion sensor called a Fitbit to track steps, calories burned, and sleep patterns to be analyzed by their team of weight loss experts. Retrofit employs a wi-fi Withings scale that calculates BMI and body-fat percentage. The data can be viewed online via software on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. In a 12-month study, lead by Retrofit, those using the technology lost an average of 19 pounds, while zealous clients who weighed themselves everyday lost an average of 26 pounds.

Retrofit CEO Jeff Hyman claims the program is effective for individuals as well as corporations looking to lower health care costs. “This statistical data proves that in personal wellness, you can manage what you can measure,” said Hyman. “In order for employers to reduce health care costs due to obesity and its related diseases, companies simply must have a weight loss program that seamlessly collects and monitors employee data.”
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