Before I started Lady Moxy, I spent three months researching various health apps, and interviewing people who had previously tried Weight Watchers (now WW) and Noom. I received lots of insightful feedback. Here’s what I learned before selecting the best app for healthy eating.
Everyone I interviewed mentioned the importance of accountability. How it helped to achieve new health goals. How it changed behavior when someone was watching. How it corrected unhealthy habits such as eating too much added sugar or refined carbohydrates. For added insight, I checked out Gretchen Rubin’s book Better Than Before to identify personal strategies for making habit changes. No surprise — accountability and monitoring do result in positive change.
Here’s how habit-changing accountability works inside Lady Moxy:
Member: “My goal is to eliminate mid-afternoon sugar cravings.”
Me: “But I don’t see any afternoon sugary snacks in your food photos. Where are they?”
Member: “Well…now that I’m uploading photos of my daily food intake and I know that you’re watching every day, I stopped eating sugary snacks.”
The first time I had this conversation, I thought it was a fluke. But now this conversation happens quite often. It’s definitely not a fluke. Keeping yourself accountable, and knowing that I’m coaching, guiding, and commenting daily is a powerful habit-changer.
Another powerful habit-changer relates to small changes over time. The longer you repeat a new positive habit, the better you’ll feel about yourself, and the easier it is for that new habit to stick.
When I researched how health apps incorporated personalization, I learned about the use of chatbots with their seemingly canned answers, and the use of inexperienced health coaches with limited knowledge.
Chatbots that use artificial intelligence are here to stay. But remember that these chatbots are only as good as the data inputs. Currently, chatbots lack the complexity or nuance needed to provide holistic and personalized coaching on matters of nutrition and diet.
Then there are the virtual health coaches utilized by many health app companies like Noom and WW.
Who are these coaches?
Are they qualified? Have they studied nutrition science extensively through a 4-year undergraduate degree program?
Do they have current knowledge of food science, and health-related medical studies?
Here’s the answer from CleanPlates.com
“Noom’s health coaches are certified through a four-week program called ‘Noomiversity.’ This program is approved by the The National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC), but that doesn’t mean that all of Noom’s coaches are qualified to provide meal plans or nutritional advice for all conditions: It takes much more than four weeks to learn the ins and outs of nutrition, physiology, and psychology, and there’s no requirement for Noom coaches to have other certifications, licenses or degrees.
WW’s digital coaching system is similar to Noom’s, with all contact happening through a secure messaging platform. Many WW coaches are former WW customers who have their own success stories about the program.
Like Noom, WW does not require these digital coaches to be registered dietitians, doctors, psychologists or other licensed professionals — instead, they’re certified through a program that WW offers. The in-person coaches at workshops or as part of the one-on-one coaching plan are also certified through the independent WW coaching program.
So instead of acting as nutritional coaches or registered dietitians, Noom and WW coaches are there mainly to provide motivation and help you stick to your plan.”
Bottom line: most virtual health coaches associated with corporations like WW and Noom are not experts. Four weeks of training hardly qualifies someone as a wellness coach.
In addition, the millions of downloads that these firms boast precludes them from delivering meaningful personalization. It’s all about quantity.
I’m not saying that Noom and WW programs don’t work. They do for some people. As with all marketing in the food world though, it’s important to reveal the facts about these firms: AI chatbots and unqualified virtual coaches with hundreds or even thousands of clients cannot possibly provide personalized, meaningful guidance.
Lady Moxy’s Approach to Personalization
Finding the best app for healthy eating was a technical challenge because I wanted personalization, not tech, to take center stage.
After an in-depth search, I found a HIPAA-approved website platform and app called Healthie, designed specifically for nutritionists and dietitians.
Lady Moxy leverages Healthie to enable deep personalization with one-to-one phone consultations, the ability to offer personal care plans, and the flexibility to work with members who have a wide variety of goals.
Members with healthy eating goals may focus first on reducing sugar consumption, but inevitably other goals include lowering cholesterol, losing weight, preventing diabetes, eating gluten free, drinking more water, sleeping better, exercising more, and stressing less.
Lady Moxy doesn’t focus solely on losing weight like many other healthy eating apps. Lady Moxy doesn’t use points, rely on food databases, count calories, or encourage daily weigh-ins. Members simply log in, upload photos of what they eat and drink each day, and receive customized coaching.
After a one-to-one phone consultation, members have an action plan that outlines how to reach their goals. Then, on a daily basis, I view the uploaded food photos, and provide guidance, ask questions, and make comments. The result: members start making habit changes, and they achieve their goals by getting actively involved in their health. They read ingredient labels, cook new recipes, and follow their personal care plan.
Member access is capped each month. This enables clients to receive my full attention. Lady Moxy is not about quantity served, but rather about high-quality personalized service.
Former members who complete a 2-week or 4-week plan also have the option to sign up for an added dose of personalization any time in the future. The purpose of the “Sustain Plan” is to reinforce healthy habits, and to quickly get back on track, if needed.
Final Thoughts About The Best Healthy Eating App
The best app for healthy eating is a matter of personal choice and budget. Each healthy eating app offers a different approach. The majority lack daily accountability check-ins and personalization due to the sheer number of clients and/or inexperienced coaches.
I’m definitely biased. I’ve seen firsthand the significant habit changes that members achieve by engaging with Lady Moxy. The platform and app that I use was built for professionals who prioritize accountability and personalization. Learn more here.
I look forward to hearing from you!