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Happy New Year! We are back with our annual Web 2.0 Fat-Off. The Fat-Off is where we provide a list of tools to help you lose weight, maintain your weight or just keep your arse in check. Today is a great day to start a new lifestyle. Most of the tools we’ve listed below offer communities to provide a good support base. What I’ve found is that support from others is critical to the success of any program.
Here are 10 tools to get you started (in random order) and please leave your fat-off suggestions in the comments.
MyFoodDiary offers a food diary, exercise log, charts and a discussion forum. The site costs $9/month. The site is the longest running of the apps tested. Other features include: over 35,000 foods listed in the diary, color-coded food analysis helps to see what you are doing wrong, a strong community forum, and mobile access. Still no free trial, $9/month.
Fitbit demo’ed their product this past September to huge applause. This is the only gadget in the Fat-Off this year. The idea behind Fitbit is a small, paperclip looking device that you wear as you go about your day. It monitors a variety of stats and the company says it answers the following questions, "Did I get enough exercise today? How many calories did I burn? Am I getting good quality sleep? How many steps and miles did I walk today?" The Fitbit blog is interesting as the team discusses how the Fitbit is made and the decisions they had to take along the route to create the finished device. The Fitbit will be available this quarter and is $99.
Skinnyr just went through a major upgrade that we covered last month. The easiest way to describe Skinnyr is to say it’s an online scale that you can share. Founder James Thomas says they are adding between 20 and 50 new users each day. Skinnyr is an interesting service as it’s clearly not as robust as other online fitness sites but it does one thing very well. I could see a company like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig either acquiring or white-labeling the Skinnyr service for their members. Skinnyr offers free and premium versions.
NYC Representatives – DietTV, beYOU.tv and PumpOne
I like to highlight NYC startups where possible. DietTV helps you to build a personalized diet program and then use their tools and your friends to reach your goals. They have 90 diet programs listed in their database and a strong community. beYOU.tv describes their service as, "beYOU.tv is a fitness and wellness video community that lets You take control of your well-being, body, mind and soul." beYOU.tv offers a large library of videos which you can watch online or take with you to the gym and watch as you are doing the exercises. They also provide a trainer database so you can find the exact trainer to match your needs. PumpOne provides a set of workout videos which you can take on-the-go on your iPod or iPhone. The videos are around $10 or less in pre-packaged sets.
Traineo is still my favorite overall weight management application. It looks the best and has the best overall feature set. Last month they rolled out a new platform which includes: better graphing, speed increases when accessing the application, design enhancements and improved navigation. I really like the Traineo motivators program – you select 4 people to help encourage you to keep going.
Gimme20 has risen from the ashes with a new site and tons more content. The site is much stronger in content and community than in the previous version. Gimme20 appears to focus more on content than apps which could be a good complement to some of the other apps listed here.
SparkPeople is the most Web 1.0 of the list of reviewed apps but is also the most popular. They claim over 5 Billion calories burned and over 6 million pounds lost by their members to-date. The site is a bit much for me, but in my travels I’ve heard from many people who use SparkPeople daily. They have a sister site called SparkRecipes which focuses on healthy recipes.
Fitlink says they are "social fitness" by combining workout tracking and the ability to find others to work out with. I know that I’d love a workout partner – and not a virtual one. Having someone to motivate you as they too work on their fitness is great. Fitlink allows their members to create very rich profiles including a journal/blog, photo uploads, workout notes, and the ability to join Fitlink groups. There are event listings from all around the country as well.
MyFitTribe is a site for people in shape who want to stay in shape. Lots of hard bodies and good looking people from what I see. Relatively active site including forums, blogs, and video workouts. Seems similar to Gimme20 except for people already in shape.
WeightCircles is a weight-control support group. Not sure why they use that as the tagline as there is more to the site. They have blogs, circles (i.e. groups), and conversations. I like the idea of conversations – it’s not exactly a forum but more like a question and answer type discussion. There’s a certain relaxed, welcoming feeling I have as I browse and interact with WeightCircles.
Now pick one of these apps, setup the account, and get your butt off the computer and get in shape!
We initially covered Fitbit when they provided a look at their technology last month. The Fitbit Tracker looks like a large paperclip and tracks a variety of physical activities as you move around with the device attached to your clothing. Today the company is announcing they have raised $2 million in venture capital funding.
Fitbit notes that True Ventures led the funding round with additional investment by Jeff Clavier’s SoftTech VC and a group of angel investors. As part of the funding round, Jon Callaghan from True Ventures joined Fitbit’s board of directors. Fitbit previously raised $425,000 in angel funding.
The company plans to use the funding to push towards a launch in early 2009. The Fitbit Tracker will retail for $99 and you can pre-order one now. I wish they made it work with wifi; currently you are required to go "home" with the device for it to update itself. Otherwise it’s a device I would be interested in because it could just open my eyes to exactly what I am doing wrong. Maybe they could offer a 2.0 version that includes a stunner – eat the donut, get zapped, walk too few steps, get zapped. I’d also like to see them partner with other fitness services including Traineo so that data can be exported to the customer’s fitness site of choice.
Here’s what the Fitbit device looks like: