CHEATING on your diet could be a thing of the past thanks to a smartphone app which can predict when someone is going to eat more than they should.
The app is called OnTrack and aims to help users stick to their diets and eat healthily.
Alamy Weight loss apps are extremely popular but aren’t thought to help that many people lose weight
Researchers at Drexel University in the US evaluated how effective the app was amongst weight loss program participants for eight weeks.
The app uses machine learning to gain an understanding of a user’s individual pattern of eating.
It learns the patterns of behaviour for when an individual is staying on their plan and when they are not.
If the app’s algorithm detects a high risk of lapsing then a special coaching message detailing the reasons of why an individual might lapse is sent to their phone.
The app sends an initial warning message which users can expand to see why it thinks they might cheat
For example, the app can predict if a person is eating late at night because they’re bored at home.
Predictions from the app get better over time as the algorithm gathers more data about the individual.
Lead author of the research Dr Evan Forman said: “This study is part of a line of research devoted to helping people become more adherent to a dietary prescription, which leads to more successful weight loss.”
He added: “Apps are particularly useful for predicting and preventing individual health behaviours.”
Weight loss apps are extremely popular but Foreman thinks they aid very few people in actually losing weight and keeping it off because they don’t do enough to help you stay on track.
Dieters who experience lapses prevent themselves from successful weight loss and are more likely to gain weight.
The OnTrack app is not available to the public right now but will be undergoing further testing very soon.
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