Healthcare Technology Featured Article

May 27, 2015

YouPlus: A New Approach in the Crowded Weight Loss App World

Health and fitness apps have seen a great deal of success and interest lately – thanks mostly to the ability to have all necessary tools at your fingertips. Add to this a chance to connect wearable devices and measure accurate data from one’s own daily activities, and the value of these apps increases further.

Along with this rise in popularity comes a plethora of apps to choose from basic calorie counters, to food trackers, and more. Paid or unpaid – the uses can vary and every provider still claims to have the right mix to help users finally shed pounds and get in shape.

Having myself already been familiar with quite a few of these options (downloaded to my phone, used, then forgotten in the pile of ditched weight loss efforts of my past)  I was intrigued when offered a chance to review the YouPlus system. A book, website and an accompanying App are offered that take a more practical and scientific approach to hitting weight loss goals.

The book, Reprogram Your Life: Bioscience for a Healthier You, by Dr. Steven Willey, a weight loss expert, gives a deep background and information on how the You Plus program works and why. The idea here, according to Wiley was to, "provide easy to understand education and instruction while making it actually doable and sustainable."

Unlike other apps out there, which mostly allow users to track the calories consumed in every bite of food they take (this can get tedious in my opinion) and match it with how much physical activity is done in a day, YOU+ (YouPlus) uses medical research combined with an advanced Feedback+ algorithm and customizes a fitness, nutrition and sleep system for specific users.

According to the creators, “Your eating, sleeping and exercise habits are part of a complex, interconnected system,” and in order to get them in check easily what’s needed is a simplified approach to handling and maintaining the systems.  This includes understanding how various nutrients work in our digestive systems and knowing how insulin levels can play a key role in our weight loss abilities, and more.

After taking some time to read the book, play with the app and try it out, here is my feedback on what I liked, and what areas I think could be enhanced further.


With this app, you don't need to count calories because it helps you make the best nutrition choices - whether you're at home, traveling, or at a holiday party. It breaks the ideal down into something pretty simple to remember and without the need to track every morsel.  That ease took a lot of pressure off of having to remember what could and could not be eaten, and how much. 

The app, unlike many others I have used in the past also offers a much more detailed description of how a person should be working out. So many apps out there offer a place to enter the workouts done and calculate the calories expended, but they don’t offer the specifics of what exact motion should be done, when and how many reps to see actual results. Having that kind of precise direction was also very motivating.

Another thing this app offers that so many others don’t is a consideration of our sleep and how that also affects our health. By tracking and paying attention to our sleep patterns it’s much easier to understand fatigue and find other areas for improvement.


While I really enjoyed all of the personalization and the exact directives on how to go about my every day workouts, not to mention the email reminders on what chapters of the book to be reading, there were a few things that I still hoped for.

By leaving out the need to track every bite of food, the app lacks an area where food intake goals can be measured and successes celebrated.  While it’s great to not have to write down every bite, it’s also nice to be able to record these winning steps. Even just a check box to note that I was on track with those items would be a great addition in my opinion.

A more defined progress report on daily accomplishments would also be a welcome addition. I feel the app just didn’t give me that final “feel good vibe” at the end of each successful day that some of its competitors do well.

Final Thoughts:

Losing weight is hard, and having over-encouragement and tons of handholding along the way is a very vital element to the longevity of the journey. All in all the You+ System was a great way to cancel out all of the diet myths and fads we are brainwashed into hearing and a great way to get back to the science of it. The app also does a great job at offering an interactive plethora of information that is visually appealing and easy to use. The addition of more accountability and motivation features would certainly put this app at the top of my list of go-to tools.

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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