Monday, November 7, 2011

An APP for healthy choices

Hi Doc1,

I was reading your blog today and wonder you could give me an opinion
on a diet/fitness app I'm making right now ?

For me, I think the problem with being healthy is motivation. It's an
abstract, overwhelming goal. I think the best way to counter this is
to have concrete, winnable games and small victories.

So, this app will makes living healthy, and fitness into a RPG game,
where users earn points, and "level up' as they achieve their goals.
Everytime they eat something healthy like vegetables, they earn
points. Everytime they complete a workout, they earn points. Each
level will present different challenges.

The challenges will follow a certain structure. First will come
changing your environment such as getting rid of junk food. Then,
reducing stress, as stress leads to eating comfort food. Then concrete
goals like keeping track of everything you eat, or taking the stairs
for a week. Small, concrete goals rather than abstract ones like "be
healthy" or "exercise more".

The whole point is to create a holistic framework/game so people will
rely less on willpower, and more on fun, achievement, and changing our

What's your opinion on this idea? Would you want to know when I'm done
with it? If this sounds too silly, or absurd, just ignore what I just
said, hehe =)


Hi Christine, Doc 2 here. That is a GREAT idea. There are tons of health and fitness apps out there for this thing or that thing. One of the most popular that I see and sometimes use in my weight loss practice is "MyFitnessPal" and the "C25K" (aka Couch to 5K). However, I don't think that there is one with a roll-playing game approach. That would be VERY cool. When I was in medical training, I lost weight because I was in a competition with a patient who was a newly-diagnosed diabetic. The camaraderie and competition that we had in the process gave us BOTH benefit. Perhaps a mode of partnering or grouping people together (just like in an RPG) for a common goal is ALSO something to think about. I personally think that this is a GREAT idea.

I would be interested in collaborating with you on such a project if you are game for it. (No pun intended.) Think about it and get back with me.

-Doc 2

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