This MyDietCoach App Is Basically ThinSpo

my diet coach pro ana appThe other week when I was researching smartphone apps that can help you lose weight, I found some amazing resources like MyFitnessPal. Unfortunately, I also found an application that was so strange it made my jaw drop. Naturally, I downloaded it so I could investigate it further. It’s called MyDietCoach and it’s a wildly popular diet app geared at women; based on the aesthetic of the interface, it’s geared toward young women in particular. Many aspects of the application reminded me of pro-anorexia sites and harmful thinspo.

Let’s look at some screenshots I took from inside MyDietCoach:

thinspoapp1This is the home screen for MyDietCoach. This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of weirdness. You can customize the before and after avatar with different hair colors and skin tones to look like you. You can also customize the amount of weight you want to lose, the amount of time you want to lose it in and the reason why you’re losing it in the first place. You can seriously put that you want to lose 100 pounds in a month.

Here are some of the many options for not-so-healthy reasons why you want to lose weight:reason 1 They’re not all bad, but reasons like looking good at a high school reunion are shallow and disturbing. reason 3 reason2

Though MyDietCoach has some typical diet app functions like food and weight tracking, it also has motivational tips. That’s where things start looking especially like thinspo. You can choose between a number of situations you’d be in when there would be temptation to break your diet. Positive quotes and tips can be rather encouraging, but many of these veer in a more ProAna direction. See for yourself:

thinspo tip 2

Though visualization is a pretty helpful tool in achieving goals, the emphasis specifically on a “flat belly” and “control” is disturbingly reminiscent of ProAna fare on the web. thinspo tip 2

Again with the control business.
thinspo tip 4

The stock photo they paired this threatening quote with is in poor taste. Further, the urge to eat isn’t always a momentary temptation. You can’t regret everything you put in your mouth. We need food to live. thinspo tip 5

Another example of harmful focus on control and a particular body part.
thinspo tipThis is the worst reason ever to lose weight and conflates attractiveness with thinness. It also makes the app seem pointed toward school age girls who maybe shouldn’t have these sorts of messages beamed into their smart phones. The stock photo of two boys fighting over a girl is a strange choice. tips

Ask someone else to bribe you to lose weight! Oy.

That was just a small sample of the hundreds of similar tips based on challenges like “food craving” and “hunger.”

There is one thing I do like about MyDietCoach. You can program it to send you reminders. There are preprogrammed options like “Grab a small healthy snack or meal” and “Find healthy options for eating in my area,” but you can also set your own personal reminders. I have mine tell me to drink water a few times a day, in case I forget.

Check out the MyDietCoach Facebook page for more harmful examples of thinspo quotes like this one:mydietcoach facebook

Does anyone use MyDietApp? Has it helped you or did you notice its thinspo messages and turn away?

Images via MyDietApp and Facebook



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    • Lindsey Conklin

      You know how when someone tells you to chill out you kinda wanna go postal because it’s such an annoying thing to say to someone. that’s how i feel with the “control yourself” NO you stupid dietapp, I will not.

      • Joanna Rafael

        How DARE a phone tell me anything about control?

    • Kaitlin Reilly

      Ugh, this app is so annoying. The first few were like, “Okay, a little annoying, but whatever.” But “be the best looking girl in your class” accompanied by a stock photo of two guys fighting over a woman?! Ridiculous and not healthy. Just because you are losing weight doesn’t mean you’re in a competition with every woman on the planet.

      • Joanna Rafael

        “If you’re thin, boys will fight over” you is the worst message ever.

    • Alyson Melody

      That’s shocking!

      • Joanna Rafael

        It’s just beyond nuts.

    • Alexandra

      I have the app but I don’t use the “thinspo”, just the “panic” button when I have a big craving I want to avoid, like when my family has pizza for dinner and I know I can’t eat it, not only because it’s bad for my figure, but also because I have IBS and can’t digest wheat and dairy properly : /

      • Joanna Rafael

        I’m glad to know that MyDietCoach can be useful in healthy ways!

      • Alexandra

        Yeah the thispo quotes are best to be avoided. When I first downloaded the app they only had a short list which was mainly “be healthy” type quotes.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Holy shit, this makes me so sad.

      • Joanna Rafael

        I couldn’t even include some of the really disturbing ones because I didn’t want to screepcap and replicate them on the internet.

    • kaybelle

      The idea of ‘control’ juxtapose ‘food’ or ‘eating’ and ‘regret’ is exactly how one develops disordered eating habits. Or it’s at least how I did. It’s not the worst idea to have a panic button, but just very poorly executed. How about “Ask yourself, is this food for fun or fuel?” or “Let’s make a healthy substitution!” or even “Overeating leads to tummy aches and feeling tired.” *sigh*

      • Joanna Rafael

        *sigh* is right :(