I have been using Lose it! on and off for years, but when they announced Lose it! Premium, I wasn't sure if it was worth upgrading. I found it very difficult to find much information beyond the promo -- even when users would post questions about it in the forum, the answers would just be a repeat of the information there. I wasn't sure the extra features were worth $39.99 a year, and was holding out for a discount or at least more information.
I decided to try Premium right before the start of the new year. As I looked back on my goals for 2012, I realized that my weight had remained pretty flat for the last year -- staying within 5 pounds of where I started in December 2011, with some ups and downs but no real progress. I wanted to see some changes in 2013, and I thought that having some new features in my main tracking app would help me to stay motivated and focus more on behaviors. And $39.99 a year is less than $1 a week. I upgraded in-app, so that I could use an iTunes gift card that I had gotten for my birthday.
Since I don't have a lot of interest in the private challenges and don't have a FitBit or any of the other devices that Premium allows users to connect to Lose It!, the main value for me in the Premium is the additional goals available in the upgraded version. There are a lot available:
I decided to track body fat, exercise minutes, fiber, and hydration in addition to my weight. The nice thing about hydration through the app is that it is not an additional step. When I track water, coffee, or other fluids in Lose It!, the app recognizes these as liquids and adds them to my hydration total. Other than coffee in the morning, the only drinks I consume are usually water and plain seltzer, though I have the occasional beer or glass of wine. I wasn't sure what my goal should be, so I started with 90 ounces. Most of the time, it seems to be pretty easy for me to drink that much.
The same is true for fiber -- Lose It! keeps track of the fiber in the foods entered without any extra step once a fiber goal is set. I started with 35 grams per day because I have seen that as the upper limit recommendation for most general sources, though the Full Plate Diet suggests at least 40 grams per day. To get 35 grams of fiber, I have to be sure to focus on eating fruits and vegetables with every meal. This goal has not been as easy as the hydration, but I'm starting to get the hang of it.
The nice thing about most of these additional goals is that they focus on behaviors rather than results. I think that is the real key for me. I am tracking body fat here because I can, but I still prefer FatWatch for body fat tracking because it does so much more, like tracking body fat weight instead of just percentage. Ideally, I'd like Lose It! Premium to interact with FatWatch so I wouldn't have to enter my weight and body fat twice.
Another feature that I haven't started using yet but will is the Meal Planning feature. If you try to track in a future day, the app shifts to planning mode and shows you the resulting calorie count from eating the planned meals. Once you eat the planned item, you just tap it to accept it into your food log. You can see an example of this on the Lose It! blog. I wish that it could allow you to plan on the current day as well, but right now, you can only plan in future days.
I think I am getting enough value out of the features I'm using to justify the upgrade cost. I enjoy all the geeky tracking and numbers and this adds more interesting things to track. I especially like that most of the goals don't require additional input to work, that they take the information right from the information I'm entering to track my calories.
There are plenty of great features in the free app, but I'm glad to see that the authors have created a way to generate income from the app without annoying ads or other things that would detract from the experience of using Lose It! This makes the app sustainable and assures that the developers will continue to support it. If you, like me, have been using the app for a long time, consider upgrading as a thank-you to the developers for creating such a great, useful tool.