So, you’ve started a weight loss plan and have every intention of sticking to it until you reach your goal. You’ve set yourself up for success by stocking your fridge with nutritious foods, pulling your “healthy eating” cookbooks out of storage, signing up for some daily email inspiration and maybe you even bought a new pair of walking shoes to hit those 10,000 daily steps in style. But all your best efforts can go out the window as soon as you step into a restaurant.
Now there’s an app on a mission to change that.
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Meet Suggestic, the nutrition app focused on helping you achieve your health goals at all stages of life—whether you want to become vegan, go low-carb for a month to lose weight, or start eating a more Mediterranean diet, they have a plan. These plans are often “hosted” by health professionals like Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Joel Furhman, offering you step-by-step guidance to achieve your goal.
But one of Suggestic’s most interesting features is an AI-powered restaurant tool that empowers users to find the best items for their eating plan and health goals from the menus of more half a million chain and local eateries nationwide.
Shai Rozen, co-founder of Suggestic, says this technology is the first of its kind. The app sources restaurant data from a variety of websites and companies that sell this kind of information. Their tech then fills in the gaps to estimate nutritional information based on hundreds of factors, including the price and location of the restaurant. Finally, it compiles the nutritional information for each item on a menu and compares them to your eating plan and dietary preferences to help you navigate towards better choices.
“Our goal is not to only help you know what to do but how to take it into real life,” said Shai Rozen, co-founder of Suggestic. “I’ve tried dozens of different diets, but it’s just not realistic to eat Zone bars every day. I wanted something that would solve the real-world problems to daily weight loss inhibitors and frustrations, like the fact that I eat out a lot.”
The tool uses your location to identify restaurants in your area and then ranks their best menu items—even telling you why an item is likely to work with your plan and goals. The app also lists the menu item’s ingredients (if known). Still, it's not perfect, and especially if you have an allergy, you should check with the restaurant before ordering to be sure the information is accurate.
“In our research we found out the most common questions coaches and R.D.’s were getting from clients and players were how and what to eat when dining out at this or that restaurant,” Rozen said. “Our app works to ‘understand’ your surrounding to help you stick to your plan wherever you are.”
It’s important to note this restaurant tool is great for those looking to eat healthier overall or are trying a new kind of diet, but it may not be best for those rigidly focused on a precise caloric range or who have to closely monitor sodium or sugar intake. Restaurant meals are known for being higher in calories, sugar, fat, and sodium than home-cooked versions and portion sizes of the same menu item can vary at the same table, so the tool can’t always be 100 percent accurate. But any guidance is better than pure guessing, when dining out.
Like many other weight-loss apps, Suggestic’s plans come with recipes, grocery list builders, and educational resources to help the transition from diet to lifestyle go that much smoother. But unlike many apps, you can also log whatever foods are sitting in your fridge and it will generate a healthy recipe that fits your specific plan! And if you don’t know which plan to choose, there’s a quiz to help you determine the best one for your needs.
Check out Suggestic on the App Store—it’s free to download, but you do have to pay a subscription fee depending on which plan(s) you want access too. Plans range from $12.99 per month, $59.99 per year, or a one-time $299.99 fee for lifetime access.
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