Experts say that diet and exercise are the keys to finally seeing a new, thinner you. Well, phooey on that. If you want to see yourself 20 pounds lighter, just turn to the magic of the Internet.
At www.weightview.com, you can upload a personal photo that the WeightView staff will alter to demonstrate what you'd look like after losing 5, 10 or 20 pounds.
OK, so a person still does have to exercise and eat right to actually lose the weight. But a photo of a slimmer you might provide some motivation. The folks at WeightView, a year-old company, told SNEWS® that people will have more faith that they can lose weight if they can see a picture of what they'll look like after they've shed pounds.
"We want people to be successful in their weight loss goals and initiatives, and one of the things that's really powerful is a visual tool that shows you what you're going to look like before you actually get there," said Ronit Koren, vice president of marketing for WeightView.
Koren said the company employs artists who use patented software to alter photos in a way that realistically depicts weight loss; they do not simply shrink or stretch images to make a person appear thinner. Koren said it usually takes an artist a couple of days to doctor an image, and WeightView says it will e-mail the photo of the new, thinner you within 48 hours. We didn't ask if they could do a new you that was more muscled….
To see how well the process works, our courageous SNEWS® reporter Mr. M uploaded a photo and requested that WeightView knock off 20 pounds. And his reaction to the before and after photos? It was dramatic. "Good grief, I need a haircut!" he exclaimed. "Seriously, I look like I have a mop on my head."
Of course, we're not even going to show you his hair since he was so embarrassed about the bad-hair day he insisted we chop off his head.
Hair issues aside, he could definitely see a difference in his physique…some good, some bad. "I like it, but what happened to my arms? I mean where are my 'guns'? Gotta beef up those biceps for sure," he said. The result was good enough that he considered putting the image of his thinner self up on some dating websites. "But this really puts on the pressure," he added. "If I'm really going to get that skinny, I'm gonna have to lay off the donuts."
The photo-altering service is free, and to participate you simply register with the WeightView website by submitting a photograph along with a few vitals (age, height and weight) and the number of pounds you wish to lose. SNEWS® received a WeightView press release that said the service is free for a limited time, but Koren told us the company plans for registration to remain free in the future. She added that revenue will come from advertising rather than paid subscriptions on the site based in New York City.
After registering with WeightView, a person also gains access to other website features, such as a newsletter, member blogs, weight loss tips and recipes. "We're trying to create a social networking site populated by people who are trying lose weight, and they can use the site for motivation through visual means or socializing with their peers," Koren told SNEWS®.
She said that since the site launched a year ago, about 10,000 people have submitted photos. We forgot to ask how many of those people are still staring at skinny pictures from a less-than-skinny body. Maybe they'll need some help with the just-do-it part of exercising regularly. Oh, and Mr. M, you gotta lay off those donuts too.