Two Egyptians Launch a Weight Loss Coaching Platform to Solve Egypt’s Obesity Problem
After realizing how frustrating and time consuming it is to visit nutritionists and coaches in Egypt, two young Egyptians Eman Wed and Kareem Fares digitize the weight loss experience by launching a platform that connects you to a doctor and an online coach to skew clients towards their weight loss and fitness results.
‘Well Fit GO!’ is a psychology based weight management and healthy lifestyle management app. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that 19 million Egyptians, who account for 35 percent of Egypt’s adult population, are bordering obesity. Despite the conclusion of the study in 2017, the numbers are assumed to have continued to increase because no viable measures have taken place.
“Dietary insufficiencies are superseded by other reasons related to living conditions and to the low quality of ingredients making up the diet of most Egyptians,” UK-based English publication The Arab Weekly reports.
In the region, there is a shortage in the number of nutritionists who offer quality service. Additionally, people are in the habit of visiting doctors based on other people’s experiences.
‘Well Fit GO!’ aims to help minimize the obesity rate in Egypt by providing an easily tailored and scientific weekly diet plans while coaching them step by step towards a healthier lifestyle.
It is similar to the popular food tracking and weight management app Myfitnesspal, but instead of focusing on tracking caloric intake or macronutrients, ‘Well Fit GO!’ aims to coach people how to overpower their mind when it comes to food.
Although the app is not yet launched, ‘Well Fit GO!’ is currently operating through Facebook Messenger. Customers contact the page and fill out a questionnaire about their weight, health, goals and go on. Afterwards, these answers are forwarded to one of the Well Fit GO doctor who tailors an eating and exercise plan based on the answers. The doctor follows up with the clients weekly and amends the plan according to their progress.
‘Well Fit GO!’ also offers daily tips and special target challenges for their clients, for example a certain water intake, to help them achieve the best results possible. The point of these challenges is to establish healthy habits one step at a time.
“I used to be overweight, and tried to lose weight on my own, but it was very difficult because the generic tips do not work for everyone. Instead, I decided to visit a nutritionist and realized that following a healthier lifestyle was easier than what I was struggling with, but it was still a hassle to make time every week to go to follow up sessions. It was very time consuming to receive a service that lasts for 10 minutes,” co-founder Karim Faris shares.
The main reason behind digitizing this service is to facilitate communication between the doctors and coaches and their clients. This service is available 24 hours, which means that the client can reach out for advice or support at any point of the day and he or she will receive what they need.
“This frame of communication is very important because psychological award is very important factor during a weight loss journey,” Faris says. Not to mention the difficulty of committing to follow up diets especially for those who have a busy schedule is quite tedious because of traffic, waiting period and other time consuming factors.
However, it was not easy. People were skeptical about the service in the beginning especially since it was a healthcare service. But, as several clients share their experience by leaving reviews on Facebook, this encouraged other people to try ‘Well Fit GO!’. “In our first month, we received 214 clients who on average lost 3.5 kg per month,” Faris pointed out excitedly.
Well Fit GO! is one of the 10 Egyptian start-ups selected to be a part of the 6-week accelerator program Changelabs incollaboration with Egypt’s Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation incubator Fekretak Sherketak as well as Blom Bank Egypt, Amazon and the Entrepreneurship Academy by SANAD.
The program was designed to “shape ideas into viable businesses that bring change to the Egyptian ecosystem following the country’s 2030 vision for sustainable development,” the press release reads.