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Americans Rally to Shed Pounds after a Later than Normal Start to the Summer Shape Up
[July 28, 2020]

Americans Rally to Shed Pounds after a Later than Normal Start to the Summer Shape Up

BOSTON, July 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- While some speculated Americans deprioritized weight loss amid the COVID-19 quarantine, a new survey commissioned by Lose It!, the free food-tracking and weight loss app, uncovered that the majority of Americans (74 percent) feel more motivated than ever to commit to healthy weight goals. In fact, according to the survey, over half (52 percent) of Americans say they are more motivated to lose weight this summer than they were last summer and Lose It!'s own user data shows a 58 percent increase in logging of weight loss.

While summer shape-ups are nothing new, what's unique this year are the motivations for dropping those pesky pounds. A majority (64 percent) of Americans claim their motivation for weight loss or maintenance has taken on a self-care sentiment to feel healthier and more confident, shifting away from vanity factors such as looking good for an event or others.

Compared to pre-COVID summer seasons, this year Americans are clearly looking more inward than out:

  • Looking good for a special event like a wedding or reunion was cited by 67 percent fewer respondents as a motivating factor post-COVID-19;
  • A desire to fit into their swimsuit was cited by 50 percent fewer respondents;
  • Beach/summer vacation was cited by 43 percent fewer respondents as a motivating factor;
  • A desire to fit into more revealing summer clothing was cited by 42 percent fewer respondents.

"In the wake of COVID-19, people are starting to put more emphasis on prioritizing health and wellness behaviors such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and receiving enough rest and relaxation," says Marysa Cardwell, MS, RDN, CD, CPT and consultant to the Lose It! community. "These wellness behaviors have amazing benefits – increasing our health and well-being, as well as decreasing our cortisol and adrenaline levels. When our baseline stress levels are lower, we can better handle difficult and emotional events, and also keep ourselves on track with long term health, wellness and weight goals."

Across generations, improving health has been the primary weight loss motivator for Gen X (62 percent) and Baby Boomers (60 percent) prior to COVID-19, while feeling more confident was significantly more likely to motivate Gen Z (64 percent). But some generations are having an easier time than others post-COVID-19:

  • Quarantine made Gen Z (51 percent) and Millennials (48 percent) more motivated to slim down compared to Gen X (35 percent) and Baby Boomers (24 percent).
  • Half (50 percent) of Gen Z and 43 percent of Millennials say being quarantined due to the COVID-19 pandemic made it easier for them to slim down.
  • Gen Z (75 percent) and Millennials (76 percent) are far more inclined than Gen X (61 percent) and Baby Boomers (41 percent) to have engaged in an exercise and/or weight loss regimen – whether new or one they had tried before.

Lose It! user data substantiates these findings: compared to years past, Lose It! members have actually lost more weight this summer than previous years. However, the pandemic certainly turned traditional weight loss patterns and plans upside down. This year, there was a major delay with weight loss heating up about six weeks later than normal, but coming on stronger than ever. In late April, Lose It! saw a 32 percent increase in daily active users on the app (compared to a 3 percent decrease during the same time period in the past three years) and a 58 percent increase in logging of weight loss (compared to a decrease of 1 percent for the same time period in past years).1

"We entered unchartered territory in mid-March when most of the country started quarantining. This is a time when existing and new members traditionally have amped up their weight loss in past years, but we saw engagement with our tools fall off dramatically. Americans had so much to worry about, it was only natural that logging food and watching what they ate was not a priority," said Patrick Wetherille, CEO of Lose It!. "Instead of judging, we met our users where they were, providing real-time advice and content for handling the day by day and getting back on track when ready. That strategy worked, and the return to wellness has been tremendous, with more users losing more weight than ever before."

For more information and additional survey findings, visit the Lose It! blog.

About the Survey:

Lose It! commissioned ENGINE INSIGHTS to conduct an Online CARAVAN® survey to understand weight loss motivation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was conducted June 17-19, 2020 among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,004 adults 18 years of age and older. The findings among all 1,004 respondents can be interpreted assuming an error margin of +/- 3 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. Smaller subgroups will have larger error margins. Generations are defined as Gen Z, ages 18-23 (N=151); Millennials, ages 24-39 (N=263); Gen X, ages 40-55 (N=254); and Baby Boomers, ages 56-74 (N=307).

About the Lose It! User Data:

Lose It! looked at user data to understand how "Summer Shape Up" logging trends changed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic compared to prior years (2017, 2018, 2019). Lose It! defines the Summer Shape Up period beginning on the 10th week of the year (in mid-March) through the 22nd week of the year (at the beginning of June). Lose It! compared logging data during the "Summer Shape Up" period over the past four years to understand when users began focusing more heavily on weight loss leading into summer.

About Lose It! 

Lose It! is mobilizing the world to achieve a healthy weight. By providing the most comprehensive, personal, app-based weight loss program, Lose It! has helped more than 40 million members shed over 95 million pounds. Available on iOS and Android devices, Lose It! empowers members to live healthier lives and achieve their weight loss goals through motivation and challenges, coaching, overall health management, and the insights that come from tracking and monitoring daily calories, exercise, and nutrition. To learn more about Lose It!, visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

1Lose It! user data on logging trends between weeks 10-22 of 2020, compared to the same time period in years past (2017, 2018, 2019). 

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