meal planner app

Diet and exercise tracking service NeedToEat helps you stay on top of what you eat and when. It uses real-life factors such as mood, habits, and preferences to track your health and keep you on a healthy eating regimen.

NeedToEat is hoping to cater to people who want variety in the diets and who would rather throw a dry chicken breast through a window than eat baked chicken four nights in a row. Instead of strict meal plans, which is one of the most common reason diets fail, NeedToEat offers alternatives based on the weather and your mood.

The company debuted its app today at the DEMO Spring 2012 conference in Santa Clara, Calif.

NeedToEat diet iPhone App

Above: NeedToEat iPhone App

Created by a physician who wanted a smarter health tracker, NeedToEat is designed to understand that humans have good and bad days. The app isn’t just for dieters, it also creates meal plans tailored for people with medical conditions, such as diabetes or high cholesterol.

The app works by tracking what you eat, how much you exercise, and taking into account life factors that can get in the way of a healthy living plan. You might be a gung-ho exerciser and eat a balanced diet all week, but on Friday you want to go out for drinks with friends. If you tell the app about your plans, it will help you amp up your workout or suggest a less-caloric meal to balance out the booze you plan on drinking.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the app on stage at DEMO Spring 2012, CEO Dan Nguyen first showed a old picture of himself at a heavier weight and then ripped off his shirt to show off his leaner body (pictured below).

MyFitnessPal, a popular online diet and exercise tracker with an iPhone and Android app, is the service to beat for NeedToEat. Other weight loss and exercise websites Fitocracy,, and FitDay have strong fan bases and offer similar features. The idea behind this new app is novel, but in an already crowded space, NeedToEat will need to impress users and offer something truly unique to edge out the competition.

At the very least, a panel of experts were impressed by the shock value of NeedToEat’s presentation. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Aileen Lee called it the most creative demo of the day, and Greylock Partners partner James Slavet said he hasn’t seen an entrepreneur tear off his shirt in six years of venture capital.

NeedToEat is based in the Los Angeles area and has seven employees. The company is self-funded.

Above: CEO Dan Nguyen rips off his shirt at DEMO

NeedToEat is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2012 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After we make our selections, the chosen companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

Woman on a diet image via Shutterstock

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