New app Visualize You lets users transform a before photo and generate a realistic after-weight loss image

By Jacqueline Andriakos
Updated April 08, 2015 05:15 PM
Visualize You

Do you ever picture yourself a few pounds slimmer?

Thanks to new app Visualize You, users can now better visualize their post-weight loss bodies even before hitting the gym.

The app, which was released Thursday, allows users to transform an old photo and generate a realistic depiction of their bodies at a new target weight.

The app was developed by Visual Health Solutions, in collaboration with the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic, the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and UnitedHealthcare, as a method of motivating weight loss by creating a visual cue.

So how does it work?

The app first instructs the user to enter a height and weight and upload a “before” photo.

The program then uses a 3D model engine and various algorithms developed by weight loss experts to digitally alter the photo to generate a realistic “after” image that shows the user at whichever goal weight he or she selects, according to the official website. Users can also share their before-and-after photos on social media.

Visualize You is also intended to more accurately represent the actual effects of weight change, compared to other basic editing apps that use simple photoshop methods to tweak pictures.

“People are looking for an effective way to motivate themselves and their friends to embark on a formal healthy weight program,” Paul Baker, CEO of Visual Health Solutions, tells PEOPLE.

And the app already received a stamp of approval from a weight loss expert.

“I will often recommend that people put up pictures of what they want to look like or what they used to look like, provided the body image is healthy,” weight loss specialist Charlie Seltzer, M.D., told Yahoo! Health.

“I’d hate for someone to put [a photo] in and see themselves not the way they are going to look, and get discouraged and disgruntled that they’re not changing how they’re supposed to. But my first thought upon hearing about this app, was, ‘It sounds like a really good idea,’ ” he told the news outlet.

A free version of the app is available, sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, along with an ad-free paid version for $1.99 for iPhone and Android.

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