Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet at the 2015 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet at the 2015 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet at the 2015 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo: Mike Coppola / Getty Images)

How do your favorite celebs stay fit? This app spills the secrets

MakeMyPlate merges food journals with celebrity nutritionists to help you meet your goals.

It's a typical weeknight. You just finished eating a microwaved dinner and watching Jennifer Lopez on TV, and you say to yourself, "She looks like she's in great shape. I wish I could have access to her nutritionist."

Well, fret no more. Celebrity dietitians and fitness experts are now only a click away. It's all thanks to MakeMyPlate, an app developed by Israeli entrepreneur and Ben-Gurion University alum Alin Cooperman. She started the service as a visual food diary. Simply add or replace items on a virtual plate and instantly see how many calories are in each item.

"When you get a list from a registered dietitian that says to eat two ounces of grilled chicken, you can't really tell how much is two ounces of grilled chicken," Lior Shoham, one of the company's co-founders, told From The Grapevine from her office in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In addition to the portion information, users also wanted to know what foods they should be eating. So MakeMyPlate presented the diets of four world-renowned nutritionists – including David Kirsch, who counts Jennifer Lopez, Liv Tyler and Heidi Klum among his clients, and celebrity fitness guru Basheerah Ahmad, who works with Carrie Underwood, Vivica Fox and Jordin Sparks. Each nutritionist has a meal plan that MakeMyPlate users can follow.

The company grew from there and now offers eight different meal plans including the Paleo diet and a gluten-free diet. They're also about to launch plans for vegans, vegetarians, and even one geared specifically toward a breastfeeding diet for new moms.

They've since added a dining out tool to the app as well. "If you go to Chipotle for lunch and you choose one of our meal plans – let's say the 1,200 calorie restriction meal plan – we would actually tell you not to open the menu," Shoham explained. "Just take a look at the app and you have many Chipotle options to pick from, which are approved by our dietitians."

"We want to be the marketplace that will bring any solution for any dieters out there," Shoham told us. "Whether it's to lose weight, or what you need to eat if you have diabetes, even if you need to gain weight." Already, 450,000 people have signed up for the app.

Working out of a collaborative incubator for Israeli startups founded by women, the company is expanding. They hope to have 16 meal plans by the end of this year and to double their workforce. And they're constantly thinking of ways to make the app better. When asked where she sees the company in a few years, Shoham said they are already working on personalized meal plans based on an individual's DNA. "We are working right now with a couple of researchers at Haifa University in Israel," she said. "We really want to see this happen."

Users can obtain a DNA testing kit and find out guidelines about their nutrition. "We can say what not to eat, but also what to eat in order to manage your weight wisely. We are working toward this milestone."


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Related Topics: Apps, Healthy eating