When nothing will motivate you to lose weight, how about an abusive app? Carrot Hunger swears at you and scorns your food habits after counting and analyzing the calories you eat every day. App users input their target weight and then a certain number of calories is calculated, but once the dieter nears their daily calorie limit a warning is issued: "Open the fridge, and if you dare to overindulge, I can punish you financially, aesthetically, and socially." So, if you don't mind being cursed by a machine that calls you "meat-bag" or "carcass", you can download it for free for iOS. Metro spoke with Brian Mueller, the Philadelphia-based developer behind the sadistic device, to learn more.
With Carrot Hunger, are you being funny or serious?
It is actually part of a series of productivity apps, all centred around this sarcastic-talking robot named Carrot. There’s a to-do list, an alarm clock, a workout app and now a calorie counter. I built these apps to make things that people hate doing – like waking up or losing weight – fun and rewarding. People had so much fun with the to-do list, for example, that they actually looked forward to getting stuff done. The workout app, Carrot Fit, helped so many people with its unique spin on exercising, that I ended up getting a bunch of requests for Carrot to take on a calorie counter next.
How exactly does this robot analyze the user's eating habits?
It uses the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation to calculate your basal metabolic rate based on the data you provide, such as your gender, age, height, and weight. It works just like any other calorie counter app – it just has this additional layer on top of it that makes eating healthy more fun.
Have you met any opposition to the gadget?
The response to the both app has been overwhelmingly positive. Carrot’s users love the unique and hilarious take on health and fitness apps, and for the first time ever they’re actually looking forward to working out and eating healthily.
What would you say to people who argue that fat-shaming ultimately doesn’t work?
When most people step on the scale and see they’ve gained weight, that often ruins their day and makes them depressed. Carrot’s humor turns that around and makes it a much more positive experience, and they connect with the character so much that they’re actually motivated to do better the next day. You don’t see anything like that with all the other boring, dry, lifeless apps out there. This approach might not be for everyone, but it’s really improved the lives of so many of Carrot's users.