Changing your diet is hard work. And when you’re cutting out a major food group altogether, it’s even harder. But thanks to one new startup, you may not have to struggle alone any longer. Meet Lighter, the healthful new company that co-founder Alexis Fox calls the “Pandora for food.”
The concept is simple — people looking to make better choices when it comes to their eating habits sometimes need help moving away from all that processed food and red meat and toward a plant-based diet. But as easy as that may sound in theory, ask any dieter — it’s just not. But with Lighter, you’ll be told “what groceries to buy and how to throw great meals together, based on the recommendations of food leaders.”
These so-called food leaders are a roster of experts that includes athletes, chefs, health gurus, super parents, “working pros” and “bad-ass world changers.” But perhaps the most important part of the startup lies in the Pandora-esque aspect. The more you use it, the more the startup’s software learns what kind of food you like. And eventually (hopefully), you’ll only be eating the delicious things your heart desires (as long as they’re good for you, of course).
Upon beginning, Lighter asks about your goals (do you want to eat healthy or just simplify meal planning?), how big your appetite is (don’t worry, you can adjust your estimates), and whether or not you’re cooking for others (and how many others, if you are). From there, the site adapts to your habits.
“When people are deciding they want to eat less meat, they’re often overwhelmed, they feel lost,” Fox told Forbes in an interview. “Yet there’s this incredible network of people that have been through this journey, people who have great recommendations that they’re sharing through talks and books and with their patients.”
Unlike other food startups, many of which rely upon a meal delivery service model, Lighter is — well, a bit lighter. While the startup will provide recipes (most average between $4 and $5 per person) and advice, they’re not at all involved in actually getting the food to your door.
“What we’ll be doing is taking this platform and enable it to rest above existing grocery services,” says Fox,”The problem I want to solve is how do we help moms at 6:30 p.m. on a Wednesday night, when the kids are hungry and she’s had a long day at work, and she resolved to eat better weeks ago.”
Currently, you can explore all of Lighter and its options completely for free, but beginning June 1, you’ll have to pay for services like one-on-one nutritional counseling. That said, Fox and her co-founder Micah Risk want as many individuals as possible to benefit from the nutritional advice afforded by the site, so many of the basic functionalities will stay free.
So if you’re looking to model your diet after Beyonce’s personal trainer, a yogi, or a pro football player, Lighter just may have what you need.