The New Year’s very first ‘Why I Built This’ episode is here and we are bringing you Jason Loewy in it. Jason was a Computer Science major who got into professional body building after his university football career was ended by unexpected injuries. As an athlete he had to pay attention to his diet from an early age. But when it came to tracking, he simply couldn’t find an app that met his expectations. So he decided to build his own.
Listen to this week’s episode to hear how Jason mixed his professional life with his true passion and turned it into MyMacros+, an app that’s ranked in the Top 10 on the App Store today!
Three Things You Will Learn
1) The Journey Of MyMacros+
Jason has been an athlete since an early age, so tracking has always been a part of his life. But as a professional body builder, he had some more specific requirements when it came to tracking his macros than an ‘Average Joe’. So instead of going from one trial & failure to another, he decided to take matters to his own hands.
Press play to find out how MyMacros+, an app that Jason originally built only for himself, has turned into a success story!
2) Why You Should Download MyMacors+ Instead Of Other Apps
We know that nothing is perfect. But as Jason explains, there are a couple of very fundamental issues with most nutrition tracking apps out there. Let it be the too complicated process of logging your food, the high subscription fees, or the inflexible nature of the app. Listen to this week’s episode and find out why MyMacros+ could potentially be a superior choice for individuals at all levels!
3) The Future Of MyMacros+ & Nutrition Tracking
MyMacros+ was born in 2011 and although it’s been growing at a constant rate since, innovation doesn’t stop. This is true for both the app itself and the diet tracking industry. In today’s episode Jason and Martin touch upon what the future holds for MyMacros+ as well as how they see the evolving trends of nutrition tracking.
Tune in to get a sneak peak of what you can expect to see in 2019 when you press the MyMacros+ icon on your phone!
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00:03 Speaker 1: Hey and welcome to Why I Built This. A sub-series on a 20-minute fitness podcast. I’m your host Martin Kessler. And on every episode I bring in an inventor or a scientist behind an exciting start-up that is making a difference in health and fitness. Today, I’ve got Jason Loewy, founder and lead developer of My Macros on our show. Jason is a successful competitive, body builder and power lifter but he’s also a computer science major. Both of which led him to the founding of My Macros+, a nutrition tracking and micro-coaching app. I guess the app is best described as My Fitness Power on steroids. Once more of a hobby, it turned into a serious business for him and My Macros+ is now one of the top 10 ranking apps on the IOS App Store in health and fitness. But before we move on, I would like to thank our sponsor, ShapeScale. ShapeScale is a 3D body scanner, scale and fitness tracker. You simply step on it and it digitizes your body composition in photorealistic 3D. Now available on pre-order on shapescale.com. Well then, let’s get right into it.
01:04 S1: Awesome. Yea. We got Jason Loewy here on the line, founder of My Macros+ and I’m excited to hear more about him but also about the company.
01:14 Speaker 2: Thanks a lot for having me on. It’s my pleasure to do this. Just to give a little back story about myself and the company, how we got started. I was a three sport athlete growing up. The kinda standard stuff, baseball, basketball, football. And I started focusing on football when I entered high school and I knew I was going to be a three year varsity player. So I decided to… I had a friend at the time who had been working out and lifting all that stuff and making good progress. So I kinda picked his brain for months on end and then once the football season ended, I got into the weight room, started hitting it hard, got… Made a little progress and all that stuff and the results helped me very much so in football.
01:50 S2: As time went on, I going into my junior season, I had a couple of pretty bad injuries. I ended up finishing my high school football career pretty prematurely. But my love for the gym kinda stuck around. So once I got the various casts off, I made my transition over back into the weight room with my focus on body building. So I did body building for about eight years or so. Did pretty well in the various competitions that I did. Ended up winning my pro card for natural body building along the way. And obviously, as everyone who’s into body building knows, that there’s no money in body building. So the real career, got my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in computer science, and as that time… As I was going for my master’s degree I got really into mobile development. And as a way to just get better at iPhone development, I started messing around with creating a diet tracking app.
02:41 S1: Why?
02:42 S2: Because all the ones out there were terrible.
02:44 S1: And then that was what time? What time was it? Was it like…
02:46 S2: It was in 2011.
02:47 S1: 2011. So the iPhone just came out a few years before then and lots of apps started popping up and you wanted to track your diet?
02:55 S2: Yeah, that was the phone that I started working on. I was very dead-set against making a diet tracking app as a business because there were so many of them. I really just did it just to get better at iPhone development. That was really… And to make something cool for me and my friends. That’s really it.
03:10 S1: To just provides some context. At the time, there was already MyFitnessPal, right?
03:14 S2: Yup. There was MyFitnessPal. I was using FitDay at that time and what kinda spawned me to do this was that I just paid $8 for an iPad diet tracking app.
03:23 S2: And then after a day, I hated it. So I’m like, “This is crazy”.
03:27 S1: What did you hate about it?
03:28 S2: Everything [laughter] As a person that spends a lot of their time thinking about diet as body builders do, everything that I tried, there was something missing. There was nothing that I found complete.
03:39 S1: Tell me more about that. What were your needs as a body builder?
03:43 S2: For example, most apps would have breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack. That’s not acceptable for a body builder. Body builders have pre-workout meal, post-workout meal.
03:50 S1: There was no flexibility to add different snacks? More than one snack?
03:54 S2: Exactly. The meal categorization wasn’t there or, for example, the specific thing about that $8 app that I hated was that they didn’t show the nutrition totals per meal. I was still pulling out a calculator to manually add up how much carbs I had in this specific meal. And just as a computer science graduate student I’m like, “This is ridiculous”. That’s three lines of code. That’s kinda what led me down that path of creating something that I would find, and the people that are like me, would find complete.
04:24 S1: So my core listeners that maybe have never used like a nutrition tracking app or maybe they have used MyFitnessPal, how is My Macros+ different?
04:33 S2: So the main thing that I focused on was ease of use. So I find that the biggest reason that people stop using diet tracking apps or don’t start in the first place is because it’s really not a fun process. You can’t really find… I don’t think you can find someone that tells you tracking your diet is fun. It’s definitely not fun. But the way that I view it is it’s kind of like a life skill. My goal with My Macros+ is to make it as easy as possible. To break down as many barriers as you can for reasons that people won’t track.
04:58 S1: And how do you do that?
05:00 S2: Everything you can add. You can add food in three taps, so it’s super simple. You can save things to be re-edited in one tap. Basically taking it from the time you pick up your phone to the time that all of your entire meal is added. I wanted to focus on making that as small as possible. So the thought would be that you can track your entire meal while it’s in the microwave being warmed up.
05:19 S1: Okay, so it’s easier to use. What else do you have that a body builder would want and that they cannot get on your regular nutrition tracking app?
05:28 S2: So it’s completely customizable as well. Similar example of what I said with the meal categorization, you can have as many meal categories as you want. It could be named whatever you want, you can whatever order you want, you can display different nutrient types in different areas. So you can see that your daily totals, your meal totals, your food totals, and you can see an array of different styles where other apps would just look very more general to what you can see.
05:54 S1: And how do you go about even setting your macro goals? Do you provide any guidance there or is it really for the hard core user that already knows, “Okay these are My Macros for my goals. Either I wanna go up or I wanna cut and that’s what I need to hit.”
06:08 S2: So there’s kinda three ways you can do it in our app. So the first one is obviously, if you know what your macro goal should be, which is a decent number of our users, you can just add that macro, goal profile, no problem. And another cool thing is that you can have as many as you want. So a lot of people do things like carb cycling or have less whatever on their off days. So you can set up as many macro goals as you want to just quickly cycle between whatever day it is. But if you don’t know what you want, we do offer guidance in two kind of different levels. So one we have is an addition calculator that basically will give you a one-time macro calculation based off of the Mifflin-St. Jeor formula. It’s a very… Most common formula there is; just endurance and body information, and it gives you what you’re starting macronutrients should be. And then also, last year, about a year ago now, we released what we call our macro coach. So it’s basically an artificial intelligence-driven system that gives you macro recommendations based off of your goals. And then, the way that works is you enter in a little bit more in-depth of a questionnaire but then, the way that it really works, is every week you track your diet. You check in after every seven days, and based off of your progress it’ll update your macronutrient targets to make sure you stay on your goals.
07:15 S1: Very cool. And is it also accommodating different sorts of diets? If I wanted to body build on a keto diet or…
07:21 S2: It’s not keto yet, just ’cause there’s so many different health markers that have to be taken into effect with keto.
07:26 S1: Yeah for sure.
07:27 S2: It’s a little bit more of a general diet. You can specify whether you prefer carbs or fat, and adjust the ratio inside of the safe ranges. But right now, it’s a little bit more of a general diet. Keto… There’s a lot more consideration to be taken into account.
07:39 S1: For sure. And so you guys started when? In 2011 you were saying, right?
07:43 S2: Yep.
07:43 S1: Now it’s 2018. I’m sure you’ve gone through multiple iterations of the app. Did My Macros+ turn out to be what you first initially envisioned at the time? Or how does it look today?
07:54 S2: Well, when I first envisioned it, I expected to have it on my phone and maybe five other of my friends’ phones. So it came out a lot better than I anticipated.
08:05 S1: That’s awesome.
08:06 S2: Yeah. It’s been a slow process, but a persistent process. And yeah, I’m very proud of where we are today.
08:12 S1: Great, so just take me back to that moment. So it’s 2011, you kinda wanted to dabble a bit more on the coding side of things, and you had this idea about a diet-tracking app, and My Macros+ evolved out of that. How did that come about? Was it a full-time project for you at the time or how did you go about it over time? And was there a point in time when it got really serious for you? When was the moment when you realized it’s not just gonna be for me and five friends, but maybe there’s gonna be more people that could make use of the app?
08:41 S2: Yeah. So when I launched it, was my first semester of grad school. So it was basically it was a side project for a little while. And then, I don’t know if it was really just a critical point, but it just… It was just growing exponentially since its launch. And it just got to a point where that exponentially was significant, and that’s when I kind of realized that this is more than I thought.
09:00 S1: And at that time, you were already tracking your macros before actually developing the app and everything?
09:06 S2: Yeah. So I started… I did my first body-building competition when I was 17.
09:10 S1: And how did you do it at the time? Pen and paper?
09:12 S2: I was using a FitDay. I wasn’t necessarily tracking macros then because it was still a little earlier than that concept was around. I was doing a little bit more of a standard, stereotypical body-building diet for that first time I competed. And then I did my next set of competitions about two, two three years later. And that’s when I did more of a flexible dieting approach. And that’s when I kinda got my head around the whole macros and flexible dieting.
09:37 S1: Nice. So you kinda have been tracking for a long time then?
09:42 S2: Yeah, I started logging my food in the 10th grade.
09:45 S1: Wow, and did you also track your workouts and so forth? Or is it mostly like a macro and nutrition kind of thing for you?
09:52 S2: Yeah. So I’ve been tracking my workouts. That’s also… Our company also has a workout tracking app called MyWorkout+.
10:00 S1: That came about later or?
10:00 S2: That was the second one, yeah. So I had always been a person to track my workouts, but I’m also a person that misplaces things. So I’ve left a countless number of workout journals in the gym never to be seen again. So that is kind of the reason that our second app was definitely gonna be a workout-tracking app. Because my personal irresponsibility made me need something that I wasn’t gonna leave in the gym and be able to check.
10:22 S1: Yeah. You kinda need to have both parts to really work the whole equation.
10:26 S2: Yeah.
10:26 S1: Wow. But at the time you felt like nutrition was gonna be the bigger problem? It was much harder to keep track of, or what inspired you first to work on My Macros+?
10:34 S2: I think it was just more-so that’s where my personal interest was. There was more opportunity there. Again, I wasn’t even thinking of this as a business. I was just thinking there’s more opportunity for improving my own experiences with diet… Preparing for competitions or whatever it may be. That’s where I can make the biggest… My time to make the biggest impact on improving my process.
10:55 S1: And at the time, you were studying computer science. And did you already have some idea you were gonna start your own business in one way or another and mix a bit of what you’ve learned at school with what your passion is?
11:09 S2: I’ve always been into entrepreneurship and whatnot. I didn’t necessarily know I was gonna start my own… I didn’t need to start a fitness-related company. I have a lot of interest outside of the gym and fitness as well. At the time I was throwing some ideas around with some of my other friends, just about other various things when we were in graduate school. But then this is what kind of stuck, and I love fitness. I’ve been involved in it my whole life. So I’m very happy that it I did… I feel like it’s a good combination of expertise for me.
11:35 S1: Yeah, it seems like you’ve been really diligent about it. Most people, that’s really what they struggle with. Keeping track and keeping going with the plan, and executing on it it’s quite hard.
11:45 S2: And I get that. For me, I’ve always been obsessive about the gym from… Honestly, from day one. It’s just been something that I’ve extremely enjoyed. I feel like once…
11:54 S1: So it’s never a problem for you to hit the gym? It’s…
11:56 S2: No.
11:56 S1: ‘Cause that’s the hard part for most people, actually going to the gym. Not actually doing the workout, but going to the gym.
12:01 S2: Yeah, what I tell people with that is that you’ll never regret going to the gym. They’ll regret not going to the gym, but once…
12:06 S1: Yeah.
12:06 S2: If you’re ever having a day where you don’t feel like it, just go. Because you won’t regret it. [laughter] I know that’s easier said than done.
12:12 S1: That’s a good philosophy to have.
12:13 S2: Yeah. But I get it. I get that it’s a hard thing for people to do. I’m lucky that I started young. So it’s just been ingrained in my life forever, but it’s putting yourself in uncomfortable situations no matter what it may be is difficult.
12:24 S1: Right, right, right.
12:24 S2: So that’s why with My Macros I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible. I don’t want to give them another thing that they feel they have to do. I feel like it should be something that’s easy.
12:32 S1: But do you feel you can work around that sometimes? I hate it when I actually track my nutrition and I’m actually wanting to cut. And then I miss a couple of days, and then I’m retroactively having to go back and try to remember what I was eating and it never really quite works out and it’s really frustrating.
12:50 S2: Yeah. That’s what I say about tracking your diet is that you don’t have to do it forever. But it is something that you should learn to do. That way you can eyeball because… No one wants to… To be real, no one wants to just track their diet for the rest of their life. And I say that owning a diet-tracking company…
13:04 S2: So what I suggest is that I treat it like a life skill. So being able to estimate portions and being able to estimate how much calories something has is something that’s really important that they don’t teach.
13:15 S1: It really puts it into perspective. Until you actually start tracking what for instance is like a latte at Starbucks, actually comes in calories with in how much sugar there is and… Or like how much in a spoon of olive oil… Like a tablespoon of olive oil. I mean, it’s like 100-150 calories and it’s pure fat.
13:32 S2: Or you tell me one person that doesn’t think almonds are healthy. If you take a handful of almonds, that’s a lot of calories.
13:37 S1: It’s very dense. I mean I wouldn’t say that they’re unhealthy, but if you don’t size them well, if you pick an entire pack of 200 grams of almonds. That’s like almost 1000 calories. I mean, most people don’t have the relation to that.
13:51 S2: Use this is an example: Broccoli, no one’s gonna argue that that’s not healthy. Broccoli is one of the healthiest foods there is. But if you eat all of your carb, your daily carbs in broccoli, you’re gonna be having also about 150 grams of fiber and you’re just gonna be very uncomfortable.
14:05 S2: And that’s what I try to tell people that track your diet for a couple of months. It’ll change your life. You don’t have to do it forever. Every once in a while, you should go back. For example, I just had family visiting in town, and I took basically a week off from tracking my diet. I’m the same weight.
14:18 S1: Yeah. It’s not the end of the world.
14:19 S2: No, it’s… I’ve done it for so long. Obviously, I’m the extreme example.
14:23 S1: Yeah.
14:23 S2: But tracking your diet lets you better understand kind of like real-world situations so you can go out to a restaurant and estimate things and not have to worry too much about it.
14:32 S1: Yeah, absolutely. And I was just curious how you actually see… What your user base is like. Who’s the typical user right now of My Macros+. Is it really a body-builder or is it somebody that goes on a diet or is it your efforts to show… Looking to make a change or?
14:48 S2: So early on, it was much more competitor folk, competitor based just because that’s where my kind of network was. I was a body-builder myself. So, I knew the trainers there. I knew all that kind of stuff. But as time goes on, it’s expanding. I wouldn’t necessarily say to the general population yet, but we’re more… So once people get a little bit more serious, then they come to us. So once they have a little bit of understanding of diet and training essentially that that’s where our user base kind of flourishes. People that are just a little bit more away from just the, “I’ll go to the gym twice a month,” type of people.
15:20 S1: Did you ever think about having like a freemium model in place to attract more of those kinda user that kind of first wanna dabble? Try tracking, then get serious, and then start actually be willing to pay more for the power user features.
15:33 S2: It’s definitely a thought. Definitely not something we’re not thinking about in the future. It’s just this was what we did from the start, and it has worked so far. But it’s definitely… We have those conversations often.
15:45 S1: So can you share how many people are actually using right now My Macros+?
15:49 S2: We have close to 100,000 monthly active users.
15:53 S1: Nice. Congrats. And how has that been evolving over time? Has it been like steadily growing year after year?
16:00 S2: Yeah. Obviously, I’m sure anyone in the health industry can say that their activity decreases a little bit towards these months.
16:06 S1: Yeah.
16:07 S2: It’s funny. Historically, our worst sales day every single year is Thanksgiving.
16:11 S1: Yeah.
16:11 S2: So just year over year, it’s been growing at a very comfortable rate.
16:15 S1: Nice. Well, yeah. Around Thanksgiving is the time I wanna be least reminded about [laughter] all being healthy and that’s when everyone wants to splurge so they can work it off in January again.
16:24 S2: Yeah. And January is always a crazy month.
16:27 S1: Yeah.
16:27 S2: So ideally, as a health-minded person, that wouldn’t be the case because you should be able to enjoy your Thanksgiving without gaining 10 pounds. But it’s what… Realistically, that’s the way that society is.
16:39 S1: And how has the journey been so far? Any major low points during the journey? Did you ever face a moment where you were like, “Wow. Why am I even working on this?” or you stopped even completely working on it for some time or?
16:53 S2: I think everyone goes through peaks and valleys with anything they’re doing in life. But as I said, this has been anything… This has been bigger than anything I’ve ever imagined for it. So I feel like I’m a pretty optimistic person, and I try to… Every issue that comes up, there has to be a solution. So that’s the kind of mindset that I take to it.
17:09 S1: That’s great. So what does the future hold for My Macros+? Anything you can share at this point?
17:14 S2: Yeah. So we are about 75% of the way done with complete UI redesign.
17:18 S1: And how is that gonna look?
17:19 S2: It’s gonna look much better.
17:22 S2: We spent the last few months or so really hammering that down and starting to implement it and the goal… That’s kind of what the goal for Q1. Alongside that, we have some interesting partnerships in place obviously with ShapeScale, and then a few other companies that we’re gonna be working with to help better fill the needs of their user bases.
17:39 S1: And yeah, so how do you see nutrition tracking in general evolve over time? Do you think we ever have to… I still remember like… Well, four or five years ago, I met a friend in Hong Kong, when I was living there at the time. And he was trying to develop an app that where you literally snap a picture of the meal that you would be eating, and then magically it would return the macros. Obviously, that was very hard to execute on because you don’t necessarily know the depth of the bowl. It’s really hard, really to track a completely accurate picture of a meal if you have limited information like what you have just from a photograph. But do you ever see that in that direction? Have you seen something like that?
18:17 S2: I’ll say that we are not currently working on that.
18:20 S2: But that is… Obviously, I think a couple of years ago Google announced that they were or not something like that, which would be amazing. Obviously, that has tons and tons of problems. What kind of sauce did they use, has there… How much olive oil did they use during cooking, how much got cooked off, things like that. But to say that that’s not possible would be ignorant because like you know, technology is expanding so quickly. So I feel like we’re at a really good place where software can make it easy. For example, My Macros can make it easy to track but there’s gonna be… There has to be some kind of breakthrough like that in the future that makes it almost seamless because I feel that, and as I said before, I feel like tracking your diet and knowing what you’re consuming and getting those health markers is an extremely important, important data set. So, if someone like Google or someone… Some company like that or some start-up company that can do it, if someone’s able to make it so every single person tracks their diet with just a picture and it’s accurate, the end result of that would be huge.
19:14 S1: Yeah. That would be a dream come true for many of us, I believe.
19:17 S2: Yeah. And just think about some of the business insight. Think about how health insurance companies would like that data, may be able to give whatever. They may be able to give better estimates and stuff like that to you just based off your diet. But I think we’re far away from that.
19:30 S1: Yeah, I believe so too. But do you see anything in the near term that is gonna improve and help users to keep track of their nutrition? I know one of the big challenges are always, you start eating out, you go, let’s say, like a boutique-style restaurant that’s maybe not a chain, and you cannot find a meal necessarily in a database, and you have to start guessing what ingredients were used in the meal, and that’s when it gets really complicated. How do you even deal with that? Do you see any solutions in that realm in the future? Or any handy advice for our listeners?
20:02 S2: The biggest thing that I suggest when people go out to eat is always… If you are actually trying to track your diet, is always overestimate because you gotta assume that they’re gonna use… If they’re using a table spoon of oil, they say they’re using a table spoon of oil, they’re probably just pouring some oil in, and it’s gonna be more, you’re not gonna hurt yourself by overestimating.
20:21 S1: Or even like the dressing of the salad could be vastly different.
20:24 S2: Exactly.
20:24 S1: Like Thousand Island dressing could be pretty… Well, I guess it could never really be light, but sure can vary vastly.
20:30 S2: Yup. The problem is that while the nutrition conscious population is growing, it’s still very small. Most people, when they go out to eat, don’t have this internal dialog with themselves on, “What should I get? How many macros do I have left? Most people say, “Okay, what do I wanna order? Because what… I feel like eating, which is completely fine too, but you’re not gonna have this big systemic change until the population that cares about that stuff is larger. But on a positive note I do think it’s growing, you see a lot more restaurants that have nutrition information online, and eventually will spill over to the small and chic restaurants.
21:02 S1: And do you think that actually has had a positive impact? I’ve also seen a lot of restaurants listed now on the menu or right on the board. And yeah, I’m wondering is it really deterring people? I’m going to McDonald’s, I know I’m gonna eat unhealthy, for a large extent, right?
21:18 S2: I think it’s making life easier for people that care. I don’t know if it’s really deterring people away from choices, which again, I don’t think that’s people’s faults that are making those choices today. I feel like it’s more of an issue of it not being taught when they’re younger.
21:30 S1: Yeah.
21:31 S2: It’s much harder to change someone’s dietary preferences when they’re 45 versus when they’re 12.
21:35 S1: Right, right, right. Do you think that’s an area where My Macros+ can help or come in? It’s definitely one of the areas that you’ve only been lately tackling, I guess, with the Macro Coach, to some extent.
21:45 S2: Yeah, so that… I mean we do have plans for Macro Coach to be a lot more educational as well, not just give them suggestions, but to tell them why. And obviously the area of actual meal suggestion is there as well, something that we’re researching internally. It’s just not there yet, because you have allergy and stuff like that that you have to deal with as well. And a lot more things you’d have to take into account in suggesting meals in a programming sense, but it’s definitely somewhere that we hope to help in the future.
22:11 S1: Gotcha. What advice would you give to somebody that is really just starting out, maybe never has tracked their nutrition beforehand, but they know, “Okay, I have this moment in time, maybe it’s new year, I wanna make a change, I wanna really cut down on my weight, and how do I even start about setting My Macros?” What would be like a good starting point and what would be some good advice to actually follow through with everything?
22:33 S2: So really, two pieces of advice that I generally give people is just, first of all, just track what you’re eating, don’t change a thing, ’cause knowing your baseline is really important, you’re gonna wanna… Subconsciously, you’re gonna wanna be healthy when you track, but you really should just track how you’re eating, don’t even think about it, just eat it, eat the way you normally do and track it. And then another thing I tell people that are not really into as necessarily hard-core into it as some other people that use the app is… I say that it’s much better to be 70% 100% of the time than 100% for five days and then quit. So by that I mean is don’t overwhelm yourself, making these dietary changes should be a long-term goal and not, “I wanna be ripped by March,” okay? Which… It would be great but realistically…
23:16 S1: Everybody would like to, but yeah, that’s the reality.
23:19 S2: The name of the game is sustainable weight loss. You take 10 months to lose the weight versus four, obviously, weight dependent, but you have a much better chance of having that weight stay off for another 10 months than if you crash diet, ’cause crash dieting is not sustainable, so embrace the journey of it, reward yourself on these little milestones. Don’t only be happy when you lost 40 pounds, be happy when you lost five, be happy when you lose 10. They’re all steps along the way to reaching that goal that you should enjoy because otherwise it seems daunting, it seems long. And before you know it, you’ll be where you wanna be.
23:52 S1: Gotcha. Finally, I just wanna ask you… So it’s been definitely beneficial for you in the beginning that you were your first user, right? For My Macros+, you knew what you wanted to have as a body-builder for the app, but do you think that ever stood in the way of making an app maybe for a wider audience, or has it ever affected you in a possibly challenging way?
24:14 S2: I think it would have if I wasn’t… I definitely do not think that I know it all… If that makes any sense.
24:20 S2: I am very well aware, the benefit of listening to other people. So I’ll take advice that I can get, all the customer feedback that I hear.
24:29 S1: How do you guys collect user feedback right now? Is it more through reviews or through a button in the app, or how does that look like?
24:35 S2: Through support, we have a small support team that I communicate with, and we get feedback. And if there’s any comment threads or comments you get, they bubble their way up the…
24:44 S1: What’s the feature or suggestion that you hear the most right now?
24:46 S2: Right now, I think we’re pretty good. There’s a few things that we’re working on, just really… It comes down to just improving the way that users find food is the one common thing that we need to… That we’re immediately working on to perfect. So being able to improve the search feature a little bit is something, is one of the more common ones that we get. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily common but it’s definitely one of the more popular requests, is making things a little bit easier to find.
25:10 S1: Gotcha. And do you guys have an Apple Watch app as well?
25:14 S2: Yeah, so we have an Apple Watch app, we were one of the first ones on the Apple Watch.
25:17 S1: Nice.
25:18 S2: You can view your daily diet, view your macros, how much you have left to reach your goals, and fresh track it as well. So fresh track, it basically… Like if you’re out of the restaurant, you wanna guesstimate something, you just enter the protein times the fat, and it just adds that rather than having to piece it together with various ingredients.
25:32 S1: That’s great. Alright, so I wanna finish off with a quick-fire round. So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna ask you a series of questions. I got seven questions here, and I basically wanna give you about a minute, maybe two to answer each single question, just out of the top of your mind, what you think about those certain points that I’m gonna make.
25:48 S2: Sure.
25:48 S1: Okay, first one is gonna be an easy one. What did you actually have for breakfast today?
25:52 S2: I had… I gotta think about that.
25:55 S2: I had oatmeal with some fruit and some peanut butter, and then I had fat-free Greek yogurt and chocolate.
26:01 S1: Well, I can tell you’re a body-builder.
26:04 S1: And okay, besides My Macros+ what health or fitness app do you have currently installed on your phone?
26:09 S2: So I like the app AutoSleep. It helps you track your sleep and monitor your level of sleep. I try to wear my Apple watch when I go to bed so I can track my… One of my qualities of health that I’m least proud of is I don’t sleep very much, so this is the way I could monitor my sleep and I don’t really make changes based off of that, but it’s good to know how poor I’m sleeping.
26:29 S1: Do you have like a sleep goal in mind?
26:31 S2: Five hours is my goal.
26:33 S1: Five hours. Wow. You know if you’re hitting that?
26:34 S2: No. [laughter]
26:35 S1: Wow. You sir have got a problem.
26:38 S1: Okay, next point. One habit that has dramatically improved your life for the better. It could be for wealth, it could be for health, it could be for productivity.
26:48 S2: I’m obsessive. I guess, that is also, probably certain areas that have been negative, but when there’s a problem with really anything in my life, I can’t stop thinking about it until it’s fixed.
27:00 S1: Okay, next point. Are diets useless? Or do you have any diets that you really like?
27:03 S2: When I think of diet, I just think of a lifestyle change. So I don’t think they’re useless at all. I think unsustainable diets are useless. So…
27:11 S1: What’s an unsustainable diet?
27:14 S2: If something promises to make you lose 14 pounds in 10 days. Any of those crazy plans or don’t eat any carbs. If you like cake, you shouldn’t not ever have cake, because you’re gonna be deprived, life is too short, you should be enjoying the things that you like in moderation. And then when you finally do have cake, you’re gonna have 10 pieces of cake and you’re gonna go crazy. Unsustainable diets are useless in my opinion. You should find something, even if it takes a little bit longer. Like back to what I said about sustainability. You need to be able to live with your diet forever.
27:42 S1: Alright. Name us one book that all our listeners should be definitely reading.
27:47 S2: I think you picked the wrong person to ask that question.
27:50 S2: So I read a book recently called, Becoming a Son. Have you ever watched Sons of Anarchy? It’s from…
27:57 S1: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah that’s a great show.
27:58 S2: You know David Labrava, who played Happy? It’s kinda his life story, how he came from being a junkie and all that stuff, back to kind of making his way onto Sons of Anarchy. It’s a very good book.
28:09 S1: Gotcha, okay. One person, or mentor that you would say has influenced your life for the better.
28:14 S2: I wouldn’t necessarily… When it comes to motivation, I’m not one that really searches for it, to be completely honest. I don’t read inspirational books, I don’t read motivate… I don’t watch motivational videos…
28:24 S1: Yeah, but it could be a person in your life. It could be your mom, for all I know.
28:28 S2: The obvious one of them is my dad. My dad basically didn’t call in sick from work for my entire life growing up. 20 years or so. My dad was a Aerospace engineer and switched careers to be a emergency room nurse.
28:43 S1: Wow. Talk about a change.
28:45 S2: Yeah, well, I mean, not to get into a lot of detail, but I got really sick when I was a kid, and then he switched career paths, kind of because of that.
28:52 S1: That’s amazing.
28:53 S2: Yeah, he showed me what it means to work hard.
28:57 S1: Yeah, that’s dedication. Okay, finally, one thing that you believe most people actually get wrong about fitness and health.
29:04 S2: That you should do it for external purposes. And I feel like that is only amplified with Instagram and social media. You should be in shape for you. Everyone should be comfortable with who they are and what they look like, but I don’t think anyone can argue that being in shape is not beneficial, but you need to do it for you. You shouldn’t do it because you wanna look good for so and so on summer vacation. You should do it because it’ll make you feel better.
29:29 S1: Well, that’s the perfect note to finish off. Finally, how do people learn more about My Macros+ and you?
29:45 S1: Well, awesome. Well, you heard it. Well, thanks so much for coming on the show Jason. I really appreciate that you took the time.
29:50 S2: My pleasure.
29:51 S1: Alright, bye then…
29:52 S2: Bye.
29:53 S1: And once again, that’s a wrap. Jason was certainly a fantastic guest we have on the show. I was really surprised how long he had actually been into the whole nutrition tracking thing and how we took all of that experience and knowledge to build a really comprehensive nutrition tracking application for himself and then transitioned that to something that was working for a whole lot of other people.
30:12 S1: I am myself personally a little bit sad still that the technology hasn’t quite caught up to the point yet at which I could automate all of my tracking. Of course, tracking all my meals is tedious as hell. So what do you guys think about nutrition tracking. Have you ever tracked yours? And have you discovered something crazy, maybe, about your diet that you didn’t anticipate? And yeah, make sure to let us know in the comments or simply tweet at us @shape_scale. And if you’re enjoying our podcast, please make sure to leave a review on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app. Doing so really helps other listeners to discover our podcast. Thanks again for listening. I’m your host, Martin Kessler and I hope to see you here next time. Bye!