Wits & Weights: Strength and Nutrition for Skeptics

Ep 98: Is Your Food Logging App Sabotaging Your Fat Loss and Physique Goals?

August 22, 2023 Philip Pape Episode 98
Wits & Weights: Strength and Nutrition for Skeptics
Ep 98: Is Your Food Logging App Sabotaging Your Fat Loss and Physique Goals?
Wits & Weights: Strength & Nutrition for Skeptics
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Show Notes Transcript

Today, we are going to explore the value of using a food logging app as a tool to serve you in reaching your health and physique goals, and how many people hate the idea of food tracking because most apps completely fail in this mission.

I'll discuss the importance of food logging, what the science says, and why most food logging apps fail, not just in features and usability but also because they are not based on body composition science, don't adjust to you and your goals, and encourage an all-or-nothing approach that leads to failure every time you use them.

I'll then talk about MacroFactor, the food-logging app that changed my life and helped me transform faster and more successfully than I imagined possible. I think MacroFactor is the only app that fills the gaps in other apps because it was built from a different perspective by nutrition and physique scientists.

I've used it since it launched, all my clients use it, and in full disclosure, I'm an affiliate because I recommend it to everyone who wants to attain their goals quickly and easily. To find out why it's a cut above the rest, make sure to listen to the whole episode.


Click here to apply for coaching!

Today you’ll learn all about:

[3:32] Why you should track your food intake
[7:09] The areas where tracking apps fall short
[13:50] How MacroFactor changed my life
[23:38] Easy food logging with MacroFactor
[26:30] The app is fast and requires fewer taps to use
[29:10] True weight trend with the weight trend algorithm
[31:37] Metabolism tracking with the expenditure algorithm
[36:33] Dynamic adjustments based on your data
[38:06] Full macronutrient tracking, including targets
[39:37] How MacroFactor creates a positive feedback loop
[41:13] Other features worth mentioning
[43:30] Why a nutrition coach would recommend MacroFactor
[47:36] Outro

Episode resources:

Support the show

👉👉👉 Click here to apply for coaching!

👩‍💻👨‍💻 Click here to schedule a FREE results breakthrough call with Philip

The FREE metabolism assessment is available! Click here to take the assessment and find out how high your energy flux is with a free report and strategy.
Take the assessment here!

Follow Philip on IG @witsandweights
📧 Get Philip's emails here
📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

🥩 Download Ultimate Macros Guide and 50 High-Protein Recipes here

🫙 Get high-quality 1st Phorm supps here

⭐ Leave a review here
💁‍♀️ Donate to support us here
👥 Join our free FB community here

Philip Pape:

It's the psychology of dieting, and how these apps do everything in their power to make you feel terrible. When you don't hit a goal. Tell me tell me I'm wrong. Tell me this isn't your experience. Because if you've ever had an app that doesn't do that, it's it's doing something right. Even if you're a calorie over on some of these apps, you'll get a warning or notification, a red indicator, you'll get something that says it's bad. And so this, there's this moral choice, it's good or bad. And then you end up feeling guilt, or you end up feeling like you failed, and then you start lying to yourself in line in the app. Welcome to the Wits & Weights podcast. I'm your host, Philip pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger. Optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition will uncover science backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry, so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in. Wits& Weights community Welcome to another solo episode of the Wits& Weights podcast. I hope you enjoyed our last episode 97 where I talked with di Manuel about the importance of fun in fitness, challenging yourself to reach new heights in your life, how to recognize self sabotage and challenge your past beliefs and how to find your optimal in your fitness journey and in life. Today for episode 98 Is your food blogging app sabotaging your fat loss and physique goals, we are going to explore the value of using a food logging app as a tool as a tool to serve you in reaching your health and physique goals. And how many people hate the idea of food tracking because most apps completely fail in this mission. I'll go over the importance of food logging in general, what the science says and where the vast majority of food logging apps fall short, not just with their features, and usability. I know it's fun to talk about that stuff. But more importantly, because they're not based on body composition, science, they don't adjust to you, they don't adjust your goals. And worst of all, they feed into an all or nothing approach that leads to failure every time you use them. Then I'll talk about a food logging app called macro factor that completely changed my life, and allowed me to go through a personal transformation more quickly and successfully than I thought possible. In my opinion, macro factor is the only app on the market that I've ever found, that addresses the gaping holes with other apps, and was designed from a completely different perspective by people who understand nutrition and physique science. So I've been a user since it launched, all my clients use it. And in full disclosure, and I'm proud to say this, I'm also an affiliate, because I endorse it wholeheartedly for anyone who wants to reach their goals with as little fuss or wasted time as possible. I'll explain exactly why it's a completely different experience in the episode. So make sure to listen all the way through to get those details. If you're impatient to try it out right now if I'm already kind of selling it up for you, and you want to see what it's all about. Pause right now before we get into the details of the episode, so you can download the app look for macro factor. And then if you want to support me in the show, use my code Wits & Weights to get an extra week on your free trial. Just search for macro factor in your app store, or click the link in my show notes and then use affiliate code Wits & Weights when you sign up for the free trial. Okay, let's jump into today's topic is your food logging app, sabotaging your fat loss and physique goals. I want to start with why we track at all and the importance of tracking now I didn't look up the episode number before but I did do an episode A while back, called why you should track your food, something like that. So you can find it. But I go over that in great detail I wanted to cover on the major points here. So the first point is that the evidence is clear that those who track their food intake are more likely to achieve and maintain their goals. Usually these are in the context of weight loss because that is where most people struggle, you know that I like to use the term fat loss because we don't just lose weight, we also train to hold on to muscle and thus improve our body composition and our physique. But nonetheless, part of the equation is losing body mass losing weight. And there are definitely some myths and misconceptions that tracking is can cause some sort of disordered behavior. And that is absolutely not true in people who have a history of disordered behavior. It could, it could play into that but not because of the tracking itself. It's more because of the person's individual history. Actually, tracking shows quite the opposite because when you log your food, you immediately increase your awareness and mindfulness about your consumption. It starts to unlock the logical side of your brain and connect it to what you're eating, as opposed to the emotional side of the brain, always making decisions for you. Now, just because you have that awareness, it doesn't necessarily follow that you're just going to, quote unquote, clean up your whole diet and be perfect. But it does mean that you know how the feedback, the feedback loop works, you know that what you put into your mouth, causes this change in my body and this change in my weight, it causes me to feel this way. And now I have the data. And what it then does is actually cause you to change your behavior. It gives you a sense of accountability to your dietary choices. And it starts to create this virtuous cycle of improving how you eat and how you look at food, your food quality, whether you're hitting your macros that you want, like your protein, and so on. And the challenge really then comes down to how do you do all those things. And the smart person listening to this podcast, which is you is going to know that that takes education time skill information to get there, but at least you have the data from which to make those decisions, very important. And then what is what does it do? Well, consistent food logging, then correlates with more significant weight loss and better maintenance of your goals. And so I am a huge advocate of tracking your food, if the goal is to go after a specific result. And you've struggled in the past, because whatever you were doing in the past is obviously not working. Even if you want to be an intuitive eater, okay, and intuitive eater, you can't develop that to intuition without the awareness. So that is the importance of tracking. All right. I don't want to spend too much time on that because I want to talk about why most apps on the market fall short, and I'm happy to name names. There are apps like My Fitness Pal, lose it chronometer, what else we have carbon, there's probably a few others that are pretty commonly used. And they all have different features. Some have features that others don't and do things in different ways. But there are some general things that if you just lay them out on a table, almost every single one of these apps shares one of these downfalls, I'll say the they fall short in one of these areas. The first is that they are just tedious. And we can't discount the value of when you use a tool, you want it to be so easy, you don't have to think about it. And it's fast and easy. Right? You will don't want food tracking to be a hassle. Because anything that's a hassle creates friction creates resistance. And this is a general principle I like to apply to everything, everything. If you're having trouble being consistent with your workouts, where is the resistance, where is the friction, because to say that I just need to be more disciplined or more willpower or have more willpower is not going to cut it. The most driven high performing people in the world might still have trouble in areas where there's just too much friction. So if your food logging app just feels like it's a hassle or crashes, or it takes multiple tabs every time to do a simple thing. That's gonna be a problem. If it's hard to find your foods, if it's hard to find the brand, that's gonna be a problem. Because every time you hit that wall, you're like, Ah, now I got to spend, you know, five minutes figuring out what to do. Or I have to go Google, you know, instructions for how to do this. Okay, so that's the first one. The second one related to that is the speed. So even if you can do things, I find that apps are just not optimally designed to load as quickly or their interfaces are clunky, you have to tap too many times. And that's tied to number one, the tediousness. But the speed is also important because even when you figure out how to do something, every time you do it, if it takes, you know, five seconds, instead of one second, or four taps instead of one tap, that's going to be frustrating. The third thing that these apps fall short, and this is probably one of the biggest is the lack of dynamic response. They do not adjust to you to your body, to your lifestyle or changes in your lifestyle. They don't adjust to your health goals, they don't adjust to your conditions, whether you're lifting, doing cardio have a certain amount of body fat, you want you like to eat low fat, high fat, low carb, high carb, high protein, and on and on. What do you want to cycle your carbs, and then they don't adjust to what has happened in the past. So if you if you take one of the more standard apps on the market, they will calculate some goals for you based on an estimate. But then they leave it there. And you are now hitting this estimate week after week after week. And there's no change. They don't adjust to it. Now some of the apps may adjust. But none of them quite do it in the way that that the app I'm going to talk about today does it I mean, not even close. And that is actually the deal breaker for me. Because if I have to tell the app, what to tell me. It's the app is not really doing its job is it's just a data repository. It's just a place to store stuff, right? That's not helpful. Most of the apps lack any sense of dynamic response. The kind of related to this is a lot of them have one size fits all recommendations. And so for example, they use ratios of macronutrients, I don't use ratios. If you've ever heard me talk about how to calculate your macros, we always start with protein. And the protein is based on how many grams per pound of body weight you want to hit, then we calculate fat and fat is more or less based on preferences. And then the rest is carbs. Those aren't ratios because guess what happens when you go in a fat loss phase, and your calories are much lower, your protein is going to be about the same or higher in absolute terms, and therefore it's much higher in percentage terms. And so percentages just are meaningless, right? When you think of something like I don't know, the Zone diet or, or 3040 40 type ratios. It doesn't account for your individual needs and your goals and where you are in the process. The last thing now I said, I said dynamic response was probably one of the most important, this one that I'm going to tell you now could be the most important, and it has nothing to do with the recommendations with the targets with the food. It's the psychology of dieting, and how these apps do everything in their power to make you feel terrible. When you don't hit a goal. Tell me tell me I'm wrong. Tell me this isn't your experience. Because if you've ever had an app that doesn't do that, it's it's doing something right. shaming tactics, right, many of the apps use warning messages for even the tiniest deviation. I talked to Greg knuckles about this when he was on my podcast. He is he's behind macro factor, how even if you're a calorie over on some of these apps, you'll get a warning or notification, a red indicator, you'll get something that says it's bad. And so this, there's this moral choice, it's good or bad. And then you end up feeling guilt, or you end up feeling like you failed, and then you start lying to yourself in line in the app. I've done it in the past, when I used to use food logging apps, before I discovered macro factor, I would just flat out lied say, Well, if I put in that extra meal, I'm gonna be over my number. And then it's just going to make me feel bad. And why would I do that? Let me just keep keep keep it off of there. Right? It also seems to bias toward weight loss, and doesn't really think about what if you're building muscle, you actually want to be a little bit over your calories because you're trying to push you're in a surplus, you're trying to push the weight? And so does it distinguish between those. So all of this stuff, these rigid standards, and not accounting for real life, and the fact that you're gonna go to a party, you're going to eat out some days you want more than others. And you're going to choose to do that if things are done in a healthy way, in a positive psychological way, you're going to choose to do those things you're going to plan for them. And the app you want to use has to account for that. And if it doesn't, it's not a good app for you. Right? It's just misaligned with what you're trying to do. So to me, those are the big sort of principles of design of these food logging apps as a tool, and why so many people fail with them, right? Why they are sabotaging your goals why we feel like food tracking overall is somehow not the way to go. And I see macro tracking and food tracking lumped in with diets. And it's quite the opposite. If you look at the science on rigid versus flexible dieting, flexible dieting, where you have macro and calorie targets that you get to choose your food is associated with a positive experience with weight management and long term results management with a healthy relationship with food. But it's these tools that sort of make it a poor experience. So that's why I wanted to create this episode, not just to be a show for macro factors. Even if I am at an event, I'm proud of it. And if you don't like it, hey, you don't have to listen to the episode, right? But here's, here's the story. Okay, so now let me get into the next part. And I'm gonna talk about this app. Okay, to me macro factor is it's not even in the same category as the other apps. And I don't mean that in a salesy way, I mean that in an actual objective way, and that the way it works, for it was built from the ground up. From a different perspective. I think all the I think all the other apps come from the same place, have a place to store your information, and then we're going to ding you when you miss your numbers. And that's what it is. And I feel like manufacturer has a different perspective. But let me tell you my personal experience, okay. For years for years, for four decades of my life, and so primarily from, I'll say, my 20s and 30s, from college on, I was always trying to lose weight, and I would be successful multiple times along the way, and then gain it back. And this is a very common story that I hear from all my clients of trying specific diets or approaches or the latest and greatest thing and a book that that was, you know, something different like intermittent fasting, the lean gains protocol, right, or even die It's that sound cutting edge like carnivore keto, all of these words. They're so extreme that that's the attractiveness of them, if that makes sense, right? Like, oh, wow, I'm just gonna eat pretty much meat. That's amazing. And it can get me my goals awesome, I can live that way. And then three months in, you're like, oh my god, I have to have another, you know, steak or whatever. And I can't have any of these other wonderful foods that I would I would normally enjoy carbs, fats, fruits, and so on. So I went through that experience as early as my 20s, doing SlimFast and Atkins to later on doing paleo and keto, and just random low carb diets and some weird things along the way. I did fasted training, I did lean gains with EAS, B BCAAs. I did all of it. And then in a few times during that period, I did try tracking and I tried it with, I think it was called my macros plus, at one point, I know I did chronometer, because when I tried it years later, I had an account that was like 10 years old, that hadn't been used. And I definitely tried My Fitness Pal, and probably a few others along the way, like lose it. And some weird, you know, it was always a free app, too. I was like, I'm not paying for this, right? You know, this is, it's not that important to pay for. So I wouldn't pay for it. And you get what you pay for generally. But what would happen is I would find that they were slow, clunky, hard to use, frustrating a chore. And they weren't really giving me anything back for the effort I was putting in meaning I would go weeks at a time and it would have this number in there. And I basically had to tell him to tell me how much to eat. And what was that doing for me nothing. Because the numbers I was given it. I didn't really understand nutrition science, I didn't understand the right targets. I was going by some defaults that it was suggesting, pretty much worthless. And so I would give up every time, I would just give up, I'd start lying to the app, I'd start skipping days and meals. And then we'll give up. And one day I was going for a walk while listening to stronger by Science Podcast. And again, I've had both Eric Trexler and Greg knuckles on the show. And I know Eric Trexler has since moved on from the podcast. And now it's Greg and Lindsey, his wife doing the show, which is awesome, super long. But if you want the deep dive into a topic, that's where you're going to get it. And so this was back when Eric and Greg are hosting it, I was going for a walk. I always listen to podcasts when I walk, you know, habit stacking. And they talked about their upcoming app. And I think they were in beta at the time. And I wish I had jumped in during beta but it doesn't matter. I wasn't giving it a second thought I was like, well, that's interesting, what are they talking about. And the more they mentioned it, because they weren't really selling it, they were just mentioning occasionally, as far as the background work happening. And the science and algorithms behind it. The more they mentioned, the warm I was like is this this is like a food blogger, right? That sounds pretty cool. And so I one day one came out, I downloaded it did the free trial. And of course, the rest is history. Because I've since been a user, this was in 2021, I think came out. So two years now. And I have to say, of all the things I pay for my life, it has to be the best bargain I've ever paid for because of how it has changed my life and my trajectory for the rest of my life. And what I mean by that is I started using it. And like with what many people discover, all my clients tend to discover this not all of them do not tend to they all do is that you immediately realize something is different. And that's something are some of the details I'm going to get into in a moment here that allow you to get the feedback you need to know to make that connection between the food logged and what's happening with your body. And that is where the lightbulb moment occurs. Because now you can adjust each week to continue making progress toward your goals. And if you're not making progress, you'll know it but you won't be shamed for it, you'll simply have the data that says okay, I know I made choices. This is what happened. And it actually encourages you to to log everything. Because if you don't log it, you don't get all that helpful data. And in fact, it could give you the wrong information if you don't have all the data, right garbage in, garbage out. And it's a beautiful kind of experience that closes the loop like the other apps don't. And so what happened? Well, we're talking late 2021, I had been strength training pretty effectively. For a while, I've been gaining a lot of weight by just eating whatever drinking a lot of milk, I knew I was gaining weight probably too quickly. But I didn't know any better at the time. And I was gaining muscle, which was a lot of fun. I could see the muscle, I can feel it. I can see it in my shirt. But I was also gaining a lot of extra fat faster than I could have if I knew better. And so manufacture comes along just in time for me to get to the point where I had gone from say, one 160 pounds to 195 pretty big jump over a fairly short period much faster than you should. And I started using the app and logging my food and I realized wow, this thing is easy. It's fast. It's I can find the information. I can enter a barcode and it's right there. I can copy and paste. And then by the way, look at these other features. And on Monday when I check in. It tells me my new calories amount macros, I've never had anything that can do this so seamlessly. And now I know what to eat this week. And then the next week in the next week, and before long, I had a goal to lose something like 25 pounds of fat. And in Latin, let's say six, whatever it was 16 weeks, I don't remember the duration. But it was within the evidence within the range of evidence of rate of loss that you want to go after, which the app knows, because it's based on all these scientific principles. And it will recommend it to you. And really, it'll warn you when you actually try to go outside that suggesting that, hey, you might lose muscle if you go too aggressively. And so based on that, I ended up losing all the fat I wanted to lose over the time, I wanted to lose it super effectively. Now, of course, I had to log my food, right. And I had to actually stick to those principles. But it significantly improved my chances of doing that. Okay. So as I was doing this, I was posting my results on Facebook, on Reddit all over the place, and it caught the eye of and I may have even mentioned it on my podcast, which at the time was just getting started. And the owner of manufacturer, Greg knuckles reached out to me by email, which is just really cool. And he said, Hey, we are inviting some people who are really passionate about the app or big users who have a following who are doing some sort of practice related to to this, we're offering you to be an affiliate. And you know, here's how we make it work. And I'm like, yeah, why not? Like, why wouldn't I try to make a little income from this? Because I use it, because I tell everybody about it already. And interestingly, months later, when I started my nutrition, coaching journey, and helping people, and I experimented with the app with them, and they were just floored at how effective it was for getting their goals. One of the doubts in my mind was, well, I'm a nutrition coach, is this kind of taking away from my job, right? Is this doing what I'm supposed to do? And I realized, you know what, any good tool that makes your job easier, you want to go all in and use it. And if I can help my clients accelerate the results that much more, because one, normally tedious, annoying thing is now off the table. That only increases adherence that increases commitment that increases accountability. And that gets you results faster, and frees us up to work on other things. Okay, so that's my personal story, why I became an affiliate, it's still it's still something I use, I still log every day. The only time I haven't logged in the app is two vacations that I took, right two week long vacations, I just didn't log, no big deal.


Before my coaching session with Philip, I was really struggling with staying consistent with my nutrition, Phillip really showed me the importance of being consistent day to day, he also helped me see that it's not a bad thing to take a rest day, he really helps me get in that more positive headspace of a rest day being something really good for me. I've been doing this for a month now. And I'm finally starting to see some progress and my numbers. And I'm really excited about that. And I just appreciate so much the help that Phillip has given me, he's always willing to answer questions to offer resources that are totally free, and very, very helpful. So I just want to say how much I appreciate that. Thanks, Phil.

Philip Pape:

So we're going to talk about the features of the app. Right? But this is not going to be a what do you call it? This is not going to be a kind of a YouTube video comparing, you know, multiple apps, this is just what are the big things that stick out? And what makes it different. So that you understand what you're getting into and are fully informed in the context of the evidence, which is, I think, where the beauty lies. All right, so the first thing that I want to talk about is just the food logging experience. And there's a few things you really want to know, because I've seen some Miss Information or misunderstandings, right? People will say, Well, my fitness pal seems to have a lot more food. Yes, true. Why? Because my fitness pal allows anybody and everybody to just randomly enter whatever they want. And so you have tons of duplicates that have wrong information, you have tons of of entries that just have wrong information, right? Nothing's verified, macro factors database is verified. And that's a huge difference. Right? Some apps may also use verify databases, but not some of the big ones. And it gets the information from two sources. First are vetted databases. And the second is human verified entries. So there are some user entered entries, but they go to a human to be verified first, you know, like a nutritionist before they go in the database. So they're all verified. And I honestly I've been using it two years, and everything I enter seems to be right. Like it passes the sniff test, with very, very, very few exceptions. I mean, very, extremely rare exceptions in my opinion. It also has a barcode scanner like most of them, and and it's all it's all part of the normal, very inexpensive subscription price. Not like some of the other apps that charge extra for that. And they've been expanding the database over time. So if you live in you Europe, for example, they added the European products a while back, they've been adding other countries. But for the most part, if you're in the US, it's fine. Like, you'll find everything in there. With the exception of like, really, you know, really small boutique companies that may or may not make a lot of product. The the other other features that has some of these are typical of other apps, some are not, it allows for custom foods and recipes. And you can share those recipes. So you can share it as like a little export file, and then it ends up being a link, and somebody else can click the link and it'll import it into manufacturers. That's pretty cool. It has a timeline style food log. So instead of meals, which I know some people are used to meals and snacks, it's simply logged by time, which is actually more flexible, because then you know, you might snack eight times during the day at all random times, it's not going to force you into specific meals. It's a little bit different getting used to but it's really cool. Once you do, it has a smart history, right. So when you enter new, when you go to log a food, it's going to show your recent foods and it's it uses AI to show to determine what to show based on things like the time of day, or even what you start to type. It has a lot of copy paste features. So you can copy an entire time or a food or an entire day to another time or that day or the same time that day or two right now. I mean, there's so many options. Once you figure it out, you realize it's like boop, boop, boop. If you eat pretty routinely, it's going to take you seconds, mere seconds to log your food. The next thing is it's really really fast. Okay, now this I just I'm so frustrated with slow technology or buggy technology. And I'm sure you are as well. It's like, why can't you guys get this right? You focus on all these other features, but you can't get just make it fast. And in some cases, I imagined the developers have painted themselves into a hole by how they buy the architecture of the app. And I don't want to get into software here because that was my background. But it's probably what it comes down to, it's probably too hard for them to make it fast at this point unless they redesigned from the ground up. But macro factor from the beginning, they thought about how many taps it would take how much friction you can reduce from every single workflow from every single thing that you're trying to do. So not just a single action, but like, what are the typical things that someone does, right? When I go to have breakfast, I know I have to look up a food app to find it, I have to change the grams or the serving. And I have to log it to a certain time. Well, they made it where every single one of those is either down to one tap or zero taps in some cases, if it's like defaulted to the best option. And then the last thing is really cool. It's called a I describe. And what it allows you to do is either type or use your text to speech, what you're eating for your meal in like a big blob of a list or text, and it will separate it all out into the various foods and amounts and log it for you. You know, and like anything else they add, it's not perfect, and it probably get better. But you could say, you know, I'm having a salad with Romaine with cheddar cheese with croutons and this and that and the other, and then it'll try to separate all the foods and log them for you. Okay, so those are, that's the food database. stuff up, maybe it's slightly on the boring side of things. But I wanted you to know that it's in and of itself, it's superior to other apps, which I think is important, because the other apps, that's pretty much all they do. So they've already licked that part of it. Now I'm gonna go to the part that I love. Okay, the advanced algorithms and the dynamic adjustments. Okay. So again, I am a walking sales pitch for this app, because it's like, how do I put it, it's like if you went back to the Stone Age, and you had to gather a bunch of wood, and everybody bartered wood, and you all of a sudden came across a solar powered chainsaw. And you would be 50 times more efficient than the next person, you would want to use that chainsaw. Like you wouldn't even think about anything else that That, to me is how separated this app is, at least at the moment, hopefully, like anything else with competition. They'll encourage other makers to try to catch up. But it's going to be tough. So the advance algorithm, I'm going to try to simplify this, there's two pieces to this. There's the weight trend, and there's the expenditure. The weight trend algorithm, I'll say is, quote unquote, simple because we know exactly what the math is behind it. The weight trend algorithm, the way it works is when you log your weight, and you're and you're supposed to log your weight at least once a week in the app. As I've always said, I recommend logging every single day. Because when you log every single day, it no longer becomes an emotional thing. It's just another data point. You get used to all the big fluctuations day to day, you realize that no, you're not gaining a bunch of fat overnight, just because your weight went up two pounds, definitely not possible. It's because of other things like water and inflammation, sodium and carbs and so on. And so when you weigh every day, it makes it a more left brain logical type of thing. Macro factor will give you the best Precision, the more you enter weight. So I also recommend doing it every day in the app. And what it does is it takes a 20 day, exponential moving average. Alright, so just in technical terms, that's what it is. And what it amounts to is, instead of it looking like up, down, up, down, up down, like your weight normally looks, it smoothes it out and shows you the true pressure or trend of your weight over time over over a roughly three week period. And it gives more weight pun intended to the more recent data points, which makes sense, right? Because you're not really the person you were three weeks ago anymore. But the change since then does tell us what's been happening to your body. So that's the weight trend algorithm. And when I work with my clients, every week, we do our check ins, I will focus on the trend, and I don't really pay too much attention to the scale. Now. No matter what guaranteed, clients will mention their scale weight, it never goes away, like Oh, my skin weight dropped two pounds. But then you say, my skin weight went up two pounds. And in both cases, my responses generally like, okay, yeah, we see that. And we see that that doesn't really reflect what's going on with your body. Because the trendweight has still been going in a single direction this whole time, right? Just because you had this big pop or this big drop, doesn't mean that that is your true change in fat mass, right. So the weight trend is really important in the app, because it's right on the dashboard. And every day, if you're wondering how much you quote unquote, way, rather than going by the scale weight, you can go by the trendway. And it smoothes it out over time. And it makes it a less stressful experience. So that's the weight trend, which you could do in a spreadsheet without the app. Yeah, but it's just a lot of work, then we get to the expenditure algorithm. Okay, so this is the beauty of the app. This is the beauty from the from the data side. Macro factor continuously updates your energy expenditure, which is your metabolism, how many calories you burn every day, based on two things, the food that you're logging, and the trend in your weight, how your weight is changing over time. So if your weight trend is even over time, if you're not gaining or losing weight, and your weekly average calorie intake was 2000, then it's gonna say your expenditures 2000. But then the next week you're expending, you might have logged 3000 calories every day. Yeah, this is totally hypothetical. Let's say you just ate a ton more the next week. And all of a sudden, your weight trend still stays the same. Well, what does that mean? Well, the app is going to say, Hmm, you actually ate a lot more food, but your weight didn't go up, therefore, you must be burning more calories. So we're showing a higher expenditure for you. This, this can happen in real life all the time. So for me, I recently had surgery on my left rotator cuff, and my expenditure in the weeks that followed, shot up like a rocket. And it did that because of the healing process. Most likely, also, I was getting more sleep, and that could have helped, but most likely from the healing process. And if I wasn't tracking with macro factor, I would have started to lose a lot of weight, because I'm burning more calories, but I wouldn't have known I would have eaten the same amount and I would have lost weight. And so macro factor helped me keep eating enough and actually increase what I ate over the last few weeks to maintain my weight and keep the energy coming in. So I can heal the best heal, I can recover as fast as possible, because that's the phase I'm in right now. And that's my goal. And so you can imagine all different scenarios where your expenditure changes quite rapidly, your lifting habits, change your walking, amount of walking changes, and so on. And unless you know how many calories you're burning, you don't know how much you should eat. And we're gonna get to that part. But my point is the expenditure algorithm algorithm and macro factor is probably the most science backed, unique feature that it has. Because it says here is how your weight trend has been changing. Here's what you're eating, based on your body composition, based on your lifestyle and preferences based on your macros. All these things go in as variables to the algorithm, we know how many calories you're burning. Now I get this question a lot, I get the question. Well, I don't see a way to connect my Fitbit or Apple or Apple Watch to macro factor to get the calories burned from exercise or to add my exercise? And the answer is because it doesn't need it. Two things. First of all, the calories burned number on your wearable is useless. The error rate is so high as demonstrated by the evidence that you cannot trust it at all. It's based purely on a calculation on an estimate. For an average, it may have nothing to do with your actual expenditure. Don't use it and therefore macro factor doesn't use it, nor does it need it. Because all it needs to know is here's what you've been eating. Here's how your weight has changed. Therefore we know how many calories you're burning. For all the complexity of the human body when it comes to what causes us to burn calories and it's way more than exercise right exercise is like 5% It's way more than that. You don't have to know you just need to know the in and out. I ate this much food. My body changed by this much weight, boom and it gets more complicated under the hood, but that's that's the general idea. Okay, so the expenditure algorithm is huge, because on any given day, I can tell you how many calories I'm burning. I have graphs over the last two years that show when I go into a cutting phase to lose weight. And this is seen with all my clients, you'll see it gradually go down, down, down, down with metabolic adaptation as your body mass decreases, and all the other things, you know, your activity level goes down, and so on. Conversely, when you're building phase will see it go up, up, up. And that's, this explains why some people think they're hard gainers, they have to keep eating more and more just to stay on top of that curve to actually gain the muscle and gain the weight. And also, it helps you remain it's so when you come out of a fat loss phase. One of the most challenging things for people is how do I sustain this, and you could listen to Carol's story on episode 95. And she talks about that, I think Alan Friedman also talked about a while back, what they find is even maintenance can be a little tricky, because your metabolism is starting to recover. So it's actually going to go up up up, but it may not go up like I think he may stall, it may go down a little may go up a little. And it'll help you each week, adjust your calories to stay at maintenance. And if that surprises you if the idea that when you're at maintenance you, you don't necessarily eat the same week to week. That's why you need the app. That's why you need to track your food versus your weight, because then you'll actually see what happens with your body. And you might find that, for example, Hey, I'm gonna start walking more, I'm gonna start walking an extra 4000 steps a day. And you'll see your expenditure go up maybe a couple 100 calories now you can eat more food without gaining weight. Isn't that where we want to be? So that's the expenditure algorithm. And then that leads to what Well, that leads to the gold in the app, which is the dynamic adjustments. This is where a lot of nutrition coaches are really just macro coaches that they calculate this stuff for you, you can calculate this stuff in a spreadsheet yourself, you can Google TDE or metabolism and calculate it. But guess what that number is a fixed number in time for statistics, that may have nothing to do with you macro factors taking your actual expenditure. And it says okay, this week, because you're recovering from surgery and your expenditure went up 200 calories. On Monday, when you check in with the app, you're going to eat 200 more calories a day just to maintain your weight. And as a result, your protein goes up maybe a little bit, and then fats a little and carbs come up quite a bit. And here's our new targets for the week. This is the feedback loop I was talking about it adjust the recommendations based on your logged intake and your weight trend change. And you can make this a tiny bit easier. For example, if you have a smart scale, I use a Bluetooth smart scale where I just get on the scale open the app, it beams the number to my app, my app goes Apple Health, Apple Health connected the macro factor. And boom, the weight is in there every day with and all I have to do is step on the scale. I don't have to do anything else. Right. So you can make make things easier. But anyway, the gold in the app is that it adjust your weekly macro targets based on your expenditure. This is huge. Okay, so enough about that. I think you get the idea. A few other things that I wanted to mention. First of all, is the macronutrients. Recently they came out with a huge update, literally just within the last few weeks with full macronutrient tracking. So in the past people said, well, macro factors not as good as say chronometer, because chronometer lets you have targets for your nutrients. And that was like the only distinguishing factor. Well, now macro factor does that. And I think it does a better than everything else. Because like, all the other features of macro factor, it takes the evidence, and it takes your personal data, and it combines the two to give you nutrient targets, for example, it will tell you, here's your iron target, if you're a male of this age, or if you're a female to say so for example, a female who's 30 years old is going to need probably more than double the iron that a male needs or postmenopausal female. And it knows that based on the evidence, all that stuff's programmed in, it knows you your gender, your height, all these things. And it says here's your target. Now, you can obviously change the targets as well. But it will automatically give you targets for everything for selenium, magnesium, calcium, saturated fat fiber, on and on and on. Even the sub elements are the amino acids under protein. So it's all the macros and micros, the vitamins, the minerals, even choline, everything's in there. And you can decide which ones you want to show on your homepage or pin them or whatever. You can decide which ones are really important. But at any given time, you can look at all of them for a given food or for your entire day. So it's awesome. So they just added that in case you're wondering and that's important to you. I use that with my clients if we're tracking saturated fat for example, or fiber and it's really helpful. Okay, the next thing is before earlier I talked about the psychology of dieting Okay, and I haven't even touched on that yet with macro factor. Why does macro factor not to shame you and not make you feel bad about yourself like the other apps? It's because it doesn't use any notifications, warnings colors, labels, judgment It doesn't consider anything good or bad, it simply shows you the data. So just to put it break it down really simply, if you are in a fat loss phase, and your target is 2000 calories a day, and you eat 2100 calories, it is simply going to show that data, it's not going to say that it's red, or you're over or anything like that. Now there is a little display on the food log at the top, where if you swipe, it can show you how much you are over under your target. And I like using that I like to see a negative number, when I'm in fat loss. Or if it's positive, that means I'm over. But it literally is just the number. Again, it doesn't tell you that that's good or bad. And you can hide that you could actually hide that in the settings. And you could just swipe and not look at it. It even gives you the option to not show alcohol, for example, if that's a concern for you. So it encourages consistency. Because the more data you put in, the more accurate you are, the better data you get to make those decisions. And then that creates a feedback positive feedback loop so you don't feel ashamed about your choices. And that's what we want that that's what leads to long term success. Okay, so it is amazing for that. And then, and by the way, I think Greg Knuckles, and I dived into that whole thing about psychology as well and the episode that he was on, if you want to check that out. Some other features it has just before we wrap up it, they recently added a couple other features before and after photos and body metrics. So again, this is something that users asked for. And by the way, they have a roadmap where they prioritize all the features based on what's most in demand. So if people really want something, they're going to add it, right, they're gonna have a desktop version, they're gonna have a coaching version, at some point, they're gonna have all sorts of things that people are looking for, before and after photos, so you can track your visual progress, body metrics, I've been using this myself every week, on Sunday morning, one of the things on my reminder list is do my circumference measurements. So I do my neck, my chest, my waist, my thighs, and my biceps, put them in there. And then over time, I can see progress toward my body composition, you can track your period. So for the women, this gives you kind of a holistic view of your health because you can track your period relative to your expenditure. And so if you're, if you have the type of body that's over responsive to your period, between the follicular and luteal phases, this can give you some insight into Hey, the here's how many calories actually burned more or less based on my period, if everything else is sort of consistent, and then you can export your data as well. So I'm sure a lot of the apps let you do that. But it's nice because it pretty much includes everything in one spreadsheet. Okay, now that you know I love this app so much, because I want tools that serve me, I don't want them to work against me, I don't like wasting time, I'm lazy. Let's just put it that way. I'm lazy, I want the best tool for the job. And so of course, I encourage you to try it out. Just to recap, macro factor uses dynamic adjustments based on your body, and lifestyle. It is built around the psychology of dieting and the scientific evidence of nutrition. So it makes it this fun, positive experience. And it is so easy to use from a usability perspective that you're gonna forget that you're really tracking food, I mean, it's gonna take longer to measure your food on a food scale than to log it. In some cases, use my link in the show notes, or search for macro factor in your app store. And then, if you want to support me, and support the show, enter affiliate code Wits & Weights when you sign up for the free trial, and you'll get an extra week to try it out. Last thing, I touched on this a little bit, but I want to mention it again. You might be wondering why a nutrition coach is telling you to use an app that calculates your expenditure for you gives you weekly calorie and macro adjustments and hold you accountable. Isn't that what a nutrition coach is for? And I love, love, love this question because it allows me to separate what I do from the 1000s of macro coaches out there. In my opinion, the job of a good coach is to help you get results as quickly and efficiently as possible. While and this is the important part while also learning the skills and behaviors to be successful. For the rest of your life. I want you to fire me when you're done and say I don't need you anymore. Thank you. I'm good. That's what I want. For example, okay, there, here are all the things that that don't have anything to do with macro tracking that you still will learn working with a coach, being consistent with your meals, logging, hitting your targets, balancing your food quality, your timing for your workouts, on your goals, supplementation, learning how to use a food scale, estimating food at restaurants, learning how to meal plan for your week for things like holidays, for travel, adjusting your training for fat loss or building muscle, managing hunger, managing emotional eating, managing stress, managing sleep, the list goes on and on and on. And the average time that I work with a client is six to 12 months, which isn't that long in the scheme of your life, but it's long enough to teach you everything you need to know because that's what I'm all about as education knowledge teacher, I want you to know. In fact, I tried through these podcasts and so Michael intent to get as much transparency information out there. So if you pieced it all together and did it yourself, you would be successful, right? But a lot of people need the extra guidance, right? And you're trying to get the results that you've been struggling to get with all the other programs and diets they've tried in the past, I've been there. And you want a sustainable approach, like if that's what you're going for something that fits you your preferences, your lifestyle, your body, so you're not dependent on anyone but yourself, to maintain your results forever. That's where coaching can help. So tracking your food is like 5% or less of the process, right, and it becomes almost like zero, once you get used to it, it's just a thing you do. It's a habit. And it doesn't actually matter that much after a while because what matters more is everything else. And I'm happy to let a piece of software do that part of it, so that you and I can focus on the deeper, meaningful changes to make better decisions for success. So a coach offers professional guidance support an objective set of eyes along the way. And I mentioned that my clients use macro factor from the first day in fact, from day negative four, because I asked them to start logging their food before we actually get on boarded. So we have some data to start from right away and hit the ground running. And they all love it. They all love it. What they love more, though, is how they don't have to stress about what to do, how to do it, how to deal with the roadblocks along the way. They can just take action. And then they have a coach by their side. They know what to eat, they know how to train, they know how it all works and why it works. So that they won't lose muscle or they won't gain the weight back. And at the end of our time together. They often decide I don't want to even track anymore, but then they have the confidence to reach their goals anyway. So if you're interested in my one on one coaching, which is perfect for individuals who are driven, focused, understand the value of strength training, and what those results that have been eluding them, click the link in my show notes to apply. I'll send you some questions and make sure it's a good fit. And if it is, we'll get started right away. Again, click my link in the show notes to apply for coaching. Don't wait if there's no time like the present, I'd like to say for episode 99 Brandon Cruz is back to talk about how to make fat loss feel easier to get get and stay lean. We all know that losing fat can be challenging, especially if you have a busy lifestyle, a lot of stress or a history of yo yo dieting. So we're going to discuss some strategies and scenarios that can help you overcome these obstacles and make it more manageable and sustainable. Go ahead and follow or subscribe to the podcast do it right now. So you get notified when that episode is out. That's all for today. As always, stay strong. And I'll talk to you next time here on the Wits & Weights podcast. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of Wits & Weights. If you found value in today's episode, and know someone else who's looking to level up their Wits & Weights. Please take a moment to share this episode with them. And make sure to hit the Follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then, stay strong