Track your macros: ShapeUp Club app review

A lot of you have seen the little pie chart in my Food Friday posts and wondered what I use to track my macronutrients. 

The app is called ShapeUp Club. I use it on my iPhone.

Update from 17.10.2013: the app recently went through major updates and the graphics are now slightly different.

Update from January 2014: the app if now called Lifesum.

 

What does it do?

ShapeUp Club application has many great qualities.

  • Profile. 

Lets start with setting up your profile. Ofcourse you can track your weight and set a goal weight. Then there’s the opportunity to set a weightloss per week goal, the number can be whatever you want. If you add your age and height, the app also calculates your BMI for you. Besides tracking your weight, you can also track your waist, body fat, arm size and chest. You can also create other measurements.

Under profile you can also set your calories per day goal. If you leave that field empty, the app calculates it for you, depending on your weightloss goals and activity level. You can set goals and track your water intake and fruit and veggie intake but personally I don’t.  What I find really helpful is the fact that I can set my own macronutrient goals.

The last thing you can do under profile is take “before and after” photos. I personally haven’t used that feature but it could be seriously useful to notice progress.

  • Charts.

The app gives you automatic charts about weight, daily caloric intake, waist, body fat, arm and chest measurements if you enter them under “Profile”. Very useful when tracking progress.

  • My Things.

This section is one of the reasons why I love the app so much. When you have internet connection, you can create and edit foods, recipes and meals, exercises. I often find that when using apps to track macros, there aren’t certain foods I need in the database. And when you want to have an accurate picture of your macros, that is really frustrating. In ShapeUp Club you can add the food into database with all the useful info (calories, macros, fiber, sugar, producer etc) and view the foods others have added. Recipes and Meals is a great feature, I now have a lot of every day recipes entered. You add the ingredients and servings and it gives you all the info per portion. Great feature. 

  • Diary.

The main page of the application. It gives you your caloric goal, your caloric intake, protein, carb and fat count in grams. 

The next section you can add foods (Breakfast, Early Snack, Lunch, Afternoon Snack, Dinner and Other). You can just search in the database, scan a barcode, add from Favourites or Recents, from your Meals and Recipes, copy from previous days  or add Custom Calories. Or search by category (Fish, Meats, Food cupboard etc). The foods are really easy to add. 
 

Then you can add exercises: from Recents, Custom, from previous days or choose exercises from the database. The range of exercises is pretty good.

Next you can track fruits and veggies and water. I personally don’t, I drink my 2 litres of water a day anyway.

Then you can make notes. If you were sick and couldn’t, you can mark that down. Or you were at a party, mark that down. Then you don’t have to wonder why your macros were this or that way abnormal on a certain day. 

Last section is More Information that gives you the pie chart, detailed nutrition information (calories, protein, carbs including fiber and sugar, fat including saturated and unsaturated, potassium, sodium and cholesterol), calories from food and exercise.

  • Settings.
ShapeUp Club is available in US, European, Imperial and Australian unit system.

You can use the app in English, Swedish, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Danish, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Portugese or Dutch.

You can protect the app by password so no one can access it besides you.

ShapeUp Club has great partners. You can get your workouts from RunKeeper (a feature I use and love), data from Withings and upload data to Health Graph.
  • The webpage.

On ShapeUp Club’s webpage you can additionally also view Nutrition, Meal and Exercise summary Charts. You can also export your data (pdf or Excel format) or visit the Forum.

 

What does it cost?

ShapeUp Club is available free but you have only limited opportunities in the free version (for example maximum 2 recipes or meals, can’t view fiber an sugar counts, can’t sync with RunKeeper etc). But you can still get your basic macro counts and add all the foods you need. The free version is still great. I used it for 5 months before going Gold.

Gold is ofcourse better than free. You can use all the features and there are no limits. 

1 month costs $7, 3 months $15 ($5 per month) and 12 months $36 ($3 per month). I’m currently using the 3 month version. I wouldn’t get the year pack right away because you might not need it for that long. I plan to stop using it (for a while at least) once my Gold pack ends because I already know how much and what I can eat to stay on track.

 

Would I recommend it?

Both free and Gold version: totally. Start off with free version and if you feel like it, upgrade. Totally worth it.

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