Macrostax Helps People Achieve Their Fitness Goals by Counting Macronutrients
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With just $5,000 in hand, Macrostax founder and CEO Lindsey Jenks bootstrapped her passion for fitness and nutrition into an app that has since attracted 160,000 users and generated $17 million in revenue.
As Macrostax enters its fifth year in business, the Boulder-based startup is working on a new business-to-business platform that could help fitness studios give nutritional advice to its clients — and possibly launch Macrostax into the big leagues.
Jenks studied exercise science at the University of Florida, where she worked as a strength coach. She went on to open two CrossFit gyms and compete in regional CrossFit competitions.
Although she spent hours of each day training for CrossFit competitions, Jenks felt like the only way she could look the way she wanted was to restrict her eating. Not only was her paleo diet not providing enough calories to fuel her CrossFit training, but she also felt a sense of shame whenever she deviated from the diet by eating wine, cheese and chocolate.
“You just feel all this guilt,” she said. “It’s just this mental battle constantly.”
Eventually, an Olympic weightlifter turned her on to the idea of counting macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fats. For Jenks, counting macros was a revelation.
“I was eating over 200 grams of carbs and 2,000 calories per day,” she said. “I was leaning out, getting stronger and I felt awesome. More than anything, I was not giving up food. I can eat whatever I want, as long as it hits my macros.”
Jenks started a nutrition consulting business, but she soon realized that the time-intensive work of creating custom nutrition plans for each client was difficult to scale. To reach more people, she worked with a developer to translate her nutritional knowledge into the Macrostax app, which launched in May of 2017.
Macrostax users begin their journey by plugging in their age, height, weight, dietary preferences and activity level goals. From there, the app’s algorithm determines how many carbs, proteins and fats they should eat per day, which equals a certain number of calories. The app also recommends recipes and serving sizes that will help each user meet their goals.
If users aren’t able to stick to the meal plan recommendations, the app also has a feature that allows them to scan their food and track what they eat.
“If you’re on the go, at Subway or something like that, you can just type in the type of sandwich you got, or you can scan your beef jerky from the gas station,” Jenks said. “The app will pull up how many carbs, protein and fat it has, and it will subtract it from your daily amount so you can see how much you have left.”
Jenks said she is proud that Macrostax is allowing people to eat more than they would on other types of restrictive diets.
“When people come to Macrostax, they’re like, ‘Are you sure I can eat this much and lose weight?’ They almost freak out,” she said.
Annual memberships cost $9.99 per month. Monthly plans cost $19.99 per month.
Jenks hopes to help even more people by expanding Macrostax’s audience to include gyms, fitness studios and personal trainers. On Thursday, Macrostax launched the beta version of Macrostax Team, an enterprise subscription that gyms could then offer to their clients.
By offering Macrostax to their clients, gyms and personal trainers will be able to provide a new service to their clients. As a former personal trainer, Jenks said clients often ask about dietary advice, but it can be time-consuming to create nutrition plans. With the Macrostax Team platform, personal trainers could tell their clients to follow the advice on the app.
The app also has the option to show physical trainers whether their clients are meeting their target macro intake. Eventually, Macrostax plans to provide team-building features, such as nutrition challenges and the ability to share meal plans with each other.
About 20 gyms and professionals are participating in the beta trial of Macrostax Team. Jenks said she expects the beta to last about two months. She plans to have even more interest in the team platform when it’s ready for launch. When she sent an email to users about the Macrostax Team platform, she received replies from 500 people who said they were interested in using the platform.
Macrostax currently has seven employees. Once Macrostax Team gets up and running, she hopes to scale the platform with the help of a sales and marketing team. After five years of bootstrapping, she said she might possibly seek investor funding next year to grow the Macrostax Team platform.