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My Sage Body

Project Summary

My Sage Body is the first anti-diet tracking app for the body-positive generation.

We are a women lead start-up who believe that nutrition and movement are tools towards self-love and self acceptance. When the end goal is self-love, there is no room for weight obsession, shame and fat-phobia. We know that centering mental health when making choices about our habits is the path forward to a more fulfilling, joyous and healthy life.

www.mysagebody.com

My Roles

Co-Founder

CEO

Lead Designer

Product Manager

My Design Process

I follow the Double Diamond iterative design process

DISCOVER

DESIGN

DELIVER

Image by Siora Photography

What if I really care about my health, and want to learn more about nutrition but I'm not driven by weight-loss?

In fact, what if I'm actually pushed to disordered eating when weight-loss is the center focus? How am I supposed to track my nutritional habits and develop a healthy relationship with food when every single product on the market is about weight loss?

Questions that needed answering

Who

  • Is it just me that struggles with this problem? 

  • If not, who else struggles with this problem?

  • At what point in their lives does this problem reveal itself?

What

  • What is the specific problem?

  • What are they using to solve this problem currently and how well is it working for them?

Why

  • Why now? 

  • What is different about today's culture that makes this product relevant?

  • What would compel someone to use this product over the competitors in the market?

  • What is really at stake?

 

User Research

I began by conducting a few different types of user research.

SURVEYS

INTERVIEWS

ETHNOGRAPHY

Image by Edwin Andrade

The results blew my mind.

It's not just me.

This problem is urgent, and occurs often.

There is an untapped market solution.

This a common problem, and the users experiences are nearly identical.

The data divided people into two major groups.

Those with a negative relationship with food.

of those people

Those with a positive relationship with food.

of those people

  • 80% had a negative body image

  • 67% said they would be unhappy living the lifestyle it took to maintain their ideal weight

  • 45% would have to grossly restrict their calories to lose weight

  • 67% diet to achieve self confidence

  • 17% diet for societal acceptance

  • 77% have a positive body image

  • 77% of them said they would be happy living the lifestyle it took to maintain their ideal weight

  • 68% said their diet is influenced by a desire to be healthy

Major insight:

An unhealthy relationship with food has a strong correlation with a poor body image, and dieting.

How do we change an unhealthy relationship with food into a healthy relationship?

We need to get to the root of the problem.

How did we get here?

  • Users thought that by being thin, they would finally achieve self-acceptance, so they dieted.

  • Dieting is built on the idea that your body needs to change in order to be worthy.

  • Dieting utilizes restriction in order to achieve a goal; that creates an unhealthy relationship with food. 

  • By restricting themselves their body reacts with hunger signals, and often binge eating because it thinks it's starving

  • Users metabolisms often will slow, creating a cycle of weight gain and starvation in an attempt to lose.

  • User would feel betrayed and disconnected from their body. This cycle would create an adversarial relationship with body and food, furthering the distance between them and their goal of self-acceptance.

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The end goal was always self-love, and self-acceptance but users thought changing themselves was where to start. They began with the fundamental opposite solution for self-acceptance. 

Not to mention ~85% of dieting attempts do not result in long term weight maintenance.

Dieting results in changes to thyroid, appetite-regulating and steroid hormones affecting energy expenditure, body composition, and satiety.

Dieting increases cortisol levels, which results in protein breakdown. High levels of glucocorticoids such as cortisol also promote the accumulation of fat tissue.

Dieting results in lower resting energy expenditure, known as adaptive thermogenesis.

TLDR:

After each diet the body is in a worse position to metabolize food for energy and more likely to retain fat than it was before the diet. 

This creates a sort of self-funneling system in the diet industry. Allowing different diets to claim to be "the new answer."

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