Shapa Scale Review
As women, we have been too obssessed with the number we see when we step on a scale. Weight is an outdated metric. It doesn’t really tell you much about your health or fitness.
Before I started to make a commitment to getting in shape I weighed about 130 lbs I didn’t have noticeable muscle tone. I might have fit into some deffiniton of “skinny” but I was not fit. After 6 months of a healthy diet and regular exercise, I weighed 140! That’s a gain of 10 lbs! But I was excited about that! I was toned, fit, and looked good!
What’s wrong with using a scale to measure weight?
So why did my weight go up? The goal is not to lose “weight” it’s to lose fat. I lost body fat and replaced it with muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat so the number on the scale doesn’t really mean anything to me.
Focusing on a scale to measure weight only causes you to obsess over the number you see when you weight in, especually if you make it your daily routine. It takes a long time for a scale to reflect results. Your body fluxuates in weight day-to-day regardless of how much you eat or exercise and this causes confusion and it’s down right frustrating.
This is what caught my attention when I heard about Shapa, the scale that doesn’t tell you how much you weight and helps you track your fitness without worrying about numbers. In fact, it’s a scale that doesn’t even have a screen. So, what’s it good for and why do you need it? I’ll tell you all about it!
What is the Shapa Smart Scale?
The Shapa Smart Scale was developed by social scientist Dan Ariely who has spent his career researching the invisible machinery of human choice. Working to understand why we make the decisions we do, he turned his attention to human health.
Shapa isn’t a diet program, their goal is "to help you create a balanced lifestyle that matches your life and your needs, rather than a short-term restrictive diet”.
How does the Shapa Smart Scale work?
The Shapa scale has no screen. Instead it connects to a smart phone app and gives you feedback on your weight using a color-based scale. The idea behind this is that by factoring into account our normal, everyday weight fluctuations, it will provide you with a more realistic and positive picture of your health by using your average weight data from the past three weeks.
There is also a AI element to the Shapa Scale. It can give you more personal recommendations, tips and daily goals to help you stay on track. These are all small, easy, and simple changes what over time will add up and make a noticeable difference. Examples might be not using sugar in today’s coffee or going for a walk after dinner.
How to Use the Shapa System
The scale can accommodate up to 396 lbs and you can have up to 7 users per scale. They recommend that you step on the scale twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening. Therefore, you should keep it somewhere that is easily accessible.
Before you step on the scale for the first time, you fill be asked to complete a assessment questionnaire. This will help to create your profile and identify your habits, personality, and lifestyle so the it can give you better feedback and suggestions.
The assessment is lengthy and while you can expect basic questions like height, age, gender, there are also more detailed questions like what kinds of food you currently have at home, what types of food is available to you at work and even how strong you are at refusing things that are bad for you.
Using the answers you provide, the system will work to select activities that would be a better fit for your lifestyle and builds you customized goals around them.
You can update your responses at any time and Shapa will make adjustments to you personal plan accordingly.
If you have an Amazon Alexa, it can automatically read your daily goals or “missions” if you integrate it with the Shapa scale.
Shapa Scale iOS & Android Apps
Shapa Scale supports both Apple and Android products! When you step on the scale, all the information it gathers is synced to the app on your phone. There can be up to 7 different users/profiles per scale.
One feature of the Shapa Scale app is that it can give you notifications to remind you to step on the scale and to work on completing your mission of the day.
Shapa really is a “smart” scale. It will continue to adjust your program and learn more about you as you complete your missions and use the scale.
How does the Shapa Scale work?
When you step on the Shapa Scale barefoot, it sends a tiny, unnoticeable, electric current through your body. This measures and captures data regarding your weight, muscle mass, and bone density.
This information is synced to the Shapa app on your phone via bluetooth. The Shapa app can also pull information from other fitness apps you use like Apple Health and use information from fitness wearables like FitBit.
What does Shapa Measure?
We know that it doesn’t tell you your weight and that data syncs to your phone via Shapa app, do what information can you expect to learn? All the information that Shapa collects is condensed into one of two categories: your Shapa Age and your Shapa Color. Shapa’s missions and health tips are also two features that make Shapa stand out among other smart scales.
Shapa’s 6 Unique Health programs
With the combination of a smart scale and app-based algorithms, Shapa offers six different health focused programs:
How much does Shapa cost and where to buy
The Shapa scale is available in three designs which include black, oak, and orange finishes. You can buy your Shapa Scale from the official Shapa website. There are two costs associated with using the Shapa Scale System:
The Shapa Scale - $129
Shapa App Subscription - $10 per month
This price tag is enough to scare some people off but when you put it into perspective and compare it other smart scales and fitness trackers, it’s a worthwhile cost for improving your health. The monthly subscription was created as a behavior motivator.
After all, if you are paying for this every month, you are more likely to use it. I’m sure you’ve done the thing where you want something and convince yourself that you’ll use it only to get it and forget about it a few weeks later. I know I’ve been in that situation, more than once!
They have a 15 day refund policy on all orders starting the day of purchase and this does not include shipping and handling costs.
What’s being said in Shapa Customer Reviews?
Shannon Palus from the wirecutter, share her story about her scale obsessions and she examines how Shapa is changing how people should approach to losing or maintaining a healthy weight. At the time she reviewed Shapa it mainly focused on helping people with weight loss but since then, Shapa has a wide variety of health focused programs that include healthy weight maintenance, diabetes prevention, heart health, etc.
Michael Sawh and the team from Wareable, tested several smart scales, including the Shapa Scale. He reported some issues with the app crashing during measurement readings. One feature that he would have liked to see is “the ability to customize the layout”, but a big plus for Shapa is it’s simple and easy to use interface.
Overall, even though they had some issues initially with measurement readings, he believes "there's huge potential here on a weighing experience that looks at alternative ways to motivate".
Looking through the Shapa reviews from the average consumer, the general consensus is that Shapa turns their weight and health management a positive experience. It takes away the stress and “scale anxiety” and the majority are happy with the results they’ve seen so far.
Shapa Scale vs Other Smart Scales and Fitness Trackers
There are hundreds of watches and gadgets to choose from to monitor your health, so why is Shapa a better choice?
Fitness trackers are great at giving you various pieces of data from the number of steps you climbed, hours sleep, steps taken, etc. Each one bring your more and new health data. The problem, Ariely says, it that our real health simply gets lost in all these data points. Fitbit has it’s own “smart scale” that will measure your weight but in the end, watching the scale fluctuate tells you nothing about your overall wellbeing.
Fitness trackers and other smart scales are giving more and more detailed data to users but it’s becoming less useful and, in some cases, even misleading. Say you step on the scale today and see your weight has gone up 3 pounds, naturally you feel like you did something wrong that caused this gain. Or the opposite and you are down 3 pounds from yesterday, you assume you did something right! In reality, most of the time it wasn’t due to anything you “did”, it is simply due to regular weight fluctuations.
In the end, it’s just confusing and demotivating. So they took a different and better approach by creating Shapa. It never tells you your actual weight but it measures it along with other data like bone density and muscle mass. It takes all the various data and translates it to you in a more simple fashion.
Shapa Scale - How to choose the right smart scale
Shapa isn’t the only Smart Scale on the market, but it is the first that doesn’t have a weight display. There are many other smart scales that measure similar health metics like BMI, weight, muscle mass, water percentage and then syncs that data to apps via bluetooth.
The price range was wide ranging from as little as $50 to over $400. By comparing Shapa Scale capabilities and features to other smart scales, the Shapa price tag of $129 if very reasonable.
The best thing advice for choosing the right smart scale comes from CNET’s Dan Graziano. He recommends two things:
- Finding out where each model excels
- Use that information to figure out how it fits with your life and health goals
He explains this in further detail and suggests that the first thing you should do is determine what metrics you care about seeing. This could include data like BMI, weight, body fat, etc. If you are looking for more detailed information, some scales can measure muscle mass, hydration levels, and lean body mass.
Measuring data is one thing, but make sure that the smart scale can transmit this data with bluetooth and Wi-Fi, like with the case of Shapa.
Lastly, look at the app features and see if they will meet your needs. Things to consider might include the number of users it can support and if it’s compatible with other health apps you are using. Many of the apps that go along with smart scales are available to download for free. If you are interested in a particular smart scale you can download the corresponding app to get a sneak peek of what to expect.
Final Verdict on the Shapa Scale and System
This isn’t the perfect smart scale for everyone and finding the right smart scale will depend on a variety of factors like your preferences, goals, and budget.
This was the perfect scale for my mom, she was trapped in the discouraging cycle of stepping on a scale to heck her weight multiple times a day. A weight drop of half a pound would make her day and even a 1
lbs increase would make her feel disappointed. She would get anxiety stepping on the scale and it just caused her frustration and demotivation.
The Shapa scale helped her gain a new perspective on managing not just her weight, but her overall health. She’s much happier not that she no longer obsesses over her weight and has had more success maintaining a healthy weight.
The Shapa Scale might be perfect scale for you if your needs and goals match what you’ve read in this review. If you’re curious, try it out. They do offer a 15 day refund policy so the most you have to lose is a little bit of time and S&H charges if it’s not for you. You can also take a short quiz on the Shapa Website that can help you determine if Shapa is right for you.
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