Mun’s Note: This is a guest post by Janet, one of the frequent readers of MunFitnessBlog.com. For the past 12 months, Janet has shed 50 pounds (about 22 kilograms). She has been exercising frequently and watching out what she eats.
If you have watched the Biggest Loser season 6, you may have noticed some of the participants wearing some weird devices on their upper arm. Those gadgets are called “Body Bugg”. I bought it after my friends recommended me. I have been using it for more than a year. So far no regret.
I use Body Bugg to track my weight loss progress. It estimates my burnt calories using “sensor fusion” by collecting range of body data. Unlike pedometer and heart rate monitor which rely on single sensor, Body Bugg track activity level, whether you are walking, jogging or even sleeping. This approach make Body Bugg a more reliable device with more accurate estimation. I have been using many other gadgets, but so far, Body Bugg is the only one that have met my requirements.
How Body Bugg Estimate The Calories Expenditure:
- Motion – It counts number of steps and other motions.
- Skin response – It detects the electrical conductivity of your skin. When a use is more active, the skin becomes electrically conductive.
- Temperature – It measures the dissipation of heat.
Every night, I upload information from my Body Bugg into PC, then type in what I ate. The program shows me the caloric deficit or surplus was for that day. Based on my fitness goal, the program tells me how many calories I need to reduce or take.
Another view of the chart:
For those who love numbers (like myself), Body Bugg is definitely a good way to monitor their caloric expenditure.
- Body Bugg is more reliable with more accurate calorie expenditure compared with other devices. Heart rate monitor does not tell me how much calories I burn whereas pedometer just measures steps taken, but those steps can be walking or running and it does not track how many calories I burn while I am riding a bike.
- The system can hold up to 14 days of data. So, I can do the upload of data once every 2 weeks. This feature is useful for road warrior who is always on the road and do not have frequent access to the computer. I normally do it every day, but sometimes when I am traveling outstation for a week, I only do it once I back to home.
- The arm band fit well on my upper arm and not easy to fall off. I find it comfortable to wear.
- It is quite thin and not noticeable under most clothes. However, do not expect people not to notice you if you are wearing sleeveless shirt.
- Its battery life is excellent. The arm band uses AAA battery which I normally replace once a week assuming I switch it on all the time (7 days x 24 hours)
- Uploading the data is quite straight forward. Just in case if you get an error, clicking on the “try again” button generally solves the problem.
Things to Watch Out:
- Body Bugger does not provide any recommendation for diet and exercise plan. It is still your responsibility to create an exercise program. You still have to exercise and eat less. Body Bug does not burn the fat for you. It just a tracking and reporting tool.
- It tracks only the calories you burn, but not the calories you eat. It does not know what goes into your mouth. You need to key in the what you eat as the food log so that the program will estimate your calories intake. Also, if you enter a food which the systems cannot recognize, you will have to estimate the figure yourself. The good thing is that the company is adding more food items to the database over the time.
- You need to weight yourself periodically and input that number onto the website.
- The system does not have any alert feature to notify you if you have reached your goal. I wish the program has an audio alert.
- This gadget is not water proof. So, do not wear it when you swim or biking outdoor during rainy season. Good thing is that you still can manually enter the calories burnt.
- You have to pay ongoing subscriptions fees to be able to log into the web site (which you are uploading the daily data for tracking purpose).
- To see the live feedback from your arm band, you need an additional digital display, which is an optional item that does not come with the basic package.
- Like any other tools, the estimation is about 90% accurate.
- Looking at the figures can be an obsession. If you also opt for the optional digital display for live data, you may constantly checking the numbers to a point of crazy. I admit that it drove me crazy when I first started wearing it.
- It is recommended to clean the the gadget frequently. Because it is in contact with your arm all the time (except when you are taking shower, I suppose), if your skin is sensitive, you may develop a rash.
Despite the several shortcomings, BodyBugg is still a helpful tool for dieters to track caloric expenditure throughout the day. At the end of the day, Body Bugg is just a tool. The most basic rule of weight loss still applies – you must burn more than you consume. Body Bugg estimation let you know whether you have the calories deficit or surplus. If you want to lose a pound a week (3,500 calories), you will need to have an average of 500 calories deficit daily.
In short, I recommend Body Bugg as a great tool for a better lifestyle. It has changed mine. I hope that it will do the same for you too. Good luck.
Mun’s Note: Thanks Janet for the great post. If you are really keen to find out about your fat loss progress, instead of just Body Bugg, you can consider 4 Ways To Measure Body Fat. By the way, if you would like to have your article being featured here, please let me know. Cheers.
Category: Fitness Gadget/Equipment
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