Friday, February 25, 2011


Some of you have asked me what a Bodybugg is from my tweets. Well, it's a magical device that you put on your arm and it measures your calorie burn via skin temperature and movement.

I believe it's on its 3rd model, I had the first one and now have the second one. I first saw the device on The Biggest Loser and didn't know what it was until I finally started hitting my local 24 Hour Fitness (sponsor of BL). Being a proud tech geek I knew I had to have one.

The device seems to be more accurate than a pedometer - I know that sometimes a pedometer would say I had walked a half mile before I even left the house. If anything, I've found I have to really pump my arms for steps to register which is why it doesn't measure kettlebells or spin class / cycling well.

This thing is so great I think I can also see when I'm in REM sleep. I typically average 1.5 calories per minute completely sedentary and certain times at night it drops to 1.2 calories. Definitely good information and makes nerd-me squee with delight.

The current version will actually sync to your smartphone via bluetooth which is quite an upgrade. Actually, I know for sure they have an Android (<3) app and an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad application to download. There's also a web interface you can purcahse for a monthly fee and it will let you input foods and recipes to determine your calorie intake. Also in the web app you can see how many calories you burned (and when), your overall calorie surplus or deficit, and your steps and physical activity for the day with corresponding times. The nurition portion also breaks down your calorie consumption by carbs, fat, and protein and also shows where your consumption falls for the RDI of many things. As a Weight Watcher my biggest pet peeve with this is that it only shows carbs, fat, and protein for individual line items which makes it difficult to determine how much fiber was in each individual thing you consumed. The same unit is also produced by BodyMedia with a different web app. I don't have the unit or subscription but the interface seems sleeker and it also analyzes your sleep. Jenny Craig seems to have a partnership with them to bring it to select members which I also think it pretty awesome.

Now I'm going to girl out on you here, I think the Bodymedia interface looks really pretty - it's obviously marketed more towards women whereas the Bodybugg is marketed towards fitness people. Ok, done with that part... But seriosuly, if I were to upgrade to the newer model I think I might try out the BodyMedia one.

So is this for you? I say yes if you have the money to buy it, are active or are looking to be active, and if you love technology. The bottom line is whether you're going to wear it and sync it. Even when I'm being naughty with my eating it's good to see my calorie surplus laid out for me on the screen. This is ultimately a tool, it definitely won't take the weight off of you by itself but it puts out a lot of valuable information for you to analyze your day and see where you may be able to add in more activity.

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