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tsuninight 10-26-2010 06:16 PM

BodyBugg/BodyMedia Initial Review & Questions
Since this is a long post, and not everyone is into reading long posts here's what I'd like to know if any of you spiffy ppl have something to add, but aren't going to read my novella.

1. How accurate have you found the device to be?
2. If it has not been accurate how accurate have you been in measuring/reporting your food?
3. What issues you have run into?
4. What do you like?

BodyMedia Initial Review:

Okay, so I wanted to get in an initial review of the BodyMedia before I’d gotten too far in. Since I’ve only had it since the 21st I’m going to go ahead and do that now.

• Uncomplicated device
• Clearly defined goals
• Easy to use software
• Detailed reports are easy to obtain and view
• Tons of customization for skins for the device face, and in fact you can create your own (which I did)

• Price
• Subscription requirement for website use (monthly after the initial free months)
On a side it is possible to almost lower your subscription cost by about half if you agree to a 12 month subscription (which I did) from $12.95/mo for a “month to month” basis, $9.95 with a 6-month requirement or $6.95 with a 12-month subscription. (It’s billed monthly at the price agreed upon, not all at once).
• Software is web based, so it requires you have an internet connection to update
• The display goes out of sync frequently (this is easy to sync, it’s just mildly annoying)

So those are what I see as the pros and cons. Requiring internet isn’t really a concern for me, since I have NO plans on giving up my internet, but I would have preferred software I could place on my computer and update minus the subscription or monitoring. I just can’t believe they don’t have some sort of reporting software to determine how people are doing via the web thing, I just don’t.

On a Plus I do LIKE the software. It is very easy to use, and I really like all the graphic representations. I am also VERY interested in the sleep monitoring thing once I can handle actually wearing it when I sleep. The one night I did wear it for most of the night it recorded EVERY time I got up and went to the bathroom. I have NO idea how it knows I’m asleep, but apparently it does. I’m curious to see how well I actually sleep on a regular basis.

Okay Issues I’ve run into:

I am not used to wearing something snug around my upper arm, so on the second day I found my arm got kind of sore. I have not yet been able to sleep with it, though people I’ve talked to SWEAR I will eventually get used to it. I think my problem may be I tend to sleep on my arm which means it gets pressed into my arm, which is somewhat uncomfortable.

I have a few problems keeping it up. BUT the band that comes with it I believe is a “medium”. I have ordered a large, and hope to get it soon. I have it as extended as it goes, but it only comfortably sits on my lower arm. This means it occasionally tries to escape.

As problems go, they are pretty minor.

I will say that SparkPeople.com has a far better nutrition logger. The BodyMedia one is similar, and easy to use, but does not allow you to enter all the vitamins & minerals the same way SparkPeople.com does. What if I want to track iron or B, C, or whatever?!

I will admit up front right now I question how accurate it is. From EVERYTHING I’ve read it’s like 98% or something accurate… which is pretty darn accurate. One of the reviews I read said the poster stated the BodyBugg stated they should lose 3.9lbs but she only actually lost 2.4. When the poster called the customer service line for they asked her how many calories were in a slice of her bread. He/She told them, they asked how many grams were in a serving. The answer 26g was a serving. They then asked Him/Her to weigh the bread. The bread weighed 30g. 30 =/= 26. Because the poster was eating 2 sandwiches a day that meant they were eating more calories than reported on that item alone.

(The review above was about the BodyBugg – to note the BodyMedia & BodyBugg are made by the same company. y I believe they are literally the same thing and reading reviews for one is the same as reading reviews for the other unless they’re talking about the web software which is different. This may lead to a judgment error on my part, so know that up front. The review can be found at ichoosethin . com /thinblog/how-accurate-is-bodybugg-a-review/ Sorry for the spaces I can't post links yet)

So that got me to thinking… I wonder how accurately I’m reporting things. I mean honestly I report everything as exactly as possible based on what the label of an item says. I do measure out what I eat, but I don’t necessarily weigh it. I do for meat, but not everything. If a serving is ‘a cup’, then I grab my measuring cup, fill it up, and ta da, there’s my serving. BUT if the accuracy is totally off in what I’m reporting how I can expect to get an accurate “loss” from my BodyMedia. In other words, when possible I think I need to probably WEIGH my food.

SO that is something I will be judging in the future. I think I may end up wearing out my poor food scale, BUT I’m still going to try to do it if what the BodyMedia says I should lose doesn’t occur after a few weeks, and then do my own analysis of how accurate the little bugger is…. I will also be trying the bread test when I get home…. Because I was sooo darn happy to find 40 calories a slice bread that I liked! I’ll be irritated if it turns out its WAY more than I thought. Irritated, and also enlightened. I’ll be honest I wouldn’t have thought of that. I know the information provided are sometimes just generalizations, but that’s still a pretty big change.

Yes there is still water weight, and various other things that can play a part, BUT, that not so little detail could be huge… though I doubt I’m going to go so crazy as to carry my food scale to restaurants to “ensure” my food is actually what I think it is. BUT if I am finding a difference in my personal testing I will know to allow ‘some’ differences

So that being said here is a mini report of how I’ve done since Oct 22.

Oct 22:
Burned: 3819
Consumed: 1775
Deficit: 2044
Weight: ?

Oct 23:
Burned: 3459
Consumed: 1746
Deficit: 1713
Weight: 264

Oct 24:
Burned: 3077
Consumed: 2289 (<-- this does not match my youtube report because I ended up eating a couple more things after I reported. BAD ME)
Deficit: 788
Weight: 264

Oct 25:
Burned: 4131
Consumed: 1728
Deficit: 2403
Weight: 265

Oct 26:
Burned: TBD
Consumed: TBD
Deficit: TBD
Weight: 264

Total Deficit to date: 6948 OR 1.99 lbs.

The scale, however, says I’m the same weight. I’m not “too” concerned about that though since it takes a few days it seems for bad or good behavior to catch up with me, not overnight. I figure that ends up with digestion and all that.

According to my calculations I should be up for about a 3 lb loss. Here is where we find out how accurate my current reporting is. If it’s not at all after a couple of weeks (I will believe my body will fight me or have water weight issues sometimes, but I do not expect it to have it be off EVERY week), I’m going to try to get more stickler (which will annoy me) on weighting and measuring everything out ensuring I am eating EXACTLY what I “think” I’m eating.

This could be a horribly painful wake up call for me believing measuring utensils based on what a labels says though. It also may mean a HUGE forced modification for testing purposes in what I eat… in a way I’m pretty darn sure I’m NOT going to like… though it may be good for the long run.
I may also have to add the .’s in for my weight to get a more accurate/detailed judgment.

ANYWAY… in conclusion:

There are a lot of what if’s I still have to answer, and my quest to find the TRUE accuracy of the BodyBugg/BodyMedia will take some more personal research and probably a whole lot more weighing *blarg*.

BUT I see this as a GOOD challenge. So stay tuned!

IS there anything you guys want to know, or if you use one of these devices what you’ve noticed? I would REALLY love to hear from you guys on this one.

Prism21 10-27-2010 07:36 PM

Hi there! I love my Bodybugg and am having success with my weight loss (finally!)

How accurate have you found the device to be?

Pretty accurate! I'm losing right on schedule with what my deficits are reporting. I've been good about tracking. I was bored one day and I counted my steps manually to see how accurate the Bugg was reporting them. For every 100 steps, it was only off by a few. Not a big deal to me at all.

What issues you have run into?

I haven't really run into any issues yet. I had the first version where it came with a wireless communicator to upload your info. I'll probably buy the communicator soon.

What do you like?

The accountability! And I do like looking at my physical activity level to see where I can improve and burn more calories. I don't really like to see where I've flatlined a large portion of the day being a couch potato. It's a reality check, for sure!

tsuninight 10-27-2010 07:46 PM

Do you wear your BodyBugg when you sleep?

If yes, did you have problems with it at first?

Thanks a ton for the response!

WSN 10-27-2010 08:56 PM


Originally Posted by tsuninight (Post 3539688)
1. How accurate have you found the device to be?
2. If it has not been accurate how accurate have you been in measuring/reporting your food?
3. What issues you have run into?
4. What do you like?

I've been using the GWF for almost 5 months now and have been loving it. I'm a data junkie so I love the constant feedback with the display I wear as a wristwatch.

As far as your questions?

1) How accurate is the device? This is the most important thing for me as well, initially I was very skeptical and while some of that has waned I am still skeptical about certain things however overall it seems to average out. I don't keep a strict nutrition journal and only ballpark my calories eaten and try to stick to around 1800-2000 per day which is fine for me and doesn't even make me feel like I'm eating light. And if I do the math along with my calorie burn from the GWF it pretty much matches up with my actual weight loss. However, I am pretty sure it underestimates calories burned in certain things like weightlifting which I do 5 days per week for about 45-60 minutes and overestimates some things like walking. For instance when I'm walking I get the same and sometimes even a higher calorie burn than I do if I'm on the elliptical with a lot of resistance, even though on the elliptical my hurt is racing and I'm sweating while my walking is just casual. Basically, I don't think it does a good job of measuring resistance in your activity but overall it seems to average out for me.

2) Like I wrote above, i don't keep a food journal but keep a mental count of the calories I've eaten throughout the day and average 1800-2000...it can vary considerably where some days I barely eat 1500 and other days maybe 2500 just depending on how I feel and how hard I worked out. The only things I've really cut out of my diet are the real garbage types of foods, otherwise I still eat most of the same things just exercise portion control and try to keep a balance in terms of nutrition.

3) The main issue is as I've written I think it doesn't account for resistance that well. Also I had the same problem others had which was the velcro pad peeled off my armband recently. I had an issue with customer service when I first got the device the armband was really tight on me and my only option was to purchase a larger armband from them. I wouldn't have minded if they advertised it that way on Amazon but they didn't, they said it was a universal arm-band and didn't say it was a medium. I ended up getting the large size (which was huge) and used it for some time but now after losing a lot of weight the medium is fine.

4) Main thing I like is the feedback I can see right on my wrist. When I go to the gym I have a target calorie burn I shoot for during that time. By 12pm and then 7pm I have sort of "benchmark" calorie burn numbers I should have and if I don't I'll try to compensate for them. Its easy to fool yourself and think you've burned more calories than you really did, or have a tiring day and think you must have been very physically active when in reality you weren't. With this device you can't do that.

Prism21 10-27-2010 10:33 PM


Originally Posted by tsuninight (Post 3541331)
Do you wear your BodyBugg when you sleep?

If yes, did you have problems with it at first?

Thanks a ton for the response!

No, I don't wear my BodyBugg when I sleep. I'll have to try it one of these days. My sister recently bought the Bodymedia and she wears hers to sleep.

Rana 10-27-2010 10:50 PM

I have a question because I've considered but I haven't seen one in real life.

The part that touches your skin, is it metallic?

If it is, does it say what kind of material it's made out of?

I'm severely allergic nickel and I don't want to spend the money on something like this if I'm going to have to return it.

Prism21 10-27-2010 11:44 PM


Originally Posted by Rana (Post 3541537)
I have a question because I've considered but I haven't seen one in real life.

The part that touches your skin, is it metallic?

If it is, does it say what kind of material it's made out of?

I'm severely allergic nickel and I don't want to spend the money on something like this if I'm going to have to return it.

The part of the band that touches your skin is some kind of metal. There is nickel in the armband but I don't know if it's inside it or on the part that touches your skin. I found this on the bodymedia site:

I have sensitive skin, should I wear the Armband?

Analysis and post market surveillance indicates that the risks of using the product are extremely low. No significant health risks have been identified. The most frequently reported health risk, occurring in less then 1% of users, is a mild to severe skin irritation resulting from wearing the Armband. Following proper wear and cleaning instructions often resolves this issue. If irritation continues, discontinue use and consult a physician. Follow all instructions regarding how to properly wear and clean the Armband to minimize the chance of irritation. If you have a known metal allergy, consult your physician prior to using the product. Read the instructions provided and all cautions before using the Armband. To reduce the risk of skin irritation, be sure to dry the Armband and your arm thoroughly before wearing the Armband.

I have a known metal allergy, should I wear the Armband?

For all known skin sensitivities and metal allergies, please consult a physician prior to use of the Armband. A list of Armband and strap materials is provided below.

What materials are used in the Armband?

Armband: ABS, polycarbonate, thermoplastic polyurethane, 304 grade stainless steel Stainless Steel #304 content includes: Chromium 18%, Nickel 8%, Manganese 2%, Silicon 1%, Carbon .08%, Phosphorous .045%, Sulfur .03%
Armband Strap: Nylon, polyester, Lycra (no latex content) or polyisoprene, polycarbonate (frame on the 'mini' model only), thermoplastic polyurethane, silicone

Rana 10-27-2010 11:53 PM

Thank you! I would be allergic it, then.

Oh well!

tsuninight 10-28-2010 12:13 AM

blech, that's no fun.

Gelsomina 10-29-2010 04:02 PM

1. How accurate have you found the device to be?
I couldn't give you a %, but it's the most accurate method or device I've ever used. This is the first time after decades of fitness efforts that I can realistically and 'accurately' see what is going on with my calorie intake AND output. Estimating calorie output (burn) using spreadsheets, formulas, readings from fitness equipment, and estimating was always inadequate, inaccurate and misleading for me. I'd end up quitting because I thought I should be getting different results based on those inadequate methods. With my bugg I can see quite accurately what I am burning 24 hrs/day. I have no more excuse/justification for my activity level (or lack thereof) throughout the day and expecting better fitness. Made me realize that working out in gym 1 hr/day thinking I burnt "600 calories" on a machine is complete crap, and sets me up for failure mentally. Now, every day I accurately see what I burned and what I ate. I know prior to getting on the weight scale what is going to happen AND WHY. The bugg empowers me to control my calorie inptake/output and has been the only successful behavior feedback tool I've used.

2. If it has not been accurate how accurate have you been in measuring/reporting your food?
Here's a big hint: start actually measuring your food intake, people grossly underestimate by up to 300%. Get real. I don't mind having to input foods; bugg doesn't list many processed/packaged foods like other online programs. I look at it this way: If I'm eating processed foods, I deserve to have to read the box and input numbers. And yes, I'm partial to eating whole foods like zucchini, bell peppers, apples, grass-fed beef. Part of my problem is if I eat processed foods, I overeat and want more. When I eat whole foods, I'm satiated and don't overeat. Again get real: processed food is nowhere near as healthy as whole food.

3. What issues you have run into?
I've periodically had to upgrade software online, it can be frustrating but I've worked through it. Buy your bugg from a retailer that will accept returns for HW/SW issues. SW/HW issues are a fact of life nowadays: deal with it. Make sure it's not a problem with your computer's system SW or internet app. There is no way I'd let it stop me from using a bugg.

Don't buy the bugg if you don't want to pay the $7-$10/mo website fee. But $10/month is worth it if you've struggled with fitness. For the time, energy and money I've wasted on other methods, I can't cheap out on a monthly fee. How much money a money do people spend on fast food? Set your priorities straight.

4. What do you like?
The bugg has also got me the heck out of the gym and doing physical activity in the real world. Stopped relying on those grossly overestimating fitness machines. I love trail running now, my bugg taught me I get incredibly high burn rates do that. I love seeing what else in the real world looks like in terms of burn rate. It makes it fun. Every day I think "how much can I burn today?" with a sense of excitement instead of dread.

5. What do you wish it did?
Wouldn't it be awesome if I didn't have to enter my food and it magically knew my calorie intake? If it gave me an electroshock for constantly abusing my body with fettucini alfredo and potato skins, or for sitting on my butt all day? ;-) Probably good that I have to enter my food: makes me confront the cheesy potato skins and realize there are consequences to my actions.

7. Hints?
Don't wear it too tight or it will bug you and be hard to sleep with. Don't obsessively weight yourself; my weight fluctuates significantly from drinking water, and salt intake and my menstrual cycle cause bloating. The bugg doesn't 'lie' about output, so you shouldn't 'lie' about intake.

My Pros:
• Uncomplicated device
• Easy to use software/user interface/website
• Detailed reports are easy to obtain and view, analyze
• Price is CHEAP: $179 + monthly fee is a helluva lot cheaper than the medical bills of obesity or other failed fitness methods. Keep your priorities straight.
• Software is web based, requires internet connection: who doesn't use the internet? I like using the internet, you must too if you're on this website

My Cons:
• Defined goals: you need to be able to set REALISTIC goals for yourself before you even think of setting bugg goals. I still use a personal trainer to keep me from beating myself up for the 'bad days' and to help me set and reach fitness goals of strength and how to get there.
• Not exactly a fashion accessory: bugg is worn constantly, which sucks for short sleeves, ballgowns, and explaining to your date.
• Not waterproof; would be awesome if you could wear it swimming. The device could be waterproofed; the technology is out there. (Price would go up I spose)
• Can cause a bit of skin irritation (but so does chafing rolls of fat on fat) . Every once in a while I get a tiny bit of rash, probably from the trace amounts of nickel (or whatever) in the sensor. I just be sure to switch arms every day, and use a little OTC hyrdrocortisone creme if necessary.

Heads up on the perception of inaccuracy of burn rate with strength training, partial vs. full body cardio, etc: go online and read impartial research reports on burn rates. Basically, strength training does not yield comparatively high burn rates unless it's full-body functional strength training. You need to use multiple major muscle groups simultaneously to get high burn rates. But strength training in the long run is essential to muscle fitness. And you ultimately cannot achieve prolonged high burn rates unless you increase your muscle fitness. (This is just my layman synopsis, so please don't quote me or argue points with me. Go read the research.)

tsuninight 10-29-2010 04:56 PM

I really appreciate the feedback!

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