May 3, 2013

Soooo what is a Bodybugg?!?!?

Hi everyone! I'm back and I'm refreshed for sure. The past few days have been hectic with work and family stuff and I really haven't had a chance to sit down and write anything fitness related. That doesn't mean that I haven't been fitness obsessed! I think that part of me will always be running in the background of my life. I just love fitness too much.

Anyways,  do you all remember this post about the Bodybugg that I wanted?

Well I work fast!

I got one a few days back and I've been having fun experimenting with my body and foods ever since. Before I go any further I should explain that the Bodybugg is something that I've wanted since 2006 but it was so expensive back then and I was already losing weight so I really didn't need it.

HOWEVER

I am a nerd and always thought to myself, "One day!" That day finally came and now I want to share it with all of you!

First of all the Bodybugg is a product that is made by Bodymedia. Bodymedia is also the developer of the software/app that is used to collect and analyse the information gathered by the Bodybugg. The Bodybugg itself is worn around the bicep area on your arm as so:

Don't you like my "selfie" skillz?!?!
It has no display other than a battery and memory lights that flash when the memory is full or the battery is dead.

 

So basically you can wear the armband for up to 23 hours a day and it records all sorts of things about your body. It is truly amazing! What is even more amazing is the Bodymedia software that comes with the Bodybugg.

To put a disclaimer here, you do have to pay for the Activity Manager software subscription after the 6-month initial trial that comes with the armband. It costs $6.95/mo. and if you don't have the subscription the armband is useless. To me, seven bucks a month is so worth everything you get!

The Activity Manager is amazing. It records calories burned, calories consumed, calorie deficit/surplus, physical activity, steps taken and even sleep cycles. The more I wear the armband the more accurate the numbers are. Thus, I've been wearing it 23 hours a day. It's taken me some time to get used to it. I admit that I'm not quite used to it just yet. I've only had it for 4 full days so I didn't expect to be used to it anyways.

So when you sign onto the Activity Manager you are greeted by your dashboard that gives you an overall summary of where you are with your diet and exercise balance for the day. This is what the screen looks like:



The first thing the Activity Manager shows are the calories that you have burned so far while wearing the armband. When you drill down the screen you can see a graph that shows up to the minute how many calories you are burning and at the rate (METs) that you are burning them. What is really neat is that you can glide over the graph and it gives you these numbers for certain times. The screen looks something like this:


Next, in contrast, the Activity Manager shows how many calories you have consumed. Here is where technology shines. I was previously, as you know, using myfitnesspal to count my calories. The Bodymedia software has it's own capabilities to record your calories. However, since I was already using Myfitnesspal.com I was glad when I read (before I bought it) that it was compatible with Myfitnesspal.com. So in the snap of the finger I linked the two. As a result you can see below that my foods are not listed individually but rather as a lump sum.


After the two major categories are covered (calories in vs. calories out) the Activity Manager goes into depth on how you are burning your calories. This is something that is determined when you set your activity goals. My goals are to have 60 minutes of moderate exercise and 30 minutes of vigorous exercise. This can be changed around to range from 30 minutes moderate and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise. The presentation on this aspect does not disappoint. There is a bar graph that allows you to see what time of day you were more active. This is what it looks like.


To get more specific the Activity Manager also has a feature that shows you how many steps you have taken towards your goal for the day. This is also set when you set up your activity goals. Here is how it is displayed on the Activity Manager:


Lastly, the Activity Manager records your sleep cycles. I think THIS IS THE COOLEST feature of the entire software. It basically shows you at what time of day you had the best most efficient sleep. Why is this important? Well sleep is REALLY important when it comes to weight loss. Not getting enough sleep can interfere with your body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates, which leads to high levels of blood sugar. Also, if you are awake you are more likely to eat more food despite your body being full. Thus, more food, more calories, more weight! Here is what the summary of your sleep cycles looks like on the Activity Manager:


All in all, I am really excited about FINALLY getting a Bodybugg. It's even for the best that I got now and not back in 2006. I mean the model I bought is Bluetooth compatible with my phone and since I have the Bodymedia app on my phone I am able to see real time stats with the push of the button. I love this feature!

As a side note, I have been asked a dozen times about the armband and each time I am greeted with, "Wow, you have to wear it all day?!?!" To which I tell everyone that I wear it 23 hours a day because I want to collect as much information about my body as I can. The Bodybugg boasts that it has a 90% accuracy rate. For me, that's amazing and WAY better than any online estimating formulas. The product isn't for everyone, I'm sure, but I'm already in love with it!

Good night everyone! I'm off to improve my sleep efficiency! =)