The 24 Hour Fitness Blog

What's Bugging You?

by ScottG. on February 22, 2012

The bodybugg is a great little device that helps you know exactly how you're doing on your health and fitness goals. You can keep track of your weight gain/loss, view nutrition and workout plans (both cardio and resistance training) and more.

The bodybugg measures your body stats rather than estimating it like other devices. The bodybugg armband, worn on your upper right arm, measures your movement (via an accelerometer), how many steps you take, how much you sweat and your skin temperature. It uses all of this data to very accurately calculate your calorie burn PER minute.

Setting up the bodybugg is easy but there's a lot of info to enter. You set short-term goals and the time frame you'd like to reach them in. Once you reach your current goal, you can enter a new one so you're always making progress.

Basically, you wear the bodybugg all day. Below is a graph showing my stats from wearing the armband throughout the day. You can slide the bar on top to focus the calorie burn on a specific time frame, for example during your workout. Can you tell when I was chained to my desk and when I worked out with my trainer?

While sitting at my desk, I’m only burning 2-3 calories per minute but when I’m working out with my trainer, my calorie burn more than triples. Seeing this instant feedback is motivating for me. Also, if my daily graph looks like I've flatlined, I know I need to go to the gym, walk the dog, etc.

The concept behind the bodybugg is simple—you should burn more calories than you eat if you want to lose weight. The bodybugg automatically tracks what I’m burning, so all I have to do is enter the foods I eat. And this is easy, too, because the tracking system has a huge database of food built in. Below is an example of my breakfast from the other day - you can see the ingredients and nutritional info from the database.

It can take some time getting used to entering foods. The search is sort of clunky but after awhile you learn how to enter stuff. Also, the bodybugg remembers which foods you eat frequently and shows them in a list so you don't have to search for everything.

A note on food dairies... some of my coworkers feel that tracking their diet isn't worth it or too much work. With a background in nutrition, I know that keeping a food dairy is a serious eye-opener. Many people, even diet experts, underestimate volumes and calorie intakes. Writing it down - even if it's only for a short period - is a great lesson on serving sizes and calorie intake. Also, for my coworkers, it gets easier to track and enter foods as you get used to it.

So now we have all the data, what are we going to do with it? The bodybugg software (where these images are from) combines the calories in versus the calories out to give me some very helpful stats. At a glance, I know exactly where I stand. In the example below, I exceeded my daily goal (more calories burned than eaten) and set myself up to burn an extra 1691 calories for the day. If I keep this up, I'm right on track to hit my goal: lose one pound per week.

Note: everyone has different calorie needs. I'm a big guy so I get TONS of calories per day but it's proportional to my body. Your calorie needs are based on your height, your weight, age, goals, etc.

The bodybugg is a great tool for any goal. Ignorance isn't bliss; knowing exactly where you stand and what you need to do is very motivating. To find more details and watch videos about the bodybugg, visit our bodybugg page.