BodyMedia FIT Armband

Body data tracking tool

I’ve been using the BodyMedia FIT armband for the past 3 months and it is the only diet and exercise system that I’ve found that really works. The system works through the use of an armband that you wear on your left arm throughout the day. As you go about your regular routine the armband measures your caloric burn. The armband uses four sensors to track over 9,000 variables from heat to sweat to steps to calories burned every minute of every day.

You can track your daily burn and steps taken through an optional display, but the real power is in syncing the armband to the BodyMedia web site which allows you to see charts of calories burned per minute, steps taken, exercise levels, sleep cycles, etc. You can also track your weight measurements in the tool. The great thing about the online tools is that it lets you enter your daily caloric intake (just search for a food and add it to a meal), and compares your incoming calories to outgoing calories. By entering your calories on a daily basis you can ensure a realistic caloric deficit which is guaranteed to help you lose weight safely. It’s very helpful for making sure you don’t starve yourself by eating too little, or conversely, that you don’t go crazy and eat too much.

Since I started using the armband I’ve dropped 20 pounds that I’ve managed to keep off with almost no trouble. It’s become pretty simple for me. I can eat a healthy but normal breakfast and lunch, then I check my calorie burn before dinner and make sure to eat the appropriate amount to ensure I maintain my target calorie deficit.

What I love about this tool is that it eliminates estimation. Everyone has different basal metabolic rates depending on what they do during the day. Whereas most diet systems target a fixed number of daily calories, those fixed amounts could mean anywhere from a 500-2500 calorie deficit depending on the person. Anyone who’s dieted knows that when you get into high calorie deficits you’re body stops losing and you go into the so called starvation mode where your body actually holds onto the weight. With this that never happens. If I have a lazy day at work and am on target to burn 3200 calories then I know I can eat 2200 and maintain my 1000 calorie deficit. But say, I go for a long run on the weekend and do some yard work I could get up to 5500 calories burned. If I stuck with a 2200 calorie diet, my body (and my willpower) would rebel. However with BodyMedia, I know that on those 5500 calorie days I can eat 2000 more calories and still be on target for weight loss.

Long story short – I absolutely love this system.

-- Marc Ryan 10/14/10

(Note: There is an even more thorough review of the system over at Ars Technica.-- OH — editors)

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