Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monday Food Log; Bodybugg FAQ

I was SO tired today and got nothing done. The kids are spending the week at my parents' house swimming and playing with cousins so the house was very quiet. :)

Breakfast: oatmeal with Jay Robb strawberry protein powder; pear

When lunch time came around I was hungry but nothing sounded good. Ever been like that?

Lunch: grilled chicken, mustard, cheese & tortilla wrap; organic grapes
Dinner: leftover Buddy's Natural Chicken Sausage; green beans; watermelon
Buddy's Natural Chicken products are delicious. Each link is 160 calories (4 pts for WW).
After dinner I became ravenous. Not sure what the deal was but I was hungry. Ate a Holey Donut for dessert but was still hungry. So I toasted half of a Carb Check bagel and it finally filled me up. I also kept thinking about those 3 nasty pounds I gained. That's a good motivator to stop munching.
I had to send my old Bodybugg back to the company because it wouldn't sync with my watch display. Today I got my replacement and it's the new style!! It's really sleek and lighter than my old one. Instead of replacing the batteries every 2 weeks I recharge these every 4-5 days. Bad news is that my watch display still won't sync. I told the guy on the phone before that I thought it was a problem with the display and not the Bodybugg. Oh well. I got a new one out of the whole mess. Now I have to see what they're going to do about my watch.
A few folks have asked me about my Bodybugg so I'm going to run through some FAQ. If you decide to get one I would go to Elizabeth Sherman's web site to order. She is also on Twitter @bodybugg. Tell her @dasschus sent ya. :)
  • What is a bodybugg? What does it do?

The bodybugg® is the most accurate device on the market today for measuring calorie expenditure outside of a clinical setting.

It utilizes a patented process for interpreting calorie burn called "sensor fusion" developed by BodyMedia, Inc. This process involves collecting a range of body-data using multiple physiological sensors instead of a single sensor, which is what other calorie estimation devices such as pedometers and heart rate monitors rely on. It's this multi-sensor approach that enables bodybugg® to "see" the wearer's context (whether they are sitting, sleeping, jogging, walking, etc.) that makes bodybugg® such a reliably accurate device for calorie expenditure estimation.
The Physiological Sensors
Here is a list of the sensors in the bodybugg® followed by a short description of how they contribute to energy expenditure estimation.

Accelerometer - The accelerometer in bodybugg® is a tri-axis micro-electro-mechanical sensor (MEMS) device that measures motion. This motion can be mapped to forces (g-force) exerted on the body. By taking gravity and motion into account along with the other sensor data, the wearer's body context and true level of physical exertion can be accurately predicted.
Heat Flux - The bodybugg® also contains a proprietary heat flux sensor located on the side that measures the amount of heat being dissipated by the body via a thermally resistant material. In short, this sensor measures how much heat the wearer's body is giving off. Heat flux is an important parameter because the body tends to heat up the faster it burns calories.

Galvanic Skin Response - Better known as GSR, this sensor is comprised of two "hypo-allergenic" stainless steel electrodes on the back of the armband that measure skin conductivity. Skin conductivity is how much an electrical current can pass between two points on the surface of the skin and is affected by sweat due to physical exertion as well as emotional stimuli such as psychological stress.

Skin Temperature - Skin temperature is measured by using a highly accurate thermistor-based sensor located on the back of the bodybugg®. Looking at continuous measurement of skin temperature in conjunction with data collected from the other sensors can reveal the body's core temperature trends which are affected by the level of a person's physical exertion or lack thereof.

The data these 4 sensors collect, in conjunction with the wearer's specific body parameters (age, gender, height, weight) enable the most accurate estimation of energy expenditure on the market today outside of a clinical setting.

  • A friend gave me their old bodybugg. What do I do now?

You will need to purchase a web-only program. With this you'll receive 2 bodybugg coaching sessions to help you learn how to use the program as well as a 3-month web subscription. During your first session, you'll just need to tell your bodybugg coach that you have an armband and he/she will make any necessary adjustments to your account.

  • Is there a warranty that comes with thearmband?

Yes, the armband comes with a one-year warranty which begins the day you activate your armband. Please note: water damage is not covered by the warranty. The elastic strap is intended to last at least 90 days from purchase date, provided it is hand-washed and allowed to air-dry (do not tumble dry).

  • Can I use the bodybugg system online without the bodybugg armband?

Yes. Actually the online program is the foundation of the bodybugg system. Based on your measurement changes, the system will determine your actual daily calorie deficit (or surplus) according to your one-week average. To help you stay on track without the bodybugg armband, there's an easy-to-use food logging function so you can keep track of calories consumed. There's also an exercise calculator with hundreds of activities to choose from to determine how many calories you've burned. Through the bodybugg online interface, you can customize and print menus as well as view and print your exercise programs. There are also several informative knowledge builders, tutorials, newsletters, and daily questions and answers to help you stay on track. Check out www.myapex.com

  • How accurate is the bodybugg?

The Armband has been clinically validated to be over 90% accurate when determining calorie burn through the entire day. More specifically, a recent independent study tested the Armband in real-life situations. Participants engaged in "free living" activities, including brisk walking, running, bicycling, sedentary activities, home activities, home repair, occupational activities, strength training, and ball games. The study compared the Armband to a $40,000 "portable oxygen analyzer", the gold standard for measuring calories.

Results showed:

Total Calories for free living activities: mean error <10%.>

Total Minutes of exercise: mean error <5%.

Source: British Journal of Sports Medicine. July 2008. Berntsen et al.

  • What is calorie balance, deficit, surplus?

Calorie balance is the difference between calories consumed and calories burned. Your caloric burn value is determined by the data from the Armband, off-body estimates and any manual activities that have been logged. The caloric consumption value is determined by either the logged meals or body mass changes. Calorie deficit = when you have burned more calories than consumed. Maintaining a calorie deficit over time is a key ingredient to weight loss.Calorie surplus = when you have consumed more calories than burned. Maintaining a caloric surplus over time is a key ingredient to weight gain.

  • Can one bodybugg be used by multiple people?

No, we do not recommend multiple users on one bodybugg® armband. Each armband is linked to a particular bodybugg® online program. Having multiple users wearing the same device simultaneously would negate the accuracy and effectiveness of the overall bodybugg® program.

  • Do I have to wear the bodybugg device 24 hours a day?

We recommend wearing the armband as much as possible during waking hours. The more you wear your bodybugg® , the more accurate and effective you will be at maintaining your calorie deficit goal. During times of low activity (such as sleeping), the program will estimate your calorie burn at rest, based on your body parameters, so it is not 100% necessary to wear to sleep. We advise removing the device for at least an hour during the day to allow your skin to breath.

  • Why is the bodybugg more accurate than a pedometer?

The bodybugg® is more accurate than a pedometer for calculating calories burned because it is "watching" your body from four different perspectives. A pedometer only measures steps. In addition to measuring motion and steps, the bodybugg® is able to see how much you are sweating, your skin temperature and the rate at which heat is being dissipated from your body. These additional physiological parameters give the bodybugg® a more complete picture of what your body is doing and its level of exertion, all of which means a much more accurate estimation of your calories burned.

  • Does the bodybugg measure my heart rate?

Not at this time. While heart rate information can be useful, it is not necessary to accurately measure total calorie burn. In fact, there are many factors, such as prescription drugs, cardiovascular disease and abnormalities, which can affect heart rate, making it more difficult to obtain an accurate overall assessment of calories burned.

  • Can I get it wet? Can I wear it swimming?

The bodybugg® should be protected from water and should be removed before showering, bathing or swimming. The armband should not be worn in saunas or steam rooms.

  • Does the bodybugg armband track what I eat?

No, the armband itself tracks the calories you burn, but not the calories you eat. Your calories consumed are calculated by the bodybugg® web interface based on your weekly body mass change. To better track your calorie input, the program also offers an easy-to-use food log so you can monitor the calories you eat throughout the day.
  • Will the display work without the armband? What does the display do?

No. The Display provides a visual output for your Armband. It is not a monitor in itself. It will only update and present your Armband data when the Armband is on your arm and "on-body" (sensing). It shows calories burned, time, steps, calorie goal, what you did yesterday, and trip. Also has a light on it. Note: You can still use the Display as a time piece when the Display says "not in sync".

  • How much does it cost?

That depends on if they're running a sale. They are regularly $249 but right now they are on sale for $199. The optional watch display is $99 and worth getting. The online subscription has various plans (3 mth, 6 mth, monthly, yearly). The monthly is usually $14.95/month but right now is on special for $9.95/month. I got my 1 year subscription for $99 but the renewal for the year is $79.95.

Elizabeth Sherman also leases them for with the online program for $25/week. Kind of a try before you buy type thing.

Yes, I love my bodybugg. :)


  1. You didn't answer my BodyBugg question: why's it make the wearer look so dorky?

  2. HA! I don't think I look dorky. You totally don't see it at all if you have sleeves on your shirt. :)

  3. Everyone I know who uses the BodyBugg *loves* it. I may start saving up for one.

  4. Nice that they sent you a new version! I have been impressed with the support you receive from bodybugg and Apex.

    Although I've gotten a lot of good information from wearing my borrowed bodybugg, I would recommend renting/borrowing one before you make the initial investment - for me, now that I know what I burn while working out, I don't feel the need to use it all the time. And I don't use their food log since I was already up and running with myfitnesspal.com and didn't want to have to spend additional time inputting all of my specific food info into the BB site.

    It's a great tool, don't get me wrong, but I'm not so sure it's worth buying (vs. renting) since I don't think everyone will use theirs long-term. Sorry, I don't mean to rain on your bodybugg euphoria...this is just another opinion, and well, you know what that is worth, lol!

  5. I had a friend who was sooo OCD, she counted her own steps!

  6. Shelley, other opinions are GREAT! People should hear both sides before making an investment like that.

    It really helps to keep me motivated. If I see low numbers during the day it pushes me to work harder. I use the food log from time to time to make sure that I'm staying within my goals. Most of the time I know approx. how many calories I take in and can tell if I am doing good or not by my calorie burn.

    It has also helped me realize which exercises burn the most calories. I was surprised that I could burn more calories by taking a long walk than running a couple of miles. I think I prefer walking. :)

    Thanks for your view on it and renting is probably the best option: try before you buy. Chuck suprised me with mine last summer.

  7. anne, she counted her own steps? So I guess she couldn't walk and talk at the same time because she'd lose count. That had to be tough and maybe a little weird. LOL :)

  8. I finally ordered one and am awaiting it's arrival from home today. I can't wait to see how much I have actually been burning while working out. Maybe I'll be more motivated to take the steps at work haha.

  9. Hey Kel, if ya need me to, I'll help hold Jack while you punch him . ;-)

  10. this is day 2 of me wearing mine, and i lvoe it.

    i hate the online program, though. i'm glad i bought the display - i think it's annoying to track my calories on there. i track mine on thedailyplate and i think i'll continue to do so, and just use the display to monitor the calories burned.

  11. The new Bodybugg looks just like the GoWear Fit that I wear! I love how small it is, you hardly notice that you have it on :)


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