Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bodymedia Fit

A few months ago I commented to my husband about how I wanted one of those fitness trackers that got all nerdy and calculated how many calories you burned and figured out how much you slept. My husband considered the FitBit (actually, that was the biggest contender), and then I found info on the Bodymedia Fit, which seemed to do a bit more than the FitBit. The downside was that the Bodymedia Fit required a subscription while most of the features of the FitBit were subscription-free. However, keeping track of sleep on the FitBit did require a subscription.

My husband ended up getting me a Bodymedia Fit on Valentine's Day. It came with a free 3-month subscription. After that, it's $6.95/mo.

My intention is to be super diligent during the free 3-month subscription and then evaluate whether I should continue or not.

For the past 12 days, I've worn the Bodymedia Fit over 23 hours per day. I take it off to shower. Other than that, I've worn it continuously. I have to admit that I'm a bit shy about wearing it with short sleeves since it will be visible. I'm wearing it with long sleeves and jackets, and it's not very intrusive unless the material is thin. In contrast, the FitBit (depending on model) is a bracelet or a clip-on. The Bodymedia Fit is definitely more visible than the FitBit but not unduly so...although in the summer I might change my opinion.

The Bodymedia Fit (Link version) has an app, which has Bluetooth capability. For the most part, I can link it live to my phone and have most of my stats any time I want. The only exception is sleep, which you have to upload the data via USB. Not as convenient, but it's now my tradition in the morning to do the upload before my shower and see when I fell asleep and how I slept.

Here is my Tuesday using the web version - since that includes sleep (click on it to make it bigger):

I have to say that this is the most impressive part of the Bodymedia Fit to me. I am an awful sleeper. I love sleep in theory, but my mind is usually busy processing the day that I can easily take 2 hours to go to sleep. I envy those people that close their eyes and just fall asleep. I think it's awesome that this device knows when I'm laying down and can distinguish that from sleeping. Occasionally I notice that it's giving me credit for sleeping for 5 minutes when I know I was just laying there. Sleep is denoted in the bottom part of the picture. Black is when I'm sleeping, and gray is when I'm just laying there. Yes, I'm a crappy sleeper. If I get a 3 hour block of sleep once during a night, it's a freaking miracle. Moving on....

BodyMedia Fit tells me that I should get 45 minutes of exercise per day. It breaks it down further by moderate and vigorous, and in the app it's clearly delineated. I kick butt in this area. I routinely get to 2 hours per day or more. The Bodymedia Fit calculates this not by heart rate but by skin galvanization (sweat) and temperature. So if you're on stage for six hours (as I was last week), you might be given credit for exercise when you might not have technically been exercising. But if you're still burning additional calories, does it necessarily matter what you're doing?

The food tracker is unduly finicky and requires (needless) drilling down to record info. I prefer Lose It or My Fitness Pal, but I'm trying to use this one to keep everything consolidated.

Steps Taken
The Bodymedia Fit is also a pedometer.

I put into the Bodymedia Fit that I want to lose 2 pounds per week. (Aim high!) It calculated that I will burn about 2,000 calories a day without activity. It is aiming to create a 1,000 calorie per day deficit (x7 days / 3,500 calories in a pound = 2 lbs per week) by upping my exercise to burn an additional 500 calories per day and lowering my eating calories by 500 calories per day. I tend to hit close to my calorie burn but eat more calories than I should. Story. Of. My. Life.

My Conclusions About Myself
After almost two weeks of nearly continuous wear (and 2.4 pound weight loss), here are my (not so stunning) conclusions that I now have data to support:

  • I am a crappy sleeper.
  • I eat more than I should.
  • I get a decent amount of exercise. 
But now I can obsess about the data and details. :) 


Wendy said...

I wore a FitBit for 2 weeks. Stopped because every day looked the same. And, it underestimated my exercise if I wasn't doing cardio. Can't have it all... Seems like the BodyMedia is working for you, though. YAY!!!

B said...

I'm noticing that most of the time I have a very similar burn each day. But the one day I didn't do much I noticed that I burnt 300-400 calories less than normal. I think it works.

As for underestimating weights and such, it might. I really have no way of checking that. I suppose the most accurate way would be to wear a heart rate monitor, which I don't really want to do.

We really are data junkies, aren't we? :)

Helwig said...

A few months ago I commented to my husband about how I wanted one of those fitness trackers that got all nerdy and calculated how many ...