My experience with the Bodymedia/GoWear Fit - 1 week

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kstubblefiel...

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

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Posted: 31 Jul 2010, 14:47
What is it & how much does it cost? Google it...plenty of info out there. I did as much research as I could beforehand & will make special note here of the things I found out on my own.

The Problem: The calories burned listed in the FS Exercise Diary seemed to be inflated when compared to other online tools such as WebMD. There were differences of as much as 2,000 calories on some days. Although the FS Food Diary is excellent, after beginning a regular exercise program I got hungrier, so I wanted to increase my daily intake from 1,500-1,800 to 2,000 while maintaining my calorie deficit. The only way to have this control was to get a better measure of what I am burning. I decided to make the investment in the activity monitor.

The Setup: Super easy. I logged into their website with the activation code & had my account setup within minutes. When prompted, I plugged the armband unit into the computer with the included USB cable & it installed itself & synced to the account. It took less than 2 hrs to fully charge & it was ready for use! When signing up for the subscription I selected the 12-month at $6.95 per month & it came out free. 1/4/11 EDIT: After 6 months they started charging me the $6.95. I don't mind, still love it. At that time I ordered a 2nd strap (large) so I’d have an extra while one’s in the wash.

NOTE #1: If you order accessories while signing up, look at the shipping options carefully!!! The default options are NOT the cheapest! The extra strap was $8 & the default shipping was more than that, so I poked around & discovered that USPS was another option for only $2. Win!

NOTE #2: If you want the first day of data to be accurate, start wearing it first thing in the morning. I started in the evening & the system populated the rest of the day with some made-up data. However, over time that first day will have less & less impact on the averages so this isn’t a huge deal.

NOTE #3: The strap included with the unit is not made for the arm of a 300+ lbs person. In order to wear it comfortably I had to wear it just above my left elbow instead of higher up on the arm as it’s usually pictured. The add’l strap I ordered was much bigger & more comfy, but the adhesive on the hook side of the Velcro fastener sucked & it came off within 2 days. I could send it back but I think I’ll just go to a craft store & get another Velcro dot to replace it with. 1/4/11 EDIT: After a tip from a friend, I started wearing it on my right leg just above my calf. WAY more comfortable since there's no flab there like on the arm.

Goals: I selected the Moderately Active goal, which specifies 30 min of moderate activity (3-6 METs), 15 min of vigorous activity (6+ METs) & 8k steps. I also selected the 2lbs per week calorie deficit target, & was able to adjust the calorie intake target with a handy little slider to the 2,000 I wanted. You can also change the threshold for what is considered “vigorous.” Do a Google search on METs to find out what your target is. I’m leaving mine as is for now but will begin to increase it in the future.

NOTE #4: Although tracking heart rate during your activity is good, it won’t necessarily tell you whether you activity is intense enough to qualify as “vigorous.” This was the most useful to me because I want my workouts to be as efficient as possible.

Display: I don’t need it. I find that uploading once each evening is enough since all I really care about is that I burn enough calories over the course of the day. And if I want to know how many calories I burn with a particular activity, I’ll upload before the activity, note calories already burned, then upload again after & manually calculate the difference. Easy enough. I might also upload during the day if I suspect I didn’t meet my vigorous activity target with my morning workout so I can plan for more activity. So far I have not had to. Very Happy I don’t see that the display would give me more info than I already get. 1/4/11 EDIT: Still don't regret this decision. Fine without the display.

Daily calories burned comparison – 1 week

Date: FatSecret Exercise Diary/WebMD/BodyMedia Fit
7/24: 4,409/3,846/3,872
7/25: 4,008/3,234/3,755
7/26: 3,706/2,925/3,237
7/27: 3,706/2,925/3,227
7/28: 3,739/2,977/3,359
7/29: 3,593/2,925/3,291
7/30: 3,395/2,719/3,161

As you can see, just estimating the activity with FS & WebMD was giving variations of almost 800 calories so I was having a hard time trusting the FS numbers. Although the Fit numbers landed in between FS & WebMD, they were closer to WebMDs.

NOTE #5: For someone around 300 lbs, FS overstates the exercise. For these entries I left the default Sleeping & Resting entries alone & only logged intentional exercise. Adding others such as Sitting, Driving & Desk Work further inflates the numbers, so I would advise against doing so if you’re relying on FS numbers to achieve a deficit.

Was this a good investment? Absolutely! I have successfully increased my calorie intake to a comfortable 2,000 calories & am able to maintain a calorie deficit of over 1,000 with about an hour of exercise each morning. The monitor keeps me accountable for the intensity so I have learned to continue challenging myself & increasing intensity as my body adjusts.

On 7/24, I burned an average of 1.3 calories per minute while sleeping. On 7/31, I burned 1.6 calories per minute while sleeping. Just one week of regular exercise has already made a measurable difference in my resting metabolic rate, & I never would have known that without this monitor. Yes, the scale has moved downward at a rate consistent with my deficits so that is a big motivator. But for someone with as much weight to lose as myself, having a way to see my fitness level improve is really making a difference. Using the FS food diary in conjunction with the Bodymedia Fit is working wonders for me & I highly recommend the BMF for anyone who is serious about losing weight!

Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it: http://stubbysticks.wordpress.com/weight-loss-summary-by-month/
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 31 Jul 2010, 15:00
That is really interesting. I have a question. Do you record activities here on FS other than focused exercise? I have found that the error comes in entering things like desk work or driving. When I leave it at resting, sleeping, and then whatever I do at the gym, it is very accurate (measured by average pounds lost vs average caloric deficit) but when I would enter in the other daily activities it would be overestimate the calories burned. So maybe this fix will work for other people too, to only enter your focused exercise and leave the rest at their defaults.

Thank you for writing the review, it is very thoughtful!
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
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Evil_Angel_S...

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 166

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Posted: 31 Jul 2010, 15:27
Thanks for all that info Kat! I'm really interested in investing in either the GWF or BodyBugg (I know they're both made by the same company). As of right now, I only use FS for my sleep & resting caloric rate, then I use outside sites for my actual exercise calorie rates b/c I found right out the gate that FS was really over estimating not only my exercise but all the other things I was doing throughout the day.

I as well would like to monitor my fitness level & need something like that to tell me when I'm doing vigorous exercise b/c I do have high endurance & sometime I feel I'm not pushing passed that for a greater benefit in my workouts.

I think I'm leaning more toward the GWF as from what I'm hearing it's more user friendly all around. Again, thanks for the info! = )
~*There is nothing harder than life, but nothing greater than living.*~
amber961

Joined: Apr 09
Posts: 1

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Posted: 31 Jul 2010, 17:42
I've had my GoWear fit for a bit over a year now and LOVE it! I completely agree with Kat's post and will only add a couple things:
If you will sew the velcro disk on with quilter's thread, that bad boy won't come off again! I would also recommend getting another band after 6 months, because it will stretch out and become a pain to keep on, no matter how tight you keep it!
It is also possible to wear it on another location and still get accurate readings. I wear it on my calf when I work out and on days when I am very busy (it slips less there) and wear it on my arm for sleep and slower days. There is zero difference in the readings.
Nemo liber est qui corpori servit
~Amber~
kstubblefiel...

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

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Posted: 31 Jul 2010, 17:48
Kate, I used to record non-exercise activities here, then realized how much it was overstating things so I went back to the beginning of July & removed everything except Sleeping & Resting & the "real" exercise. The numbers above are what I ended up with, so it was still pretty far off. I am thinking this is only a problem for heavier folks, because I haven't heard complaints from anyone under, say, 250.

@Janisha: You're welcome! It seemed like the only diff between this & the BodyBugg was that BMF has sleep efficiency tracking, but confusedangel was saying the online interface for BB wasn't so great. I do think this would be a really great fit for you (no pun intended, lol). One day last week I was all geeked because I pushed really hard & got my speeds way up with both the jogging & walking portions of my workout, & ended up with probably 20 min vigorous activity. The next day it caught up with me & the only way I could complete it was to reduce my speeds a LOT. I just knew it was going to suck when I saw the readings, but I ended up with even more minutes of vigorous activity than the day before. On one hand it didn't surprise me because judging from the way I had to struggle to finish I could feel that I was exerting myself, but on the other hand I was so much slower than the previous day!

Oh another thing...as far as charging time, the 1 hour per day I don't wear it (i.e. showering after returning from the gym & hangin out to eat breakfast) is way more than enough to recharge it to 100%. As a matter of fact, sometimes when I plug it in to upload data in the middle of the day, it may be 91% when I start & it gets fully charged before I'm even done looking at the new data.

Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it: http://stubbysticks.wordpress.com/weight-loss-summary-by-month/
kstubblefiel...

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

      quote  
Posted: 31 Jul 2010, 17:54
amber961 wrote:
It is also possible to wear it on another location and still get accurate readings. I wear it on my calf when I work out and on days when I am very busy (it slips less there) and wear it on my arm for sleep and slower days. There is zero difference in the readings.


Wow that's good to know! Thanks for the tip, Amber! And I agree that sewing the velcro back on is probably the way to go...I'm sure I can find a needle that will do the job. (I'm a knitter so most of my sewing needles are gigantic & blunt, lol.)

Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it: http://stubbysticks.wordpress.com/weight-loss-summary-by-month/
Ambition

Joined: Nov 09
Posts: 200

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Posted: 31 Jul 2010, 18:21
@ kstubblefield: that's interesting that Webmd was calculating numbers that were not exact but close enough to the GWF. I find webmd to be inaccurate for me (btw can you post the link where you obtain the calculations please?) because when I borrowed a friends body bugg and wore it for a week I was burning about 2500-3000 calories on my very active days which was like 5 days a week and the webmd calculator i used said 2400 when I selected the maximum amount of activity level...like there was no option to go any higher than the that activity level so no matter what my calories burned will maxed out at 2400. that was confusing. I'm currently using Fitday.com, I would curious to see if you get numbers closer to that of GWF...when I compared my stats the week i wore the body bugg to the fitday.com calculator i got pretty close (by that I mean 100-200 off, which is not bad).
~Live without expectations and you will never be disappointed~
kstubblefiel...

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

      quote  
Posted: 01 Aug 2010, 13:02
Since links post weird here, I'll just tell you what I did there. First, I needed the base number so from the main WebMD site, on the drop-down menu on the Eating & Diet tab I selected Personal Diet Evaluator & went through the questionnaire. It told me I'll burn 2,512 if I do nothing at all, which sounds pretty reasonable.

Then I used the same drop-down menu to get to the Fit-O-Meter & looked up calorie burn for the different exercises I did on each day for a 300 lbs person.

I don't have a Fitday account & to be honest it was already a lot of work to go back through each day of that week to manually calculate it through WebMD so I'm not really motivated to do it again with Fitday. But it sounds like from your experience it was pretty accurate so I'm glad it's working for you...I've heard Fitday mentioned before in the forums, I wonder if anyone else using it has an opinion?

Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it: http://stubbysticks.wordpress.com/weight-loss-summary-by-month/
britt-a-knee

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 175

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Posted: 01 Aug 2010, 13:49
i checked fitday and it gives me about the same amount of calories burned as FS does. Both a lot more than webmd though.
"Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there."
Will Rogers
Rita_Lee

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 1

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Posted: 02 Aug 2010, 12:23
I got my BodyMedia armband at Costco.com for a really good price and have been wearing it for a week. It really helps me understand my sleep and exercise patterns. There was one day when I had a crazy deadline and planted myself in front of the computer from 6:00 in the morning until midnight and the device only counted 45 steps all day! That was a wake-up call. I have to get out more and walk around.

Does anyone know how to record physical activity manually in the Activity Manager? Because I can't wear the armband when I'm swimming, I have physical activities that aren't being counted. I don't see anything about this in the support section on the Bodymedia weight loss system website.
kstubblefiel...

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

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Posted: 02 Aug 2010, 14:53
Rita, I found the answer in the FAQs on the site: How can I add activities that I did when I was not wearing my Armband?
If the Armband was off-body for a minimum of 30 consecutive minutes, choose the "Edit Off-Body" option under the "Calorie-Burn" drop down menu. Here you can add activities during the times when you were not wearing the Armband. Off-Body activity occurring during your sleep hours, as entered in your user profile, can not be added.


Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it: http://stubbysticks.wordpress.com/weight-loss-summary-by-month/
shellie77

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 27

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Posted: 02 Aug 2010, 15:17
I'm really interested in getting one! I just have to justify the cost right now. You mentioned it costs a 6.95/month subscription but it came out free? I don't understand. Is there a subscription fee?
Evil_Angel_S...

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 166

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Posted: 02 Aug 2010, 15:28
I was comparing prices today & went on their site to "order" one. I chose the $6.95/month as well & it came out free but I also added the $8 additional armband. I wanted to check how much it would cost to get one w/ the display from their site vs. Amazon & it was about $20 cheaper on their site.
~*There is nothing harder than life, but nothing greater than living.*~
Mkaleokalani

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 81

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Posted: 02 Aug 2010, 18:28
How much do these things run?
confusedange...

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 579

      quote  
Posted: 02 Aug 2010, 18:28
Heheh. Someone said my name! =).

As far as accuracy goes, my experince with FatSecret vs. Bodybugg is basically the same as the above stated results that the GoFitWear gave. (hencefore referred to as FS, BB, and GFW.) If I left my day as purely sleeping and resting, the basic numbers were close... but any added activities on FS were overestimated. (Including intentional exercise.) So lower than "larger" group to under 225, I guess. =).

And I will say it again...the BB's website interface setup SUCKS. It's been almost 2 whole weeks, but I am still not comfortable or happy with it. If there's been as many readily available reviews of the GFW website, instead of the actual armband, at the time, I probably would have gone that direction... but ironically, with the sale going on at a time, my coupon, and the longer free membership than GFW advertised (you got a year for free? cause it advertised a month! so regretful now!) the BB was cheaper, so I went with it.

And, despite the fact that I'm fairly sure a monkey could better design their website, the item itself is awesome. I probably will get the display at some point, because I do like to check frequently (I tend to follow the negative half of the law of inertia... when the baby's napping or only interested in me sitting on the floor watching him play, it's hard to find excuses to add more movement into my day unless i'm constantly reminding myself of my need to do so. =)... but it's not a requirement at all. After a week or so, I got very adept at popping the Bugg out, uploading the data, and popping it back in (easy, as long as you have it right side up...) without even removing the arm band. =).

And my house is EXTREMELY clean now... i even rearranged furniture a few times yesterday! (Although most of its back where it started.. i guess i'm resistant to change!)

used in combination with fatsecret, i think BB or GWF, whichever you choose, is an awesome tool on your journey. If you're looking to replace FS, don't look in BB's direction.

Any other questions about the BB website and my hatred of it, send me a message. I could go on for days. =)
confusedange...

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 579

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Posted: 02 Aug 2010, 18:31
The bodybugg, with the express shipping, minus the coupon, came out to exactly 200 dollars. That included 2 bands, a large and a medium, and 6 months of free membership to the website. After that, the membership is about 9 dollars a month if you buy a year long subscription, and i think 14 a month if you buy it monthly. And it is a requirement - even if you have the display, because the device will only hold 2 weeks of information at a time, and you can only upload it and clear the device with the website.

I think everyone should be aware of that up front, since part of the reason I decided to get the BB (not over the GFW ,just get it at all) was because I was told "you can always just get the display and not pay the monthly membership fees"... and after i purchased it, found in the faq's that that is not true. =)
Ambition

Joined: Nov 09
Posts: 200

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Posted: 02 Aug 2010, 20:16
wow..that's a total rip off...i thought that was the purpose of the display too...that if you buy the display you can simply use the display to update & keep track of your activity..what a way to try to pull you in..for a long time.
~Live without expectations and you will never be disappointed~
confusedange...

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 579

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Posted: 03 Aug 2010, 00:08
They quite honestly state that to them, it's like a cell phone plan. You buy the phone, you pay for the use.

It's cheaper than a gym membership, and since I can't actually go to the gym on a regular basis, I figured it's a better investment for me. =). have pushed myself and burned over 3200 calories every day so far this week!
kstubblefiel...

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

      quote  
Posted: 03 Aug 2010, 08:20
Shellie, to answer your question specifically there is an introductory free subscription period included when you buy the unit - I bought mine from CVS.com & it advertises 3 months free. However, as someone else mentioned the monthly fees vary according to the length of time you agree to when you register, longer being cheaper. If I had gone month-to-month maybe I would have only gotten 3 free. I hope that makes sense.

Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it: http://stubbysticks.wordpress.com/weight-loss-summary-by-month/
noodle0726

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 78

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Posted: 23 Aug 2010, 08:47
I'm so glad I found this. I'm looking into gettin a GWF or BB but can't tell which one to get. I'm having a hard time justifying the money i will be spending for it.
<3 Megan



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