Note: This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to comment #2304, Kim, who’s favorite healthy snack is honeycrisp apples with peanut butter (one of mine, too!)
OBB Faves has formerly been called “Friday Faves” and I decided to change the name since it seems we rarely do these on actual Fridays anymore! If you’ve never read a Friday Faves post, here’s what you need to know: These are never sponsored posts. They’re just fun things we love and we think you’ll love too. Kind of like girls getting together to chat over lunch. It’s all about what’s going on in our lives and in our kitchens at the moment. Since we’ve been focusing on healthy, wholesome food all month long, I thought this would be a perfect addition since it’s something I really love.
I’ve been using a bodybugg on and off for several years now. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve answered the question, “What is that thing you wear on your arm?” I first saw them on one of my favorite shows: The Biggest Loser. If you look carefully, you’ll notice the contestants always have a strap around one of their arms, right about at the bicep.
It’s a device that tracks calorie expenditure, and allows you to track calorie consumption. Weight-loss, as stressful and frustrating as it can be, is really 2 very simple principles at the core: calories out vs. calories in. The bodybugg helps you get a clear picture of both, taking much of the guess work out of weight-loss. Studies have shown that the majority of people underestimate the number of calories they are taking in, and overestimate what they’re burning, which often leads to the frustrating “but I’m eating healthy and exercising and I’m not losing anything!” I’ll explain more below, but first, this fun little device.
I use the older, classic bodybugg:
Now they have new, sleek models that do fancy things like connect via bluetooth to your computer or cell phone:
And even have fun colors and designs to personalize them:
So, how exactly does it work? You can read the scientific explanation here. That explanation includes fancy words like Accelerometer, Heat Flux , and Galvanic Skin Response. So let me give you the simplified version. The bodybugg is worn on the upper part of your arm and through all of that fancy-schmancy scientific stuff it’s able to calculate, with over 90% accuracy, the number of calories you burn each day. After wearing the device, you plug it into your computer and it will show you all sorts of data. For example, this is a screen shot of my activity from a day last week. You can tell I work out in the mornings as my calorie-per-minute burn is spiked during that time.
It’s really interesting to see how things are impacted by the type of day I have. For example, on busy days where I run tons of errands and find myself pushing carts around the grocery store and Target, I burn tons of calories! (An excuse to shop!) When I have the bugg on it almost becomes a little game for me and I find myself parking farther from stores, or taking stairs instead of the escalator, just to see how many calories I can burn that day.
Now that you know how many calories are burning off, it’s important to know how many calories are going in. I use the bodybugg program to track what I eat during the day. In addition to the huge database of food already in the program, you can enter and save your own foods, or create recipes, etc. easily creating a clear picture of what you’re consuming. For example, here was a day from my week last week.
Within the program you enter all of your own body facts (weight, height, body fat %, etc. etc.) and can create a goal based on your own lifestyle. From there, the guesswork is taken out of the equation. At the end of each day I plug my bodybugg into the computer and based on the data my bodybugg collected during the day, combined with the food information I logged in during the day, I get an easy-to-read graphic like this:
It’s a simple balance. At the end of the day you will either have a deficit, or a surplus. One pound is equal to 3500 calories. To lose 1 pound, you need to burn 3500 calories more than you consume. Likewise, if over the course of say, a week, you consume 3500 more than you burn, you’ll gain 1 pound. So if I want to lose 1 pound per week, I just need to watch those numbers and make sure at the end of each day I have a deficit of 500 calories, which is completely doable. As you can see from my chart, I aim to burn 2900 calories, and I eat 1900 calories each day, which leaves me with a deficit of 1000 calories which translates into a 2lb per week weight loss. It makes it easy to make choices, like at the end of the day I can look at my balance and if I have a good deficit, I can enjoy a treat guilt-free knowing I have room in my calorie balance for it. And if I cut it too close that day, it helps me to just brush my teeth and stop eating for the night.
It also shows you how your body changes. My numbers now, compared to 6 months ago are much different. I’m quite a bit smaller now, and it takes a lot more work to burn the same amount of calories than I did when I weighed more. That has helped me adjust my diet accordingly and stay on track.
Having a device like this still takes all the dedication and effort that weight-loss requires. It won’t pump magic through your veins, or force you to eat well. You still have to have the focus to log your food and be active, but it will tell you exactly what’s going on with your body. If you’re like me and love spreadsheets, charts, and list-making, you’ll love this. I made a rather hefty goal at the end of last summer, and over the past months I’ve had my bodybugg on and lost nearly 50 pounds (Nearly. When I finally get there, I’m going to tell all y’all about it.)
You can check out the different models here. Note that the armbands come with a subscription to the online program for 3 months. After that, you do need to pay a subscription fee of $6.95/month for the online part (where you log your calories, etc.) I think it’s annoying that you have to pay for that, but that’s just how it is. Luckily it’s not much. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I don’t sell these, nor was I asked to write about them- it’s just something I’ve had success with and I’ve recommended them to lots of friends who have had success as well. I really love it!
One lucky reader out there is going to get to love it too. We’re giving away a Bodybugg! To enter, leave one comment only on this post. In your comment share your favorite healthy snack idea. (Mine is nut butter on a whole grain english muffin with banana, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a little drizzle of agave syrup.) We’ll announce a winner in about a week. Good luck!
NOTE: If you have any questions about the product, they will probably get lost in the comments. Feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org