I know I mention the BodyMedia armband all the time, so I thought I’d give readers a little insight into what it is and why I use it.
At the start of 2011, BodyMedia teamed up with Jenny Craig to create a program where Jenny Craig consultants sold clients the BodyMedia armband, and then were supposed to support them with its use. We were given very basic training and then, well, thrown to the wolves. Clients were spending a lot of money on the Jenny Craig/BodyMedia combo, and the consultants barely knew how to use it.
Yeah, that was unfortunate.
Two months in, Jenny Craig finally provided our center with an armband to share, try, and learn. I tell you what…after that first week of wearing it, I was sold. I bought my own and have been wearing it ever since (with a brief 9 month hiatus…you can guess why). And I don’t work for Jenny anymore…still wearing the armband though.
This armband is amazing. It provides you with so much information about yourself that no one can simply estimate. It basically takes the guess work out of dieting. For people who have never had a problem losing weight…well, it’s not for you. For the rest of us who simply can’t understand why our workout isn’t making a difference on the scale, or can’t figure out why our tiny meals aren’t making any difference, this may be your answer.
The armband measures (with 90%+ accuracy) your calorie burn down to every minute, your activity (both moderate and vigorous), your steps, and your sleep (differentiating between lying down and actually sleeping).
The downside is that you need to log your own food. That can be time consuming and it does take effort. However, it’s the easiest food logging system I’ve encountered and it’s kind of one of those things that can be as detailed or difficult as you make it.
What’s great is that BodyMedia takes the information from the food you input and breaks it down for you. You can see how many protein grams you have in a day…or on average all month. You can monitor your daily intake…so whether you’re on a high protein diet, or a more traditional healthy carbs and low protein/fat diet, you can use BodyMedia to monitor what you’re doing.
I’d say the most value comes from monitoring your calorie deficit. Calories in minus calories out. If you don’t have a deficit, you’re not going to lose weight. If your calorie deficit is over 1000 calories, your body will probaly go into starvation mode and you probably won’t lose weight. I can’t tell you how many of my Jenny clients found out they weren’t eating enough! How did they figure that out? Yep, the armband.
There is a decent amount of computer savvy’ness needed. The armband works very similarily to an ipod. You plug it in to a computer to charge and sync it. A computer program, which you have to download, presents the information to you via a user friendly dashboard. You do need the internet to run the program, and they offer smartphone/iPad apps.
Also, big important point here– there is a monthly subscription for the computer program. It’s currently about $6.95 per month. I will tell you that their customer service is pretty great about letting you stop the subscription for a couple of months, or however long you need. All your information is still there when/if you come back (and I do know this from personal experience). The armband is yours regardless…but it won’t do much without the computer program. That’s how you acquire the info.
I’d say the biggest negative is wearing it, especially in the summer. When you’ve got long sleeves on, no one notices. Short sleeves sometimes cover it, but not always. Of course, after I purchased it, they came out with the “Core” model, which is smaller.
People love to ask what it is. I don’t mind that, because I love sharing information that may help others get their lives on a healthier, thinner track. But even I take it off for special events. It’s not the prettiest accessory ever invented. BodyMedia does make special skins and armband covers that can jazz it up. One of my clients even had a zebra print armband. Gotta love it.
All in all, I highly recommend the BodyMedia armband to anyone serious about losing weight but needing some extra help. Seeing how your movement (or lack thereof) affects your day, or how quickly your fat intake is adding up…that’s seriously motivating. I’ve written an entire blog post on the positive effects of logging your food (click here to read it), and I think BodyMedia offers the least convoluted means of doing so electronically.
I used it to help me lose 20 lbs and keep it off in 2011, and I am currently using it to help me take this stubborn baby weight off (I’m almost halfway there). I realize it’s not for everyone, but it has helped me. I couldn’t think of a better product to recommend.