Friday, October 9, 2009

Bodybugg V.1 Review

Another uneventful evening. I am big fan of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice so I was glued to the t.v. for last nights episodes. I had forgotten to bring home the Bellydancing DVD so I will do that this weekend.

A few readers have asked how I feel about my Bodybugg so I have decided to write a review for it. Here is the info from their website on how it works:

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.

My bodybugg is the older model. It does require batteries whereas the newer model is charged on your computer. I have to replace the batteries about once every 10-14 days. It is also thicker then the newer model but otherwise its pretty much the same.

I also have the digital display. It provides an "on-the-go" snapshot of my numbers for the day. It shows the daily info that I post on my screenshots. It also gives you little alerts when you have achieved your goals. I must say it is pretty motivating to hear the little "beep beep beep" It is like a mini cheerleader!

The bodybugg tracks Calories burned, Number of steps taken and Physical activity. The data is uploaded via a USB cord to the program. I input the calories that I consume. Then it gives you the difference or the deficit you have for that day. When setting up the program you put in all your personal data and set up a program based on what you want to do. For example, I have mine set up for me to lose 1.5 lbs. per week. If I achieve the daily target deficit I should be able to lose that based on the bugg. My target deficit is 750 calories right now.

The deterrent for most people is the cost. If I had to go out and buy one I would be hesitant too. Mine was a gift from my coworker Nicole. The bugg costs $200 and the display costs $100. You also have to pay for the monthly subscription to use the database. The first 6 months it is covered and it is about $9.95 per month thereafter. By the way you can purchase just the calorie counting portion even if you don't have a bugg. There is also a very similar product call the "Go Wear Fit" which apparently is less expensive but pretty darn similar. It is made by Apex as well. You can also find bodybuggs and Go Wears cheaper on Craig's list or eBay.

I totally love my bugg!!! I have used it for 10 months now and have been able to lose the 1.5 lbs. per week pretty consecutively. My goal by year end is to lose 68 lbs. according to my current program. The best feature to me is all the data it provides. I am such a visual learner and this puts it into perspective for me. I know what I need to do. It has bar graphs, pie charts and line graphs to show all the information. I do not count calories but I track them. The only negatives about the bugg is that it does show up under my clothes sometimes. If I am going to dress up for the evening I generally won't wear it but I do wear it at work every day all day unless I forget to put it on. Also having short sleeved shirts doesn't really work. The other disadvantage is the batteries. It takes just one AAA battery.

I am so happy it is Friday! Looking forward to having a motivated weekend. No more slug bug darn it! Until next time...


  1. Thanks for the review! I've been toying with the idea of getting this, the 9.95/month is what I'm trying to get over...

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  3. Amazing what those things can do.

  4. Glad you enjoy your bugg so much! My trainer lent me hers and it was great to see how much I burned during my workouts, which was not as much as I would have thought. (Of course, I felt like I was dying and therefore should have burned something like 800 calories - not the case, lol!)

    The bugg really seems to keep you on track and focused, which is a huge part of this weight-loss journey. As for the monthly fee - shoot, I used to eat $9.95 worth of fast food every day. The initial cost can be daunting, but they also have used buggs on Craig's List and ebay, so that might help.

  5. What I'm getting about this now is that it's still a tool that's only as good as the user is honest. Because the user has to input their calories so if they are dishonest, then the stats would never be correct. It sounds great though and I agree with Shelley - I'd bet most of us waste $9.95 on something that doesn't even help us be our best. Thanks the for the review!

  6. I LOVE my bugg! My 6 month subscription was up in June, so I renewed it for a year. I am so glad I have it. It keeps me accountable- just because I didn't track calories before doesn't mean they dont count. I am learning that now.

  7. Helen you are totally right! I try to track everything that I eat. For example, I add 3 onion rings last night with my salad so I counted them. The harder things to remember to add are the dressings, butter/margerine and sauces.

  8. I went with the cheaper version: I just duct-taped a Magic 8-Ball to my arm. ;)

  9. Ha Jack!

    If your bodybugg love hadn't already convinced me to buy one, I probably would do so now. Also a good reminder that I need to get off my butt and write a review of my own at some point, but for now if someone needs on I can just link to yours :)

  10. I can see why it could be a useful tool.

  11. I've only had mine a few weeks but I do love all the information. Information is worth its weight in gold (which is pretty worthy right now!) for me.
    Plus, I have to admit I get a kick out of seeing that everyday things like folding laundry, chopping veggies, sweeping & mopping really do count towards your calorie burn!

    Glad to see you are still so happy with it after having it all these months & that it wasn't a fad type product.

    Best wishes,

  12. Hey Katie,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate your comments. Great information regarding the body bug.

  13. I would love a BodyBugg. I've been hearing such good things! Thanks a lot for your review, I will definitely be considering a purchase!

    Thanks so much for your comment! Lemsips are cold and flu drinks which are sold in Ireland and in the UK. They're put into hot water and they have medicine in them. And they taste alright too!

  14. Hey Katie J, how ya doin'? Thanks for the review on the BodyBugg - I've wondered about that thing for awhile now. I've tried keeping track of stuff like that before and I get so mired in the details that I give up. If somebody could magically do it for me, wow, that would be ideal. I'd love to know my deficit everyday.

  15. Does it have a compartment to store cookies or a candy bar? If so can it store a king sized candy bar?

    That is a serious machine there. It must be a real modivational tool to get you thinking about all your daily activites.

    I only have the walky meter thing... but it still gets me thinking a bit about keeping moving.

    At Foolsfitness we measure our activity level by rating our own movement compaired to any kid under 10 years old- Alan

  16. I know this is an old post, but I have to comment on it anyways! I LOVE my bodybugg. I've had it for almost a month now, and I feel like it is definitely the best purchase I've made as far as weight loss goes. Are you still using yours?

  17. Sorry, just saw the post from the other day with the screenshot of the BodyBugg I guess you are still using it! :)

  18. I have enough bugs without voluntarily paying for them.
    That's supposed to be funny.


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