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Take Your Fitness to the Next Level With the BodyMedia FIT Armband

bodymedia fit armband iphone and softwareEvery so often a new fitness product comes along that catches my attention, and the BodyMedia FIT Armband is one of those products. Most of the products I try fail to live up to the claims. Can this product live up to the Coach Calorie standards? Read on to find out…

What is the BodyMedia FIT Armband

It’s the best electronic fitness device to come to market since the advent of personal heart rate monitors. And no, that is not an exaggeration. But what is it exactly?

The BodyMedia FIT is a device you wear around your upper arm that gives you accurate data on calories burned, calories consumed, and sleep quantity/quality. As I have always written about, a well thought out fitness program places equal importance on diet, exercise, and rest/recovery (that last one is often forgotten). This little device gives you an in-depth look into how your body functions 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.

One of the biggest questions I get is How Many Calories Should I Eat, and if you’re a regular reader of Coach Calorie, you know that I think calorie calculators can be wildly inaccurate (as they fail to take body composition into account) – many times recommending you eat less than your BMR (not a good idea). The BodyMedia FIT Armband fills a void in the need for individualistic calorie recommendations. Finally, you can see how many calories you’re burning throughout the day, and be able to set your calorie intake accordingly.

More than anything, it’s piece of mind that your calories are neither too low (a very common problem), nor too high. It gives you the added confidence to continue with your plan, especially when both your mind and the scale are playing tricks on you. Weight loss is such a mental challenge – we could use all the reassurance we can get to know that we’re on the right track.

How Does It Work

BodyMedia FIT sensorsIn order to provide you with the most accurate calorie burn data, your armband is equipped with 4 different sensors.

- 3 Axis Accelerometer
- Temperature Sensor
- Galvanic Skin Response Sensor
- Heat Flux Sensor

They measure body heat, sweat, steps, and heat flux. These numbers are then automatically entered into algorithms to determine your total calories burned.

Take a look at the graphic to the left to see the 4 different sensors. These sensitive sensors work together to give you a 95% accurate calorie burn reading.

 

The Features

Your armband has many features, and I’ll try to show you most of them, but the screen below is what I use most often, and I suspect that others will use this screen the most too. The following are screenshots from my personal phone.

iphone calories burned

Calories Burned

This was the #1 reason why I bought the armband, and I suspect it’s the feature most people are excited to use. It’s your total calories burned in real-time.

Calories Consumed

Takes the total amount of food entered for the day and outputs the number here as you eat each meal. The app is similar to most food logging apps. You enter a particular food and quantity, and it breaks down the calories and macros for the meal, and tallies it up for the day.

Calorie Deficit

Self-explanatory, although it’s one of the most important numbers for weight loss. It subtracts calories burned from calories consumed. Keep this number between 500-1000/day to stay on pace for a 1-2lb weight loss per week.

Moderate & Vigorous Activity

Your armband defines your exercise intensity based on MET, also known as metabolic equivalent. MET is a way to measure your metabolic rate based on physical activity and intensity. This section shows total minutes of moderate and vigorous activity for the day.

Steps

If you didn’t know, the armband comes with a built in pedometer. Having never used a pedometer before, it was a real eye-opener to just how sedentary my lifestyle was. Even with an intense workout every day, the fact that I’m behind a computer the rest of the day had me at only 6,000 steps/day. Because of this, I started adding in walks every night to increase my activity levels, and my body looks and feels much better.

Sleep

Your armband also tracks your sleep, and it does a good job at it too. It can tell the difference between just laying down and sleeping, even if you’re laying in the same spot watching TV as you drift off. It’s pretty remarkable actually. I have a goal of 8 hours/day, and I fell just a little shy of getting my check mark for that day. In case you didn’t know, the check marks mean I reached my goal for that particular “thing”.

Flipping your phone on its side will give you 4 more screens of more detailed information. See below:

iphone METS

Calories burned over a 24 hour period. The noon spike is my workout, and the 9pm spike is my walk.

 

iphone calories consumed

If you use your phone to enter meals, this screen shows the details. Mine is blank since I use a separate app to log food.

 

iphone steps

This screen tracks your steps throughout the day. Small steps at night are for bathroom breaks.

 

iphone sleep

This screen tracks your sleep. It can tell the difference between sleeping and laying in bed.

 

The Review

OK, so let’s get on to the meat and potatoes – is this electronic contraption any good? I broke down the product into a half dozen different categories that I found to be an important part of the user experience. Here they are:

Design

Similar to most smartphones, the BodyMedia FIT armband has over 100 selections of what they call skins. You can choose from their skins, use the default version (I do), or you can create a custom one yourself by uploading a picture.

BodyMedia FIT ArmbandBodyMedia Skins

Battery Life

The armband charges when it’s synced to your computer. A single charge lasts me about a week if I choose the option to not have it connected to bluetooth continuously. In other words, I have to push the button to sync when I want to see my calorie burn. No biggie, and saves a lot of battery.

Setup

The setup is fairly easy to do. It’s just a matter of going to the BodyMedia Homepage and following the directions in the quick setup guide that comes with the armband. After entering in your stats and goals, you should be ready to go in under 10 minutes.

Comfort

The BodyMedia FIT is an armband, but I forget I’m wearing it. It’s similar to a wedding ring – notice it for a week, and then forget you’re even wearing it.

Accuracy

BodyMedia claims a greater than 90% accuracy. The numbers can be skewed a bit if you are very overweight or are very lean. Other than that, it seems to be accurate within a 10% margin of error.

User Experience

I can honestly say I’ve never had more fun with a fitness product. I found myself checking the stats dozens of times throughout the day to see the differences in activity levels and calorie burn. It was an excellent and eyeopening experience. But hey, if I could be wired directly into a computer, I probably would be.

Overall

Overall, I have been extremely happy with this product. I’d venture to say that I’ve never been happier with another fitness device, and that’s saying a lot. I’m going to give the BodyMedia FIT Armband a rating of 9 out of 10.

Click here to buy the BodyMedia FIT Armband

BodyMedia FIT Armband Criticisms

As with any product, nothing is perfect, and I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t point out some of the drawbacks of the armband. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Fabric band does not detach from metal. That means you can’t throw it into the washing machine (or maybe you can?). Suppose you could wash it by hand.
  • It’s not waterproof (it’s water resistant), so you can’t wear it with water sports. Sweating is fine obviously.
  • Monthly subscription fee of $6.95, but the first 3 months are free. I was a little disappointed in this, but I figured I had 3 months to see if it was worth it. Now, I see myself paying the small monthly fee, and thinking of it as an investment in my health and fitness.
  • Females will have to be a little more conscientious about wardrobe selection, as the device is an armband. However, if you decide not to wear it for a period of time, BodyMedia’s algorithms will learn your day-to-day activity levels, and fill in the missing data. So have no fear, your calorie burn will remain accurate for the day.

Will This Device Help You Lose Weight?

BodyMedia claims that people who wear the armband lose more weight. I agree. Usually, I’m skeptical of studies like this because of the obvious conflict of interest, but I was more motivated and more active as a result of using the armband. Here are the results of the University of South Carolina study:

BodyMedia Weight Loss Study

You can read the full study design and results here in pdf format.

A second study was also conducted by the University of Pittsburgh. The results of that study are below.

BodyMedia FIT Weight Loss Study 2

You can read the full study abstract here on PubMed.

Can you just slap on the BodyMedia FIT and expect to lose weight? Of course not! From my own experience, the mechanisms by which it works is through a boost in motivation, drive, knowledge, adherence, and willpower. With motivation comes adherence to your plan, and with adherence comes results. Couple that with additional knowledge of how your individual body works, and this device is a great weight loss and fitness aid.

Where Do I Buy One

You can buy the armband here at Amazon.com. After searching the web for better deals, this is still the cheapest place to buy it after adding in tax and shipping. I’ve only just scratched the surface of all this armband can offer you, so if you have more questions about the armband, feel free to ask them in the comment section below.

I hope you enjoy your armband as much as I do. I liked it so much I bought one for my wife too. I’m happy to say that we both are very pleased with this little contraption, and our shared passion for health and fitness is stronger than ever. Good luck!

Click here to buy the BodyMedia FIT Armband

Do you have an armband? Share your experience with it in the comment box below.

  • Sandra

    I ordered the Link last night. Can’t wait to get my new toy. I am hoping it will give me a better idea of how much to eat. MFP is only giving me 1200 calories + exercise calories and I believe this is slowing my progression. Thanks for the suggestion.

    BTW – Love your site! It is so informative.

    • Coach Calorie

      Hope you like it as much as I do Sandra! I’ve noticed the armband has gotten even more accurate as time goes by and it learns my behavior.

      • Sandra

        I love my armband! It is great to be able to see more accurate stats in real time. I am also quite surprised at the number of calories is has me eating, but I am not complaining. :) I hope this is the ticket to better results for me.

        Thanks again.

  • Marnie

    I have one and absolutely love it. I also use another app to track my food intake. I so wish that they would
    have a bar scanner to input food as I would love to be able to track everything with their app…….

    • Coach Calorie

      Thanks for sharing Marnie. The lack of a barcode scanner is the only reason why I continue logging my food with LoseIt. I can see BodyMedia adding that feature in the future.

      • Ali Othman

        Barcode scanner, and water proof for water sports in the next iteration hopefully.

  • Rosalind

    Looks ideal, but its not available in the UK!

  • Sandy

    It sounds good but have you tried the FitBit?? I have one and it is basically the same. It clips onto you and downloads all the info onto your computer automatically, you just have to input your food. Also I didn’t see a price for this one. FitBit is only $100 which I thought was a great price.

    • Coach Calorie

      Hey Sandy, I answered this question over on my Facebook page, so I’m just gonna do a little copy and paste for you:

      The FitBit tracks your calories solely through the use of an altimeter (tracking vertical activity like stairs) and an accelerometer (tracks steps similar to a pedometer). The BodyMedia attempts to make your calorie burn number more accurate through the use of 3 additional sensors:

      1 – Galvanic Skin Response – measures the electrical conductivity of your skin when you sweat.

      2 – Skin Temperature – measures surface temp of your body.

      3 – Heat Flux – Measures the rate that heat is dissipated from the body.

      This info is gathered and entered into BodyMedia algorithms to get a more accurate calorie burn reading.

  • Donna

    Do you have to enter the food & calorie content of the food you eat or do you just literally wear the band and the computer does the rest?

    • Coach Calorie

      Donna, similar to all food logging apps, you enter in a type of food, say 1/2 cup of oats, and the app enters in the fat/protein/carbs/vitamins/minerals of that food for you. The app tallies up these numbers for the “calories consumed” number. The “calories burned” number is automatically done with the armband sensors.

  • Lisa

    Do I need to have a smartphone to use this? I have a blackberry…

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Lisa, the “LINK” model is compatible with iOS (Apple) and Android supported devices. If you don’t have either of these, the “CORE” model comes with an additional display device so you can see your stats. This is only necessary to see real-time stats. You can always just sync with your computer whenever you want to see your numbers.

      • Lisa

        Okay, thank you.

  • Nylonnerves

    It measures skin temperature, how sweaty you are and the rate at which sweat dissipates. So what if you’re sweaty because the weather’s warm or you’re wearing a lot of clothes?

    • Coach Calorie

      Good question. A clarification though – the device does not measure the amount of sweat. Instead, it measures skin conductivity. Water (sweat) just happens to be a good conductor. Being that the sensors are placed right on the skin, the differences in sweat at that spot due to outside disturbances (weather) would be minimal. You can read more about it here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_conductance

      So far here in Texas we’ve had a 60 degree temperature swing in a month (from 100 degrees to the 40s). I have not noticed any difference in my readings. With the same activity levels, I’ve had very similar calorie burn readings.

  • Paul

    Hello Tony, I am very interested in this product & thanks for a great feature. One question I have is that I currently have atrial fibrillation and wondered if this condition would affect the way the device operates and the data/stats that are generated?

    • Coach Calorie

      Hey Paul, since an atrial fibrillation is basically an irregular heart beat, and the BodyMedia does not measure heart rate, I can’t see how your condition would affect the accuracy of the device. That is just my opinion though. Of course, make sure you’re cleared to begin an exercise program first.

  • Michelle Muldowney

    Hi Coach C

    First of all can I thank you for covering this and answering all my questions as I send them to you…. you are a great help! From the bottom of my heart – thank you!

    I have been wearing the Kifit version for 18 months now and have found it really good. In the beginning it was priceless. I got it as a way to balance my energy…. I was preparing for an important sport event and could burn anything from 1900 calories to 3900 calories on a daily basis. I was finding it hard to lose weight even at this and thought that perhaps my metabolism was abnormal. Once I started using this I started to learn alot about my own body and what makes me burn calories more.

    I discovered that a challenging 60 minute run could help me burn at least 600 calories but the second I stopped running I would go back to my normal burn per sec/minute. If I did weight training for 60 minutes I would burn only 2-300 calories but without weight training my general burn per sec/minute would be lower. Once I put weight training onto my schedule I saw an overall daily difference of at least 100 calories extra deficit per day…… my weight training hasn’t been consistant until recently, so am hoping to raise my BMR and am monitoring the data.

    However, I have to say that every Christmas I tend to over eat and under exercise…. each year I say it will be different but I still gain about 7 pounds. Last Christmas I monitored every calorie, I cringed as I over ate and under exercised but I still monitored everything. I ate enough extra calories to have gained about 3 pounds but I actually gained double that.

    Also in the New Year I got straight back into my regime….. but the weight loss just didn’t happen. Even though at one point I had created thousands of calories deficits. I am putting it down to perhaps a slightly sluggish thyroid or my forever battle with food intolerances (both of which I blame for sabotaging fat loss)….. but even though the Kifit band told me I was burning X amount of calories and creating a deficit (being very strict on my logging as it is a daily habit at this stage)… the weight just did not come off.

    I am very interested to find out if the likes of a sluggish thyroid or food intolerances ‘attack’ my metabolism or would they just not allow fat to burn from my body, regardless of calorie deficit. I would love to know the answer as the more information I am given the more I realise I don’t know and that I want to learn.

    Also on one last point…. I stuck with using my own original food logger also – mynetdiary – I love the App for my Blackberry. Then I can just log my daily estimate onto the Kifit website.

    • Coach Calorie

      I think that is what the armband is best for – opening your eyes to what the energy balance equation is all about. It gives you a window into your own individual metabolism. As you said, you end up learning a lot about yourself!

      On to the next part(s) of your question. I don’t have to remind you that weight and fat are not the same thing, and water has mass but no calories. In other words, while you were eating 3lbs worth of extra calories, that does not mean you will only gain 3 pounds. You can also add 3 pounds worth of water weight (intracellular and subcutaneous). That’s why it’s best to monitor your progress via body fat measurements instead. The energy balance equation (calories in = calories out) is more than just about weight, it’s about various body masses and composition too.

      On to your last part – “creating thousands of calorie deficits and not losing weight”. This is what I like about the armband the most – it keeps you from slashing your calories too low. You do not want to go below your BMR for calorie intake, and you also don’t want to be creating more than a 1,000 calorie deficit a day. Doing so will wreak havoc on your metabolism by slowing down hormone production like thyroid and leptin, while at the same time breaking down muscle tissue to achieve homeostasis.

      I recommend that you follow what the armband says for your calorie burn and eat no less than 1,000 calories fewer than that number (unless the number is below your BMR). Before you start, make sure you take some body fat measurements. Take them again 2-4 weeks later. Then, you have a very specific picture of your body and metabolism, and you will know how to adjust to keep making progress and to break through plateaus.

      Hope that helps!

      • Michelle Muldowney

        Thanks Coach!

        That makes so much sense, it really is a world of complexity isn’t it. I have been 154 pounds forever and wish my personality would just give up and accept the way I am but being a Leo woman I am too stubborn…. I will probably be 50 before I get there!!! I go down, then up, then down, then up………

        Am going through a transition of (mental transition) doing more strength training and less cardio training…. the arm band is a great tool to track my progress and my new body calipers!!!

        Chat soon!!

        M

  • David McCormick

    How big of an arm will it fit on? I have trouble finding watches that will fit on my wrist and am wondering if possibly my upper arm might be too big for it to fit on. I’m a big guy/ bodybuilder~

    • Coach Calorie

      Hey David,

      My arm is a little over 15″ and there are maybe 2″ to spare. Otherwise, they have a large strap that will fit arm circumferences of 12″ – 24″.

      The following is from the BodyMedia site:

      Comfort strap keeps Armband in place… you’ll hardly know it’s there!
      Please note: Your BodyMedia FIT Armband came with a standard Medium strap.

      Strap sizes for CORE Armband:

      Small strap fits arms with a circumference of 6.5″- 10.5″
      Medium strap fits arms with a circumference of 9″- 15″
      Large strap fits arms with a circumference of 13″- 24″

      Available in grey

      Strap sizes for LINK Armband and Armband Advantage:

      Small strap fits arms with a circumference of 6.5″- 10″
      Medium strap fits arms with a circumference of 8″- 15″
      Large strap fits arms with a circumference of 12″- 24″

      Available in silver chrome, blue chrome, black, pink and zebra

      You can buy a large one by going to the BodyMedia Homepage and clicking “SHOP” on the top menu, and then going to the “Accessorize Your Armband” section.

  • Cassie

    I bought mine a few days ago. I’m so glad I did. I eating 1200 calories wasn’t working and I knew I needed more but didn’t know how much. I’m so surprised by how many calories I actually burn everyday, I had no idea! No wonder I wasn’t seeing any results! The days that I “cheated” my body was holding on to all of it. I’m very excited to see where my new found information takes me! Thanks for the blog!

    • Coach Calorie

      Glad it’s working out for you Cassie! I think one of the biggest mistakes people can make when losing weight is eating below their BMR, yet so many people do that and then wonder why their progress stalls out in no time. The armband really makes sense out of the statement “you’re not eating enough calories to lose weight”.

  • Darrin Dickey

    This looks interesting. I notice they don’t support their mobile app on HTC phones and it only seems to be certain to work on iOS v 4.3, a rather old version, technically speaking. Do you think the unit is still worth using, even if one cannot utilize the mobile app?

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Darrin, the armband works on the most current iOS version. The screenshots in this review are of my iPhone 5. I think it’s still worth using even without the app. You’ll either have to sync it up to your computer each time you want to read stats, or you can get the CORE version that comes with a separate display.

      • Darrin

        Coach,

        Thanks for the correction. It does now show it works with iOS 4 and later. I think I had old info or an old page. Looks like they still don’t have the HTC issues worked out.

        Thanks for the reply and info.

  • Kyle

    Hi Coach,

    I am wondering if this can be worn like a watch, or if I must wear it around my upper arm? Seems like that would be more comfortable for me.

    • Coach Calorie

      Hey Kyle, it needs to be worn around your upper arm for accuracy. It’s one of the few places on the body that it can get an accurate reading from. Some people have found that wearing it around their calf during certain cardio exercises (like stationary cycling) gives them a more accurate reading, but BodyMedia recommends the upper arm.

  • Patty

    Great article. My sister has one and she loves it. I have been swimming every day for about 2 weeks now, would I be able to input the calories burned from swimming manually on the device or do I just add the caloires burned mentally knowing you went swimming?

    • Coach Calorie

      Glad your sister likes the armband. I’m not sure of any way to add in the calories burn manually, but I’m not positive on that. But yes, you can always just make a mental note about your exercise session and add it to the total.

    • KC

      I don’t know about the original program but I switched mine to the jillian michaels website. On that site: expand the calories burned tab, in the upper left corner there is “Edit off -body” link where you can choose “manually log” then add swimming or any other activity. Hope this helps.

    • DragonflyNinja

      Swimming could be a tricky one though. The thermic effect of swimming on weightloss is grossly underestimated. Some Olympic swimmers consume up to 7000, yes, 7000 calories a day during peak training periods. But the extra calories you’re not aware you’re burning in the pool might come as a nice bonus surprise in the form of added weight loss. Good luck with it! :-)

  • Andrew

    Hi

    Just wondering if you had any thoughts on the merits of this armband or the Tanita BC1000 scale

    Thanks

    Andrew

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Andrew, the Tanita scale are two totally different pieces of equipment. The armband tracks calories, while the Tanita scale measures weight (and body fat, but inaccurately). If I had to choose, I’d go with the BodyMedia and a cheap $5 pair of body fat calipers.

  • Sven David

    Hi!

    It’s sad that they don’t ship the Bodymedia FIT outside of the US. I don’t think the UK version ships outside of the UK either. What is it with those companies?

    I’m from Norway and I’d like to buy something like this armband!

    Regards,
    Sven David

    • Coach Calorie

      I feel for you guys. I’m sure they have their reasons, but that doesn’t make it any better. Perhaps you can find something shipping internationally off of ebay.

  • Andrew

    Wanted to purchase one but they only ship to USA and Canada. Disappointing.

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Yes, unfortunately that is the case. I don’t know where you live, but in the UK it is sold as the Ki Fit – http://www.kipeformance.com

  • Jenny

    Does it have a setting for breast feeding mothers? I’m still breast feeding and I feel so lost when it comes to how much I really need to eat. Even though my baby is over a year, the last ten pounds are stubbornly stating – and not for lack of exercise or healthy eating (and calorie-restriction).

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      Can’t say that it does, but it doesn’t matter, as it will still give you an accurate calorie measurement.

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Deanna Schober

      Jenny just to add to this, I was one of those women who had trouble dropping extra fat as long as I was breastfeeding. My OB told me that some women hang on to fat when they are nursing to ensure an energy preserve for the baby. Once I stopped nursing the weight always came off. Good luck!

  • Sara

    Have you tried Polar watches? If so, how does this compare? I’m in the market…

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      As far as I know, Polar uses heart rate as the sole determining factor for calories burned. I can’t speak to their accuracy, but I’m happy with the accuracy of the BodyMedia.

  • altagold

    just got mine and already think it is the “best”…having trouble getting it to pair with my smartphone…phone is IPhone 4…2 yrs old…any suggestions???

  • Norma

    Thank you for such great information. I currently have the FITBIT and am debating on getting the Bodymedia FIT Armband. I apologize if this has already been addressed but I don’t want to spend the additional money if it wouldn’t be better and more beneficial. You help would be greatly appreciated. I am one who is pretty fit but is really loin to to lose the last few pounds and add some muscle.

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      Hi Norma, I’d go with the BodyMedia, as the FitBit is just an accelerometer. If that’s the only function you need, the FitBit will suffice. However, if you want an accurate calorie burn measurement, I’d be more confident with the BodyMedia numbers.

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    When that happens to me, I “unpair” it from the bluetooth screen and then repair it and enter the 4 digit code. Has worked every time for me. If that doesn’t work, you can hold down the button on your armband for 30 seconds and it will do a hard reset.

  • Kelli

    I got my bodymedia fit band about 3 weeks ago based on this article. I use it with the Jilliam Michaels program. I walked/ran at lunch today because I was close to a “Vigorous Excercise” personal best from last week and wanted to beat it. I had already run this morning, and know I wouldn’t have again at lunch without that motivation. There are many ways to monitor yourself, so you can set goals and keep challenging yourself, although I guess I DON’T want to beat my personal best “Lying Down” time. I also found out that when I take a certain sleep aid, I do NOT sleep well through the night. I always wondered why I would still feel tired the next day. And because it’s so cool to see all these metrics, I am faithfully journaling my food and making all these connections that I probably wouldn’t have. For example, I am just starting back to working out so my body is HUNGRY on those days. I can see what I’ve burned and that it’s ok to eat a little more on those days and still be on track to lose weight. And for a sugar addict like me, I have really been able to use this to choose whether or not I have enough room in my calorie budget for something sweet. Usually, I deny my cravings for as long as I can and then eat the whole bag of candy or cookies because “I already blew my diet anyhow”. Now I can see “Ok, I have enough for a serving of mini kit-kats”. And one more thing is that because it shows your activity hour by hour, I could really see how sedentary my desk job is and how I really need to be working out or pretty soon I won’t be able to. Does it show that I love this thing so far? No regrets.

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Thanks for sharing Kelli! Your experience is similar to mine. The BodyMedia opened my eyes and gave me a peak into my individual metabolism. The extra motivation was a great benefit too :)

    • http://twitter.com/xPanda1969x Manda Wilson

      Is this available in the UK? i cant find anywhere to buy it from and the bodymedia site only seems to let you order it youre from the US or Canada. I would dearly love one of these!!

  • Jill

    After reading your review on the bodymedia armband I ordered one and just got it today! Do you use “lose it” to enter in your food log? What is the bar code scanner that you mentioned? I want to start using it tomorrow but not sure which food app I should use and I want it to be easy (not have to log in every food with calories, fat, etc…). Thanks and great review I am really excited to use it!

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    I’m excited for you Jill!

    I use Lose It, but others also use My Fitness Pal. The scanner is in the app. It’s it the top left corner when you add a food to your log. Let me know if you still have problems. ;)

    • Sher

      How do you sync with lose it? I just purchased a band and lose it is not listed in there apps. Thx Sher

      • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

        It doesn’t sync with loseit. I just use the two separately. If you want an app that syncs, use MyFitnessPal.

  • Kelli

    I commented on this article the other day but I want to also metion that this product is showing me how HARD I need to work to reach my calorie burn goal every day. I don’t know my body fat percentage, but I know it’s high, so when I’m sitting at my desk job 3 days a week, I’m burning SO few calories. I sometimes work out twice a day and I STILL have trouble meeting my burn goal! Amazingly, this does not discourage me because I can SEE the solution. The article above and your article titled “The Fat Burning Zone Myth, Explained” helped me understand why this is happening, why building muscle is so important for weight loss, and what I can expect to see in a few months if I work hard. Making it all about the pounds lost has always been so discouraging and is just not as useful as information like this- BOTH info from the Bodymedia band AND from this site. Your site is really helping me to put it all together. Thanks!

  • Jill

    I am trying to buy one for my husband because I like mine so much but it is not letting me use the discount code for the 15% off…any idea why??

  • DJ

    I am on a progam with a doctor through our local hospital, it is a VLCD to help me get the weight off. I am still losing slowlyso would like to have a device that helps me with my metabolism and to encourage me and show me how I am doing. Is this thing going to freak out when it sees the low calorie intake I am on? I use 4 supplements and a sensible meal daily.

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    The BodyMedia won’t freak out, but your body might. I wouldn’t do a VLCD, but the BodyMedia can only help your cause.

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    I’m sorry I missed this comment. I’m not sure why it wouldn’t work. No one else has ever complained about it not working. If it’s not working now, I would contact BodyMedia directly and ask them what’s going on.

  • Ann

    Would this help me? I am a 59-year-old woman, 5’4″, 126 pounds, but 40% body fat (by a very precise measurement for an NIH study). I work out (strength training) 2 days per week, interval train 3 days/week, do Pilates Mat 1 day/week and also swim and kayak in the summer. I log all my food on MyFitnessPal and have increased the number of times I eat per day and the number of calories (was previously eating about 1500 calories/day). But nothing changes. My weight stays the same; my measurements stay the same; and my body fat stays at an “obese” level. I’m getting desperate. How could the BodyMedia FIT Armband help me solve this puzzle/dilemma?

  • Susan Parris

    I clicked on one of the links above and it took me to a page that said it was no charge for the first three months then $6.95 per month. Now i can’t locate it. I want to be able to try it out, then I can recommend to friends/clients. Looks good from the above

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      Hi Susan, I’m pretty sure that is the standard charge (getting the 1st 3 months free). As you go through the checkout process I believe it explains exactly what you just said.

  • Rosie

    I just purchased one and they are having a 20% off sale for Mother’s Day. Hurry if you’re thinking about it!

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Take a look at kiperformance.com

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    I think it can help you, but it’s certainly not necessary to get results. Your exercise looks good, but I can’t see what you’re eating. Regardless, there’s no reason (other than medical) that you shouldn’t be making some progress over a period of time. I would recommend measuring your body fat again with calipers and then revisiting them in a month and see what happens to your lean body mass and fat mass. Adjustments can be made from there.

  • Sara

    I have been wearing the FIT armband and using myFitnessPal for the last month or so. I have lost 14 pounds so far just making being conscious of my food intake and daily routine! I just started working out again and decided to wear my polar heart rate monitor as well as the FIT band as a comparison. There seems to be a fairly big difference between the calories burned on my HR monitor (340 calories burned) vs. BodyMedia (110 calories burned). I have the HR set with my height/weight, etc. I want to make sure I’m still eating enough now that I’m adding in exercise . Any thoughts or advice?

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    I’d be more inclined to trust the BodyMedia, but certain types of exercise (like stationary biking) can under report calorie burn.

  • KC H

    Do you know of any heart rate monitors that would track and sync with the bodymedia app/information?

  • boxorox13

    Read this article, finally sucked it up and bought the armband…holy smokes Batman! It is so addicting and very eye-opening. Seeing all of the numbers is motivating, especially the real-time burned calories during exercise. I feel like a walking science experiment. It’s fun to see how many calories you burn walking, doing cardio, and even little things like walking up and down the stairs during breaks at work.

    P.S. Stairs suck. But the calorie burn is worth it.

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      Glad you found it as fascinating as I did!

  • melissa

    I have been wanting to get one of these but I have hesitated due to the monthly subscription charge. I use my fitness pal to track my. Food intake and with the recent updates you can now sync other fitness products with my fitness pal. The up bracelet and media fit arm band are just 2 of the devices you can now sync with my fitness pal. Does anyone know if you are syncing with my fitness pal instead of using their website do you still have to pay the monthly subscription fees??

  • Jessica

    Hey Tony,

    Thank you for the breakdown of the device! I’m curious to know the main difference between the Link and the Core. I see one is real-time on display, while the other is real-time on mobile, but other than that, the only major difference is the bluetooth capability. Do you think it’s worth the extra $30 for the Link?

    Thanks for the info!

    Jessica

  • Tom

    Hey there Coach, interesting article, was thinking of checking out this product for myself but I live in europe (Prague, Czech Republic). Is it possible to customize the currency or can I just select USA for simplicity?

  • Sandy

    Is this the same as the Body Bugg, just under a different name now? The thing I hate about it is that it’s useless unless you keep paying that monthly subscription! Isn’t there anything that is similar that you can upload into your computer and track without having to pay for a subscription?? Thanks!

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    The Body Bugg has slightly different features and software.

    As to the subscription, I realize it’s not for everyone, but if you think about it, many of your personal expenses are subscription based. You just have to decide if you think $7/month is worth it. I and many others do think it is.

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Unfortunately, I do not think you can get it in your country. I believe the US, Canada, and the UK are the only countries currently. But maybe as demand builds they will start selling there too. I’d also check out ebay to see if someone will ship internationally.

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    That is the gist of it. The core has a separate display, while the LINK uses your compatible smartphone. I think it’s worth the extra money to get the LINK. I don’t like carrying around more stuff than I have to. Plus, my phone is always on me, so it’s easy to check in on my stats.

  • Laurie Lay

    I am thinking of buying one, I just can’t decide which model. The Link, or the Core.
    Right now I am using MyFitnessPal to track food and exercise. MFP has an amazing food database, and a barcode scanning feature.
    I have lost 32 lbs, but have stalled.
    Should I get the Link, or the Core model of BodyMedia Fit??

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      I have only used the LINK, and I would recommend that one if you have a compatible phone. Also, MyFitnessPal will sync with the armband.

      • Laurie Lay

        Thank you. Since it will link to MFP, I will probably get the Link model.
        Thank you.
        Love your site!!

  • Mindy Walton

    Does the discount code still work? I just tried to use it and it said it didn’t.

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      It works, I just tried it. Make sure you’re typing it in correctly. Once again, it’s BMFIT15

      • Mindy Walton

        Just tried it again, and still not working.

        • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

          That’s weird. No one else is having a problem. If you haven’t tried to already, just copy and paste the code into the box.

          • Mindy Walton

            There was already a promo code getting added, it wouldn’t let me have two, yours was better, so once I removed the other one and added yours it worked! Thanks! My android acts up, so I am going with the core, it still works the same basically though right?

            • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

              Good deal! And yes, you just won’t be able to sync it with your phone.

  • Lisa Griffin

    I have had mine for about 2.5 months and cannot even conceive my life without it now. I love me some BodyMedia!

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      Good to hear :)

  • Lisa Griffin

    I’m pretty sure you still have to pay the monthly fee because the software is specific to the BodyMedia device. You won’t be able to see your device stats if you don’t have their software.

  • Lisa Griffin

    I think that the BodyBugg is an earlier version of the device. I had a BodyBugg back in 2011 for about 5-6 months then I ended up selling it on eBay. I had the display watch but was a lot different than the BodyMedia LINK. I have the LINK now and I can’t imagine my life without it.

  • tmkoppy

    Is there a device you recommend to help determine body fat percentage within a reliable range?

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Body fat calipers, hydrostatic weighing, or DEXA in that order.

  • Mrs. GMS

    I have had mine for a month. I eat only with a 500 calorie deficit on most days. I am sedentary but do workout every day: swim or walk to garden. I love the information it gives me like what my steps or burn is. But I have not lost a pound. I dont know where to go from here, sure wish it could tell me how to fix what I am doing.

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      Are you measuring your food to be sure you’re eating a 500 calorie deficit? Are you creating more than a 500 calorie deficit? What are your calories burned and calories consumed? And how are you using the armband to measure your calories burned when you swim since it can’t be worn in the pool?
      If you can answer these questions, I can help…

      • Mrs. GMS

        I measure most of my food; I know what some things look like now by sight, others I still weigh on my scale. I have taken my heart beat while swimming and then found a calculator that tells me what someone my size burns while doing a mix of freestyle and “frog style” swimming, I enter that in the off body calculations and try to stay on the low end of calories burned in case I am over estimating. This ends up burning 2600-2700 and eating 1500-2200 on a average day. I have been for the last week creating more that a 500 calorie deficit because it is summer and I am not as hungry. But I really try to force myself to eat. Most days it tells me that I eat too much fat: 20 protein, 30 carb 50 fat could be a typical day. Maybe not enough steps but it doesn’t count swimming, no vigorous exercise it says and sleep about 6-7 hours a day.

        • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

          Can you show me exactly what you ate yesterday? Also, is there any reason you eat 50% of your calories from fat?

          • Mrs. GMS

            which would be easier? to look at my log on stuff or me to type it here? I can show you either. To answer your other question, I don’t know if the food calculator is accurate always, but I did eat a ground beef patty 90% lean but it said that there was 15 g of fat still, and 1/3 of an avocado and 1/5 of bacon and 2 eggs.. Not bad fat in my eyes, but maybe that is my problem= not seeing what is “bad”.

  • Ginger

    On the BodyMedia do you have to pay for an online app to be able to use it, I’m confused about these things

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      You pay the subscription fee to use their software. You can use other food logging apps such as MyFitnessPal and loseit for free.

  • Eat to Live

    Hey Tony, I’m just beginning my journey of a healthier lifestyle, and think something like this would be a great tool for me. You mentioned the accuracy my vary if a person is very overweight. I want to loose over 100lbs, do you think this would be worth the investment if the accuracy may be skewed?

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    That’s hard for me to say. I don’t want to steer you in the wrong direction, but I know others that are very overweight that were happy with the device.

  • Nichole Reigle

    I love it! I used it last year to help drop my last 15 pounds. Then I got pregnant! I’m using it again. I was starving on weight watchers! I eat way more when I use the band and still lose weight. Plus the new layout works much better with my phone!

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Great to hear!

  • Traci

    I have been using mine for about 5 months now. I have had a bit of a stall and am being told by everyone I am eating too much. I work an office job but instruct zumba at night. My body media frequently reads 3000 calories a day. I usually eat between 1500 and 1700 calories a day (tracking with MFP). I work up a sweat easily and am worried I am throwing off my calorie burn. Can I really trust the body media within 10%?

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      Any reason you’re creating such a large calorie deficit?

  • Kim

    Hi Coach,
    This is my third band, I had a bodybugg, then the one like the core and now the Link. I love linking it to my phone! I am addicted to the data. Unfortunately, I am not always consistant entering my food. When there is a device out there that can measure your calorie intake for you, I will be the first to jump at it!
    Question for you: With my prior armbands, my max calorie burn when I was totally sedentary during the day was about 1850 and with this arm band it is around 2150. That seems signficantly more and I would think it would be less as I have aged a bit now. Is there anyway to tweak it so that it shows I am burning less? Thanks so much for all your great information!

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      I don’t know of any way to tweak it, but that doesn’t mean the higher number isn’t more accurate.

  • Donna Katchorick

    Hi Coach,
    Well I finally ordered it and mostly because I have read your article here over several times. I was just checking their site last month and the core and display were on sale for $99 so I jumped on it. Just arrived the other day….wow….what an eye opener. I was eating way to many calories and not nearly active enough(which I totally knew). So far I love it, It keeps me in check. I need accountability, this makes me not want to go over my daily calorie allowance and makes me want to reach my calories burned target…and all of the other targets I have. So thank you for your honest opinion on this, greatly appreciated!!

  • GoldenGirl

    Thinking about ordering one. Wonder if the food entry syncs with lose it or MFP? Lots of weight to lose and trying not to stall weight loss. Trying to find that sweet spot. Have been using lose it and a fitbit flex. If not, how is the food entry!

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      It syncs with MyFitnessPal. Not with loseit, unfortunately.

  • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

    Either way is fine…

  • Iva

    I have been creating 500+ calorie deficits daily but still not losing. I’m sure that I may not be entirely accurate with the food diary (its linked to MyFitnessPal) but since I eat mostly whole foods, I’m not sure where I’m going wrong. Does BodyMedia tend to overestimate calories burned (both from resting and exercise)?

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      Can you tell me more about your situation? Are you noticing any changes in body fat? How long have you been trying to lose weight? When you say 500+ what does the plus actually mean? How many calories are you eating and burning? How much exercise are you doing?

      • Iva

        I have been trying to lose weight for 2 years. I gain very easily but its difficult to lose. I thought it would be impossible due to my PCOS but everything I read says anyone can lose weight if they stick to it. However my friend and I honestly believe that BodyMedia tends to overestimate calorie burn. Because I can stick to a 1500 calorie diet for a month and only lose 1lb in that month.

        • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

          What does your bodymedia say? And have you tried eating more and tracked your weight loss? Just curious. Sometimes more calories results in similar (or more) weight loss.

  • Melissa Ausili

    Hi Coach! How is the BodyMedia Arm Band different than just wearing my heart monitor all day. Aside from the pedometer/sleep function aren’t they the same thing?

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      They are very different. The BodyMedia does not use heart rate in any of its calculations. Instead, it uses a combination of 4 different sensors to calculate your calorie burn. You can read about those sensors in the product review.

  • Dana

    I’m wondering …
    I have an old school Body Media Fit Advantage armband. (got it in ’11 @ Jenny Craig) I love it. But now I want the Link that is linked wirelessly w/my phone. So my question is … does anyone here know if the new Link device fits the same armband as the Advantage? I’m just hoping the new Link device will fit my old armbands. It would be great to be able to rotate them. I already have one dedicated to working out only – and one for ‘clean’ wear. lol Anybody???

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Coach Calorie

      I’m not sure myself, but if someone doesn’t answer here I’m sure Bodymedia customer service can help.

  • Fazal

    Does Calories burned it shows means ‘BMR’ or TDEE values ?

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Tony Schober

      That would be TDEE. It includes activity.

  • Stephanie Weilert

    How come if I don’t wear my armband for a period of time and then put it back on, it already has calories burned on it? How’s that possible when I wasn’t Even wearing the band ?

    • http://www.coachcalorie.com/ Tony Schober

      It estimates your calorie burn when you have it off based on previous days at similar times. That way you don’t have to wear it 24/7 to get a daily calorie burn total.