January 05, 2011

Like millions of Americans, you've probably resolved to lose weight this year.  If so, check out the FIT Armband Weight Management System from BodyMedia.  My husband, Brent, has been using his since December 1st, and has already lost over 10 pounds!  (And no, we didn't just eat salads over the holidays, either!)

The Armband Weight Management System uses 4 high-quality armband sensors that capture 5,000+ readings every minute, giving accurate feedback on calories burned, calories consumed, how much physical activity you engage in (including breakdowns for "moderate" and "vigorous"), steps taken, and sleep duration/efficiency.  To access the data, all you need to do is sync your armband with the web-based "Activity Manager" available at www.bodymedia.com, which will download all the information to your account.  Just log your food intake as well, and voila!  You've got a complete picture of how your body burns calories and are armed with the most important piece of effective weight loss: the truth. 

You may find a few surprises with the Armband - Brent found out that he actually has a pretty high metabolism, and just needed to scale back his food intake some and be more consistent with exercise for effective weight loss.  We've also been fascinated with the sleep reports, and have been exploring some different minor changes we can make to help him get more restful sleep.  There are apps for the iPhone and Android for more real-time tracking, but we have Blackberries so I can't comment on how useful those are.

If you've used something like Weight Watchers or Livestrong.com before to track your food intake and estimate calories (I've used both), you know how valuable accountability and realness are to true lasting weight loss.  However, I think the BodyMedia Armband is like one of those programs - on steroids.  No more guessing how many calories you truly burn during a day (even during sleep or desk work), and the very accurate feedback on how and when you burn calories is really motivating to exercise more, even if it's just in little spurts.  It all adds up!

The BodyMedia Armband is currently available on Amazon.com for $168.90, which includes a free three-month subscription to the online service (which is required).  After the initial three-month period, subscriptions vary from $6.95/month for 12 months to $12.95/month for month-to-month service.

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