Body bug or Bodybugg? Can it make you a Biggest Loser?

Biggest Loser Bodybugg weight loss systemThe bodybugg system, best known from the NBC show The Biggest Loser, is designed to keep track of the calories you burn execising and doing normal life tasks. It also helps you track what you eat. The result for the dedicated user of this body bug? Losing weight and gaining endurance.

(We had something similar when I was growing up in the pre-internet age. It was called Mom, who was known to ask questions such as: "Do you know how long you've been watching that stupid television? And how many oatmeal cookies have you eaten today?")

Joking aside, the device has a serious purpose -- to track the calories you burn with more exactitude than the pedometers and heart-rate monitors we've come to depend on. The bodybugg device fits on your upper left arm and tracks your motions, the pattern of your walking or running, your temperature, how much you are sweating and how much it is evaporating, and the heat produced by muscle movement. The company claims that the Bodybugg is 90% as accurate as measurements made in an elaborate metabolic chamber.

Of course, weight loss depends on two factors; calories in, and calories out. And no, there is no tonguebugg to automatically calculate how much you're eating. For that data, you must log on to bodybugg.com and enter what you've eaten. With this info and the calories expended data from the monitor, the software can show you the difference between calories in and out, whether you've gained or lost weight that day. The Biggest Loser version of bodybugg comes with a one-year subscription to the online site. Thereafter, it would cost you $9.95 a month.

If each pound of human fat represents roughly 3,500 calories, merely eating 35 calories a day more than you burn (one low-fat Oreo cookie) can result in a weight gain of almost 4 pounds a year. The theory behind the bodybugg is that, if we know about this deficit in real time, we can go for a walk immediately to burn up that cookie and avoid weight creep.

Many people do well losing weight when they carefully track what they eat and what execises they do, whether by journaling each bite and each step, or controlling what they eat with pre-determined or even pre-made meals. The key is making a sustained effort, and while the Bodybugg seems to make measuring calories burnt easy, entering every bite you eat every day into a computer is still something many dieters will find laborious.

Would the bodybugg work for you? It certainly couldn't hurt (except for your pocketbook; the Biggest Loser bodybugg from Amazon is $243.95). If you've never been successful in documenting what you eat as part of a diet, though, you'll need to overcome that hurdle. Joining a group such as Weight Watchers or hiring a personal trainer could help you keep on track to a slimmer, healthier you.

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