The Biggest Loser Uses Bodybugg

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Bodybugg available at 24 Hour FitnessTwo years ago, I wrote about Bodybugg, which is an overpriced gadget that attaches to your arm to measure your caloric expenditure:

Sometime last year, 24 Hour Fitness jumped on the Bodybugg bandwagon, offering the Bodybugg for $350 instead of the original cost of $500. Since 24 Hour Fitness is a major sponsor of The Biggest Loser, all the contestants are wearing a Bodybugg.

Now that Bodybugg is $150 cheaper than it was before, do I think it’s worth it? Part of me says no. You can get all that information from a $100 heart rate monitor and a food journal. Why spend the extra money?

Of course, another part of me was surprised at how happy I was with the Nike+. I could have kept track of my runs with a running journal for almost free, but that $20 gadget changed my running habits for the better. I loved seeing the graphs of my runs and how well I was doing. Maybe the Bodybugg would do that for my eating.

Am I going to shell out the bucks for a Bodybugg? No, but I’m less certain about how worthless it is after experiencing the Nike+.


43 Responses to “The Biggest Loser Uses Bodybugg”

  1. Ellie Says:

    The research backing up the bodybugg is suspect at best.

  2. Adria Says:

    I know one person who owns one and loves it.

  3. john Says:

    Do you have a recomendation on a good heart rate monitor?

  4. Jason Says:

    Ellie – where did you do the research you referenced about the armband technology? Go to BodyMedia’s website (that’s who developed the armband for bodybugg) for published research proving 92%+ accuracy compared to metabolic cart testing. Which, by the way, is MUCH more accurate than a HR monitor. Besides, I’d rather wear my bodybugg armband to track my calorie burn than a heart rate monitor (which can be influenced by caffeine, anxiety, stress, etc) on my chest all day!

  5. Mary Says:

    Hmmm, intriguing but that monthly fee to the website is a deal breaker.

  6. David L Says:

    New Zealand rejects PowerPlate

      The "Badwill" that comes with the Powerplate name.

    In recent years PowerPlate N.Z. Ltds Product Manager discovered irregularities in the following Vibration Training products he was in charge of selling…

    Engineering tests University tests Celebrity endorsements Medical endorsements Awards carried forward to dis-similar models

    These irregularies had been caused by the outsourcing of the manufacturing of product to China where the units quickly succumbed to ” quality fading “. This is a practice where the original product is cheapened to cut down overheads to such a point that the product becomes a parody of itself. The units are in essence built by the accountants rather than the engineers that designed the machines. Powerplate was so embarrased with this problem that they lied to the consumer for some time about its actual place of production.

    As we have seen with other health products from China , this is never a safe practice for the consumer. PowerPlate was made aware of this problem straight away by its Product Manager whom they later tried to injunct to stop the release of this information with the excuse of “its just business ” being given by senior management , the injunction failed.

    The worst act….

    The most disturbing act that stood out from all the rest to him though was the direct marketing to the disabled of these goods AFTER this quality problem was brought to PowerPlates attention, where no product recall or warning letters were sent to those who had purchased units. Please note these people were not purchasing the units for vanity reasons , they needed them to operate at full function for the good of their health .

    He believed these groups where considered “soft targets” as they lacked the resources to question the function of the units so less likely to complain. They where also the group less likely to break the machines.

    This behaviour was deemed so unacceptable by their former product manager that the education of the consumer and fitness industry in these matters become paramount. With him being so successfull in N.Z. that Powerplate N.Z. Ltd and its franchised studio system collapsed in 2007. Some choosing to go independant rather than continue carrying the name , the master franchise studio closed for good.

    His aim is to create awareness of this situation gobally to polorize opinions , so it can never happen again. Believing the “backlash” against such practices will be so severe as to effect anyone marketing such a label.

    So what can you do as a consumer ?

    Vote with your wallet. Refuse to use or purchase products from this company and instead invest in more ethical and stable companies. Search the internet, you will find them.

  7. Todd Says:

    I tried this product back in 2006. The price point is way to high for any real adoption in the mass market, plus a ridiculous monthly fee. The venture capitalists who backed this company, booted out the founder as CEO. Good concept, bad name of product also. It is a shame that the company’s management “did not get it” and price this so that it could have had some traction and market share. Too little, to late. It got a mention in O Magazine and that did not help sales, because the value to price is just not there. The biggest loser is long in the tooth now, and most people that watched it,”have been there, done that”.

  8. John Says:

    I’ve struggled with weight for all of my adult life. After briefly gaining 20 pounds (making me about 40 pounds overweight), then losing those 20 pounds over the course of a year, I still needed to lose 15 more pounds but I couldn’t drop my weight any further. Being an “early adopter”, I heard about the BodyBugg on a gadget blog and I started wearing one in November 2005. I can’t say enough good things about this product. It makes you very accountable for what you put in your mouth, and it accurately tracks all your exercise during the day so you feel like that effort “counts” for something (for example, parking far away from the store, taking stairs, adding in spin classes, you get to watch your calorie expenditures spike on those days, feels good, which means you can eat more that day too…). I consider myself pretty savvy with weight (heck I lost 20 pounds on my own), but this device made me look at food in a whole different way. After 2 months I barely lost any weight, but my phone visits with my BodyBugg consultant were encouraging, just needed to break some habits. Then when I finally got everything under control and started bringing my food to work for lunch etc. I lost about a pound a week (1/2 pound per week would have been ideal) for 15 weeks and met my goal. Got off the program in April 2006, gained 10 pounds back because my habits weren’t really ingrained yet, strapped the Bugg back on and quickly lost the 10 pounds, have since lost another 5 pounds on my own since I now have good eating habits down pat and have maintained my weight loss through today, October 8, 2007. I plan to try to lose another 5 on my own, but if this doesn’t happen by January 2008, I’ll be strapping on my Body Bugg again. Anyone who NEEDS to lose weight for health or aesthetic reasons and who turns their back on the BodyBugg for cost reasons – is really foolish in my opinion. You can’t put a price on feeling and looking great.

  9. dg Says:

    Ok guys, this is the deal. The bodybugg is a tool that can help “many”. I am a gen manager of a few health and fitness centers that will be offering the bodybugg to its members. The tool is just that – “a tool.” For those of you that have compared it to a heart rate monitor – do more research on the product before giving your two cents. Its not even close. This tool allows our trainers to actually see what our members are doing when they are not in the club working out. It allows the trainers to give additional information to our members by having the right information in front of them on the computer. I can go on forever about this product. And the cost — $350 and the first three months free is nothing compared to the crap that people spend money on to lose weight. Call Jenny Craig… see what their average program cost per year. Or how about Weight Watchers. Love both programs for those that participate. But this is a much less costly product to purchase compared to so many other things out there.

  10. Nichole Says:

    I love the body bugg. I am a personal trainer, and too had my doubts about the body bugg. Thought is was too expensive, till I uses one! This is such a great device in finding out how many calories you burn a day, and food journaling. It is a great tool. I would recommend to anyone wanting to loose weight! Your trainer will know if you sat on the couch all day or really did walk the dog! $350 compared to the ever so popular gastric bypass surgery?? hmmmm…..it’s at least worth a try.

  11. Yolanda Says:

    I think I am about to jump on the Bodybugg bandwagon. I have been researching all holiday and I think it would really help me out a lot.

    Nichole, I think the Bodybugg sounds like a great gadge, but the Bodybugg/Gastric Bypass surgery comparison is ridiculous. I lost 53 lbs with the help of lap band surgery and I plan on using the two together. Being a personal trainer, I am sure you will most likely have some WLS clients. I hope you try to help them and not judge.

  12. Caroline Says:

    I have heard a lot about this product and at first I was really hesitant toward it. But now I am looking to get one in the next week. I have only heard positive thing from people that have used one and it sounds like the perfect thing for me. I work out pretty regularly but my eating habits need to change a little, so with this I can monitor everything.

  13. Christina Says:

    From people who claim to use the bodybugg, I hear great things. But I’m still skeptical as to if it’ll really be useful for me. First, is it really worth the cost if I’m only trying to lose about 10-15 lbs? And second, how effective is it if you don’t log your meals. That would probably be my biggest downfall, I’ve tried logging meals with other sites before, but I just never stick to it, becaue I find the task a bit mundane. A video on bodybugg’s website claims that it would still be quite effective without tracking meals, and that it could even estimate the calories consumed just by how you’re body changes. I even called their customer service to see how accurate this claim might be, I was told that it might be even more accurate than logging calorie information myself. Any thoughts on this, especially from those who already own one??? Thanks.

  14. helen Says:

    Christina, I own a Bodybugg. If you only want to lose 10 – 15 pounds it may not be worth it to you, especially if you believe you won’t need it after you’re done losing weight. What the Bodybugg essentially does is tell you how many calories you’ve burned for the day, and estimate your total caloric output for the remainder of the day if you remain sedentary.

    I found it a huge help for me, since I could never stick to a 1200 calorie a day diet. As long as I maintain a caloric deficit, I’ll lose weight. On active days I often burn over 3000 calories, so I can eat a lot more and feel very satisfied. So far, I’ve lost over 40 pounds while eating anywhere from 1900-2500 calories a day. It has taken almost a year, granted, but I wanted to lose the weight slowly. If you want to lose it faster, just maintain a higher deficit.

    Without tracking how many calories you’re eating, it’s gonna be difficult to lose weight no matter what system you try. You really have to know exactly how many calories you’re eating every day in order to lose weight. If you’re not willing to do that, I think the Bodybugg will be a waste of your money.

  15. Meagan Says:

    I’ve recently looked into getting a bodybugg for a couple of reasons. -The gym membership is a bit costly and don’t take enough advantage of it -see it on the biggest loser all the time

    I have a few concerns with the body bugg: -how much does the web program cost? -must you use it, can i use a different program? -how large is it? i work in a stock room in retail and wear a large company shirt everyday. will it be too bulky?

    please tell me any other usefull info!

  16. Momof3boys Says:

    I have a bodybugg. The yearly web program is 99.00. You get 3 months free with purchase. You do not need the web program if you have the watch (on sale now for 69.99). You could input your food on a free website (fitday, sparkpeople, etc.) and use the calories burned info from your watch to keep track.

    It is not bulky. I wear it under fitted t shirts so under a workshirt you would never notice it. 24 hour fitness website has the best prices.

  17. Dannielle Says:

    I am considering the bodybugg. I used to weigh 190lbs but with plain old hard work, tons of cardio and healthier eating last year I got down to 140. Unfortunately college and kids took time away from the gym and I don’t always have time to eat so I starve all day and have a huge dinner. This is creating a yo-yo effect on my weight. I’m currently 160 and need to do something. I like the idea that I can track calories burned and see my progress with bodybugg. Hopefully it will point out my problem times. My concern however is that I have been told that one of my biggest problems is that I don’t eat enough and as often as I should so my body is going into “starvation mode” and is storing everything. Can bodybugg help me with this? I know it tells you to eat less than u burn and you’ll lose weight but there is a limit. Many people eat too little and the wrong stuff so they don’t lose weight. Does it give you a daily Minimum of calories to be eating?

  18. elissa Says:

    I’m asking my husband for one for mother’s day! 🙂

  19. angela Says:

    I absolutely love my body bugg. When I first purchased it, I was 146. I had been dieting and exercising for months and could not understand why I was not losing weight.

    For me, the body bugg was a reality check. It was really simple, I was not burning even close to the amount of calories that the exercise machines and heart rate monitors would tell me. At first I was just angry at the Body Bugg thinking this thing has to be broken. But I logged my food and based on what I lost, it was accurate.

    What I find now is I move more. I’m also a lot less likely to mindlessly eat something. I ask if the amount of calories is worth it.

  20. Erin Says:

    I have been using the BodyBugg since Feb ’08 – I LOVE it… have lost an average of 1.5 lbs a week, just as I had planned. It does what it says, and I’ve tested it all sorts of ways to see how accurate it is. I’m very impressed (and I was a skeptic!). I agree with the idea that if you’re not committed enough to losing the weight to LOG your food intake, then this won’t be as helpful to you. It simply shows you how/when you’re burning calories.

    For people like me, it’s a HUGE motivator. I can log in and see, at 6pm, that I need to go walk the dog or something to meet my deficit goal for the day. I can see (and plan) how my daily burn is going to affect my food intake.

    Really, what it does, is give you a measure of CONTROL over your weight loss that you can’t get if you can’t see what your calorie burn is really. And a kick in the pants if you’re in denial about how little you’re actually moving. 😉

  21. Monique Says:

    I have a bugg. I joined a gym where it was recommended some time ago. It was a local “biggest loser”. I didn’t get the bugg until the program was almost over and immediately noticed one major difference. My focus on what I was doing/eating was enhanced by the fact that I was wearing the bugg. It helped me recognize when I was far too sedentary and it let me see what activiteis actually burned themost calories for my body. I stopped when the plan ran out, but an about to reinitiate it as i have picked up some weight. The fee is not much when compared to the emotional price of being/feeling/looking overweight!!

  22. diane Says:

    I purchased the bugg in 2006 for $500…feel a bit ripped off that it’s now $350. That said, it did work, but I don’t always wear it now. I lost about 16 pounds and kept it off for over a year. I’ve gained about 7 back and am now trying to get back to wearing the band more regularly and logging my food. It really is a commitment. Good luck to all. DD

  23. Ginger Says:

    I’ve been looking at buying a Bodybugg but have been put off by the price and required monthly subscription. I ran across something called the ActiTrainer which is still $200 but displays all the data realtime, which obviates the need for the subscription. I guess the Bodybugg would be better if I planned to work closely with a trainer, but on my own I think the ActiTrainer might meet my needs. Anyone have any experience with the ActiTrainer?

  24. Lou Says:

    Does anyone know where the bodybug is made?

  25. Dell Says:

    Not to knock this device, but spend your money on a Nutritionist. You’ve got to change your eating habits for the long run, not be controlled by a device that only leads to failure once you stop using it. Not to knock it, but I’m a personal trainer and I encourage my clients to educate themselves about nutrition for their lifetime, not short term fixes. That’s just my opinion and as I said I’m not knocking anyone who wants to use it.

  26. Melissa Says:

    I love my bodybugg. It’s an amazing device and I got mine for $129 at 24 Hour Fitness. I think having the bodybugg 24/7 is much more valuable than $129 of nutrition concelling (two sessions at most). I think nutrition is very important, but first and foremost Americans need to start controlling their caloric intake.

  27. Rose Says:

    i have a bugg and i love it! i felt i didnt eat much a day and i am always moving and on the go. well the bugg gave me a wakeup call when all the moving i was doing was barely burning any calories, i was in shock. everyone said i should be a stick as busy as i am. but the bugg showed me the truth and it helped me go from 207 to 182 in less than 6 months would have been better but i got lazy 🙂 anyway i recommend it to anyone. just be prepared to log your food. so if you think you burning enough calories to cover the calories your eating, get a bodybugg, you’ll be shocked! yeah its a bit pricey but its truley worth every penny. besides how much have you already spent on everything else youve tried? and how much is living longer and lookin better worth to you? besides once you get it youll be addicted and it turns into a competition of just how well can you do, how many calories can you burn? i am back on the bugg since i got lazy and gave up my daily walking and eating right, etc and went back up to 200 stupid me could have reached my goal by now!

  28. Rose Says:

    p.s look on ebay. good deals there

  29. Charlie Says:

    I just purchased a body bugg last week. I’ve tried different calculators online to try and figure out how many calories I should eat and estimated how many I burned while at the gym for the past 2 years.

    The bugg takes it to the next level, it gives you a clear picture of how many you burn and helps you tweak your nutrition/fitness to a real figure that you can see which to me has been extremely refreshing.

    Yes it costs a few hundred, but if it will help you achieve your goals in 6 months instead of 12, then I think it is well well worth the money. The biggest payoff should be the feeling of control and being knowledgeable. For me, it means being ripped by next summer instead of next Thanksgiving!

  30. April Says:

    24 Hour Fitness is now selling them for $150. I think they are low enough now that I will buy one. No way would I pay the $350.

  31. Jenny Says:

    They also have the newest BodyBugg at 24 hr fitness for $250 that includes the wrist display!!! I’m getting one for Christmas. This deal goes until 1/31/09.

  32. Mary Says:

    This might be a dumb question but does it or can it harm you in any way? I guess I’m wondering if it runs electrical pulses or anything like that through your body. I’m very interested in getting one. I’ve had some issues of my heart racing lately so I don’t want to add anything that might worsen my problem. However, I’d love to lose about 30 lbs. I’ve tried all kinds of diets without success…Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, etc. After 3 kids, I just can’t seem to get this weight off even though I workout. I think the Bodybugg might be something that will help.

  33. RM Says:

    A heart rate monitor? Maybe someone should go and educate themselves on the basics to calorie expenditure. The BodyBugg has hundreds of mathmatical calculations using your age, weight and bodyfat percentage which is programmed into the device as well as measuring movement, body temperature and radiant heat. A heart rate monitore only measures that, heart rate. When calories are burned, heat is expended. How can you accurately measure calories burned with just heart rate? Sorry to burst your bubble.

  34. Joe Grand Says:

    Shouldn’t you actually use a product before you attempt to review it? What you posted is just a rant with no facts. Please actually review the products before you write reviews. What you posted is not scientifically sound. It is just an opinion based on no facts, but which worse than not saying anything. People want information, not disinformation. Please stick to the truth, and do not just post what you think a product might be like if you did decide to actually use it. I would love to hear your ACTUAL experiences with the product, after you have used it for 30 days.

  35. RM Says:

    If weight loss is a dark cave, the bodybugg is a flashlight. The program works phenomenally. It gives you real-time feedback about what you’re doing right and wrong, rather than waiting a week to figure out you didn’t lose any weight and must have been doing something wrong. If you screw up, you can’t pretend it didn’t happen. You can point to the exact day when you overate or undermoved. There’s a graph. It doesn’t lie. I find myself trying to work harder after dinner to make up another 100 calories. I do more laundry or sweep the floor or stay off the couch longer just so I can meet my number.

    With respect to nutrition, I’m really into nutrition and can often tell you exactly the nutritionals of various foods from memory. The bodybugg program gives suggested and specific menus that meet protein, carb, fat, sat fat, sodium, fiber, calcium targets and give you pie charts as to the breakdown. You can enter your own food. The bodybugg will then after a measurement period tell you the difference in what you logged and what you actually did. There are daily Q&As about nutrition on the site. It’s better than any nutritionist I’ve been to in that it is with you every day, not once or twice.

    A heart rate monitor is useful in certain contexts, but heat flux is more useful, for example when you are asleep. My hr monitor says I’m not burning any calories when I sleep, so there’s still all kinds of guess work, since my rmr is about 66 calories an hour–even when sleeping. Plus, isn’t a HRM at least $100? just spring for something more useful. Also, you get free program for 6 months now and can renew month to month if you want.

    I have used the bodybugg for 2 years now. I bought it when it was more expensive and I bought the new one when it came out. I gave the old one to my dad. I don’t use it with a trainer.

  36. Eric Says:

    I’m a user and it DOES work. I’ve lost 70 lbs in 6 months.

    Yes it is expensive. But when you figure in the costs of healthcare, co-pays, and medication that comes with chronic disease (diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, CAD, etc, etc) that results from obesity. It’s cheaper in the long run.

    I’m an ER Physician. And I NEVER see fat people in the ER that are over 80 years old.

  37. Amber Says:

    I’ve lost 33 lbs in 3.5 months and haven’t been this thin in my adult life! I love it and it’s the first program along with my 24 Hr Fitness trainer that has worked for me. It’s like a game to challenge yourself to burn whatever you want/need to burn for the day. And if you are being accurate with your food and download the Bugg, your weightloss will sync up so you know what you should bbe losing or why you aren’t. It is amazing and knowing what I know now, I would have paid even more for it. It’s a small price to pay to not be a huffing, puffing fatass anymore.

  38. Kimberly Says:

    I completely agree that the research seems pretty credible, however, I also agree that it has no place in the mass market with its current price point. My husband and I used to be in perfect condition prior to our 11 month old and we are just having a little trouble getting back on track. However, with me being a work at home mom (see real 40-50 hour week with corporate company all done virtually) sitting at a computer and him a police officer we would purchase the Body Bugg however, it is priced two high. I would pay $199 for it or $149 for it but not $249 and up. In this economy if companies want to sell high end products they are going to have to be willing to lower their prices or those products will sit.

  39. Wendi Says:

    Before I bought the bugg I read everything out there on it. There were so many mixed opinions, I didn’t know what ot believe. Desparate to lose weight I broke down and bought it. I LOVE IT! After having lost 30 lbs with Weight Watchers, I kept eating less and less food to lose weight. But, I stopped losing altogether. With the bugg I have lost another 15 pounds and am eating more food due to increase activity. What I like is that it tells me how many clories I burn, not the average woman my age. All I can say if you are considering this is IT WORKS! You must be dillegent, but it takes all the frustation out of it. I’ve gone from weighing myself obbsessively every day and freaking out over every ounce gained, to accepting flucuations because I know I had daily deficits. Sure enough it shows up that I did the work. I know the price is high, but to me the way I feel about myself now is priceless!

  40. Matt G Says:

    My only problem with the calorie counter here is that I feel as though it will give people an “excuse” to eat more than is necessary. There is loads of research out there about basal metabolic rate, which is essentially what you need to live. Given that number, which you can get at any number of online calculators, you should be able to pretty reasonably estimate how many calories you should be consuming in order to lose weight.

    Saying that walking from here to there burned 200 calories, so I can have dessert, is missing the point of nutrition. It’s not just about calorie counting, but it’s making sure that the calories you’re putting in maximize their effect (simple carbs for immediate energy, complex carbs for a constant stream of energy, proteins for maintaining the body). However, a piece of cake with a ton of simple sugar at the end of the day is pretty much guaranteed to be converted to fat, no matter how much work you did that day.

    So, keep that in mind when you’re going to shell out $350 bucks for a body bugg. I’ve lost almost 75 pounds (going for 100) and have been able to keep it off without have my exact caloric output during the day.

  41. Megan Says:

    Reading all the reviews- and have some comments. YES I AM A BODYBUGG OWNER.

    Based on the posts:

    1) People who have them, LOVE THEM. 2) People who don’t have them, are skeptical. 3) 75% of the people who don’t have them, don’t understand them.

    A bodybugg will tell you how many calories you burn in a day. A TERRIFIC tool for weight loss since the goal of weight loss is to understand calories in, calories out. The website allows you to also track your diet. You can buy a digital display if 10 bucks a month is too much for you and it will tell you instant calorie burn. I have the display and I use the website. (I used to pay $20/month for the biggestloserclub. Now I pay less than $10 a month for the bodybug website. )

    The bodybugg is not a substititue for a personal trainer, nutritionist, gym membership ect.

    I use my bodybugg, I have a 24hr fitness gym membership and I started my program using a nutritionist so I could learn how to eat.

    The bodybugg is still useful amoungst all other things to aide in weight loss. You can see that calorie deficit- and at the end of the week, when you step on the scale- the scale proves it to be accurate. Sure I lost 30lbs without one- but I hit a wall- and was stuck for 6months because I didn’t realize I wasn’t burning as many calories as I thought I was. The bodybugg changed that- and I am losing weight again.

    Goal to lose weight? It’s worth it. It motivates. It does what it is supposed to do- track you calorie burn. THATS IT! Use the website to track progress, put in your food log, see you calorie deficit with the click of a button.

    P.S. you can buy the used v2 models for $50 bucks on sites like amazon and ebay. I paid out the $300 for mine, and I would do it in a heart beat.

  42. Michele Says:

    I have a bodybugg – my weight loss this last 30 days was about 9% more than it calculated. That’s enough error to be on my part with the food journal. It’s motivational and gives me visual feedback on my workouts. (My weight loss the last 30 days was 7lbs.)

    I LOVE IT!

  43. Puttinontheglitz Says:

    I have a question.So what about holding water weight? How does it measure water weight. If you know you are eating right and didn’t lose and the program says you should have lost…Could be water weight right? Salt? Anyone run across this? I have been logging my food on a program I downloaded fron Fitday.com.But could never figure out logging my excerise.This seems to be the missing link.

    I have ordered the Bodybugg from 24hr Fitness for $175.00. Can’t wait to get it.

Leave a Reply


Powered by WordPress
(c) 2004-2017 Starling Fitness / Michael and Laura Moncur