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TOPIC: Bodymedia Accuracy and Adjusting Caloric Intake

 
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March 29, 2013 10:09 AM
I'm almost 24 hours into my BodyMedia experience.

I'm wondering how accurate people are finding the "Calories Burned" values to be. Is within 10% a reasonable assumption, or has someone experienced a greater error margin? I'm not logging any activities: the armband is making all of its determinations on its own.

I'm planning on not changing anything for a week, and then making adjustments to my calorie and activity levels. Is a week a suitable amount of time to draw conclusions?

Are people finding that the calorie deficit BodyMedia returns is accurately reflected in weightloss?
March 31, 2013 3:36 AM
I have been noticing that the BodyMedia armband seems to be reading less calorie burn than it should.. I was wearing my heart rate monitor while doing elliptical interval training for 30 mins for the past 3 days, 2x a day, and each time, I get approximately 360 calories burned showing on my HRM, and approximately 330 burned showing on the machine itself (pretty close, in my opinion). However, BodyMedia is only showing approximately 230 calories for the same actifity! It's frustrating because now I feel like all my burn info is inaccurate..
  605111
March 31, 2013 9:27 AM
Thanks, aquaamarina. smile

I don't "work out" per se, and I spend my work days at a desk. Over the last two days (when I haven't been at work) it has come back with high numbers for daily caloric expenditure. I'm certainly not a couch potato at home, but it is a LOT higher than what I was expecting. I do have it connected to MFP, and my daily net for the last two days is scary low.

I swore that I would wait a week before changing anything, as I'd like to see how things balance out. But, I have ordered some protein powder to add to my breakfast smoothie to boost up my protein and calories. I eat well, but I no longer consume any calories in beverages.
March 31, 2013 9:39 AM
ive found it to be fairly accurate - except on the elliptical which ive read as a common "problem". you can try wearing your armband lower (closer to your elbow) and see if that helps at all.. i havent really had a chance to test it much though.
  2270084
March 31, 2013 9:40 AM
I have worn my armband for years. I got it back when they were called GoWear Fit. I always assumed it wasn't very accurate because my numbers came back so high. But I recently had my RMR tested and come to find out, the armband was underestimating my calories burned because my RMR is much higher than most formulas use. I have it adjusted now and feel like I'm getting a more accurate burn.

I think for most people it's the most accurate readings you're going to get from any kind of device you wear. It does have a tendency to underestimate activities that do not use the arms as much, like spinning, and overestimate things that use the arms more, like boxing. And keep in mind that while you might not be exercising every minute of the day, you are burning calories doing things like cooking and cleaning, picking up the kids, etc. These things might not raise your heart rate enough to qualify as exercise, but they do contribute to your overall TDEE.

If you want to compare your numbers, use the spreadsheet created by heybales. It's a great tool and can be used as a guideline, along with your armband, to figure out your numbers. http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/813720-spreadsheet-bmr-tdee-deficit-macro-calcs-hrm-zones
April 5, 2013 8:31 AM
Hi neacail,

The longer you wear the Armband and the more data it records, the more accurate it will be. As some other members have mentioned, there are some activities that are not measured as accurately as others (and we’re constantly striving to improve) so you can either move your Armband as they’ve suggested or remove your Armband for that activity and record it through the edit off-body feature. If you still have any concerns,feel free to browse our FAQ or to contact our Customer Support team at 888-850-2639, and we’ll be happy to do what we can to make sure your experience is as accurate as possible!

Laurie
April 22, 2013 1:41 PM
QUOTE:

I have worn my armband for years. I got it back when they were called GoWear Fit. I always assumed it wasn't very accurate because my numbers came back so high. But I recently had my RMR tested and come to find out, the armband was underestimating my calories burned because my RMR is much higher than most formulas use. I have it adjusted now and feel like I'm getting a more accurate burn.

I think for most people it's the most accurate readings you're going to get from any kind of device you wear. It does have a tendency to underestimate activities that do not use the arms as much, like spinning, and overestimate things that use the arms more, like boxing. And keep in mind that while you might not be exercising every minute of the day, you are burning calories doing things like cooking and cleaning, picking up the kids, etc. These things might not raise your heart rate enough to qualify as exercise, but they do contribute to your overall TDEE.

If you want to compare your numbers, use the spreadsheet created by heybales. It's a great tool and can be used as a guideline, along with your armband, to figure out your numbers. http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/813720-spreadsheet-bmr-tdee-deficit-macro-calcs-hrm-zones


I just got mine tested as well and my RMR is also higher than online formulas calculate for my age, height and weight. How did you adjust your device (Body Media/ Go wear fit) so it was correct for you? I feel my device reads too low as well. Thank you!
April 22, 2013 5:21 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I have worn my armband for years. I got it back when they were called GoWear Fit. I always assumed it wasn't very accurate because my numbers came back so high. But I recently had my RMR tested and come to find out, the armband was underestimating my calories burned because my RMR is much higher than most formulas use. I have it adjusted now and feel like I'm getting a more accurate burn.

I think for most people it's the most accurate readings you're going to get from any kind of device you wear. It does have a tendency to underestimate activities that do not use the arms as much, like spinning, and overestimate things that use the arms more, like boxing. And keep in mind that while you might not be exercising every minute of the day, you are burning calories doing things like cooking and cleaning, picking up the kids, etc. These things might not raise your heart rate enough to qualify as exercise, but they do contribute to your overall TDEE.

If you want to compare your numbers, use the spreadsheet created by heybales. It's a great tool and can be used as a guideline, along with your armband, to figure out your numbers. http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/813720-spreadsheet-bmr-tdee-deficit-macro-calcs-hrm-zones


I just got mine tested as well and my RMR is also higher than online formulas calculate for my age, height and weight. How did you adjust your device (Body Media/ Go wear fit) so it was correct for you? I feel my device reads too low as well. Thank you!


I just sent you a message. smile
April 22, 2013 6:10 PM
I feel like mine is pretty accurate. I discovered that I've been grossly underestimating how many calories I'm burning when I do certain things, so I've probably been under eating for a long time. I feel very confident in my numbers and I'm seeing consistent weight loss when I use it to determine my necessary calories.
  15149113
April 22, 2013 7:00 PM
I have been wearing my MediaFit armband, on average 22 hours a day for the past five months. Two months ago I added a Garmin FR70 to my aresenal of fitness gear. I have found that the armband records significantly LESS of a calorie burn than the HRM.

I got the MediaFit armband just so I wouldn't have to worry about entering calorie burns into MFP and it has worked great. I have been loosing on average 4-5 pounds per month.

As I have gotten better at logging my activity, it has become increasingly frustrating. When I started my fitness journey back in Dec 2012, I was just doing cardio. As I trolled the forums and learned more about weight lifting, I have incorporated weight lifting and HIIT into my routines. I started out just entering what I was doing into the "exercise notes" area, but find it easier to actually log what I am doing, including all strength training exercise.

So....what I have been doing is:
1) log my activity in minutes into MFP journal (10 minute walk, 20 minute run, 30 minute strength training, 10 abs, 15 minutes stretching) so it shows my time spent exercising.
2) enable the negative calories from BodyMedia Fit (it will subtract anything from your total that your armband didn't record)
3) make sure I have a surplus of calories at the end of the day to compensate for any negative calories I may have to account for.

I would rather underestimate my calorie burn than overestimate.

If anyone else has a better way of doing this, please feel free to let me know.
  5483940
April 23, 2013 9:36 AM
This arm band sounds like rocket science to configure and get to log your burn properly especially for exercise. O_O lol! I hope it isn't as complicated as it sounds by reading here, because I just ordered one and it should be here this weekend. I was really excited to get it to assist my journey, but it's sounding a little daunting now...
  28646809
April 23, 2013 11:05 AM
I have a question about the body media. I wore mine every day and my food intake is at 1600. But, my body media has me having "extra" calories that were burned by exercise...even if I didn't exercise. Does anybody eat those extra calories? It puts it on their everyday and I have been just deleting it or not eating those extra calories.

I love my bodymedia band and it’s helping me stay on track as far as my steps.
April 26, 2013 9:24 PM
QUOTE:

I have a question about the body media. I wore mine every day and my food intake is at 1600. But, my body media has me having "extra" calories that were burned by exercise...even if I didn't exercise. Does anybody eat those extra calories? It puts it on their everyday and I have been just deleting it or not eating those extra calories.

I love my bodymedia band and it’s helping me stay on track as far as my steps.


Basically what you have calculated in MFP is lower than what you are actually burning every day according to your body media. This means you should be eating back at least some of the extra calories your body media is giving you.
April 26, 2013 9:38 PM
This. Same to all other questions on why the armband records less calories burned (your TDEE is lower than MFP predicted, hence it "takes" your exercise calories and "adds" it to your estimate) or more was showing more calories burned than expected (your TDEE is actually higher and it "adds" the extra calories + exercise) . I love my body media as it gives me the actual calorie burned not just the "estimate".

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I have a question about the body media. I wore mine every day and my food intake is at 1600. But, my body media has me having "extra" calories that were burned by exercise...even if I didn't exercise. Does anybody eat those extra calories? It puts it on their everyday and I have been just deleting it or not eating those extra calories.

I love my bodymedia band and it’s helping me stay on track as far as my steps.


Basically what you have calculated in MFP is lower than what you are actually burning every day according to your body media. This means you should be eating back at least some of the extra calories your body media is giving you.
  35343042
April 26, 2013 9:50 PM
i love mine
June 4, 2013 1:31 PM
Hi I am new to this site and bodymedia. I have had the armband for about a week. I wore it for 24 hours the first day and it didn't track my sleep. So i took it off the next day and then wore it only 10 hours the next day. It shows I burned 700 cals by 10am and all I am doing is sitting at my desk. Any thoughts? Mahalo,
June 4, 2013 5:49 PM
QUOTE:

Hi I am new to this site and bodymedia. I have had the armband for about a week. I wore it for 24 hours the first day and it didn't track my sleep. So i took it off the next day and then wore it only 10 hours the next day. It shows I burned 700 cals by 10am and all I am doing is sitting at my desk. Any thoughts? Mahalo,
as far as the sleep thing goes, it adds it to the next day. So monday nights sleep shows up under tuesdays stats. It makes sense since (typically)most of the time spent sleeping is after midnight.
To the 700 calories part, sounds about right. Sitting doesnt burn many calories, but some since youre still alive
  2270084
June 5, 2013 10:26 AM
Thanks. I realized that I had not turned on my armband and bluetooth when I am sleeping so that's probably why it didn't track.
May 15, 2014 6:47 PM
I will likely be returning this BodyMedia Link tomorrow ... I've only had it 3-4 days but I can't get it to read my calories burned even close to where it should be. Right now it's usually reading about 40% of the calories burned versus simple heart rate calculations. For example, I'm 46, weigh 160 and over the 6 treadmill workouts my average heart rate was 135 for 90 minutes that's over 1100 calories .. this device is showing about 400 calories burned and that's after I purposely added several inches to my height profile to help compensate .... tell me where this is remotely correct? I have used several calorie counters this is just one I used. http://www.shapesense.com/fitness-exercise/calculators/heart-rate-based-calorie-burn-calculator.aspx
May 15, 2014 7:16 PM
ive read that sometimes the BMF isnt accurate on things like treadmills and ellipticals... some people put the band on their calf and have more accurate results.
  2270084
May 15, 2014 7:47 PM
hmm for weight lifting its not..so my burn for the day is low..i honestly (and still) do not know how much I burn in a day officially..and unfortunately live in a small tiny state probably doesnt have anything i can test..or i could actually afford...when doing cardio i'm okay..but just not weight lifting (which is my main focus right now)..i've actually been questioning its accuracy...but their customer service can be wonky their nice and all..but i think i'm a little bit upset with them for telling me my hrm isnt accurate..and it is only for high cardio workouts..not weight lifting...(i'd like to see someone lift heavy and tell me their hr doesnt go up..)

i've read things like calibrating it..and changing the height..i've been searching for the last 24 hours..i'm honestly confused..its a higher burn then what i actually do..in a way it honeslty makes me feel like a couch potato that i'm not doing enough..but wants me to eat so much less...weight lifting makes me hungry..i want food!

this was probably not helpful in the least...ive had mine since august of last year..
  591569
May 16, 2014 5:51 PM
QUOTE:

hmm for weight lifting its not..so my burn for the day is low..i honestly (and still) do not know how much I burn in a day officially..and unfortunately live in a small tiny state probably doesnt have anything i can test..or i could actually afford...when doing cardio i'm okay..but just not weight lifting (which is my main focus right now)..i've actually been questioning its accuracy...but their customer service can be wonky their nice and all..but i think i'm a little bit upset with them for telling me my hrm isnt accurate..and it is only for high cardio workouts..not weight lifting...(i'd like to see someone lift heavy and tell me their hr doesnt go up..)

i've read things like calibrating it..and changing the height..i've been searching for the last 24 hours..i'm honestly confused..its a higher burn then what i actually do..in a way it honeslty makes me feel like a couch potato that i'm not doing enough..but wants me to eat so much less...weight lifting makes me hungry..i want food!

this was probably not helpful in the least...ive had mine since august of last year..

well they are right that HRMs are for cardio workouts...while lifting does raise your heart rate, its different from cardio so it doesnt read the same. weight lifting doesnt really burn all that many calories... if you want you can search for weightlifting under the cardo database and add it, it will adjust your bmf entry as well though. i think it says i burn 174 calories in 30 minutes while lifting.
  2270084
May 17, 2014 11:41 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

hmm for weight lifting its not..so my burn for the day is low..i honestly (and still) do not know how much I burn in a day officially..and unfortunately live in a small tiny state probably doesnt have anything i can test..or i could actually afford...when doing cardio i'm okay..but just not weight lifting (which is my main focus right now)..i've actually been questioning its accuracy...but their customer service can be wonky their nice and all..but i think i'm a little bit upset with them for telling me my hrm isnt accurate..and it is only for high cardio workouts..not weight lifting...(i'd like to see someone lift heavy and tell me their hr doesnt go up..)

i've read things like calibrating it..and changing the height..i've been searching for the last 24 hours..i'm honestly confused..its a higher burn then what i actually do..in a way it honeslty makes me feel like a couch potato that i'm not doing enough..but wants me to eat so much less...weight lifting makes me hungry..i want food!

this was probably not helpful in the least...ive had mine since august of last year..

well they are right that HRMs are for cardio workouts...while lifting does raise your heart rate, its different from cardio so it doesnt read the same. weight lifting doesnt really burn all that many calories... if you want you can search for weightlifting under the cardo database and add it, it will adjust your bmf entry as well though. i think it says i burn 174 calories in 30 minutes while lifting.


I lift heavy..I can burn more sometimes with heavy lifting then a cardio workout
  591569
May 20, 2014 7:35 PM
according to your heart rate monitor, which isnt accurate for anything other than cardio? ok.
  2270084

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