Have you ever wondered how accurate MFP is at “guessing” how many calories you burn each day? I’ve heard many people say it usually underestimates calories. To make things worse, it’s hard to know what activity level you should select. I work out 6 days a week, and have a desk job. So where does that put me?
Something else that has always bugged me was that MFP does not take into consideration your muscle mass. I’ve been lifting weights for 10 years and have developed some muscle mass. I know that just having more muscle means you burn more calories. I think maybe some of these calculations that require body fat percentage might make a guess about muscle mass, but that’s just a guess on my part.
Anyway, I got the BodyMedia Fit device, charged it up and created an online account. My first surprise: you get the first 3 months subscription for free! BONUS!! My second surprise, it’s comfortable to ware and most of the time I forget I have it on.
After the first 24 hours of using the device, I plugged it in to upload my information. I was very surprised at what I saw! First, it said I burned almost 2900 calories … and this was on a day where I didn’t even workout. Second, it seemed almost dead on about how long I was lying in bed vs. how many hours of sleep I actually got. At first I questioned the exercise hours it said I had until I stopped to think about what I did during the day. Though calling some of it “exercise” might be a stretch, it made sense.
Loading my second day’s data showed a slight decrease in calories, a decrease in exercise, and an increase in steps walked. All of this made sense based on my activities for that day.
To compare, MFP says I should consume 2580 to maintain my weight. Based on this number, I’ve found that I’m still losing weight, all be it, slowly. Even when I my goal was to lose 1 pound each week, I was still losing 1.5 to 2 pounds each week. All of this makes me believe that the BodyMedia Fit really does a good job at determining calories burned.
Another thing that had me concerned was taking the device off to charge it (you can’t ware it and charge it at the same time … impossible). What I discovered is that, if I took it off before my shower and plugged it in to upload my data, by the time I put it back on 20-30 minutes later, the battery was fully charged. The unit is designed to guess the number of calories when it is off if it’s less than 30 minutes. So you are still getting a fairly accurate idea of calories burned.
I’ve decided this was a really great purchase and highly recommend other try it out if they have the means. It’s only been 2 days, and I plan to spend at least a month recording data to get as accurate a picture as possible of my caloric burn. I have yet to use the device on a day when I workout – I’ve had a cold and there is no way I can consider any heavy breathing with my through being so sore and my lungs being filled with crap! I’ll try to post an update after a month with more data.