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My Fitness Pal vs. BodyMedia Fit Core

Food logs and fitness journals may be a pain to maintain, but does holding yourself accountable leads to better results?

I recently tested out two fitness products that help track calories. One was free - an app on the iphone called "My Fitness Pal" (it's also available at myfitnesspal.com) and the BodyMedia Fit Core Armband which retails for $179.

Let's start with the free product: My Fitness Pal

Pro's:

  • It's free.
  • It's easy to use. Just log the food you eat and most appear with calorie counts. You can also add in a quick calorie count if you know it.
  • See how much you are really eating vs. how many calories you burn working out.
  • It tells you after each day "if every day were like today...you'd weigh ___ in 5 weeks." That's a good motivator!
  • It's right on your phone and nothing needs to be plugged in or worn.

Con's:

  • Too easy to underestimate your actual calorie intake or overestimate the calories burned in your workout session.
  • Logging food everyday gets old.

Now onto the BodyMedia Fit Core

Pro's

  • It tracks your sleep. It was neat to see how much I really sleep a night.
  • Very accurate. With 5000 data points per minute using four sophisticated sensors, it tracks everything from calories burned, steps taken and levels of physical activity to sleep.
  • It claims to be clinically proven to improve weight loss by 3x.
  • Endorsed by Jillian Michaels.

Con's

  • I didn't like wearing an armband 23 hours a day or sleeping with it on.
  • You would need to wear it a lot for accuracy purposes.
  • Need to upload data from the armband to your computer with a USB.
  • Logging food everyday gets old.
  • Also need to pay for a montly subscription. Way more expensive than a free app.

Conclusion

Overall, I think each product could be good for the right person. The Fit Core armband is not right for my lifestyle. I do not like wearing a device on my upper arm all day and night, or even for a few hours. But, someone really serious about needing to lose weight might benefit from having an hourly reminder on their arm and the accurate tracking.

I found My Fitness Pal to be a great free app. It truly is eye-opening to see how easy it is to reach 1500 calories in a day when you start logging your food. 

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