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How to Compare the Latest Weight Loss Gadgets – Pedometer vs FitBit vs BodyMedia / Bodybugg

If you are trying to figure out which is best between the fitbit vs bodymedia vs bodybugg then this article might help you narrow it down.

Lately I have been personally wearing the FitBit and the Bodymedia / Bodybugg so I can see exactly what I like best about each of them.

Yep I wear both of them! For one thing I like comparing the data they give me, but the main reason I love personal fitness trackers is because they are SO motivating. They keep me on track and keep me moving!

Technology is an amazing thing!

There are so many different types of gadgets and tools that you can use to reach your fitness and weight loss goals.

The trick is comparing them and finding the device that will be the most useful for YOU.

Note: Bodymedia & Bodybugg are created by the same company – they are just marketed under 2 different names – so for this review you can relax and assume they are essentially the same, ok?

So how do you decide which personal fitness tracker is best for YOU?

First….Ask Yourself…

What kind of workouts do you currently do? (or plan to do?)

Are you a

  • Walker type A?
  • Walker type B? Or a
  • Walker PLUS?

To figure it out EASILY, keep reading….

A) Are you Walker type A?

  1. Your main exercise is walking.
  2. You walk mostly on flat surfaces (like treadmills or sidewalks or flat trails)
  3. You are only interested in the number of steps (or miles) you walk each day
  4. You are NOT really that interested in calories burned, you are just tracking steps per day / miles per day.

If this is you, a step counter or pedometer will give you the basic feedback you are looking for. The pedometer I like best is shown here.  It will help reach your goal of 10,000 or more steps each day. I have used this pedometer for years and it is a great basic no frills low cost pedometer.

B) Are you WALKER type B?

  1. Your main exercise is still walking (just like Walker A above)
  2. But you don’t just walk on flat surfaces. You also walk on uneven surfaces and change elevation. You might hike up and down hills or change elevation when you walk outside or on a treadmill.
  3. You also do some stair climbing or climb floors instead of taking the elevator /escalator.
  4. You like to track steps or miles like Walker A (but you also would like to see the stats on how many floors or hills you climb each day)
  5. You want a personal fitness tracker that tracks all your movement, not just steps / miles
  6. You like to track your stats online (daily and over time)
  7. You have learned that SLEEP is very important to helping you lose weight and be healthy and you want a personal fitness tracker that tells you just how well you sleep each night
  8. You like to see a rough estimate of your calories burned
  9. You would like to interact socially with other fitness minded / weight loss oriented folks like you so you can get encouragement and motivation and even a little friendly competition! ;)

If you answer yes, to most of the questions above, then you will probably want a FitBit.

Because a FitBit not only tracks your steps like a pedometer, the Fitbit Ultra also includes an altimeter to track how many floors or hills you climb throughout the day. And it monitors your sleep at night and sleep is very important to weight loss and weight maintenance.

The FitBit does track calories but keep in mind these are estimates based on your height, weight, your steps PLUS your individual data entry of workouts that are not walking related. So if you do want a more accurate calorie measure and you are not a WALKER ONLY you may not want a FitBit (unless you don’t mind manually entering all non-walking exercise – like yoga, rock climbing, aerobic dance, biking, weight lifting, etc).

C) Are you a “WALKER Plus? 

A Walker Plus means that you like walking and you want to track your steps and miles but you also do other workouts.

  • You walk for exercise but you also other exercise besides walking
  • You also do other workouts that do not involve walking – for example: jogging / running, yoga, lifting weights, biking, rock climbing, aerobic dance, zumba, tai chi, etc. etc.
  • You want to know the REAL accurate number of calories you are burning each day
  • You want to track your sleep (because of its importance to your weight loss and well being)
  • You want to know more than just the number of steps you have walked each day. You want a personal fitness tracker that measures how hard you are really working out (your exertion level). Because if you really go for the burn in your workout, a pedometer or FitBit won’t show it, but a Bodymedia Fit will.
  • You like to see your daily stats and your historical statistical data to motivate you and keep you on track
  • You may want to interact socially with other folks who are working out

So you need to ask yourself the following before you buy a Pedometer vs FitBit vs Bodymedia vs Bodybugg

  • What kind of workouts do you do (or think you will be doing in the future?) If you are planning to lose weight and keep it off for good (like I did) than consider getting a personal fitness tracker that will grow with you over time.
  • Are you more concerned with just counting steps? (Pedometer or FitBit)
  • Or do you want to know your REAL accurate calorie burn + your steps + your sleep quality + more? (Bodymedia)

Ideally, you will probably want to get a personal fitness tracker or tool that will last for several years. If it costs $200 divide that by the expected lifespan of the device. If you think you’ll use it for five years that’s only $40 a year. You probably spend more on that at your local coffee shop!

Here is a handy way to see the differences between Heart Rate Monitors, Pedometers, Accelerometers (like the FitBit) and Multi-Sensor Body Monitors (like the BodyMedia and Bodybugg)

(This chart makes it easy to see the FitBit vs BodyMedia vs Bodybugg differences)

As you evaluate various fitness and weight loss tools I hope you take a real good look at the Bodymedia Fit armband. There’s a reason why everyone is talking about it and why Jillian Michaels of Biggest Loser fame endorses it. You can check out the Bodymedia Fit here. It may be the all-in-one fitness and weight loss help you’ve been looking for.

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  1. Fitbit vs Bodybugg vs Bodymedia

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah March 31, 2012 at 8:28 am

Thanks for this! My husband got me a BodyMedia yesterday for my birthday even though I had a fitbit on my wish list. I wasn’t sure that the BM was right but I’m definitely more interested in exercises that aren’t just walking. Thanks! :)


Jana April 16, 2012 at 9:11 am

Sarah –

That is so cool that you got a bodymedia.

I love BOTH my Fitbit and my BodyMedia – they are both great and I wear them both 24/7

I am such a fitness gear nerd! But the truth is…the gadgets keep me moving and motivated – so I keep wearing them.

Plus I love competing with my husband on steps and calorie burn. And now my sister and her husband are wearing bodymedia too…so we compare our stats long distance (they live in another state)

I hope you enjoy your bodymedia as much as we all do.

btw…I like your blog!



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