Which Calorie Counter Is Worth Your Money? Compare the bodybugg, Jillian Michaels 360, Slim Coach, and Nike Plus Fuel Band

 

As a personal trainer, I was ecstatic when the bodybugg calorie counting device first came on the scene.  It’s been almost a decade now and large companies are now investing their money in creating their own.  I have seen these devices work first hand.  Heck, I’m even wearing mine as I write this article!

Are Calorie Counting Devices Worth Your Money?

YES, yes, and yes!  They may not match your attire, but they will make you thin if you use them along with a calorie tracking system!  When they first came on the market I was worried that they would put many personal trainers out of business.  Lucky for me, people need others to keep them motivated!

Don’t be fooled, these devices aren’t just for losing weight.  They have also helped many of my clients gain muscle.  For those of you who have extremely high metabolisms, this device will help you gauge how many calories you are burning.  Once you know that number, you can tailor your calorie intake to gain muscle.  Next, workout like the hulk and you’ll be on your way to a ripped physique!

 

A Look At The Biggest Calorie Counting Devices On The Market

BodyBugg 

Check out the bodybugg® systemOne the most recognized brands in Health and Fitness Tracking, the bodybugg calorie management system is a proven solution in weight loss management. The bodybugg system works by keeping an accurate daily record of calories consumed vs. burned making it easier to stay informed, make decisions and more effectively manage your weight.

What does it do?The bodybugg system includes sleek wearable devices that are complemented by a user-friendly web based program. Plus, with the bodybuggSP™ system, you can get real-time access to your daily activity through your smartphone* (Android™ and iPhone).

Additional benefits & features• Uses specialized sensors to track calories burned
• Manages calories consumed via a web based program (FREE for 6 months with initial purchase)
• Tracks your steps with a built-in pedometer
• PC and Mac compatible
• Runs on a rechargeable battery

The Bodybugg Sells for $139.00, without the digital display (watch).  However, I suggest buying the bundle package. ($188.00)  The watch is what makes this piece of equipment so great!   It comes with a 6 month online member ship.  After that is finished, it’s roughly $12.00 per month (if you pay monthly).

Jillian Michaels Body 360 Weight Loss Navigator 

      

Look Familiar???  That’s because this is the same company that produces the Bodybugg!  Body media is reaching all the fitness platforms to sell their product.

The BodyMedia FIT Armband automatically tracks the calories burned during your daily activities and monitors the quality of your sleep, an important factor in weight loss. The information tracked can easily be managed with the *online Activity Manager. Add in the easy-to-use food log and you have the information you need to improve your weight loss.

My 360° Weight Loss Navigator program is the ULTIMATE weight-loss system. The program is a total wellness solution designed to get you in the best shape of your life! My tough-as-nails approach combined with BodyMedia FIT technology will give you everything you need to lose weight and keep it off. 

Armband requires active subscription–$6/ week billed quarterly. Purchase includes 30 days FREE. 

Price:  $ 179.99

* Keep in mind that the bodybugg comes with 6 months free online.  It also comes with a watch for $8.00 more then the price of the 360.  Love you Jillian but if we are looking to make the most out of our money then we’ll opt for the other version.  

Get The Biggest Loser® SLIMCOACH™ — the same system used by the trainers and contestants on NBC’s hit show The Biggest Loser®. Like the contestants, your daily goal is to turn the Health Circle red to green. With a simple touch, it shows where you are and where you need to be. The SLIMCOACH™ helps to put you on the right track and keep you there to reach your goals.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • The Biggest Loser® SLIMCOACH™
  • 1 year subscription
  • Owner’s manual

PRODUCT FEATURES

  • Senses, tracks, and analyzes your movements in real time
    To help you reach your fitness goals. Monitors your caloric balance to help you make good decisions.
  • Personal online dashboard
    Helps track your progress.
  • Provides real-time feedback
    With the push of a button — like having a Biggest Loser® trainer at your side all day long.
  • 1-year membership to the MYTRAK® online system
    Includes the MYTRAK online health community, interactive graphs displaying your progress, a dynamic lifestyle rating system and daily status of steps taken and distance traveled.
  • Also includes daily calories burned vs. daily target summaries, monthly energy expenditure, predicted health benefit and heart activity summaries, an interactive goal summary and prediction page and access to a nutrition planning and monitoring system
  • Syncs with coded Polar WearLink heart rate monitor
    To monitor activities such as yoga, swimming, cycling and more (heart rate monitor not included). Your favorite activities are used to calculate the time required to go green.
  • Clips to your side or pocket
    For easy access.
  • USB cable
    Allows a simple connection to your PC or Mac (source).

The Slim Coach Costs 129.99.  It also comes with a full year of the online tracking system.

So what makes the slim coach different from the other products?  Unlike the bodybugg and Jillian Michaels 360 (body media), it can track your heart rate (with a HR strap), it speaks to you, you don’t need to wear it on your arm.  There is no need for a watch, you can get all your info from this compact “iphone looking” device.  

  • Whole Body Energy Analysis
  • Movement Intensity Analysis
  • Movement Type Analysis
  • Movement Duration Analysis
  • Heart Activity vs.
    Body Motion Analysis

Listed above are the things that the Slim Coach takes into account to track your calories burned.  In comparison to the bodybugg, I didn’t see anything that tracks the heat of your body.  That was how the bugg was so accurate.  I have my doubts about this device only because I am not clear on how it comes up with it’s numbers.  Is it enough to use hear rate, and an activity sensors?

 

Nike Plus Fuel Band 

This stylish bracelet may have the market cornered based souly on design.

How Nike Fuel Band Works

*Tracks Calories Burned

*Tracks Steps

*Has an app to view progress and calories

*Tracking device online for calorie intake

Using this band you will be able to set your daily goal and it keeps track. Once you reach that goal the calorie bar turns green. This band connects with your computer via USB port or Syncs over WIFI. If you use the App which seems to be for iOS you get more details and they say it’s  good motivator.

It costs 149$ and Pre-orders available in limited sizes and quantities from 1/19 to 2/19.  Arrives in-home on launch day, Feb 22 (source).

   All in all after researching all of these devices, I’m still sticking with my Bodybugg.  It may not be the most stylish but it appears to be the most accurate.  If I purchase these other devices later, I will be sure to write a personalized review on my findings!  If you know others that are interested in calorie tracking devices, be sure to share this fitness tip / article with them!

Adria Ali

Comments

  1. Markina says

    Which bodybugg model do you have. Can you use the v3 without the wrist display? If so, how does that work? Thanks!

  2. says

    I have the V3 I believe. Yes, you can use it without the display. If you don’t have the watch then you must login to the computer to see your stats online.

  3. Rebeca says

    I purchased the BodyMedia Link armband. I know it is from the same company as the bodybugg. Do you still recommend the bodybugg over the bodymedia?

  4. says

    Hello and thanks for writing in! The only reason I recommended the bodybugg over the body media was based on price. They are essentially the same company and brand. Hope this clears things up!

  5. Stacy says

    I teach a strength traing class, and I am looking for something that displays right away the calorie burn. I also would like to use it for personal reasons as well. Body bUgg is your recomendation with the wrist strap?

  6. LYM says

    I have been a BodyBugg user for going on 4 years, and I just recently took the chance to “down sizing” to the Nike+Fuelband because, in all honesty, 4 years of wearing a band around my arm has become a little old. Today is my first full day of wearing the Nike+Fuelband, and I am liking it minus the calorie counter part. On a usual work day for me (as a physical therapist assistant), I am at around 1000 to 1100 calorie burn by lunch time. My Nike+Fuelband states I was at a 465 calorie burn at noon! I read in a forum for the Nike+Fuelband that the band takes into account your BMR, but I do not agree. I know BodyBugg adds your BMR into your overall calorie burn throughout the day, hence a 1000 to 1100 calorie burn by noon. I wake up at 6 a.m. every day, and when I put on my BodyBugg, it will state I am already at a 300 to 400 calorie burn due to my BMR while sleeping for 6 hours (since it resets at midnight). My Nike+Fuelband said I had burned 0 to 20 calories upon putting it on at 6 a.m. Steps appear to be accurate on the Nike+Fuelband (compared to my usual count on my BodyBugg). Also, the BodyBugg display watch lets you see how many minute of activity you have; the Nike+Fuelband does not (have to plug it into your compute to see that statistic). This is slightly annoying due to the fact I have been on Weight Watchers the past few months, and minutes of activity are more important to Weight Watchers than calories burned. I’ll give the Nike+Fuelband a little more time. Maybe it is just different, and I am use to my “old ways” of the BodyBugg.

  7. says

    Lym,

    Thank you for writing in!! I liked all your input about the Nike fuel band! The comparison is great and I agree that the bodybugg arm band gets old. I have a feeling that the nike fuel band will eventually make a watch or some sort of app to go with the band so they can sync. As for the night calorie burning, the bodybugg takes into account 4 different variables while you sleep and while you are awake. I always wear mine to bed because your resting rate will be higher if your activity level was high during the day. This is called “after burn.” Therefore wearing the device at night is the best way to get a true reading.

    Please write back in to the site after you have your final opinion on the Nike Fuel Band. Since they are sold out in a lot of places this info could help people decide if they really want one before they get a chance to buy one.

    Adria

  8. Tiffany says

    I like to swim so the slimcoach seems attractive to me since from what I can tell you can wear the heart monitor while swimming. However, most the reviews like yours prefer the bodybugg. Is there a way I could combine a heart monitor to help me determine calories burned during swimming and add that to what the bodybugg says I have burned?

  9. says

    Tiffany,

    The bodybugg has a feature on the computer program that allows you to input activity that you have done while not wearing the band. You type in the activity, the length of time, and the intensity. It then calculates the calories you burned for you based on your height, and weight. To my knowledge you can’t combine a heart monitor with the BB yet. However, I am sure that will be their next step! ;)

    Hope this info helps you determine which product to buy!

    Adria

  10. Amy says

    Hi! Thanks sooo much for writing this article and seeming to be so accessible (you actually respond to your posts! Awesome!). I have a question that has been plaguing me for weeks. I have purchased and am using the Nike + Fuelband. It shows that I burn upwards of 1700 calories some days. When I am figuring what I need to eat, am I supposed to just take into acct. that number (the 1700) or do I also need to figure in the aprox. 1800 calories I burn according to my BMR or RMR? So, basically my question is am I burning only 1700 calories a day or am I burning 3500 calories a day? If you could help with this I would appreciate it! I’ve not found anyone I know that can give me a straight answer on this. I’m trying to loose weight and need to cut 500 calories a day to loose my pound a week at least. Thanks!!!

  11. says

    Amy,

    Thank you soooo much for the awesome compliment! Yes, I try to answer questions from my readers. If they have time to read my site then I have time to help them with their fitness questions and concerns.

    Now to your question, If the Nike Fuel Band says you are burning 1700 calories per day (roughly) then you need to base your calorie intake on that. If you want to lose 1 pound per week then you should be “saving” 500 calories per day (eating 500 less calories then you burn).

    If a 500 calorie deficit is too much of a cut for you, then try 300 – 400 calories. It’s important not to starve. Increase your protein levels and veggie intake to feel fuller.

    I hope this cleared things up for you.

    Adria

  12. Tammy says

    I need to lose weight and have been researching the BodyBugg / BodyFit devices to assist in my weight loss goals. After researching online, I have concerns if those devices will accurately show my calories burned when I take my regular classes at the YMCA–classes such as pilates, yoga, spartacus, and weight lifting. I believe that my metatbolism has slowed considerably. Also, do you know if personal information such as gender, age, and weight can be entered in these devices since this information plays a part in determining calories burned? Thanks in advance for your response and for this compilation of information!

  13. says

    Nancy,

    I have not yet reviewed the fit bit. Although from what I know of the gadget, it’s not as accurate as things like the bodybugg because it doesn’t take into account body heat temperature (a sign of how many calories you are burning).

  14. says

    Tammy,

    The Bodybugg is very accurate. I have had every version of this gadget since it’s release. I wear it all the time, even to bed (because you actually burn calories in your sleep). It will accurately show your calories burned in all of you classes. However, you might be very surprised. People assume that they are burning more calories then they really are.

    You do enter your weight, height, gender and age into the system that goes with the bodybugg. There are 4 sensors on the bug, they take into account heat, moisture, movement, and it has a built in pedometer.

    In my opinion it’s still the best calorie counting device on the market!

    Hope this helped,
    Adria

  15. Healthy_p says

    Hi guys!!

    I love all this info!
    I eat really clean (follow paleo diet) I work out 5 days a week (cardio, weights, strength training) Im in a good shape, but there are
    areas in every women’s body that don’t seemed to get any slimmer!! (thighs, butt and below belly buttom)
    My Hight is 5″1 and I’m 35y. and weight 110 pounds.
    I will love to slim down and get those areas smaller and look cut, without looking super skinny. Do you think the bodybugg is the right option for me?
    Any suggestions?
    Thank you so much for your time. :)

  16. Ana says

    Hello, Adria.

    I’m from Portugal and I’d like to know if I can use the BodyBugg system to enter the calories I’ve consume. The counter I guess I can by it from e-bay.

    Thanks for reply.

    Regards,
    Ana

  17. says

    You should be able to use the bodybugg in your area since it run off of the computer / internet. You must have those 2 things for it to work correctly. I think the Bodybugg is an amazing tool and will work for EVERYONE if done correctly. If you end up purchasing it and you need some extra advice I am actually certified in the Bodybugg from the company (I do not make any money for promoting it on the site).

  18. says

    Well it seems you have the diet part down! Bravo on doing the paleo. Can you fill me in on what your workout routine is??? Once I know that, I can give you better advice.

  19. Healthy_p says

    Hi Adreeza,
    Well I do body pump Mondays, rest Tuesday’s, track work out Wednesday, body sculpting Thursday (this is mainly free weights, push ups, Launches etc.), and Friday I do yoga.
    Most Saturdays I run and Sunday is a rest day.
    I work full time as well, which means that I’m pretty active all day.
    Any advice?
    Thank you for your time.

  20. says

    Healthy_p,

    Going off what you’ve already told me in your recent comments, my hunch is that you should find an app or an online tracker to find out how many calories you are eating. While I love the paleo, I know that people don’t track calories or fat intake. Everyone is different. Personally, from my own experience, I have noticed that some of my clients don’t do well with diets that are high in fat (no matter what kind of fat it is). While eating “good fats” is definitely a PLUS, I have them track what they are eating and keep their fat intake to around 35-40 grams per day.

    Another issue could be the calories. Again, I know what the paleo diet recommends but if you are looking to get leaner then you must fine tune your eating to what works best for your body. You will only know what works best if you are tracking it in some way.

    The bodybugg gave me a way to watch the calories I was burning verses the calories I was intaking. Also the fat and proteins.

    I hope this helps. Contact me again if you have more questions :)

  21. Healthy_p says

    Hi,

    Ok, so you really think the bodybugg will be the best alternative for me vs all the other tools out there?

    I’m supper committed when I choose to do something, I’m the all or nothing type of person, and I agree, it could be that the paleo Is not making me fat but is not making me lean eather.

    If I buy the bodybugg all the info on how many calories do I need to lose vs the calories that I’m eating etc… Is on the device or in a website?

    It looks a little confusing, do you offer support when you sell the bodybugg? Do you think I need to buy the watch as well?

    Thank you so much, you have being as far the best blogger ever that really follows up with post helping people. :)

  22. Diane says

    I luv my bodybugg and have been a faithful user for over 2 years and glad you did the comparison to the Slimcoach as I was considering “upgrading”. It sounds like I need to stick with what I have.
    I would love it if BB made a strap that was more durable. oh, and howabout making it in gray or nude. It would be nice if i didn’t have to try and hide it when dressing up and going out to somewhere besides the gym and errands. Zebra stripes, not happening.

  23. karen says

    HI,
    I also have used the bodybugg for years with excellent success. I believe it is extremly accurate with one exception,cycling. I have heard putting it on your calf muscle during spinning and cycling for more accurate calorie burn. I have tried it but sometimes it slips off. Have you encountered the same thing? My bodybugg has died and I belong to jillian michaels online program so I just purchased the 360 armband. I was wondering if you can use the armband and wear a heartrate monitor at the same time? I don’t think it would have a compatability issue but I’m not sure. The body media does’nt have a wrist band so I can wear the heart rate monitor wrist band to compare the calorie burn to what the body media states for cycling, spinning and swimming. Do you know if they can be worn at the same time?

  24. says

    Karen,

    I don’t see why you couldn’t wear both (bugg and heart rate monitor). I don’t think they would conflict with one another.

    I have never hear of putting the bugg on your claf however, I have heard of putting it on your thigh. I don’t know if this would work for spinning because of the seat but you could try it out. If you do, please write in and let everyone know if it worked!!

    Thanks For Reading,
    Adria

  25. Melissa says

    Hi Adria,
    I purchased the BodyMedia and with activity monitor program and love it so far. I was concerned the Bodymedia may not fully capture my Realryder spin workouts and weight lifting so also purchased a Polar FT60 heart rate monitor with Polar FlowLink. This is the model my personal trainer recommended because of its ability to transfer data to polarpersonaltrainer.com. I haven’t taken the Polar hrm out of the box yet, because I just read the BodyMedia is compatible with Garmin heart rate monitors. Can you tell me if BodyMedia is compatible with all heart rate monitors, especially Polar?

    Thanks,
    Melissa

  26. Sarah says

    So glad I found your site! I’m an old athlete who’s gone bad. 50# bad. I’m still a competitive tourney playing tennis player at 46, but need to lose this weight. I’ve done everything, but I like the idea of the body bugg. I think I’ll go with the more expensive version simply because it sync’s to the iPhone. I didn’t see you mention that, but that’s very helpful to me!

    Thanks for your analysis, I’m bookmarking your site.
    Sarah

  27. Rowena says

    I am seriously checking out all the devices you have reviewed and your recommendation has sealed my purchase decision.

    I am a 55 year old female that is not encumbered with weight issues, but I need the device for motivation. With aging comes the loss of muscle mass, so I’m looking for a tool to put fire in my daily routine. I do not want to have to key in everything I eat, but need to see what calories I am burning, in turn this will totally motivate what I do eat. I do weight training, with cardio (running via treadmill as well as trail running).

    Again, thank you SO much for your diligence to this blog. I’ve never seen any blog that has been so informative. Kudos for your dedication.

  28. says

    Hey Sarah!

    I’m so glad you found the site also! I have mentioned the bodybugg syncing to the iphone but it’s in a separate article. There are 3 or 4 articles that I have written about various topics on the bugg so if you would like to read more type it in the search column (upper right hand corner) and read away!!

    Thanks Again,
    Adria

  29. says

    I too own a bodybugg. It does do what it is supposed to do, but I am now considering the bodymedia core for a few reasons.
    Reason #1 the smaller size and the lighter color are less obvious.
    Reason#2 the website seems more appealing in the fact you can easily find your favorite foods. I had problems with the data base with the bodybugg so it became too much of a job.
    Reason #3 and the biggest reason, when Apple updated to Safari5 I could not get my bugg to sync for almost 6 months because support could not fix the problem. They did add months onto my subscription but it was the point i only had the bugg for 4 months.
    Have you had a chance to check out the CORE? I don’t feel I need to add Jillian to it for the added expense so the subscription would be 6.95 a month about $5 more than the bugg for the year.

  30. Christen says

    Hi Adria,
    I was in a slump for about 3 years after losing my only sibling. I was on different medications for anxiety and depression. I gained over 80lbs but I have always been active and a healthy weight until all that. I gained over 80lbs!!! To get back in good mental health I started fostering children. After taking a child to therapy, I was diagnosed myself with adult ADD. The medications for that are various stimulants. I started taking one regularly in August and my life has changed in crazy ways! I’m back to being myself, I’m off all other medication and I started Mixed Martial Arts three times a week. I have lost 44 lbs so far. My concern is that the medication is revving my metabolism up and it zaps my appetite. I have to eat before I take the meds and after they wear off in the evening. I want to choose my foods carefully because I’m not eating like I should. Which of these do you think would be the best bet? I like the idea of the Nike Fuel Band because of its size. I like the idea of the body bugg because it seems more accurate. I don’t like that there is a monthly fee to use the software after you get hooked! Also, I get thrown, kicked, shoved, swept off my feet and every other kind of martial arts moves. Which would be the best for this activity? I always have bruises on my triceps and forearms. Will these devices stay in place? Sorry for the long post!
    Thanks,
    Christen

  31. says

    Christen,

    I am so sorry to hear about you losing a family member and your struggle with ADD. I too have had my own struggles with weight and I know that weight gain isn’t always JUST about eating and exercise.

    With that being said, I believe that the bodybugg or body media (they are actually the same company) are the most accurate. You will also notice that on shows like “The Biggest Loser,” They move the Bodybugg to their upper thigh (under their clothes). I was thinking that would be a smart thing to do when you are take your classes so that it doesn’t get hit and broken. They do have a fee but they are worth it!! You can get a cheaper rate per month if you pay for the whole year up front.

    Thank You for writing in! We all appreciate you sharing your story with us. Congratulations on your weight loss thus far!! If you need more help feel free to contact us!

  32. Lela says

    Christen,
    I have owned a HR monitor in the past and enjoy it’s ability to keep such an accurate measurement while I’m working out. I have not owned a bodybugg but I am interested in a device with 24 hour tracking. I’m hesitant with the BB because I don’t fully understand how it can be so accurate without monitoring my HR. I see the slimcoach has the capability of connecting to a HR monitor but it has nearly horrible reviews due to it’s website.
    Do you have any suggestions for products that offer a 24 hour monitoring with the accuracy of a HR monitor? I like the online dietary options with the BB as well. I’m just hesitant to commit I guess.
    Thanks, Lela

  33. Tipy says

    I am looking for a calories burned vs. calories consumed monitor that doesn’t require use of a computer. What would you recommend?

  34. says

    Well that’s a hard one. I think a pretty nice pedometer would have the ability to calculate calories burned and not require a computer. However, I don’t think that is the most accurate option.

    Thank You For Writing In!
    Adria

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