How the BodyMedia Fit Works

How can a sensor on an armband help you lose weight?
How can a sensor on an armband help you lose weight?
Courtesy BodyMedia

Come closer, I have a secret to share with you. It's the secret to losing weight. This secret has made people millions of dollars, and I'm going to give it away for free. Ready? You need to burn more calories than you consume. That doesn't mean starving yourself -- that can lead to more problems and your body will respond by slowing down and conserving calories. It just means you have to balance what you eat with your activity levels. Simple, right?

Many of us don't find it that easy. It can feel like a lot of work to keep track of everything you eat and do to make sure you stay on track with fitness goals. But while some of us see that as an obstacle, others view it as an opportunity. The people over at BodyMedia decided to take a crack at making it easier to see what progress -- or lack thereof -- we're making on a day-to-day basis.

The company developed a product called the BodyMedia FIT. It's not easy to categorize the FIT -- it's a device worn on an armband that uses an array of sensors to track how many calories you burn, the types of activities you do and even how much sleep you get each night. You synchronize the FIT with a computer to get a graphical representation of your activity, making it easier to see if you're sticking to the plan or getting a little lazy.

The company also got into the smartphone app game -- you can download a free app that lets you get a real-time look at your daily caloric burn as well as keep track of the foods you're eating. And it's not just about tracking and plotting data points -- in 2012, BodyMedia announced a partnership with IBM in which the two companies developed algorithms designed to give each user a personalized fitness feedback loop.

How can a little armband do so much?