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9/9/13 12:03 P

Actually, the BodyMedia is more than a pedometer/accelerometer. It measures galvanic skin response, skin temperature, and heat flux (over 5000 data poitns a minute) to (supposedly) provide accurate mesaurements of what my body is actually burning, NOT just an estimate!

Thank you for the information on the VO2Max testing though. I will DEFINITELY look into that!

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SP_COACH_DEAN SparkPoints: (115,961)
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9/8/13 3:57 P


I don't think you can directly compare the medgem and the bodygem because they measure different things. The medgem would be relatively accurate for estimating your resting metabolic rate, but it doesn't have any idea how much activity you do or how many extra calories that burns during the day. The bodygem armband is basically a pedometer/accelerometer that only measures your physical activity and doesn't know what your personal resting metabolic rate is. It just assumes it's "normal" for someone your size, gender and age, and uses that info to estimate your calorie expenditure. So, the two tools are really not measuring the same things, and you need both elements to get a total picture of your actual daily calorie expenditure.

I can't say whether you need to do either kind of testing, or which would be more useful for you. I would say that, if you want to get the most accurate picture of your real calorie burn from both resting metabolism and activity, you'll probably need to do some kind of testing that combines both approaches. $150.00 is quite a bit more than most gyms charge for the medgem service by itself (but maybe your doctor is offering other services, like followup testing or consultation if it turns out your resting metabolic rate is different from what would be expected). For that much money, you can probably find someone in your area who could provide a "top of the line" metabolic cart test combined with a VO2Max test done while you're exercising. This would give you more useful info, including your resting metabolic rate, your calorie burn at various heart rate levels during cardio exercise, and your anaerobic and aerobic thresholds, which (among other things) tells you the desired heart rate range for burning the maximum amount of fat as fuel during your exercise. You can check to see if there's someone in your area who offers that service commercially by googling "VO2Max testing" or resting metabolic rate testing. Many commercial training programs for runners and competitive athletes, or university athletic departments, over this service to the public.

But if it does turn out that your metabolism isn't operating as expected, you'll still need to figure out why and what to do about it, and that would be your doctor's job.

Hope this helps.

Coach Dean

MRSBUDRYZER SparkPoints: (14,964)
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9/8/13 2:28 P

Hi there, I also have a Body Media. Honestly, I think running a metabolic test is a waste. I've read all your posts and from what I can tell, you are not creating a large enough deficit.

You need to actually double that deficit. My daily numbers on weeks that I lose weight look like this:
and sometimes even

If my numbers look like this:
I would be maintaining/possibly gaining weight

I workout 6 days a week. I run/walk/eliptical/arc for an average of 40 minutes a day/4 miles.
I don't regularly strength train (working on that lol).

I am not an expert by any means, but, from what I are taking in too many calories/not burning enough off.

Try cutting back to where your BodyMedia deficit is over 1,000.

I think you should try lowering your caloric intake a bit. Add more vegetables to help keep you full...if you really, really need more food....well, ya gotta work it harder girl. emoticon

All my best to you!!!! You can message me at any time if you need to. emoticon

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
9/6/13 4:01 P

I just read the article, and in my personal and often pointless opinion (lol), this seems like a good tool if you've tried losing weight the standard way for a few months, and according to the math you SHOULD be losing weight but you're not, to see if there is another underlying issue that's preventing the weight loss. But I wouldn't bother spending the money unless I'd been doing everything right for a long period of time with no results, and suspected an abnormal metabolism (which isn't really as common as many would lead you to believe).

Edited by: MEGAPEEJ at: 9/6/2013 (16:01)
9/6/13 11:26 A

Becky, I will try it and see. As of this weigh in, I am up 2 pounds, despite a weekend of rock climbing, hiking, etc. So I'm willing to try anything.

Is there anyone who can answer the original question posited by this thread though? Is the MedGem RMR test any more accurate than the readings from my BodyMedia? Will it benefit me to spend $150 on it? Or am I getting as much (or more) information from the BodyMedia?


9/4/13 4:28 P

I would suggest you now run an experiment for the next 2 weeks.
Stay at 1500-1700 calories every day.
Do you see a weight loss of 1/2 to 1 pound weekly?
If you feel you retain water with high sodium intake; then be sure to keep sodium intake about 2000 mg or below---you want a true reading of your weight (not water changes)


9/4/13 1:22 P

At this point, I'm really just trying to figure out if the MedGem RMR test would be worth the $150 (plus whatever else the doctor tries to tack on once I've done the test and she wants me to buy her program). Does the MedGem test provide me with any more *accurate* information than what my Body Media provides? I am very hesitant to shell out more money for something that's only going to add to my frustration...

9/4/13 12:57 P

Well, I'm 33, 5'7" and I put in my goal as 1 pound weekly and I put in an average of 3200 calories burned weekly. I just double checked, and it now shows my target calorie range to be 1710-2060 - so a little lower than before, but still not a good bit higher than the 1200-1550 you stated.

My doctor told me I shouldn't be creating more than a 500-calorie per day deficit, which amounts to 1 pound a week. Moreover, according to my BodyMedia, my average daily calorie burn is 2700 calories. So even eating 1700, that's a 1000-calorie per day deficit, more than my doctor recommends (but not more than what's required to lose 2 pounds weekly). I've been averaging a calorie deficit of 700/day. Again, more than my doctor recommends, but not what SP considers to be unsafe.

I am so frustrated with the whole darn process right now. I get so many conflicting answers about what's right and what's wrong. Even from people who are experts...

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8/29/13 7:45 P

When I entered the following information, I got a calorie range of 1200-1550:
30 years old
2 pound weekly weight loss goal
3000 calories burned through planned exercise weekly

I know your situation may be somewhat different. I am not sure what is making your SP program give such a high calorie range? Can you check the info you entered to make sure it is correct.

While you may feel "starving" on 1200 calories---most people find they are satisfied on 1500 when selecting the correct type food: high fiber, high protein, fruits, veggies, whole grain, etc.


Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 8/29/2013 (19:47)
8/29/13 11:33 A

Oh and I suppose another non-scale victory is that, despite not seeing any measurable differences, I have had LOTS of people tell me that I'm looking more fit and healthy. So even though my clothes don't feel any different, I guess they're looking better on me? I'm not sure. Maybe it's just that I look happier because I like the way I feel when I'm maintaining healthy habits...

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8/29/13 11:31 A

I'm usually burning 3200+ calories a week and that's what SP says I should be eating based on that calorie burn and trying to lose a pound a week. Are the SP calculators wrong? Also, my BodyMedia is showing an average calorie deficit of 650-750 calories a day, which should equate to around a pound and a half a week loss.

When I was eating less than that, I was *starving* all the time and didn't see any changes in weight. Most of my friends and family members have lots of advice (of course) - several worried that I was over-training or undereating for my level of training; others advocated various fad diets or weight loss products; and a few thought I should be restricting down to ridiculously low levels (like 1200 calories/day). I tried to just smile and nod and move on. LOL I don't have anything that measures body fat percentage, but my waist and other measurements have not changed and my clothes seem to fit the same.

I have been looking for non-scale victories, and about the only one I've found is that I just feel better when I'm eating clean and exercising consistently. That is pretty much the only thing keeping me from just gorging on crap and sitting on my butt all evening anymore. LOL Even if I never lose another pound, I want to keep feeling this good, so I'm not giving up my plan. The one thing that I have been slacking on lately is tracking my food, but I was tracking religiously up until this month, when I just got frustrated with all the effort and no results. Although, I'm not eating differently between when I was tracking and now, so I'm not sure if it makes much of a difference. I know I need to get back to tracking regularly though, so that's one of my goals right now.

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8/29/13 11:07 A

1900-2100 calories would be weight maintenance for many women---even with your exercise plan. What happens when you are eating about 1500-1600 daily---does this bring about weight loss? Do you know if there has been any change in your % body fat? Are you clothes fitting more loose? Waist measurement decreasing??


Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 8/29/2013 (11:08)
8/29/13 10:53 A

I average between 1900-2100 calories a day (right where SP says I should based on my usual weekly calorie burn). Normally, I have a little more on the days I run (I usually add a protein bar on those days due to scheduling and a need to have some food but not too much before my run) and a little less on days I don't. I have tried eating less, and I have tried eating more (that one was tough because I try to stick with nutrient-dense foods and some days I just couldn't fit in much more!), to no avail.

I run 3 days a week, around 3-4 miles per day. And then I strength train or do yoga 3 days a week. And I have one rest day (usually Sunday, unless I have a race on Sunday). For 3 of the months of my plateau (April-June), I was running 3 days a week and doing boot camp 3 days a week. And I'll probably be heading back to a different boot camp next month.

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8/28/13 2:15 P

What's your typical calorie intake on most days?
What is your typical exercise program for most days?


8/28/13 11:58 A

I'm sorry, I should have specified that I have been in a plateau for about 5 months now. Based on the BodyMedia reports, I'm creating an average calorie deficit of around 650-750 calories a day - which should equal around a pound to a pound and a half loss a week - and I'm just not seeing the results. My doctor yesterday seemed to completely blow off the print outs from BodyMedia, showing those averages, claiming she just "doesn't understand how that system works." And she kept redirecting me to her program, which is why I feel like she has a conflict of interest, like others have pointed out.

Overall, I'm getting VERY frustrated with doctors. My primary care physician's solution to my plateau was to prescribe me an ampethamine-based appetite suppressant... AFTER I told her that I hated being on amphetamine-based medications and did NOT have a problem with overeating. Now this new doctor seems to be blowing off all of my current evidence for what I'm doing and just wants me to buy into her program. And I'm leery of spending money on something that won't give me any more information than I'm already getting.

I guess what I'm wondering is, how will knowing my RMR help me any more than knowing my total calorie burn for the day (which I would think sort of includes my RMR information, if I remove the calories burned from activity)? Is the MedGem test more accurate than the BodyMedia measurements? What (inexpensive) steps could I take next to help figure out this plateau?

At this point, I may just keep plugging away at my current program and hope for a breakthrough eventually.

Thanks for everyone's responses!

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8/27/13 8:45 P

Looks like you have already lost 80 pounds! WOO-HOO.

With the information you are currently getting---I assume you are creating a calorie deficit with your eating plan and exercise to bring about a 1-2 pound weekly weight loss. I assume you are still losing weight. If it "ain't" broke---I see no reason to fix it.

If, on the other hand, you have not been losing weight for months and you are getting frustrated---then further investigation may be necessary.

Your SP Registered Dietitian

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,105)
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8/27/13 8:29 P

You have made considerable inroads already so whatever you are doing is working. I would keep with that. "Knowing" what the results of this test are, is, IMHO, just an 'out-of-interest' thing, which for me would be waste of money, BECAUSE you are already making good inroads.

For me, IF I were going to spend my money on anything, it would be a getting a referral to a Registered Dietitian and taking printouts from your Nutrition Tracker and a record of your exercise with you so she can give more qualified input!

It sounds like your Dr might have a conflict of interest!


DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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8/27/13 6:34 P

If your doctor has a conflict of interest in recommending this test, I agree that you should be concerned, and have second thoughts. Are you experiencing a problem losing weight that makes you need to know this number, or are you doing fine (as your ticker would indicate) and just want to know for curiosity's sake?

I don't see any real value in this test if you're just wanting to know for knowledge's sake and don't have the money to spare.

8/27/13 5:41 P

So I just read this blog by Coach Nicole:

My doctor mentioned using the MedGem Metabolism Test recently. However, I am very hesitant to spend the money on this test. I already spent money on my BodyMedia, and it is supposed to accurately measure how many calories I'm burning throughout the day (resting, working, exercising, etc.). I wear my armband religiously, and so I feel that it is already providing me with the knowledge of how many calories I'm burning overall, so I'm just not sure what the benefit of knowing my RMR (resting metabolic rate) would be at this point.

I'd love it if Coach Nicole or another expert could tell me if there is some advantage to having the metabolic test done over just continuing to use my Body Media. I'm frustrated at the moment, because it seems like my doctor is more interested in selling her weight loss clinic and her method than in looking at what I actually have been doing on my own. I don't want to spend the money on the tests she wants if I'm already getting the accurate information I need from the BodyMedia (which I've already spent the money on).

Thanks in advance for your help!

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