Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
There is a good percentage of the autism population that consists of children, teens and adults that have increased appetites due to medication side effects. This can result in rapid weight gain.
These medications are necessary for behavior and sleep issues, but most families do not want the dreaded weight gain that comes with the various choices of medicines.
My two teens on the autism spectrum are on the thin side, so weight gain is an option I have pursued. I have seen and read over the years how large and big a child, teen and adult on the autism spectrum can become when they are taking meds that increase their appetite.
Besides being the single parent of two teens on the autism spectrum I personally have dealt with eczema and asthma my entire life. Having turned fifty this year I have had some rosacea flareups and asthma issues that meant turning to Prednisone to treat these conditions. Prednisone is one of those medications that causes weight gain. Each time I have to take either a twelve or twenty-four day cycle of the steroid results in a five pound weight gain.
I had some blood tests prior to the big fiftieth birthday and was told by the Doctor to lose ten pounds and that I was pre-diabetes. I had started watching The Biggest Loser a few seasons ago, plus I am a member of the 24 Hour Fitness gym, which is profiled in the television show and all contestants wear the BodyBugg.
I bought a special training package at the gym and asked the trainer about the BodyBugg. It turned out he was wearing one and let me try it on for a few minutes to see how it felt. I was concerned about rashes due to my skin condition, but I did not notice any reaction on my skin and made the purchase at the gym.
The Bodybugg comes with a medium and large sized armband. I had the trainer open the box and show me how to get the BodyBugg device into the armband. You do need to sign up for an account online with a user name and fuly charge the device for several hours before you can start wearing it on your left arm.
" the bodybugg armband comes with a one-year warranty which begins the day you activate your armband."
The armband is to be worn on the left arm. It can be worn at all times, even when sleeping, but not when taking a shower or bath or when swimming. The box has a USB cable provided and the system can be used with a Mac or PC. Tech support has been very helpful for me the few times I have called. The purchase includes a six month subscription to the website program.
You do need to access the site for the data. The price options once that term is up are:
Month-to-month recurring ($9.95)
6 months ($49.95)
12 months ($79.95)
I did receive a two month extension from technical support. At the home page after you enter your ID and password your expiration date will be listed on the home page.
The BodyBugg has tutorials to help guide the user in how to use the calorie management program. The device gathers the information from your skin on how many calories you have burned, steps taken and the amount of time you have been physically active.
There are goals to set for how many calories you need to consume, burn, steps taken and time being physically active. I have now had my BodyBugg for fifteen weeks. My goals are 12,500 steps, 5.5 hours active, 2050 calories consumed and 2550 calories burned. There needs to be at least a 500 calorie deficit in order to lose any weight as a pound is 3500 calories.
There are charts that show from a specified period of time what your average steps were, the activity levels, weight and body fat changes and for nutrition the protein, fat and carbs percentages.
The terms are all explained with video guides that show you how to use the site to set your goals, where to input the stats and how often to enter this data. I get weighed and measured at the gym and input that information on a monthly basis.
I personally do not follow the meal plans they have on the site and enter my meals into the system. Most of the frozen entrees and canned goods are already in the system, but I am now in the habit to save labels from all food items to make sure they are accurate.
This BodyBugg system helps in knowing how many calories you are consuming and takes note of the protein, carbs, total fat, cholesterol, sodium, fiber, saturated fat and sodium content on a daily basis and for snacks.
For anyone that likes charts, graphs and numbers this is fascinating information to comprehend. This helps understand where your calories are coming from and gives you feedback on your exercising, walking and physical activity levels. It is much more than just a pedometer telling you the number of steps taken.
I have also started taking a Zumba class, which thus far burns five hundred calories in one hour. A few hours the other day at the Zoo and I have taken over six thousand steps. A walk around the corner to fill up water bottles is five hundred steps roundtrip. Using the push mower in the lawn is also an activity that burns calories, as is vacuuming.
The website is not for children, but there is no mention that teens cannot wear a BodyBugg and get assistance with the online program from a caregiver. This gives you control on where your calories are coming from and how to stay active and maintain a comfortable weight so you stay healthy and less likely to develop diabetes or heart disease.
It is very exciting to find out throughout the day how many calories you are burning or have burned and what you need to fill the gap before the end of the day. I highly recommend the BodyBugg as a way to maintain weight or lose some pounds that were gained due to medication side effects.
The message I have now before inputting lunch
993 calories are left to burn! 1479 calories are left in your budget based on food log 33% complete.
so far today 1557 61%
so far today 571 28%
TARGET DEFICIT 500
so far today 986
BodyBuggis also available at Costco, 24 hour fitness clubs and online. I have been a walking advertisement for this system telling people at the grocery store, locker room and while out and about. People ask what this is on my arm and want to know more about it. There is no affiliate program, although I wish there was one. They are on facebook as well.
The BodyBugg helps you be in control of what you eat and how active you are on a daily basis. I find it to be the incentive I needed to lose the weight and learn more about fitness in the process. I am even in a challenge on the message board.
I purchased a few weeks ago the Digital Display, which is a watch that syncs with the BodyBugg and gives you the stats in real time for today and previous days. I can set the display to show me how many calories I burn while doing the treadmill and compare with the numbers on the machine. This sells for $99 but can be found on sale online. I paid $54 with no shipping. I bought the Bodybugg for $179 back in March. Other sale prices are $199 and regular price $249. I believe the Costco deal includes a full year online. The terms used online are BB for BodyBugg and DD for Digital Display.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about the BodyBugg. I am now focusing on losing bodyfat and maintaining my weight. I hardly even know that the Bodybugg is on my arm. I have not experienced any rashes and do move it around a bit on my arm so that it is not on the same spot constantly. I like to check the calories burned during a specific three hour period every day when I do go to the gym and run errands. I recently hit the goal I wanted to make by burning 1000 calories during that period just last week. My next goal is to try for 600 calories in a Zumba class.
Food Issues for Independent Autistic Adults
BodyBugg Refer A Friend Discount
BodyBugg User Guide
BodyBugg Message Board
Educational Autism Tips for Families 71 page resourceful ebook for families entering the school system with a recent autism diagnosis. Find out what issues take place over the course of a school day and meet these challenges head on.