My Bod Pod Experience

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I’ve been exercising lately, and I was getting frustrated with not knowing what my approximate daily caloric expenditure was per day. How do I know how many calories I really need to eat or burn every day? I tend to exercise a decent amount, and I wanted to make sure I was eating enough (or not too much) to achieve my fitness goals.

I went to Albany Medical Center for a Bod Pod test. A Bod Pod uses air displacement to check your resting metabolic rate, and an estimate of daily energy expenditure.

In order for the Bod Pod to get an accurate reading, you cannot eat or drink anything at least 2 hours before testing. I woke up early, had some whey protein, and then went about my day. I had scheduled my appointment for late morning, and had received an auto-confirm call a few days earlier from Albany Med with the time and date.

This is located in Albany Med’s Endocrinology/Metabolic/Diabetic department on 25 Hacket Blvd. When you first walk into the building, it just seems like you’re walking into a diabetes management clinic (in case you get worried that you’re in the wrong place, you’re not). There was a long line, and it took a while to get up there.
Once I made it to the desk a few minutes after my scheduled appointment time (yes, that’s how long the wait was), they informed me that no one scheduled the Bod Pod calendar with the technician’s calendar, so they were still waiting for the Bod Pod to warm up and calibrate, which takes about 45 minutes. I was fairly upset at this news, because I’d scheduled my morning around the Bod Pod test, and was REALLY freaking hungry by the time I’d gotten in. They didn’t call to let me know that they were running late even though they had my phone number, and the tech was fairly unapologetic about it at first “Well, you can reschedule and cancel it now or wait 20 or so minutes.”. The receptionist was rather apologetic and mentioned that it was unprofessional, yet seems to happen a lot. Don’t worry, they still charged me the $60 to get tested, though.

20 minutes turned into 40 (which seems like eons when all you’ve  was some whey protein and water four hours earlier), and then I was eventually called in to the Bod Pod room and to change. It’s just one small office room (pictured above). You put on your swimsuit and a swim cap (that they oh-so-generously provide) and step on the square scale on the left. Then you go in the Bod Pod, and it feels kind of like cabin pressure while the test is run. That’s about it. Nothing too fancy on the test subject’s end.

The technician was later a bit more apologetic after being fairly dismissive initially. She said she was upset by the scheduling error, and was telling her supervisors that it was a problem because this happens so often. The person who told me about her Bod Pod experience also said that she experienced a long delay/scheduling error, so it seems like this happens with some frequency.

My RMR was calculated at 1499. So if I just slept all day or laid in bed all day, then that is how many calories I would need to maintain my sexy physique.

So, I would recommend going to Albany Med’s Bod Pod if you would like to know exactly what your RMR is so you have a baseline idea. I was wondering if my metabolism was freakishly slow (it’s definitely not fast), so it was nice to have it checked so I have some inkling about how much I’m burning on a daily basis. HOWEVER, it turns out my measured $60 RMR was nearly identical to the one calculated by Calories Per Hour’s RMR calculator. For free. On the internet. In seconds. So if you aren’t as jazzed to know your own exact RMR, I’d save the $60 and time and just use the Calories Per Hour calculator.

At any rate, now that I have this info at hand, I have a better idea about how many calories per day I should eat.

3 comments
  1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I was thinking of doing this myself but I’m happy to know the internet calculators are close enough!

  2. amanda_ny said:

    The chamber looks kind of tiny- how long did you have to stay in the pod, and what did they estimate was the precision in your RMR? Did you get any results besides RMR? It looks pretty cool, and at least you know that you are a pretty normal calorie-expender. I hope you figure out how to achieve your fitness goals!

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