Second Week with the Biggest Loser SlimCoach

While our first week with the Biggest Loser SlimCoach went fairly smoothly, and our learning period was easy and quick, once we entered into week two it seemed like the issues began.

Biggest Loser SlimCoach Literally on the eighth day that we owned our SlimCoach - so just after we finished our one week review - the unit died. It would no longer charge up properly. We tried charging it both from our PC and from the wall. Neither one worked. We contacted customer service and after over an hour they agreed that the unit was dead. They would send us a new one in four days. Luckily we had bought our SlimCoach from Amazon, so instead the next morning reported to Amazon that our unit was defective, and they planned to get us a new unit by the very next day. So that's definitely a strong vote in favor of buying units through Amazon.

The new unit arrived the following day, and there was no problem at all connecting the new device to our existing account. So we didn't lose the information we'd set up through the first week. However, we now had two full days of no recorded activity. One day was the day where the unit died. The next day was the day where the unit was being delivered. So we had two days of known activity - but no way to enter it into the system.

This alerted us to a fairly annoying problem. If you ever have any sort of workout where you do not have the device on hand, you're completely out of luck. There is absolutely NO way to manually enter calorie burn information into the system. If the SlimCoach device doesn't know about it, it never happened. So what if you don't have a heart rate monitor and you go kayaking for three hours? No record at all. What if your SlimCoach power dies while you're starting a ten mile hike? No record. This concerns me a lot. There should always be a way to keep the records well maintained, for this to work as a long term device.

I'd mentioned that on day 8 we were christened a "snail" and that this seemed unreasonable. We did find that on day 9 that finally updated and set us as a rabbit. So that at least is good, that it pays attention to what you are doing. However, why be a snail to start if we never did snail-like activities? Also, now that we were "stagnant" for two days (according to its records) our PI and stars and other rankings all plummeted, due to their device's failures. Again there should be some way to account for mechanical issues.

The goals never updated as we "proved" to the system that we were capable of doing much higher workouts than it set for us. We re-saved the goals. No change. We changed our goal to just be "fit" - it did change when we did that. Then we changed our goals BACK to losing weight, with everything else being the same. Voila! Now we had new goals. However, it set those new goals across our entire account. That is, suddenly our week 1 period was seen to be "inferior" and we lost stars and points. We also got a "failure" notice for failing at our old goals because we changed them. There seems to be some work to be done here. We should be able to ramp up our goals without being called a failure and without being penalized for previous weeks.

The next part is a little tricky to explain. Each person has a BMR - an amount of calories that their body burns simply by existing. A heavy person burns more calories than a light person does, because they have more body to support. So, just to make up some numbers for simplicity sake, let's say a 300 pound person burns 3000 calories just for existing. Let's say a 200 pound person burns 2000 calories. When the SlimCoach does their charts, they look at your BMR and then add onto that the number of extra calories you have to burn to meet your weight loss goals. So far so good. But when they do their chart of how you'll do over time, they aren't logical about it. They take that initial 300 pound BMR rate - and then they just use that same BMR rate for the entire period of weight loss. So even if in the end you should weigh 200 pounds, they still have you using the initial 300 pound BMR rate. That number should be adjusting all the way along for the new weight you would be like.

Also, the system simply tells you to "work out 1 hour" or whatever in a given day. There's no guidance at all on working out at X level or Y level, at X heart rate or Y heart rate, or X group of muscles or Y group of muscles. For this being a "weight loss coach" the information is fairly vague.

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