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Body Comp at the Touch of a Button? That’s What This Wearable Promises

touch_black_right_2450kcalDo you know your body comp? Percentage of lean muscle? Fat? Unless you’ve worked with a personal trainer, have a fancy scale (and you know how we feel about the scale) or hopped in a Bod Pod recently, I’m going to bet you don’t know that number. I know I didn’t.

And, unlike pounds, body comp can tell you so much. It tells you how much of your body is muscle and how much is fat. And it’s a much better indicator of how you’re progressing toward your body goals (not your health or fitness though as you can obviously be healthy and fit within a wide range of sizes). So, if you’ve been picking up heavier things at the gym, it’ll show you those gains in measurable numbers. Or, if you’ve been cleaning up your diet, it’ll show you how you’re losing fat (and hopefully not muscle). Which can be hella motivating and helpful (waaay better than BMI).

And that’s exactly why the new TomTom Touch ($99) caught our eye. It has Body Composition Analysis (BCA) in a wearable for the first time! Plus, most of the stuff that’s common on fitness trackers today, like steps, calories burned, distance and sleep.

In order to take your body comp, you simply scroll through to the body comp icon, hold the main and only button on the tracker for about 15 to 20 seconds, and boom, BCA taken. From there, you sync your device, and read the results on the TomTom accompanying app or online interface. It’ll track your percentages over time, too. It couldn’t be simpler.

Now — like I mentioned before — I haven’t had my body comp taken in a super accurate format like a Bod Pod recently. So I can’t confirm how accurate the TomTom Touch reading is. And according to this article, it may be quite a few percentage points off. Which is a lot. But, it does seem to be consistent, so even if it’s off, you could still see your own progress over time. (Just be sure not to get obsessed or too emotionally attached to that number — which is good advice about any number and your health or self confidence, ftr.) Also, I didn’t see any prompts or recommendations from TomTom to do this, but I’d definitely take your body comp first thing in the morning before you’ve had anything to eat or drink (but do go to the bathroom) and are naked as a jaybird. That way you can compare apples to apples. And nakedness to nakedness.

Another thing I found pretty cool about this fitness tracker was the heart rate. It’s taken directly from your wrist (no chest strap) and it gets a reading pretty quickly, which is nice and better than a lot of other trackers out there. Beyond just steps and distance, you can also track your workouts at the gym with the touch of a button (get why it’s called Touch, yeah?) — and it’ll track your heart rate and duration. It’ll also track how long you sleep (no deep or light sleep tracking though) — and you never have to push anything to say that you’re going to bed. It just knows. Which is cool. All stats upload into the interface where you can set goals and even connect it to outside tracking sites. It’s not anything revolutionary and it doesn’t really coach you with prompts or suggestions or programming, but it works.

The TomTom Touch is really simple to use and get started with. (I barely had to read the instructions.) It’s not exactly fashionable looking, but it’s also not overly clunky or large. And I really like that there’s just one button. It’s also splash- and shower-proof (but don’t, like, jump in a pool) and the charge seems to last for at least three days (the sites says five days, but I’ve never made it that long). My only complaint with the single button is that it’s pretty darn touchy. So, during a workout, it’s easy to accidentally stop your gym session.

Overall, it’s not the best fitness tracker I’ve ever tried. But it’s very useable. The basics are covered, it’s comfortable and if you’re looking to track more than just steps and workouts, it’s an easy and pretty affordable way to track your body comp on the daily — although we’d recommend weekly or monthly. At a price point of $99, it’s got a lot of tech in it.

How much do you care about body comp? Now that I have a way to track it regularly, I might just be more into it for funsies. —Jenn

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