You've seen celebrities pitch weight-loss plans for programs like Jenny Craig, and one of these ads made Valerie Myers take a good look at her lifestyle.
Valerie Myers: "I had taken a trip to Michigan and looked at some photos and came back and thought, 'oh this is not good'."
The 54-year-old administrative assistant at Clovis Unified, was so busy with work and family, she didn't have time to take care of herself, until she saw a weight-loss program that gave her a tool to help her reach her goal.
Valerie Myers: "Just to be healthy at a weight that's good for me. Not thin, not heavy, not looking like a model."
Valerie wears a device called the "BodyMedia FIT" armband. It gathers loads of information into a match-box sized unit that can track how many calories she eats, how many she burns, and how much physical activity she gets.
Valerie Myers: "It's exciting for me to see how many calories I've burned in a day so it makes me want to do better the next day to see if I can beat my personal best records."
She uses it as part of the metabolic max program at Jenny Craig.
Denise Leonard: "The armband measures over 9000 points of response in the client's body, body heat, things that affect a person's metabolism."
Denise Leonard, Jenny Craig's Area Director for the Central Valley says the company launched the BodyMedia band in December and since then, clients have been asking for the device.
Denise Leonard: "They can set goals with their consultant of a half a pound to 2 pounds per week and they will know what their calorie deficit and the exciting thing about the armband is that it will let them know how on track they are for that."
Registered Dietitian, Kim Tirapelle has used the armband with some of her clients, and it gives people an instant picture of their progress.
Kim Tirapelle: "Research does show that people that get more feedback often have more success with weight loss."
Once a day, Valerie syncs her armband unit with her laptop, and tracks her weight loss success, and slip-ups.
She can enter what she ate at every meal, and the program computes the calorie count, no writing necessary, in a food journal.
With the BodyMedia band Valerie has a constant fitness partner with her, keeping track of her meals and her physical activity during the day. But one of the best tools is how this band tracks her progress, even when she's asleep.
Valerie Myers: "I've already burned calories just by sleeping which is amazing because I don't think any of us realize that that's what we do."
Valerie says she's already lost 11 pounds since she started wearing the armband just last month, because it instantly shows her, how all her hard work, is paying off.
Valerie Myers: "It makes me want to do better."
You don't have to join a weight-loss program to use the "BodyMedia FIT" armband. It's offered through nutritionists, some gyms, and on-line for about $200.00.