Eats and Exercise and Body Fat Measurement Voodoo: Jan 27, 2009

Got up before 4am – had my 1 scoop of Nitrean protein powder and was at the gym about 4:10. 

Did 20 minutes on the treadmill at 4.0 mph – max heart rate 129.

Part of me kept longing for the weight-training…that’s something I thought I’d never see myself write.

Did 3 circuits:

leg press: 150 lbs. 20 reps – maybe I should go for a heavier weight next time.

Vertical chest press: 75 lbs. 10 reps – could hardly do it – chest muscles are the most weak.

Vertical row: 100 lbs. 10 reps – this was a tad bit easier than the chest press, but not by much.

Lat pulldown: 100 lbs. 10 reps – this was the easiest of the 3 chest exercises for me this morning.

When I was done, I felt beat to Hell – but a good beat to Hell. Went out in the cold morning air and it felt good.

When I got home, I had another scoop of the protein powder, my cup of coffee, and some of the psyllium.

An hour later I had another 2 scoops of the protein powder. 

We had a client at work – and that means food. Bagels, pastries, etc. – you know what the spread looks like. Without drawing too much attention to myself, I grabbed a hunk of flavored cream cheese and ate that.

Lunch was better – a big-ass tray of sashimi – and it was real good cold, raw fish. I probably had a dozen pieces.

During the meeting cookies were passed around – I seemed to get the try twice – I just passed it along.

Had a headache – carb withdrawal – in the late afternoon. An annoyance, but nothing disabling. 

I was exhausted mentally from the day-long meeting, and went home to 3 more of my spicy Italian sausages from the previous day, as well as some Swiss cheese and some red wine. Even with the red wine, if I keep this up, in another day I might be in Ketosis

I sometimes weigh myself when I come home from work – sometimes not. Today I did and the numbers were:

Weight: 214.8

Total body fat 27.5%

Total Body Water: 50%

What I found curious was the total body fat here is about as low as I have ever seen, while my weight is still up there. A friend of mine happened to call to check in and we were discussing my fledgling exercise program and reminded me that muscle weighs more than fat, so you might be losing fat, gaining muscle – and the scale confuses the whole calculation because it just measures weight.

But…I have a Tanita scale, which has proven to be quite accurate – I once went to the doc, got weighed on the beam scale, ran home and weighed myself on the Tanita and it was spot on.

I’m kinda dubious of the body water and body fat calculations – can running some electricity through my bod while weighing me calculate body water and body fat to half a percent?

I’m not sure about that. If I did believe these numbers, it might lead one to the conclusion that: if my fat percentage declines, and my total body water remains the same – unless I am growning an additional limb I don’t know about, it must be the muscle.

I’m going to try to track these numbers a bit more closely, even though I doubt their accuracy. 

From day-to-day they are probably worthless, but over the long term, might reveal some interesting trends.

In bed before 10 – I have another day-long presentation coming up, and I needed the rest.

3 thoughts on “Eats and Exercise and Body Fat Measurement Voodoo: Jan 27, 2009

  1. I have the Tanita Iron-man scale that’s supposed to be even more accurate. It gives me weight, fat %, water %, lean body mass in lbs, metabolic age, bone weight, and calories needed to maintain. I would have to read the book again. But it says to average them over 7 days to get a better look. Also not supposed to weight yourself within so many hours of eating or exercising. I especially notice on days that I workout and weigh myself when I get home about 45 minutes later, the numbers are way off.

    I believe this has a lot to do with hydration. I’ve tracked the numbers for over a year. Not I just write them down but don’t bother putting them in excel and tracking in detail what I eat. Muscle retains water and when you’re more hydrated, your muscle mass shows up as more. I guess your fat percentage would go down as mine does in this case. The problem is my hydration fluctuates quite a bit. Weekends I drink quite a bit more and tend to eat more calories and sometimes a more carbs. Then it takes like two days for the numbers to come back, but then I lift and the numbers are off again.

    If I look at the trends though, min and max muscles masses for a period and same with the fat, I’ve added some muscle without putting on the weight. Now if I could just drop some more weight. The problem is to build muscle you need copius amounts of calories but that makes losing harder. Oh well.

    1. Hi Joe,

      Glad to see you are still hanging around. Have you read the TNT diet book? It claims to combine a low carb diet with weight training and ‘targeted nutrition’ to allow you to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. It was being touted by the Atkins site, so I’d call it a solid extension to Atkins with a more involved exercise portion integrated into low carb – great for those of us who can do this sort of stuff.

      Thanks for the Tanita info – I have a lot of learning to do in this area – I guess I’ll just try to watch the numbers and try to learn more about them as I go along – and not get too hung up on them – numbers mean nothing, really – it’s how you feel.



  2. Nope haven’t read the book. Yet. I still have a stack of other health books and other stuff to read. Actually, going to read a fiction book for enjoyment then go back and attack my backlog. I have read a lot of their stuff online and get the Turbulence Training info. In fact today I’m probably going to do some intervals after work from them, since my league was canceled tonight.

    I read seen their theory on that and I hope it works. My numbers on the scale would sometimes lead me to believe it does. My numbers were good yesterday, a day after lifting. I’ve been altering my eating also. Trying to cut down on calories most days and eat large amounts of protein and fat for a day or day and half after I lift. Low carb all the time. I just wish I could find a way to get more sleep.

    The better numbers on the scale generally seem to correlate to hydration. Hopefully that’s coincidence.

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