January 23, 2011
Pounds vs. Inches
It’s a constant battle, isn’t it?
You look in the mirror and it “seems” like there’s progress, but you step on the scale it says you’ve GAINED weight.
Or the scale says you’ve LOST a few, but your jeans still seem just as tight as before.
When it comes to tracking your fatburning progress, BOTH can give you the feedback you need to know what’s happening in your body.
For example… If your weight has gone DOWN but your belly still measures the same, it’s likely you’re losing in another “trouble area” of your body.
If your weight has stayed the SAME (or even gone UP a little), then chances are you’re gaining MUSCLE while you’ve been burning fat (that’s a GOOD thing)!
But who likes to “guess”?
A better way to track is to measure not just your belly, but also your hips, legs, arms, neck, and chest!
This way you can see WHERE you’re losing and know how your body is transforming as you make progress.
Just keep a weekly log of your stats (including your weight) and compare them with previous weeks.
But if you REALLY want to eliminate all of the guesswork for how much fat you’ve taken off and how much muscle you’ve gained, you’ll want to track your bodyfat percentage.
Here’s how to do it…
Step 1: Step on the scale. You need a baseline measurement of your weight for figuring out the rest of the formula.
Step 1. (Example): 185 lbs. (original weight) – 32.4 lbs (of fat) = 152.6 lbs lean weight This calculation WILL tell you how much LEAN WEIGHT you’re currently carrying. However, this first measurement will NOT tell you how much muscle you have since your lean weight is also made up of bones, organs, hair, etc. What it DOES give you is your baseline measurement to compare with future measurements since any gains you make in LEAN body weight should only come from MUSCLE.
Step 2: Measure your bodyfat. While there are several ways to accomplish this, one of the easiest and least expensive ways is to use a bodyfat caliper. Nowadays, you can pick up one up for around $20 that will do the trick. Follow the instructions with the device to determine the ratio of lean weight to fat in your body.
Step 3: Multiply your weight by your measured bodyfat percentage to find out how much fat you’re lugging around. Record your answer for future measurements Example: 185 lbs. X 17.5% (or .175) = 32.4 lbs of fat
Step 4: Subtract the amount of fat (in pounds) from your original bodyweight in
Step 5: Perform Steps 1-4 again each week. Then compare your results with your previous reading. Example: Let’s say your first measurements were… Weight – 187 lbs Bodyfat % Reading – 17.5% 187 x 17.5% = about 32.7 lbs of fat 187 – 32.7 = 154.3 lbs lean bodyweight Now, for your second measurements you get… Weight – 190 lbs Bodyfat % Reading – 16% 190 x 16% = about 30.4 lbs of fat 190 – 30.4 = 159.6 lbs of lean bodyweight If you now compare your second readings with your first, you can see that… You’ve GAINED 5.3 lbs of muscle (from 154.3 lbs lean in first reading to 159.6 in the second); and You’ve LOST 2.3 lbs of fat (from 32.7 lbs of fat in first reading to 30.4 lbs in the second).
Yes, there IS a simpler way…
There are certain scales that do this (although I’ve found they don’t work very well and all of mine broke within 6 months).
You can also have your bodyfat measurements taken at Fitness Concepts.
As a matter of fact it’s mandatory for all of our client to weigh in every week and check their body composition.
But frankly, this is not a blog to promote Fitness Concepts even though we do have the best program anywhere. 😎
You can actually do it right in the comfort of your own home very easily.
I totally agree with Dr. Oz about controlling your waist size. Dr. Oz calls it “waist management”.
Increased waist size is positively correlated with many diseases and illnesses.