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Body Composition Matters

Friday, July 13, 2018

Let's talk about body composition again.

Since the start of summer, I weighed in at 142.5 lbs. Right now I weigh 138.9 lbs.

That's a loss of 3.6lbs. Given all the hard work and exercise I do, it seems like such a small amount. That's about 1lb per month.

I should probably be distressing that my diet isn't working, and I should just go eat a donut. What's the point?

But wait!

Because I track my bodyfat and measurements, there's more to the story. My target bodyfat is 28%. I don't really care about the weight; I focus my goals around the bodyfat. I calculate my ideal weight to be based on what my current lean mass is, then I add 28% bodyfat.

4/14/2018
Weight: 142.5
Bodyfat: 37.1%
Lean Mass: 89.6
Ideal weight (BF28%): 124.5
Weight to Lose: 18lbs

7/13/2018 (Today)
Weight: 138.9
Bodyfat: 34.8%
Lean Mass: 90.6
Ideal Weight (BF28%): 125.8
Weight to Lose: 13.1lbs

The difference in bodyfat from then and now is about 2.3% My lean mass has increased 1 lbs, which is keeping my weight from dropping much. If I had not gained 1 lb of lean mass, then my "weight to lose" would be 14.1 instead of 13.1. Definitely don't neglect those resistance exercises!

Notice that my ideal weight has actually gone up by 1.3lbs! If I go to online trackers and see what they say my ideal weight should be, I should be about 108lbs. Let's say I managed to do that, and keep my current lean mass. That means with a lean mass of 91.5 and a total weight of 108, I would have 15-16% bodyfat. That sounds amazing, but ehh...given that I like a glass of wine too much, I doubt 15-16% is reasonable. Especially at middle age. In the past, I feel most comfortable in my skin around 26-28%, so that's where I'm targeting.

It's important to get an idea of what your body composition is, rather than weight. These days, there are a variety of methods to calculate this. It doesn't necessarily need to be done with precision, but an estimate is the best thing going. Especially if you are doing a lot of exercise, just going off weight can be misleading.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • WOUBBIE
    Well said! I haven't changed scale weight in a couple of years, but my clothing size dropped one entire size, and I'm noticeably stronger. Win!
    869 days ago
  • PACEKA1
    I so agree with you and have finally understood how important it is to loose body fat and gain lean mass. I just completed a 60 day challenge at my gym and lost fat while gaining mass. I only lost 1.5 pounds but I feel so much better in my body!

    My daughter has been a gymnast for most of her life. She's just a little thing but so very strong - still at age 39 and pregnant for the first time. I would have thought she weighed about 105 pounds but her actual weight was closer to 130 - all muscle. Finally I get it!

    Good for you for your loss!
    869 days ago
  • VFAITHFUL1
    Great info & encouragement! Thanks!
    869 days ago
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