Weekly weigh-in: 202.4
Total loss: -90.3
Body fat percentage: 15.2
Welcome, my friends, to the show that never ends.
It’s been a solid year on plan, but Act Two promises some fundamental changes in the program. This has become much less a weight-loss journey and much more a search for a fit and healthy future.
I’ve known all along that strength training wrecks havoc with my scale. Take this week for example (please take this week…). I had a solid enough week, with six days of exercise, one meal eating out and the rest of the time eating on plan, or close enough to it for government work. I even ran my ass off as I powered through a few more days of C25K.
And all that being good as gold earned me a crappy gain. Thanks for nothing, strength training!
Except I know better…
Greta from Big Bottom Blogger has been hounding me for a while to discount the numbers on the scale and start paying extra attention to body fat percentage and BMI.
But aren't we trying to rid ourselves of all the fat? Well, most sources agree that the human body requires a certain amount of fat for good health. Fat helps regulate body temperature, store energy and cushion and insulate organs. The percentage of body weight that makes up this “essential fat” is around 4% of body weight for men and roughly 10% for women. Beyond that, there’s a somewhat wide range of what’s considered a healthy percentage of body fat.
The American Dietetic Association recommends that men have 15-18% body fat and women have 20-25% body fat. Healthy male athletes might be as low as 5-12% body fat, and healthy female athletes could be as low as 10-20%.
Dr. C. Everett Koop's site, ShapeUp.com, breaks down healthy body fat ranges by both gender and age. Men under 39 years of age should have 8-19% body fat, and women under 39 years of age should have 21-32%. Older men may range from 11% to 24%, and older women may range from 23% to 35%.
The American Council on Exercise says men's body fat should be 6-25%, and women's should be 14-31%.
Doctors increasingly use Body Mass Index (BMI)–not body fat measurements–to determine whether or not a person is overweight. BMI is based on a mathematical formula using height and weight that estimates overall body composition. There are handy BMI calculators and tables all over the internet, so it’s easy enough to figure you can see where you stand.
Here’s the breakdown of BMI standards:
* Underweight = <18.5
* Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
* Overweight = 25-29.9
* Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
So… I’m still feeling my way with all these new metrics, these new ways to gauge my bearings on this journey. I’ll get comfortable with it all soon enough, I suppose.
There’s still work to be done.
And I’m ready to get down to business.