Monday, March 29, 2010

Time to Learn

It’s time for me to turn back to my fellow bloggers and start learning again. Learning about how I’m going to crack this weight nut so I can change my name.

On the surface, losing weight is pretty easy. You burn more calories that you take in. Every time you hit 3500 on the counter you subtract a pound. And you know what? It works if you’re not worried about whether you are losing lean muscle or fat. Which I was not worried about two years ago when I lost some major weight.

This time, I want to try to drive my fat percentage down. Right now, it’s sitting around 29% based on my Omron Fat Loss Monitor (note – that’s not my reading):


The American Council of Exercise says a fit male should have a body fat percentage somewhere between 14% and 17%. So, if we I target pretty close to that at, say, 19%:


Fat %

Fat Weight

Lean Weight









Pretty interesting huh? By dropping my fat percentage 10 points, I will lose 25 pounds of my 30 pound goal without losing lean muscle mass!!

Now comes the hard part. Figuring out how to do this with a standard sensible diet. Time to read away! (Thanks for opening my eyes to this Greta! I’m starting with your blog.)


  1. Have you considered getting your body fat measured professionally? Those machines calculate my body fat at like 37% but when I got the hydrostatis testing done, I discovered I'm actually only 26.1% body fat.

    I went from thinking I was 30 pounds overweight to discovering I'm only 7.7 pounds over.

  2. I'll second what Green Girl said. Find a place that does hydrostatic body comps, which is getting dunked in water, but pretty accruate. Even more accurate is a DEXA scan. It might be covered by your medical insurance OR you can check with a university with a big sports or medical program and see if they offer it.

    I also have an Ormon hand held gadget. It's a neat gadget, but I use it to look for changes and don't take much stock in the actual numbers.

  3. Glenn: there is a nutrition shop near the Irvine Spectrum that does body fat testing using the Bod Pod. I got it done 2 years ago. It is pretty accurate. The store is called Nutri-Stop (8681 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92618) - (949) 753-1211. As a bonus, it is right next door to a great Japanese restaurant that serves brown rice and cage-free chicken...hahaha.

    What a fun journey you are undertaking. I will be cheering you along! Looks like it is time to hit the weight room! :)

  4. I LOVE your header, and yes, we are coming back...

  5. Wow, maybe I'll drive up to Irvine and try out the place that Tea Time just suggested, the bod pod, not the Japanese restaurant! It would be pretty interesting to have an accurate body fat assesment. Hmmm, do I really want to know?
    Hope you're feeling better and I hope your meds kicked in. My hacking cough is finally over!

  6. I haven't done much research into this... When I lost my weight, I wasn't tracking if I was losing muscle, I just knew that I was losing!

    I've heard that a lot of HR based training helps you lose fat fast?? *shrugs*

  7. Not original at this point - get a professional body fat measurement if that interests you. I've got a different brand of that scale, and while I think the weight is accurate, I know the body fat isn't. I think that "electrical impedance" only reaches about to your calves, as well.

    Ever work with a nutritionist?

    And from what I've read, if you want to lose, you need to go longer at a lower heart rate.

    Good luck!!

  8. I use the mirror to check what my body fat is. If I see fat, I know I need to lose it. I believe in some number crunching, but if the obvious reaches out and grabs you? If you walk outside and it's raining, you don't need to run inside and watch the weather channel for some one else to tell you. I guess some body fat percentage thing is cool if you are already down close to your targeted weight. Take care.

  9. The Omron is going to measure your upper-body fat. The "scale"-types measure your lower body fat. I agree with the people who say to take any readings with a big ol' grain of salt.

  10. Oh, one (or more!) more thing. I'm betting that in your case that doing sparkling "clean" nutrition would make a huge difference. You already do a nice mix of exercise. Check out "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes -- there's some really shocking, evidence-based info. Also, I'm a big fan of Ultrametabolism by Mark Hyman. The Paleo Diet also inspires me. Of course, the thing to know is that there's some contradiction between Paleo and Ultrametabolism. The plan I do doesn't fully line up with either of them, either. The great thing about most diets is that most all of them "work," it's just a matter of finding one that you can stick with.

  11. Wow, that little contraption is crazy! Good Luck on the voyage, your already half way there, because you are in motion :) Hope your feeling better.

  12. I use the scale to tell my fat lol. In college the trainers did take our body fat percentage and so I know what clothes I fit into at my skinniest and so i try just to stay there. yeah i know for an engineer I am so scientific with my BFP but oh well.

  13. oooh i would just squeeze verrrry lightly on my first "test" and then squeeze harder the second time to get awesome results. :) that is how i am imaging that thing works anyway? squeezing?

  14. Odd as it may sound, marathon training isn't always the best way to lose weight because your body needs a loooooooot of fuel. Of course if you fuel it with the right things weight loss will follow. Also, on the caloric equation, eating way outweighs exercising. So a small muffin can undo a nice run/rowing session.

    Concerning Hiroo, although we pronounce it hero it actually means wide or wide open space in Japanese. It is the area of Tokyo we lived in. So it kind of has a double meaning for us (like my tri bike name but that is another story).

  15. Great post - I need to cut some serious weight too... I've been thinking about getting that new book that is the rage - Racing Weight? I'll let you know what I think...

  16. Good luck!

    I agree with everyone who suggested Dexa. It is awesome. Worth the money. The hand helds can get you close - just make sure you are hydrated when taking the measurement, as the "signal" travels through fluid and will be affected by dehydration, etc.

    Dexa really is awesome. Even measures the fat in your head!

  17. Woo hoo! :)

    A bod pod is a good way to get fat measured...check local universities (exercise or sports medicine departments) to see if they have one. I keep meaning to do a bodypod reading, see how it compares to my omron.