We have learned that body weight alone does not give you enough detail about your body. You must also calculate your body fat percentages. Then you can calculate two important numbers: pounds of fat mass and pounds of muscle mass.
Without these two numbers you really cant do anything. If you lose weight, what is it? Fat or muscle? The scale will fluctuate daily. Our job is to stop, take a step back and determine what the gain or loss is before we react. If we don’t react to our bodies needs correctly, we could make the wrong move and burn muscle mass not fat.
Then we have a CODE RED, right?!? YES!
You can determine your approximate body fat percentages a number of ways. They are ALL inaccurate to a point. The only way we can accurately determine your true body fat percentage is to pull you apart and put all your fat on one scale and all your muscles, hair, skin, bones, organs, ligaments and water on another scale. You may be strong but you might not survive that ordeal.
The best medium of tracking body fat is still hydrostatic weighing. Contrary to their claims the bod pod and dexa scans are not accurate mediums (let me know if you need to know how to skew them). You can use any medium you have weekly access to use. This is important because you need to have a good idea of what it is that you’re gaining or losing on a weekly basis.
A great way to keep an eye on your body composition is to track your circumference measurements. They may not change very much week to week but over time you will see big differences. You can also use circumference formulas to get a general idea of what your body fat is doing. I use a simple excel spreadsheet that combines the heigh and weight based circumference formulas to give me an average number(Let me know if you would like me to send it to you). I use this for all my remote clients. It gives us a semi-dependable idea about what their body is doing.
By testing your body composition using circumference measurements you can then track your progress using 5 different measurements.
You will have:
- Total body scale weight
- Circumference measurements
- Body fat percentage
- Lean mass pounds
- Fat mass pounds
When you look at your body composition and progress like this each week you have a more clear understanding of what your body is doing as well as the effectiveness of your workouts and nutrition. Then and only then can you make an informed decision on whether or not to increase or decrease your workouts and or nutrition.
Now hopefully you can see that the scale is a small part of what’s really going on with your program. Once you have all of this information you can make strategic changes to your workout and nutrition routine and get results.
Take a look at the big picture every 7-10 days before you react. Never react daily or weekly to the scale. It will only bring you heartache.
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