Body weight composition

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16/02/2009 at 11:25

well, I am a runner (30 mpw) and have also lost 13lbs since xmas on a low fat diet, I know I still have another 2st to lose really but have seen significant improvemtns in my fitness with running.

 Today I have bought one of those Salter MiBody body fat monitors and these are my measurements:

weight 13st 6lbs

BMI 27.9

Body Fat 32%

Body Water 49.8%

Muscle Mass 32.3%

Visceral Fat 9%

BMR 1619

Now, I know I have a long way to go to get my body fat into the normal range, but I am intepreting (from what I have googled) that I have a good level of muscle mass. I don't do any weight training at all (I just run!) so this I assume is why my total weight is not coming down, I seem to be gaining muscle mass but not losing the body fat. What can I do?

I do eat a very low fat diet, I tend to have weetabix and skimmed milk for breakfast, banana mid morning, lunch will be something like an omelette or a tuna sandwich and I have a stir fry for tea (no oil or dressing) will add prawns or chicken to stir fry veg, I will snack on a couple of pieces of fruit or a couple of muller light yogurts. I don't drink, so I don;t see where else I can cut fat out of my diet to reduce my body fat %

any advice?

cougie    pirate
16/02/2009 at 11:27
Last time I used one of those monitors it was absolutely rubbish.

Double check the reading at the same time tomorrow before worrying about the reading ?
16/02/2009 at 11:32

Agree with cougie - those scales are useless  as an ACTUAL measure of those things.

And with respect to your diet, fat is NOT the devil it is made out to be.  

Excess anything IS, however.

If you cut almost all fat out of your diet, the first place you lose it is from around your vital  organs (where you need it) - the loss on your body comes much later.

Kryten    pirate
16/02/2009 at 11:32
Why do the Body Fat, Body Water and Muscle Mass percentages add up to more than 100%?
16/02/2009 at 11:32
cougie, It all depends on what sort of tolerances, the machine is working to. There are limitations to the system but  I wouln'd say it was absolute rubbish!
16/02/2009 at 11:44
el-Bee, why do you need fat on your vital organs?
16/02/2009 at 11:47
I'm even more depressed now!
16/02/2009 at 11:50
That BMR seems awfully low.

16/02/2009 at 11:51
eL Bee! wrote (see)

If you cut almost all fat out of your diet, the first place you lose it is from around your vital  organs (where you need it) - the loss on your body comes much later.


Really?  What's the evidence for this?
cougie    pirate
16/02/2009 at 11:53
With respect Smurf - the machine was analysing myself and my friends. A 55 kilo woman was told with a straight face by the personal trainer that she was borderline obese.

It was b*llox.

That was only 2 years ago - so things may have improved then - but as I say - the one we used was rubbish.
16/02/2009 at 12:12

cougie,  there was an interesting programme on TV a year ago, where people of different shapes and sizes were analysed for fat content etc.  A skinny man stood next to a burly builder (with a pot belly). They asked the audience who had the least (as a percentage) fat content. Natually they went for mr skinny. When they performed an imaging body scan ( I think it was MRI scan), they showed that mr skinny had more subcutaneous fat than mr burley. 

I think this can sometimes answer why body stat machines can seem to give erroneous readings.

16/02/2009 at 12:33

It also demonstrates why those home machines aren't very accurate.  Each of us distributes the fat differently around our bodies and that will affect the results.  They are also heavily affected by your level of hydration.

  

Rach, I suggest you ignore all the readings except weight and stick with your diet, making sure that you're giving your body enough protein to keep your muscles in good condition for running and enough carbs to fuel your running.  You also need to be aware that muscle is more dense than fat so if you're losing fat and gaining muscle you may not lose weight as fast as you'd like.  The solution to this is to check how your body is looking.  Are you looking slimmer?  Can you fit into smaller size clothes?

16/02/2009 at 12:35
I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that fat around the vital organs was much MORE harmful than subcutaneous fat
16/02/2009 at 12:36

>>  and enough carbs to fuel your running. 

If you're trying to lose weight, then surely you want to use fat supplies as your energy source? There's already enough fuel in storage to keep your glycogen levels topped up between runs.

Edited: 16/02/2009 at 12:37
16/02/2009 at 12:38
Dr.Dan wrote (see)
eL Bee! wrote (see)

If you cut almost all fat out of your diet, the first place you lose it is from around your vital  organs (where you need it) - the loss on your body comes much later.


Really?  What's the evidence for this?

I'd also be interested to know the foundation of eL Bee's statement. I would have thought the opposite, to protect organs.

16/02/2009 at 12:38

Can the body top up stored glycogen from stored fat then? (Serious question, I'd love to know the answer)

16/02/2009 at 12:39
Mikefrog wrote (see)
I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that fat around the vital organs was much MORE harmful than subcutaneous fat
Excess fat, yes but fat is needed around organs for protection and insulation.
16/02/2009 at 12:43
Ta, Siance.
16/02/2009 at 12:44

It's an education being on RW some days...

Darwin, Dilemmas, and this thread...

16/02/2009 at 13:00

Mmm, this is a toughy. I use the same make scales, cost me about £60 notes a couple of years ago... however, here's my two penneth worth.

Before embarking on my current diet, I used the scales to get a baseline. Now I'm of the mindset, I personally think that these scales are decent, however, I'd not say they're 100% perfectly accurate so... when I first started I was...

Weight 87.7kg, Fat 18.9%, Bone 3.3kg, Muscle 46.7%, Water 67.6%

Now, I currently am Weight 79.3kg, Fat 13.5%, Bone 3.4kg, Muscle 47.9%, Water 66.6%

Now to me, I'd expected bone and water to stay constant (bone more so obviously, but allowing for an increase in density over time)...

The conclusions I have, I don't care how accurate the figures are as long as the weight, fat readings go down, and the bone stays the same as with water and the muscle goes up. If they occur, then I'm happy using the scales.

As in trying to get you fat down, train harder mate, it's as simple as that... your diet sounds solid, so you just have to slowly chip away at the fat and that can only be done over time.

Cheers Pug

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