February 17, 2010

New Scale, New Goals, New Numbers

196 lb, 28.1% body fat according to my home scale.  The weight matches with what they determined at the gym last week, but that's 2.4% less body fat than their instrument found with the same method.  This would imply that at a constant weight, I lost 4.7 lb of fat and gained 4.7 pounds of muscle in 7 days.  Extremely unlikely.  OTOH, the home scale is free for me to use, and getting it tested at the gym again will cost money, so I'll be able to keep up the home scale measurements each week without any trouble.

The question is how to treat those numbers.  Do I assume a linear variation, where the home scale gives what the gym's scale would -2.4%?  Since I only have two data points, even though they were at least some time apart, a linear approximation is all I can really do.  So, without further data, I'll have to shoot for about 11.7% body fat on the home scale, which still means I need to lose just over 32 more lb in the absence of any muscle gains.

In case the reader thinks I might be putting too much emphasis on numbers, well, you might be right.  I'm human though, and as prone to cognitive bias as anyone, and raw data is the only objective thing I can track that will help keep me (almost) fully honest with myself.  I have to know if what I'm doing is actually working or if I just feel like it is.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 10:17 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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