April 28, 2010

Continiung plateau

194 lb, 27.3% body fat this morning.  I haven't been fasting as consistently as I'd planned, and last night's dinner (baby back ribs with a low-sugar, commercial BBQ sauce) left me with a severe stomach ache at about 0230, which kept me awake until 0330 at least.  Lack of sleep and excessive salt might have caused me to retain water and some tissues to become inflamed, so that might also have thrown the numbers off for today, but it's more likely that I have simply made no progress this week.

It looks like the experimental question of "can I have BBQ sauce off the shelf?" has been answered with a resounding "no".  I'll have to stick to homemade curries and other sauces from now on, if for no other reason than to avoid digestive pain.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 08:23 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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April 21, 2010


According to the US Army body fat estimation algorithm (implemented here) I have an estimated body fat of 18%. By the tape measure method (which I assume uses roughly the same estimation method) implemented here, I have an estimated body fat of 17.75%.  Chances are good the former site is rounding to the nearest percentage, which makes sense for a method described as "estimation".

My assumption is that the armed forces ran a sizable number of tests where they found a high enough correlation between the height/waist/weight numbers and body fat as found by some method generally accepted as highly accurate, likely immersion testing.  A simple formula and a tape measure/scale are a lot cheaper than immersion testing all applicants, so I don't doubt that this is basically what led to the estimation method.

Given how much lower this number is than what my scale claims, it would give me a very handy excuse for why my weight loss has been so slow lately, and mean that my goal of 160 lb is again unrealistic, since according to both estimations, this is almost exactly the current weight of my lean body mass, representing not 14% or even 11% body fat, but 0%, which is equivalent to death.  I'm not fully sold on these numbers, but I'm beginning to be persuaded that maybe the numbers aren't really all that important.

We all know, instinctively, what "fit" looks like.  My stated goal of X body fat % or Y pounds of body weight are just quantifiable notions of much hazier goals.  I want to be light on my feet, strong as an ox, and have a washboard above my belt buckle.  I really only track the numbers because day-to-day progress (or lack thereof) isn't always readily visible, and hard metrics help me make decisions about what's working and what isn't.  If I somehow manage to hit my real-if-hazy goals, I'll count that as a win, and move on to others.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 01:07 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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The longest plateau

194 lb, 26.6% body fat today. Waist measured at 35", so that's some sort of improvement, but otherwise I'm down 2 lb and 1.5% body fat since Feb 17 of this year, which makes for two full months of very slow improvement.  I'm making pretty consistent strength gains (I'm up to 7 pull-ups in a set, benching 165#, dead-lifting 255#, and squat-pressing 720#, all for 5-rep sets), my waist is smaller, my skin is tighter, my arms and legs are bigger, but it's not showing up much on the scale.

I guess I just have to keep the calories down, maintain my protein intake, and keep going.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 11:52 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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April 14, 2010

Unchanged from last week

194 lb, 27.3% body fat.  I haven't been as diligent as I'd have liked on calorie cutting, and yesterday's planned fast was a failure (I tried eating breakfast with a plan of fasting until now, but I was much too hungry at dinnertime).  I'm concerned again that dairy might be holding me back.  Not because of carbs, but because of hormones.  Milk is supposed to be what you feed to a growing mammal.  While growing muscle is welcome, I suspect that it may be holding me back from losing more fat.  I really miss it when I don't have it, though.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 06:09 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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April 07, 2010

First half-week of sporadic IF

194 lb, 26.8% body fat this morning.  So far it's just been one 25 hour fast, from lunch Thursday to dinner Friday, but I did manage a full, heavy leg workout 23 hours into it, which was a surprise to me.  I'm fasting again today, but it will be shorter.  I had a late dinner yesterday (7pm), so I'll probably only go 23 hours this time.  I do have another workout scheduled, but this is my first week of "maintain the muscle" rather than "build some muscle", so it won't be quite as heavy as last week.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 07:12 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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