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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Even more on body fat percentage

In my last post, I talked about body fat percentage and mentioned that Matt Fitzgerald's book Racing Weight encourages you to measure body fat percentage in addition to weight. I thought it would be good to write a quick review for you, and I will definitely do that this week or next.
Image from a website about body fat, duh

But before I do that, I was thinking about the numbers I generated last post, including the whopping 33.72% that the Army method gave me for body fat. Last time I got weighed, I was 127 lb. That means that my actual body fat is 44 lbs, and if I lost all that body fat, my essential self would weigh 84 lbs. Now, that sounds laughable for me, since I'm over 5'7", even if you consider that you should probably add about 10% to that since no one has ZERO body fat. Still, it sounds way off! But here is the catch. It's not. When I had thyroid cancer, I got extremely skinny extremely quickly, and I weighed in at the doctor's office at under 90 lbs. (After my surgery to remove the tumor, I gained 30 lb in less than a month!)
So what I'm saying is, maybe the Army formula isn't that far off after all! It definitely gives a general sense of how much of your weight isn't essential...although I think it is not accurate for estimating how much of that is actually fat. But still, it is interesting, because I assumed that if I subtracted my supposed "fat" I would end up with a number too low to sustain life. On the contrary, I actually have lived at that weight, albeit for a very brief period of time!
That was some random personal history for you there. Hope you aren't too grossed out picturing what I looked like at 87 lbs. It was pretty awful. 
And since we're talking about fats, take my poll:
On a delicious slice of fresh bread, you would slather:
a- real unsalted butter
b- light margarine spread
Obviously I would choose butter. I think it's one of the five major food groups.


  1. See, I had some comment all worked out and then you distracted me with butter. I would chose a, obviously. I also make honey butter, which is beyond divine. *drool*

  2. Butter. Better to eat small amounts of the real stuff rather than splurge on the fake stuff.

  3. I have absolutely NO idea what my body fat percentage is. But I have a muffin top :D

    Butter. Honey butter, preferably.

  4. Definitely butter. The other stuff is just gross.

    My major in college was actually Kinesiology (Exercise Physiology) and so we got to measure our body fat in several ways. I did the ca;opers, the bod pod and the hydrostatic. I can't remember what my results were though! I need to go and look through my notes!