Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bod Pod Test: Recap

Body Fat: 
We all have it, we all talk about it, we loathe it, we work against it, we create meme's about it, we lose it, we wonder HOW to lose it and we measure it so we can talk about it more. 

Body fat is the difference between losing numbers on the scale and changing body shape. It is bedfellows with lean body mass, or lean muscle mass. A common misconception is that muscle will TURN into fat if you don't work on keeping it. It will not, muscle and fat are different, but work like puzzle pieces in your body. Imagine a 500 piece puzzle where some pieces are really big and some are SMALL. The big ones can either be body fat or lean mass. 
Depending on your body composition you will have either lager fat stores or lean mass. You alter this through diet and resistance training (lifting yo, it's KEY). 

When I started to lose weight and get into working out. I though mostly about calories in/calories out. Not too much about what TYPE of calorie I was taking in. Pizza, but less of it. Beer, but lite please. After 8 years on this journey, my nutrition and knowledge of it has evolved. You can eat for fat loss, Metabolic Effect talks A LOT about this. Check them out

So WHY measure body fat? To see changes for certain. Better to see Body fat go down than numbers on a scale for sure. Also, to get an idea of your overall health, since high body fat, especially in certain areas can be an indicator of health concerns. 

Ways I have measured mine: 
A pinch test using a caliper like this one. This is done by an individual, done by hand and has more room for error than other. However if you use the same person consistently, your gauge of change will be accurate. 


And the Bod Pod test. Most recently I went and paid to have this test done. It was quite an experience and I want to share with you my results and some of the most interesting points of my results! 

In simplest terms, the bod pod test measures your body composition through air pressure, thus the swim cap, tight clothes as you are locked inside an air tight capsule. It was a fun experience and only took about 40 seconds. There are factors that affect it's accuracy, but nearly every form of body fat tests do. See these articles for the differences between each one and the inaccuracy.  I did a comparison between my recent pinches and my bod pod. 

My bod pod test showed my current weight at 125.7 (yes, accurate!) and body fat at 22% which is 5 points higher than my pinch test just the following day. It also shows my lean muscle mas as 98 pounds which means that of my 125, 98 is lean mass. I am OK with that, but my pinch test shows the lean mass as 103, which is more desirable: The more lean mass, the smaller/tighter your body, the more calories you burn at rest. The higher the better! 

The part of the test I was MOST looking forward to, was my RMR. 

BMR and RMR are estimates of how many calories you would burn if you were to do nothing but rest for 24 hours. They represent the minimum amount of energy required to keep your body functioning, including your heart beating, lungs breathing, and body temperature normal.
  • RMR stands for Resting Metabolic Rate, and is synonymous with Resting Energy Expenditure or REE. RMR measurements are typically taken under less restricted conditions than BMR, and do not require that the subject spend the night sleeping in the test facility prior to testing.

 It was 1198 and that puts my caloric needs at 2085 if I lead an active lifestyle. I love this, I have always assumed that my caloric needs were up there, this is affected by my metabolism and in turn affects my metabolism. Now I know what to eat to maintain my weight and build more lean mass and to lean down when I need to. 

For me the test was a WIN, win. 
I loved it and will do it again in the spring to see my progress.

Gauging progress:
For me the numbers of the test didn't bother me. My BF was higher than I normally am, but I am eating and lifting at 5 pounds higher than normal too. For the sake of gains, I am not going to swing 20 pounds up like some competitors, but am OK with where I am for now.

A great gauge of Body Fat is how you look and how you feel.
Do you like where you are? Happy with it? Feel comfortable in a two piece? GREAT!! Play with your food intake, see what works to get your physique where you want it, be it bigger or smaller. Numbers are numbers, are numbers whether on the scale on the clock, in your checking account etc. Sure, some are more important than others, but WE gauge our reactions to them, we do not let them dictate OUR truth. 

How do you measure Body Fat?? 

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Although Mary from Fit this girl is a CPT, always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice, and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.