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  1. #1
    eig's Avatar
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    Is my weight loss goal unrealistic?

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    I posted this earlier in my journal, but I'm pretty sure no one reads that and I actually am pretty curious. I've been using this calculator to estimate my body fat percentage for years, and though it may not be truly accurate, it should be accurate to itself. Before I left on vacation this past summer, it told me I was 23% with 89lbs of lean body mass. Over vacation, I exercised less, included rice and potatoes, and had more frequent cheats (every week vs every couple/three). I did it again yesterday, it said 23.7% (boo) but 95lbs of lean. Is this even possible? Did I truly gain 6lbs of lean body mass by taking a break form lifting and eating a lot (gained 10lbs total)? Doesn't seem right. I wasn't completely sedentary but nearly. I hiked/walked around a lot on the weekends. During the week I did a few body weight work outs (like zwows, super fast, super exhausting). Usually I do stonglifts 5x5, hike/walk to get around, snowboard in winter. Reason why I want to know is I was hoping to get back down to my previous weight, but if 6lbs of it is lean, would it be unrealistic for me to expect to get back there? Aka should I buy new pants
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    Leida's Avatar
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    This calculator is using body measurements, so if your inches went down when you gained 10 lbs, you did gain lean mass. Muscule builds on recovery, so it might be beneficial for you to take a break once every 4-6 weeks, relax and include more carbs.
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    Going on tape measurements alone is not really going to tell you anything. It doesn't differentiate between fat & muscle. The most accurate way to measure your body fat is to use a BodPod.

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    Calipers aren't perfect, but I think they'd be more accurate than tape measurements, still.
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    eig's Avatar
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    Leida, you mean to tell me I have a prefectly good reason to treat my squat rack like a clothes rack every so often and nobody told me!?

    namlesswonder, there isnt one of those things within 100 miles of me. I could start using calipers I suppose.
    "...You sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.” -Ginny

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    Is there something you need to get your body fat percentage down for? Personally, I don't bother with measurements and numbers because it doesn't really tell me how I function in the world. I'm more interested in how I feel and how I move.
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    eig's Avatar
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    I measure because I tend to be terrible at judging my own fitness. I am usually too harsh so I try to make it objective. I'm now almost back to lifting what I was doing before I left, so I'm moving just fine. I was just surprised with what I found because although my measurments are slightly bigger (making my pants a wee tight), they're not as big as I expected for the amount of weight gain and like I said the calculator suggests I gained lean body mass along with the fat. I just don't want to keep expecting to go back there if it means losing muscle.
    "...You sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.” -Ginny

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    I use an electrical resistance scale. Not accurate at all, but trend same time of day is accurate.

    I ONLY drop body fat when I gain weight. This is why I am such a fan of periodic huge refeeds. I think very few people can simply drop weight straight through 100 pounds or whatever. Things just don't work that way.

    As for the headline, which I didn't see in the question, ALL weight loss goals are unrealistic. You cannot control weight loss, all you can do is optimize your eating and wait for your body to do its thing on its own schedule.
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    eig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loafingcactus View Post

    I ONLY drop body fat when I gain weight. This is why I am such a fan of periodic huge refeeds. I think very few people can simply drop weight straight through 100 pounds or whatever. Things just don't work that way.
    Interesting. It seems pretty counter intuitive. Huge refeeds sounds intriguing You never put on any fat while doing this? Also, I didn't drop bf, it seems I went up by almost a 1%, whats confusing is how it says I also gained muscle.

    Quote Originally Posted by loafingcactus View Post

    As for the headline, which I didn't see in the question, ALL weight loss goals are unrealistic. You cannot control weight loss, all you can do is optimize your eating and wait for your body to do its thing on its own schedule.
    I asked it at the end, though not word for word, it was the same question;


    Quote Originally Posted by eig View Post
    I was hoping to get back down to my previous weight, but if 6lbs of it is lean, would it be unrealistic for me to expect to get back there?
    Also, I don't really understand how optimizing your eating isn't controlling your weight loss? Being totally genuine here, not trying to start anything. Its just the way I look at it, optimizing your eating (and lifting/ workouts) to me IS controlling your weight loss, because if you didn't do that, you wouldn't lose any weight.
    "...You sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.” -Ginny

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    Anecdotally, it seems to be very hard for the body to put on muscle or even preserve muscle and drop fat at the same time. It seems that you can do one or the other. Body builders cycle between building and cutting as they say. I have rarely seen someone successfully lose 100 pounds or more without any gains- IMHO their muscle mass just gets too low to support the metabolic rate necessary to keep losing fat.

    I don't see anything counter-intuitive about that at all... When you are doing slow motion starvation, which is the way you get fat off while preserving as much muscle as possible, why would your body let you build muscle that increases your metabilic needs and could kill you in the famine?
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    Iron Fireling's Avatar
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    Honestly I think it sounds pretty inaccurate... It's actually really hard to build muscle, and to put on apparently 6lbs of muscle while doing little physical activity is impossible.

    I also don't like the way it uses wrist size to gauge frame size, as going by someone like me that doesn't work! (I have tiny wrists but the rest of me is more medium build... If I do frame size by elbow width or shoulder width I get a different result).

    I would go get a DEXA scan done, as it accurately gives you bone, lean tissue and fat measurements, as well as shows you where your fat is distributed instead of just an overall measurement.

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