Methods of Measuring Body Fat Percentage

Methods of Measuring Body Fat Percentage

Measuring your body fat percentage is the best way to assess the change in your body over the course of time. We’re aiming to lose fat and replacing that fat with muscle (body recomposition).

There are many tests, but the availability may vary depending on where you’re from. Additionally, the accuracy can vary wildly.

1. Skin Fold Caliper

calipers

The skin fold test is a common one, usually done by fitness trainers because they don’t have access to other equipment. This is also cheaper and repeatable.

To properly do this test, someone else should be doing it though.

Advantages

  • Fairly accurate
  • Economical (buy online for $10-$20)
  • Repeatable

Disadvantages

  • Potentially highly variable
  • Requires another person (preferably fitness professional)
  • Will vary depending on your food intake timing

Muscleandstrength.com has an excellent procedure on how to properly do this test.

2. Bioelectric Impedance Analysis

Bioelectrical-Impedance-Analysis

Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA) sends an electrical current through your body. The current will vary when it travels because muscle and fat have different water content. Thus a body fat percentage can be calculated.

Advantages

  • Easily tested and repeatable
  • Economical (scales vary between $30 – $100 online)

Disadvantages

  • Food and water intake will change results
  • Inaccurate due to above point
  • People with heart conditions should not use

3. Hydrostatic Weigh

hydrostaticweight

This was considered the best standard of measuring body fat; however, DEXA scans provide more accurate results. Nevertheless, this has a very little margin of error. The measured individual will be submerged under water and be asked to blow out all oxygen in the lungs.

Advantages

  • Accurate

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Impractical (requires equipment)

There are some fitness centers and traveling body fat measuring companies that will do this test.

4. DEXA Scan

dexa

Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) is the best, most accurate way to measure body fat. It uses an x-ray to examine bone vs muscle vs fat density. You will find an itemized list of body fat percentage in each region of your body.

Advantages

  • Accurate

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Impractical (requires equipment) unless you are a fitness/bodybuilding professional

Most universities and colleges will have this equipment for testing available to you. Many doctors office also have this equipment. Each test can run between $150 – $400, depending on your area.

 

 

 

Fasted Workout vs Non-Fasted Workout

Fasted Workout vs Non-Fasted Workout

fasted

In the Saiyan program, the fasted workout is advised. There are many health benefits from working out fasted, but the largest factor is that it helps accelerate burn fat.

In a study of 19 men in two groups for Ramadan training, results have shown further benefits. Some other benefits include:

  • Boost of Growth Hormone (GH)
  • Re-composition of body (protein from fat)
  • Increase in testesterone
  • Amplified cognitive function
  • Regulated mood and stress

workout

The study specifically states:

” … aerobic training in a fasted state lowers body weight and body fat percentage. In contrast, fed aerobic training decreases only body weight. In addition, Ramadan fasting induced change in some metabolic parameters in FAST, but these changes were absent in FED.”

However, there are some recommendations to keep your workout safe and effective.

  1. Take proper pre-workouts 15-20 mins before your workout. This includes your BCAA and creatine. You want to make sure your workouts are explosive and you have proper fuel. If you’re on keto diet or low carb diets, then you need to ensure you’re getting a proper amount of glycogen stores from carbohydrates. The purpose of high carb days on workout days allow your body to recover and restore glycoegen.
  2. Post workout recovery meals should be your largest meals. This allows your body to have sufficient fuel to rejuvenate and recover from the workout.
Constipation Due to Weight Loss

Constipation Due to Weight Loss

Young Man Sitting on Toilet --- Image by © Brigitte Sporrer/Corbis

Constipation is caused by changes in the diet and/or inactivity. When your body undergoes a dietary change, you’ll often find yourself bloated, gassy, and constipated. Your bowel movements will be infrequent, erratic, and potentially painful.

First off, I recommend reading about my post on fiber. Usually, the more fiber you eat, the better. That is unless you’re having too much fiber. Also, if you lack fiber, increase fiber intake slowly.

But what else can affect your bowel movements? Many factors including nutrient and mineral sufficiency, water sufficiency, fiber intake, amount of physical activity, and/or surgery. Even lifestyle changes, stress, depression, and mental anxiety can affect your bowel movements.

It’s not always recommended to take laxatives if you’re having constipation. Instead, opt for better regular habits that allow your body to become accustomed to your diet and lifestyle.

Developing great habits so that your bowel movements come naturally and frequently are the best options for you.

  • Drink more water
  • Eat enough fiber
  • Check your poo!

Here’s an excellent visual chart of types of bowel movements:

boweltypesAs funny as the above chart is to look at, we’ve all been victims of the hard lumpy, painful pellet bowel movements.

 

How Much Protein Is Too Much Protein?

How Much Protein Is Too Much Protein?

There is information EVERYWHERE about how much protein to consume. Then there are values thrown by the RDA, FDA, and nutritionists, etc. This can all be very confusing and once, I was too.
protein

In the past, it was thought that too much protein was bad for the kidneys.

Let’s start off with some general numbers that most people fall within:

  1. 0.5 g of protein per kg of body weight is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
  2. 0.5 g to 1.0 g of protein per kg of body weight is what people who don’t have a weight training regimen
  3. 1.0 g to 1.5 g of protein per kg of body weight is the amount that most body builders go for
  4. 2.0 g to 3.0 g of protein per kg of body weight is what extremists aim for

Before you say wait, should I go for the extreme, let’s look at some basic facts.

  1. Even though your body consumes more protein, it does not necessarily it get injected into your muscles.
  2. There seems to be a limit to how much your body can utilize.
  3. Experts have weighed in and your kidneys are not strained with too much protein.
  4. Inadequate protein is not good.

There have been articles like [1] and [2] that try to scare people away with too much protein in the diet; however, these are all untrue.

Now, that is not to say that you should go for an all protein diet. Most of the protein that you’re eating will go to waste. Our bodies undergo ketosis with all the excess protein.

Arnold Schwarzenegger advises the following chart:

7-26-2013_1-55-32_PM

Conclusion?

I would follow my recommended reservations. However, if you’re not following that, you can lie anywhere between 1.5 g to 2.0 g per kg of body weight.

If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) Concept

If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) Concept

clean-food-or-junk-food

There is a common term, IIFYM, that goes around in the weight lifting industry. This means “if it fits your macros.”

Many strength lifters will eat nearly anything they want: burgers, burritos, fast food, ice cream, cookies, sweets, fried foods, etc. And some people think, how is it that they maintain such good shape, while eating whatever the heck they want?

But the trick is that most of the time they’re not really eating whatever they want and in fact, it is a tracked formula.

When you read my article about nutrition, you learned about the three macronutrients of foods (carbohydrates, fats, and protein). These lifters are still eating within the context of their macros; however, they have prepared or adjusted their diets to account for those foods. Or they are on their “cheat day” where they have accounted for those foods, again.

You can still lose body fat and gain muscle by sticking to your macronutrient requires. The foods can be clean or “dirty,” but to our body, they’re all the same.

iifym-diet

However, when you follow IIFYM, you’ll discover, it’s difficult to eat fast food or any other “dirty” foods because you’ll need to plan a strategy on how to include them.

It’s difficult to meet your specific intake when you try to include these other foods.

Regardless, as long as you realize what you’re eating, you should be able to eat anything you want.