Body weight composition

well, I am a runner (30 mpw) and have also lost 13lbs since xmas on a low fat diet, I know I still have another 2st to lose really but have seen significant improvemtns in my fitness with running.

 Today I have bought one of those Salter MiBody body fat monitors and these are my measurements:

weight 13st 6lbs

BMI 27.9

Body Fat 32%

Body Water 49.8%

Muscle Mass 32.3%

Visceral Fat 9%

BMR 1619

Now, I know I have a long way to go to get my body fat into the normal range, but I am intepreting (from what I have googled) that I have a good level of muscle mass. I don't do any weight training at all (I just run!) so this I assume is why my total weight is not coming down, I seem to be gaining muscle mass but not losing the body fat. What can I do?

I do eat a very low fat diet, I tend to have weetabix and skimmed milk for breakfast, banana mid morning, lunch will be something like an omelette or a tuna sandwich and I have a stir fry for tea (no oil or dressing) will add prawns or chicken to stir fry veg, I will snack on a couple of pieces of fruit or a couple of muller light yogurts. I don't drink, so I don;t see where else I can cut fat out of my diet to reduce my body fat %

any advice?

Comments

  • Last time I used one of those monitors it was absolutely rubbish.

    Double check the reading at the same time tomorrow before worrying about the reading ?
  • Agree with cougie - those scales are useless  as an ACTUAL measure of those things.

    And with respect to your diet, fat is NOT the devil it is made out to be.  

    Excess anything IS, however.

    If you cut almost all fat out of your diet, the first place you lose it is from around your vital  organs (where you need it) - the loss on your body comes much later.

  • Why do the Body Fat, Body Water and Muscle Mass percentages add up to more than 100%?
  • cougie, It all depends on what sort of tolerances, the machine is working to. There are limitations to the system but  I wouln'd say it was absolute rubbish!
  • el-Bee, why do you need fat on your vital organs?
  • I'm even more depressed now!
  • That BMR seems awfully low.

  • Dr.DanDr.Dan ✭✭✭
    eL Bee! wrote (see)

    If you cut almost all fat out of your diet, the first place you lose it is from around your vital  organs (where you need it) - the loss on your body comes much later.

    Really?  What's the evidence for this?
  • With respect Smurf - the machine was analysing myself and my friends. A 55 kilo woman was told with a straight face by the personal trainer that she was borderline obese.

    It was b*llox.

    That was only 2 years ago - so things may have improved then - but as I say - the one we used was rubbish.
  • cougie,  there was an interesting programme on TV a year ago, where people of different shapes and sizes were analysed for fat content etc.  A skinny man stood next to a burly builder (with a pot belly). They asked the audience who had the least (as a percentage) fat content. Natually they went for mr skinny. When they performed an imaging body scan ( I think it was MRI scan), they showed that mr skinny had more subcutaneous fat than mr burley. 

    I think this can sometimes answer why body stat machines can seem to give erroneous readings.

  • It also demonstrates why those home machines aren't very accurate.  Each of us distributes the fat differently around our bodies and that will affect the results.  They are also heavily affected by your level of hydration.

      

    Rach, I suggest you ignore all the readings except weight and stick with your diet, making sure that you're giving your body enough protein to keep your muscles in good condition for running and enough carbs to fuel your running.  You also need to be aware that muscle is more dense than fat so if you're losing fat and gaining muscle you may not lose weight as fast as you'd like.  The solution to this is to check how your body is looking.  Are you looking slimmer?  Can you fit into smaller size clothes?

  • I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that fat around the vital organs was much MORE harmful than subcutaneous fat
  • Dr.DanDr.Dan ✭✭✭

    >>  and enough carbs to fuel your running. 

    If you're trying to lose weight, then surely you want to use fat supplies as your energy source? There's already enough fuel in storage to keep your glycogen levels topped up between runs.

  • Dr.Dan wrote (see)
    eL Bee! wrote (see)

    If you cut almost all fat out of your diet, the first place you lose it is from around your vital  organs (where you need it) - the loss on your body comes much later.

    Really?  What's the evidence for this?

    I'd also be interested to know the foundation of eL Bee's statement. I would have thought the opposite, to protect organs.

  • Can the body top up stored glycogen from stored fat then? (Serious question, I'd love to know the answer)

  • Mikefrog wrote (see)
    I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that fat around the vital organs was much MORE harmful than subcutaneous fat
    Excess fat, yes but fat is needed around organs for protection and insulation.
  • Ta, Siance.
  • It's an education being on RW some days...

    Darwin, Dilemmas, and this thread...

  • Mmm, this is a toughy. I use the same make scales, cost me about £60 notes a couple of years ago... however, here's my two penneth worth.

    Before embarking on my current diet, I used the scales to get a baseline. Now I'm of the mindset, I personally think that these scales are decent, however, I'd not say they're 100% perfectly accurate so... when I first started I was...

    Weight 87.7kg, Fat 18.9%, Bone 3.3kg, Muscle 46.7%, Water 67.6%

    Now, I currently am Weight 79.3kg, Fat 13.5%, Bone 3.4kg, Muscle 47.9%, Water 66.6%

    Now to me, I'd expected bone and water to stay constant (bone more so obviously, but allowing for an increase in density over time)...

    The conclusions I have, I don't care how accurate the figures are as long as the weight, fat readings go down, and the bone stays the same as with water and the muscle goes up. If they occur, then I'm happy using the scales.

    As in trying to get you fat down, train harder mate, it's as simple as that... your diet sounds solid, so you just have to slowly chip away at the fat and that can only be done over time.

    Cheers Pug image

  • Dr.DanDr.Dan ✭✭✭
    Mikefrog wrote (see)

    Can the body top up stored glycogen from stored fat then? (Serious question, I'd love to know the answer)

    Hmm, well techincally "no" , not directly anyway ...  fat is broken down into glycerol and fatty acids ... aninals cannot convert fatty acids into glucose (the buiding block of glycogen)... the glycerol part can be converted into glucose in the liver but I don't believe this is a major route to glycogen synthesis (I may be wrong - perhaps it is more important in low carb diets? Dunno!).

    But, actually my point was that if you're using your fat supplies as an energy source, you need less carbs in your diet to keep glycogen levels topped up. Fuelling your running with carbs makes sense if you're at "steady-state" ... if you're trying to lose weight then it's better to keep carb calories down and burn fat. If you fuel your runnign with calories from ingested carbs, obviously you won't lose weight.

  • Rach,

     You said it yourself that you are losing weight; so I struggle to see the problem. Diet looks OK, you seem to be clocking up the miles so you should carry on losing wieght. It is never as fast as we hope.

    If you have hit a plateaux then you must break it by changing something. Either more running or a few days on tougher rations. Alternatively my preference would be chill out for a week or two and don't concetrate on diet. Then refocus diet and begin the process again, set new bench marks etc.

    Muslce is good, it burns calories all day long so increases actual BMR (although doesn't show up in calculated BMR). It should also help you run faster.

    Do you have a set of body measurements to compare against. I like these to go along side weight measurement as it can give some motivation where weight loss may not seem to be happening. Ultimately who cares how heavy you are as long as you look good. I think Johnny Wilkinson was technically obese on the BMI scale when he was playing for England - but my wife didn't think so.

    Try some runs on empty as this forces the body to take energy from fat, burning the fat. Eat afterwards. the body will use the food to run life, repair muscle and only return to fat what is spare. Even on a perfectly calorie balanced diet this will make you lose wieght as energy into and out of fat takes energy.and therefore you would not be perfectly balanced.

    Stick with it.

    Dave

  • Hi,

    Some great responses and i'd like to back up Pug here.  Don't read too much into the figures themselves (unless they are so extreme that seeing a Doc would be a good idea)  keep as many variables as constant as possible, time of day, clothing etc etc then just use the figures as a benchmark and if they are going in the right direction job done.  The best evidence is the response from people you know to how good you look,  looking in the mirror and how you feel/increases in performance.

    Now this is vital to losing weight and fat as it so often gets overlooked......Ultimately your body only cares about keeping it self alive (thankfully) so you have to cheat it a little to make it let go of the fat - basically lead it in to a  sense of security (but not a false sense).  The main thing is hydration - 3L a day of water not including water required during trainning will help to shed fat alot.  If your body feels that it will get water on a regular basis it won't retain additional stores and with the excess water loss goes a load of fat aswell - for some reason.  Strangely as a result your body will be more hydrated and your % water weight will go up.  Bit like a camel - fatty humps filled of water cos their bodies know that it's not getting any for a long time.

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