by your scale!
This is what the average person is supposed to weigh…
This is the Bodyfat % that is supposedly healthy…
This is the BMI index that most doctors follow to determine a portion of your state of health…
There you have it. Or do you? Well, let’s take a look.
Although I am not the “norm”, I will use myself as an example since it is the body I know best. Lets start with weight. I just weighed myself and I am 282.6lbs. I am 6’8″ and they seem to be giving 5lbs per inch on the chart above so my healthy range would be 201lbs – 227lbs.
I am almost 60lbs OVERWEIGHT!
(I think I might cry)
Uh oh… first red flag. This is not looking good.
Lets move onto Bodyfat percentage shall we? Oh wait. We can’t. I don’t have an accurate number for you. Do you? You see, I have, sitting right here, a VERY expensive scale that measures bodyfat. BUT, I have messed with it enough that I think it measures hydration better than it does bodyfat. And my bodyfat according to this scale can fluctuate 2% to 3% in 24 hours. Hmmmm…
Ahhhh but wait! I also have sitting here Calipers! Success! But… oh man… no one here to help me pinch my oodles of fat! I know what I will do! I will go to the gym and have one of their “trainers” do it.
On second thought, I won’t. You see, there is no training involved in using calipers and the user error is HUGE! One person will measure it one way and another will have a completely different number the next minute. Which one is right? Or better yet… you are inflating with pounds of giggle right there on the spot! Nice!
The fact of the matter is there are only 3 ways to get an accurate number. Water submersion, Bod Pod (which Sacred Heart University has if you’re a die hard), and X-Ray.
I have been doing this stuff for a long time and have never done any of those. They are expensive and time consuming. So we can basically render bodyfat % useless.
Oh yes… the favorite! The BMI index which stands for Body Mass Index.
I did a separate calculation for this and found out that I am not only off the chart but OFF THE CHARTS!
I am obese!
My BMI is 31.0. Now I must go binge on chocolate!
Here is the bottom line…
I am not fat… I am not obese… I am a healthy, strong man.
There is no accurate form of measure. I just weighed myself again and in the process of writing this article, I gained nearly a pound. I am now 283.2lbs. Your scale is not accurate… ever.
Do an experiment. Limit your fluids for 24 hours. Then weigh yourself. Then consume a gallon of water in 24 hours. Then weigh yourself again. You just got FAT! Good work!
Did you know that a gallon of water weighs 8.34lbs? Add a little food and don’t go to the bathroom and you will have probably fluctuated 10lbs in 48 hours.
Most weight fluctuations occur because of hydration and that’s about it. If you drop 5lbs on the scale, you are more likely to be dehydrated than you are to have dropped 5lbs of bodyfat. If the scale went up 5lbs, you are probably retaining more water and have undigested food in your intestines rather than having gotten fatter.
So throw your scale in the garbage. Its broken and inaccurate anyway. If you must use it, then your range for concern MUST be over 10lbs. Not 3lbs. Not 5lbs. 10lbs! If it fluctuates more than that, then maybe you are doing something right or wrong – maybe.
BMI should stand for Bring More Intelligent Info. Its BS too. We are all different and have different bodies. Its what makes the world interesting. Just like you can’t cookie-cutter a diet, you can’t cookie-cutter forms of measure either.
So how do I measure? The best way that I have found is clothing. But again, that is not accurate either. If you are working out, you are changing the shape of your body. Things might be snug in different areas than they were before… that might not be a bad thing.
What I have found is that sometimes I wake up and I like what I see in the mirror. Other times I don’t. Never has it been a product of the numbers above. How do I know? I went back and tracked them all. I think that my eyes simply play tricks on me from time to time.
Ultimately, if you are committed to changing your body composition, then change it. I think people have all these charts and fancy gadgets because they are more interested in talking about losing weight (or why they’re not) than doing it. You’ll know when you have lost weight or bodyfay. You just will.