MONITORING WEIGHT, FAT, MUSCLE AND MORE

Last week the electronic bathroom scale was acting irregular two new battery re-boots  could not revive it. Like any other triathlete technophile (is this redundant?), I saw this an an opportunity to upgrade a gadget.

I did some online searching and through amazon.com I purchased a very well-reviewed bathroom scale, the OZERI TOUCH II.  This baby doesn’t just weigh you, oh no, that for amateur hour. Here’s what it does:

  • PERSONAL PROFILES: memorizes the personal profiles for 8 users and automatically identifies you when you step on the scale.
  • WEIGHT: body in your choice of imperial or metric. Look, continued use of imperial measurements is bad enough, but you those of you Brits still using “stone”, it’s time to join the last century. Don’t even get me started on cubits as a measurement standard.
  • BODY FAT %: it measures the electrical impedance between your feet and references your profile data to yield body fat percentage.
  • BODY WATER RATIO%: normally accounts for over half of your body weight and over 66% of your lean body mass. Measures an index of your hydration status.
  • BODY MUSCLE RATIO %: measures body muscle percentage. Useful if you are trying to lose weight, but don’t want to cannibalize your muscle.
  • BONE WEIGHT: an estimation of the bone weight in your body. An estimation.

All for less than $60.

I wish I had this at the beginning of the year when I started exercising regularly and with focus to have some idea as to what the training has done. Here’s what I came up with on the first measurement today:

DATE      WEIGHT (LB)    FAT%    WATER%    MUSCLE %    BONE WT.
6/21/12        167                    5.1%        46.3%             46.9%             7.5 LB.

Thoughts:

  • I’ve lost some weight. I would rather be up around 170-172. Lately I’ve been haphazardly eating lunch.
  • Body fat is lower than I expected.There are two kinds of fat. The first is “essential fat”. This is the fat necessary for basic function and protection. This is fat surrounding the heart, some surrounding the intestines, and for women, the breasts as well. The other fat is the stored fat. For men, this tends to be abdominal fat (beer gut) and subcutaneous. This is the fat that the whole multi-billion dollar weight loss industry is built on.For men, the essential fat is about 3-5%. I must not have much stored fat. Probably enough to do a marathon, but at a fat-burning sub-aerobic threshold pace, I’ll still need to watch nutrition to prevent the dreaded bonkage.
  •  Water percent is a bit on the low side. Need to drink more.
  • It also seems like there should be more than 8 pounds of bone. Are there small-boned and big-boned people? or is that a euphemism for fat.

My wife and daughters will tell you and anyone interested that I am too thin. Always have been thin, even when I was a competitive swimmer in HS and college. I don’t think I’m too thin, I just have a well-tuned power to weight ratio! We’ll see how these number change with time and more endurance training.. It should also be interesting to see how the hydration measurement changes after a long run or bike. I think I tend not to sweat much and tend to run or ride a little on the dry side.

So yeah, it’s kind of odd to be writing about a bathroom scale, but we needed a new one, and I thought the price was right. Seems like a potentially helpful training aid.

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