Body Fat Percentage and time to workout!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

As part of a cancer study, I had my body fat percentage measured yesterday. I came out at 31.6 %. That seems awfully high to me. At 148 lbs and 5'8", I felt like I was doing really well and expected that number to be a little lower.
My BMI came out as 22.6 and on most charts that is considered healthy and normal (YEAH!!)
The 31.6% body fat is healthy on some charts and overweight on others. Even on the healthy charts it is still on the upper side of healthy.
I found that very discouraging and then I looked carefully at what that number really means. If I want a 24% body fat composition (which would be healthy but not super athletic or anything) I would have to get down to 136.7 lbs.
I worked it out like this:
currently 148lbs x .316 = 46.8 lbs of fat
that leaves 148-46.8= 101.2 lbs of lean body weight
148lbs x.24 (%age of body fat to aim for) =35.5lbs of fat
101.2 (lean weight) +35.5 lbs fat= 136.7
So if I aim for 24 % body fat, I would have to lose about 11 lbs.
My long term goal was to get to 140, but perhaps I should try for 135 instead (I guess that's not that different really)?
Well, that's how one website said to calculate a reasonable weight loss goal
So then if I work out how much body fat I would have at 135 lbs. At 135 lbs and 24% body fat, I would have 32.4 lbs of body fat.
At 135 lbs, my BMI would be 20.5 which is healthy, so I guess that is what I should be aiming for.
I am celebrating that I am within the healthy parameters (even if they are slightly on the high end) and I will set my long term goal for 135 lbs.
I was discussing with my partner today, the amount of work it takes to lose weight and stay healthy and fit. I have been putting hours into exercise and into nutrition tracking and preparing healthy meals. It is really tough to find the time and motivation to work on health. I do not find it surprising that so many people out there have weight issues. Between work hours and home responsibilities (especially with kids) there isn't much time or energy left to workout. I have found that I rarely have a chance to sit if I am keeping to my exercise goals.
Wouldn't it be nice if government and work legislated at least a half hour of paid exercise time during the workday? Perhaps that is a way to combat the nation's obesity epidemic.
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