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In Maintenance, Scale Matters Little

Friday, October 26, 2012

Most people during weight loss are focused on the scale. It's hard to convince them that they need to be focused on FAT loss, not weight loss. I know, I was there. Big mistake. But as we transition to long term maintenance it is important to focus much more on body composition. More muscle, less fat.

I think the only thing more grossly mis-estimated than people's calorie intake are people's self body fat percent estimations.

If you haven't heard of DEXA scans, they are probably one of the most accurate estimations to date of body composition. Your BIA device is probably shaky at best. I've quit using my BIA device because the measurements were so wonky.

So now that one can look at what x% body fat *SHOULD* look like, you can compare yourself to the models.

If you're at your "goal weight" but you're not liking what you see in the mirror, welcome to the world of recomposition. I've been here for years. I've gained 25 pounds and look better in the mirror than when I was 25 pounds lighter. It's a road worth traveling.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for another useful web site.
    2031 days ago
    I like to see a certain number on the scale and my goal is to maintain this weight while toning and tightening. So no, I'm not doing heavy duty ST, nor am I planning to. Recomposition happens slowly doing it my way, but as long as I see progress, I'm good. And for the most part I like what I see in the mirror :)
    2032 days ago
    Chuck Norris' DEXA scan revealed the fist under his beard.

    But it took fMRI, and that time his blood blew up the centrifuge all over the lab, to reveal that his weight is ideal due to his beard length and thickness.
    2033 days ago
    This is only my opinion and I acknowledge your caveat "you're not liking what you see in the mirror"
    Body recomposition is not necessary for health. It is a personal challenge based on motives that may or may not be healthy. Health requires organs that are not burdened by fat deposits and muscle development adequate for injury free functionality, also a personal choice based on the desired lifestyle.
    I would not recommend anyone gain 25 lbs of muscle unless they are prepared for a lifestyle burdened with maintaining it.
    I view this as another facet of sustainability. A mirror, a favorite pair of jeans and a scale do very nicely for many.
    2033 days ago
    Definitely some interesting images for the different fat % levels. I'll stick to the BIA method for now - not because I think the number is accurate, but because over the long term it is "free" and consistent enough to watch the decrease in fat and be sure I'm not losing too much LBM with it.
    2033 days ago
    I agree other measures are important, but if I convince myself that the scale matters "little," soon I won't be in maintenance anymore.

    I can see my ribs, hip bones and collarbone. My thighs are waiting for the next famine and if anyone has some extra fat to plop on my chest, I'll take it. I don't care what percentage that might add.

    2033 days ago
  • MISSB8604
    How do we go about recompositioning?
    2033 days ago
    I weigh in everyday, because I like numbers and graphs,
    but in fact the feeling of having a body made of muscles is more important to me.

    2033 days ago
    I will admit to using the scale, but I also use tape measurements and get my fat percentage taken every 4 weeks at my gym (calliper method). I do use my BIA device between measurements to get a rough idea as to where I am, but I take it with a grain of salt.

    I do try to keep perspective, but the scale at least helps me stay on track when it comes to my nutrition.
    2033 days ago
    Unfortunately we are all slaves to the scale when it really matters little. But it is the universal standard by which we all measure ourselves.

    Make this a great weekend!
    2033 days ago
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