Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Maybe I'm storing it for winter?

I got the skinfold caliper check yesterday... and for the first time since I've been measuring, I've gone in the wrong direction. Up to 8.8%, from 8.2.

The total measurement was up 2mm from last month. I suspected something was wrong, as my weight had climbed a couple of pounds and my belt wasn't getting any looser. Analysis shows that lean muscle mass did not change. The extra two pounds are fat. Specifically, it's abdominal fat. I dropped half a mm on the chest but added 2.5mm to the belly. Great news, a few days before Thanksgiving!

So, what am I doing wrong? I think it's portion size. I had myself convinced that my total intake of calories was going to muscle, since I eat (mostly) EF. So for a couple months I've been finishing any meat and vegetables the kids leave on the table. Also I tend to eat 2-3 full meals a day. Again, these are all fat and protein- but it may be that I've put on all the muscle I'm going to put on, and the extra calories have to go somewhere.

Now, what to do about it? I'm going to target a weight of 148 lb. I'll go back to leaving some food on the plate... quitting BEFORE I feel full. And of course I'll continue to stay away from processed carbs and sugars.

But Thursday? Some things take precedence. I am going to fast until dinner, and then I'm having stuffing and gravy. Stuffing and gravy, baby.


  1. I don't think this is worth worrying about. A few thoughts...

    1) I am not sure how often you check your weight, but it could just be daily variation. My weight varies as much as +/- 2#.
    2) There may be some variation on the caliper measurement as well.
    3) Less than 9% BF is pretty amazing. The fact that is creeped up a touch is minor compared to the body composition change you have made over the last 6 months.

    Enjoy your holiday and we will push the lifting limits when you return.

  2. Richard,

    I hear you. I'd been telling Jeff that my weight has seemed to drift up a bit to the 152 range. I've sort of flat-lined on a couple things like exercise, etc. So maybe it is a good time to step back and re-evaluate things....set new goals...re-examine the diet, etc. The holidays and the volume of food at work certainly make it challenging.

    Also, IMHO the caliper measurement is a better measurement than total weight for concern - don't get me wrong; <9% is fantastic.


  3. Wow, I saw the first lines of this piece in my Blogger reader and I'm thinking, "Get the hell outta here, man!"

    Like the other two have said, your body fat index is highly impressive. I don't know if I will ever get down to that. I'm hovering around 11% and I feel damn good about it.

    I like the idea of fasting until Thursday, but I know I cannot do that. I plan to work out on Wednesday, so I am fasting today and I plan to make my window for eating a bit earlier - that way I can fast going into the first meal on Turkey Day.

    Still... 8.2$?! By golly, wow...

  4. Hey all - thanks for the comments. I realize I'm in good shape and the numbers don't mean that much, but I am a very data-driven sort of guy. I see this as an opportunity to make some tweaks, no more and no less. Besides, I'm built skinny - 9% for me is not as big a deal as you might think.

    So, I am TRULY thankful for my good health!

    For the record I am not fasting all the way until dinner Thursday! Just during that day up until the big meal.

  5. Calipers are notoriously inaccurate at low levels of BF, even if administered by someone practiced in the art. Personally, I go strictly by how I look & how I feel. But then again, I'm not a numbers-driven guy, and you may be. That said, though, I still wouldn't put too much emphasis, good or bad, on a caliper reading -- especially at the levels you're speaking of. Just my 2 cents.

  6. I meant to add that point regarding caliper accuracy. Personally, I can get a 4mm swing in measurement at the same location within 5 minutes of each other. Happens to me all the time. Some of the other non-measureable things I have noticed that indicate my BF% is down are a) wedding band needs resized b) constant hiking up of pants since the waist is so loose, c) increased hollowness of face.

    That being said, I still track my weight daily and have running times that go back years.