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How to be sure that I really lose weight (fat/muscle)?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 15, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Hello, I am the new guy!

I started Paleo a week ago (after reading Arthur de Vany's book). I started with a weight of ca. 87 kg (with a body height of 170cm / male / age 34). Every morning I step onto my scale and I alrealy lost about 3 kg. But now it looks like the weightloss stalled a bit. My theory would be that building up muscles could be the reason. I don't do much so far, but lifting weight and do pushupsfor like 10-15 minutes a day. I know that muscles weigh more than fat.

So my scale tells me the bodyfat (in %) and BMI too. But are those scales reliable? How can I calculate the gramms/kilogramms of fat I lose?

cheers Marc

1d1a1aa53ec46345db814f2e5bc03838

(108)

on March 18, 2013
at 02:59 PM

Thanks! I think I'll use my analog scale from now on and will measure fat with the tools sugested.

1d1a1aa53ec46345db814f2e5bc03838

(108)

on March 15, 2013
at 11:08 AM

I have admit that it's mostly curiosity the made me step onto the scale every morning and I think I got a little dragged away by it. Thanks for your tips for measuring the changes! I think I have to relax a bit and see what happens. Great website!

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2 Answers

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Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 15, 2013
at 11:01 AM

Every morning I step onto my scale and I alrealy lost about 3 kg.

Stop that. If you really, really want to sate curiosity, get on the scale at most once at week -- better, once a month. There are plenty of reasons that people don't lose exactly X amount of weight each day, and scales are a useful tool, but can drive people crazy and dissuade them from keeping on being healthy.

So my scale tells me the bodyfat (in %) and BMI too. But are those scales reliable? How can I calculate the gramms/kilogramms of fat I loose?

No, they are not particularly reliable. Use the scale, but also pick up a fat caliper and a measuring tape. Use the caliper as another BF% estimate, and take measurements of waist, hips, chest, legs, and arms. Overtime, you'll most appreciate the measurements changing, more than total weight change. Also, you can get a third BF% estimate using your waist measurement and BF% calculators (which you can find online).

1d1a1aa53ec46345db814f2e5bc03838

(108)

on March 15, 2013
at 11:08 AM

I have admit that it's mostly curiosity the made me step onto the scale every morning and I think I got a little dragged away by it. Thanks for your tips for measuring the changes! I think I have to relax a bit and see what happens. Great website!

0
5457372e78a910c00cd1dd579ecbdce3

(1230)

on March 15, 2013
at 05:29 PM

The BF% system on those scales is generally wrong, but they are consistently wrong if you always use them in the same conditions. In the morning just before or after a shower (though after is better as you will be sure to have the same amount of moisture on your feet).

Those scales pass a current from one leg to the other, and as such anything on your skin can skew the results. Another thing that can mess things up is where you carry your fat. If you have more belly fat the scale won't notice that as the legs are the only thing being measured. Fat and muscle have different resistance values and it uses that information to approximate how much fat is there. Over time you can see general trends in the data and can extrapolate from that, but I would not trust the numbers at face value.

An analogy is lets say your speedometer is wrong, you will still be able to tell with certainty that you are speeding up or slowing down, even if you don't know how fast you are going.

I would also agree with Greymouser on only weighing yourself once a week or so at first. There are TONS of factors that will change your weight day to day. Mine can swing a full 10 lbs in a single day, depending on the time of day and how much I have eaten/drank etc.

1d1a1aa53ec46345db814f2e5bc03838

(108)

on March 18, 2013
at 02:59 PM

Thanks! I think I'll use my analog scale from now on and will measure fat with the tools sugested.

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