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Old 02-07-2014, 10:29 AM   #1
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Body Composition Testing Results (BIA/Bod Pod/DEXA)

Here are the results of my Body Composition tests from this morning. My weight was taken at the lab so I used that with the BIA percent I got from my scale at home this morning, which told me I was 194.6, so close.



Overall, what I expected. I'm glad that it agrees with my estimate of 15-16%, on the DEXA scan which gives me a good starting point to work from and when I go back for the follow-up DEXA scans I'll be able to see on the same machine if I improve.

As far as accuracy, I don't think the bod pod was very accurate for me and I agree with the DEXA scan, based on my own estimation visually and in comparison with different assessment I have done using body measurements. The BIA number came close, but I think that is a fluke, it has given me numbers ranging from 13.8 to 17.5 over the past 7 days all under identical conditions and times of the day. I'm going to go ahead and say for me the DEXA will be my gold standard for where I really am at. But I will use the BIA on a daily basis to see if it is time to schedule a follow-up DEXA scan to check on my progress. I have tracked on the BIA scale from 40% to 16% so I know it can show my trend.

The RMR and TDEE came from the Bod Pod test, and I'm not sure how to take them. A 2% change in BF%, at the same weight, based on online calculators only amounts to about 50 additional calories a day needed to maintain my weight. Online calculators give me about 2800 calories daily with 4 days a week of exercise to maintain, and if I bump it up to 5 days of intense it only goes up to 3000. These numbers just seem to high to actually maintain and I think I would gain on them. But I have been feeling a bit lethargic at the gym the last couple of sessions, so I might need to bump it up a bit.

An interesting fact that I learned is that I am apparently not 6'2", I am 71.5", so just under 6'. So either I shrunk or I've always been wrong. But it does make my BMI 26.5 so I'm overweight, (haha stupid BMI!).

Also my Bone Density T-Score is 1.8, with the normal range for healthy individuals being +/- 1, and negative numbers below -1 being scores to be concerned with. So with 1.8 I'm really good! At least I cannot find any indication that higher numbers are problematic.
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159.3 Pounds lost since 7/14/2011

Low Calorie: 7/14/2011 - 80lbs lost
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:52 AM   #2
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Thanks Mike. This is great to see. Your are in excellent shape. I don't have access in our city to the DEXA scan currently but the Bod Pod is available. I think based on your findings I am going to stick with the BIA scale to measure my (hopefully) downward body fat trend. I still have a fairly high body fat percentage and don't need to know the exact number. I do think when I am leaner I will look into it all again. Excellent tool for motivation when looking for goals to work toward. I am interested in your loose skin and body fat % investigation. I am sceptical that I will continue to the level of body fat loss I would need to find out for myself but I am curious about it.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:53 AM   #3
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Great information Mike, and I'm pleased you got confirmation of what you suspected. It is a little disconcerting how far apart the numbers are with someone in as obviously good shape as you are. I wonder if they're farther apart in someone with more BF, or if the differences are consistent over different body types.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:11 AM   #4
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All the tests have some level of inaccuracy and can fail completely. I don't want to discourage anyone from getting a bod pod analysis, especially if it is more easily available and affordable. The real key is tracking using the same tool to see the trend in the right direction. Even if a test is inaccurate it should have the same level of inaccuracy in follow-ups and give a good indication of progress.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:13 PM   #5
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So interesting.

Just as an aside, I dunno mine (but I know it's a lot, of course) and I am doubtful I can get to where I need to be body fat wise to finally lost my spare tire. At least without looking scary thin everywhere else. My legs already look super skinny to me as my body just ain't giving it up on the waist even by inches. But I would like to have a baseline and there's just no place close to me.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:47 PM   #6
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Very interesting, thank for sharing.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:58 PM   #7
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Great comparison, Mike. And great results! You are quite lean and I know in fantastic shape. The BMI calculation is just nuts. I know physicians and insurance companies use it, so we have to deal with its ramifications, but I discount it completely in my own analysis.

I agree with you, that whatever test we have we need to stick with. That was my feeling on the BodPod test. I will be able to track improvements/changes, as I know I'll be having the test with the same machine and same person testing me each time.

Thanks so much for sharing this.
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:01 PM   #8
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Interesting Mike.
Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:44 PM   #9
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Very interesting, and even though there are discrepencies between the three, the overall conclusion is that you're in great shape! I also see that your calorie numbers are a lot higher than you've been eating, which is something I had a question about (and addressed to you) in the weigh-in thread. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:34 PM   #10
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Wow, Mike! Your results are even lower body fat than you estimated -- but close! So interesting to see the variations, although they are all in the awesome range. How amazing that you've been tracking since you had 40% fat, and look at you now. Great work, and so inspiring!

Also: stupid BMI!

p.s. My hydrostatic test guy told me my TDEE was about 2400 calories, but I thought that was too high as well.

Last edited by calichris; 02-07-2014 at 08:39 PM..
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:54 PM   #11
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Very interesting, Mike. Thanks for sharing the info. You are obviously fit as a fiddle I wonder when the insurance companies and doctors will start looking at BMI limitations.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:52 AM   #12
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So interesting. Thanks for sharing it with us. I wonder if the follow-up tests will show the same difference, as in 3% off, but still consistent across the board. Or if, as you get leaner, they will agree more (or less). I have heard (anecdotally) that the fatter you are the more trouble Bodpod has 'finding' all the fat. But at your leanness, I wouldn't think that would be an issue.

Oh, and BMI and height changes! Pfft! How can you be overweight?!? Just cultivate a higher hairstyle!
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:18 AM   #13
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I actually don't plan on getting a follow-up bod pod test at this point. I might do it on a whim when I'm doing the follow-up DEXA scan. They have many other tests that seem more interesting to me like Resting Metabolic Rate and Aerobic Capacity (V02max and V02 submax) that I might spend money on instead. The RMR would be interesting so that I could get an actual measure on my metabolism and be able to dial in my calorie needs more accurately, right now it is a guess and I can't figure out if I'm eating enough, too little or too much.

The height thing weirds me out a little for some reason, did I shrink or have I just been wrong about my height for 30+ years! No biggie, just an odd feeling.

And BMI really is stupid, but thinking I was 6'2" I was bouncing in and out of Normal/Overweight between 194/195, and now I'm solidly in overweight with my new height. The guy running the tests basically discounted the BMI too, makes you wonder why anyone bothers with it any more. I know it is really meant to give a generic average assessment of someones health and once we get near our ideal weight we should probably just ignore it and concentrate on BF%.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:04 AM   #14
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I had the VO2 max testing done and lactate threshold testing done a few years ago and found it worthwhile. My heart rate zones are not close to what the standard formula gives. Both tests gave my the same heart rate zones but I liked the data from the VO2 testing better. I also have the new Garmin 620 which says that it can predict my VO2 max after I run with it for a while using mathematical formulas. I should probably go back to be tested again to be able to see how close it gets. I do like data, unfortunately I don't organize it very well.
On the height thing. I was shorter when I was over 200 pounds. I can almost measure out to my full height now of 175cm but I think I am not quite as tall as I was before. I have always assumed that carrying extra weight just compressed me a bit and it took a while to get it back but I have never looked into it and the difference was only about an inch.
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:02 PM   #15
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Mike - you may want to check with your doctor and ask what they measured you at for your height. They should have records for many years I would think
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:21 PM   #16
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My last physical had me at 72 inches and I wondered if it was right then, but never rechecked it. Now it has been confirmed. I don't have any records before that as I never went to the doctor!
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:46 AM   #17
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Interesting set of results. Did the DXA indicate if you have particular deposits of fat (android/gynoid distribution) that tie in with the observation of your lower stomach?

I wonder if it might be time for you to look into reverse dieting - you'll have a little more fuel for the gym and will, perhaps, regain some metabolic flexibility.

Selfishly, the thing that I noticed is that you have more muscle than I have total LBM (albeit by BIA).

Visually, and by the Navy Scale, my BF levels are somewhere between 20-25% - which is why the BodPod result was such a shock. (Yes, when I have the time I will have the DXA because I have to know.)
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:31 AM   #18
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Yes it gave a breakdown by region, I am leanest in my arms and legs, no surprise there, Android was 19.8%, Gynoid was 20.2% and Trunk was 18.7%. So I definitely carry my fat in my midsection and through my chest.

Hopefully I can start mobilizing some of that stubborn fat and utilizing it to fuel my workouts.

I'm not sure if I should be reverse dieting to stabilize my weight or if I should be doing it to break a stall and maybe get below 190. Since I am no longer 6'2", my weight is actually above most max ranges for that height, with the highest being around 184 that I can find. I don't care that much about the weight really, but I would like to do something to encourage my body to tap into those fat stores for fuel.

I'll experiment a little and increase my overall calories a bit and see what effect that has, and I'll also be very vigilante on keeping carbs at a minimum 6 out of 7 days of the week. But 1 day a week I'm going for some sushi and then have some sweet potato for desert after a good heavy lifting workout to replenish my glycogen stores and reset my leptin levels. Sushi and sweet potato will at least keep it a clean refeed. I also found that yohimbine is supposed to block a2 fat receptors, and when taken in a fasted state can encourage stubborn fat to be utilized so I will probably try supplementing with it at a low dose in the mornings while I am in a fasted state, and I'll be adding in green tea extract and L-Carnitine as well.

Not sure any of it will make a difference, but hopefully it will or the continued exercise will. We shall see.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Planelman View Post
I'm not sure if I should be reverse dieting to stabilize my weight or if I should be doing it to break a stall and maybe get below 190...
I'll experiment a little and increase my overall calories a bit and see what effect that has
I'm suggesting reverse dieting as an option to maintain overall for now but push up your metabolism enough from its present state of adaptation so that you don't have to drop kcal intake from where you are now to drop the fat that you want (IYSWIM) when it's the right time.

I could be wrong but my feeling from looking at your numbers is that you're pretty low on intake to maintain your present form, LBM, and regular exercise. I'd be loth to see your food intake drop lower (not that it's any of my business, tho'). So, I wondered if this might be time for you to reverse diet and then drop the stubborn BF because it looks like you'd be in what is more typically a bodybuilder's fat cut cycle at that point.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:42 AM   #20
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I could be eating lower calorie wise than I need to just because I have done it for so long! I'm sure I'm reluctant to increase it too much for fear of gaining. I certainly don't want to be at a deficit for the rest of my life counting calories incessantly but it is a hard habit to break and since I am tracking macros to make sure I'm in a ketogenic range, calories are right there in my face. And I still tend to think, probably incorrectly, that lower calories will equal fat/weight loss. And I really need to focus instead on fueling my workouts and providing the building blocks for the recomp I'm ultimately looking for. Still trying to find the right balance that works for me without obsessing about every detail or under eating thinking it will have the desired effect.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:43 PM   #21
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The balance can be tricky. I've read and seen in multiple places where trying to cut calories significantly and doing lots of exercise can be counter productive for weight loss, and I've personally experienced stalling out this way. I've heard the recommendation that people lose best by either cutting more calories and exercising less, or cutting calories less and exercising more. It seems like everyone who emphasizes improving body composition recommends the latter, advocating exercise including weight lifting with a small amount of calorie cutting (such as 20% below TDEE, with exercise factored in). I wish I knew definitively how intermittent fasting affects this, with maintenance calories one day and 25% of TDEE the next. But I'm getting off topic! Mike, let us know how your experiment goes. You're in a great place to do this right now.
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:30 PM   #22
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You are not off topic as this is exactly what I am trying to do with the recomp protocol, on workout days eat at a surplus of maintenance+exercise calories and then on rest days eat at a deficit of maintenance. Also combining this with IF and ketosis, to have a large fat burning window of 16-18 hours while fasting, and then timing the eating window around the workout for recovery to fuel the next workout.

So if I use the online calculators and use a 10% surplus for workout days and 10% deficit for rest days, based on a TDEE of 2818 on workout days with exercise calories added, and a TDEE of 2513 on rest days which is maintenance calories with no exercise and assuming I'm working out 60 minutes 4 times a week and each workout burns 305 calories (conservative but may be realistic). I would average out to 2,740 calories a day and theoretically maintain my weight, and hopefully burn some fat and build some muscle.

So based on all that my targets should be 3,099 on workout days and 2,261 on rest days. Carbs and protein are fixed numbers and I just adjust the fat to meet the targets.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:11 PM   #23
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Absolutely fascinating data and observations, Mike. Thank you!
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