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Old 06-08-2015, 03:27 PM   #1
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S/C/G: 207/177/170

Height: 5'11" (31 yrs old)

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Hi everyone - looking for some guidance/thoughts on the following. As you can see from my bio, I am 5'11" female (and not a "willowy" tall either) and started at 207. I'm down to about 178 now. Since I was about 175-180 when playing a Division 1 college sport, I feel like this range is a pretty good weight for me even though it essentially results in an overweight BMI. I started IP on April 5th.

My fat percentage started at a walloping 46%. Gulp. My coach explained that the healthy range was from 22-33%. However, now that I'm down almost 30 pounds it is still 40%!!! I would have to drop another 30 pounds it seems in order to get the percentage close to a healthy range. This seems crazy to me. Am I being completely unrealistic about what a healthy" weight consists of for my height? Of course, this is very individual since body types are different, but I was wondering if others have had a similar experience. TIA!
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:37 PM   #2
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What's your age WMegs? As we get older there is an allowable amount of body fat % that is healthy above what it might be at college age. I have to run to an appointment but will look up the site later and post it here (it has been posted on another thread a while back on deciding what our goal weight should be.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:26 PM   #3
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I pay no attenton to the BMI's. I am at a weight that I am comfortable at. I took into consideration my beginning weight and what I could maintain without A LOT of effort and still allow myself some wiggle room.

I don't know what my % is at my current weight (phasing off my second journey with IP after a baby) but I'm at my pre baby weight and in my pre baby clothes and I'm happy to be me.

Even my doc doesn't care about BMI's and numbers "pick a number you are comfortable at and can maintain".
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:28 PM   #4
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Thanks canadjineh. Unfortunately, I'm probably not of that age since I'm only 31. I definitely have a different reallocation of weight at this 178 after having my now-15 month old than I did ten years ago, but it is the same number. On every chart (ACE, Jackson & Polluck), I'm in the obese category. My visceral fat number is 5.

Not that it matters for percentage purposes, but for reference I'm in a size 10 pants and medium top. It's just frustrating. I get the concept of skinny fat (and believe me, not saying I'm skinny), but my muscle % has gone up since I started IP.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:50 PM   #5
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S/C/G: (body fat) >34.5%/???/<25%

Height: 5' 6", small frame, "obese" body fat

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I have just been delving into this area myself recently in trying to determine my goal weight (body fat in particular, not BMI - I was never out of "normal" BMI but I have some pretty severe body fat issues, pre- metabolic syndrome, etc)

I would say the first thing you need before deciding anything is an accurate measurement of your lean body mass. According to your stats, you started at:
112 pounds lean body mass/ 95 pounds fat.
and you are now at:
107 pounds lean body mass / 71 pounds fat
[if that is true, it looks pretty good, you only lost 5 pounds of lean mass but nearly 25 pounds of fat!]

The only advice I have for you in figuring out your body fat/goal weight is to find another way of determining your body fat - it seems like the IP clinics sometimes don't have the most accurate data. I personally would love to do a DEXA scan, but I am going to wait until I think I am closer to maintenance because I know I am nowhere near close yet and I don't need to pay someone to tell me that . (FYI Here's an article that summarizes DEXA)

Meanwhile, you could plug your measurements into calculators to see if they come out in the same ballpark what you think your body fat is (these work spot-on for me for the one for the only time I had my body fat measured officially - 7 point caliper method, also not completely accurate).

Navy calculator that uses neck measurement

Other calculator that uses forearm and wrist measurement (This one gives you a number for "muscle mass," which is not really correct - it is muscle mass PLUS everything else that is not fat = lean mass)

My scale also appears to be pretty accurate for me (Tanita; old one).

All you can do for now is try to figure out if the IP clinic has accurate information. Then proceed with your decisions from there. I agree that BMI is not very helpful for athletic people especially. {ETA: you wear a size 10 and you are 5'11"?! I find it hard to believe you are 40% fat! I wear a size 8/10, I am five inches shorter than you are and I am estimating that my body fat is around 33%. Now I am really curious to see if you get the same numbers elsewhere}

I am awaiting other replies as I am interested in learning more about this topic!
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:52 PM   #6
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Hi WMegs, way to go on your weight loss!

I'm in the same boat as you- I'm 5'11", 26 years old, and not particularly willowy either. My current goal is 180 because it's the maximum healthy weight for our height, and I'm planning to go down another 10 pounds through exercise after IP.

I just want you to know that you ARE at a healthy BMI for our height. 175-180 is GREAT for us tall girls, and trying to lose another 30 pounds absolutely is crazy. The healthy BMI range for our height is supposedly 145-180, but I can't imagine going anywhere below 160 and still be healthy and able to maintain.

I would first consider how the fat percentage is being determined. Most tests don't take into account body composition, which is definitely a factor to consider with our Amazon-esque height. I also tend to distrust anyone with calipers, but that's just me.

You didn't mention your current level of activity, but your fat % is still something you're concerned about, I'd start focusing on fitness. If you're already doing so, then don't worry, you're doing exactly what you should be.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:23 PM   #7
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Height: 5'8" 173 cm 51 yrs old

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Just FYI WMegs: I plugged your info into an algorithm and you are at the 49th percentile - meaning that for your gender, age, & height you weigh less than 51% of the population of the US with the same gender/age/height. Couldn't hurt to try some recomposition plans (lifting & food) if you don't want to continue with the IP plan. You could google some and check them out.

Liana

Here's a good site with a great chart I was posting about earlier:
http://www.builtlean.com/2010/08/03/...centage-chart/
Photos of different body fat percentages and an idea of what they look like in real life (scroll down for womens'):
http://www.builtlean.com/2012/09/24/...age-men-women/
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Last edited by canadjineh : 06-08-2015 at 08:36 PM. Reason: Adding the chart reference.
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:39 AM   #8
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Thanks all for the feedback! I wasn't trying other calculators, but it's a good idea. I was just going by the scale they have at my IP clinic which (allegedly) measures weight, fat %, and muscle %. My coach seemed very unconcerned about it this morning, but she's not a doctor.

This will be an issue as I phase off, but I currently don't work out at all. I don't count lots of walking on the weekends since it's not high intensity cardio. I'm sure that plays a role in the percentage. My current schedule is wake up between 4-430a; take care of infant/get ready/ect. with husband; get to work by 630-7am (my commute is around 1 hr 15 min to 1.5 hrs), leave work anytime between 5-8pm, see daughter/make and eat dinner, work after daughter goes to bed until 10p. My spouse is a rock star by the way so he carries more than half the weight at home, does pick up/drop off mostly, ect. I just don't know where in there to work in a run plus shower, getting ready, ect! I used to get to work by 530a so I could run in the mornings, but that's not feasible anymore with my commute and daughter in order to still getting 6 hrs of sleep. Anyway, we all struggle with this I'm sure!!
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:14 PM   #9
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S/C/G: 237/155/155

Height: 57" - 47 years old - Started IP P1 3/26/14, P2/P3 2/25/14, Maintenance/P4 3/18/15

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Wmegs congrats on a successful loss with all of that going on - that's a huge accomplishment!
Is your commute in a car you drive yourself?.... just brainstorming on if there is any way exercise could be somehow included in the commute... maybe a little bit of plyometrics on the train for example....

I have several days in the week when I leave early and get back really late, and the only major movement I can get in on those days is to use my lunch break for a walk - put on my tennies and go out for 45 minutes - of course sometimes the rain literally rains on my parade....
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:04 PM   #10
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I plugged your numbers in this calculator: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educ...MI/bmicalc.htm


Which does not include age into consideration, but just by this one it says you are at 24.8 and lists for a female that "normal" is between 18.5 and 24.9.

I don't know but 24 is where I hope to land, as there is new research showing people, especially as we age are a bit healthier in the 'overweight' category. So I am thinking if I can get close to that border and learn to keep it there, I will be far healthier than the constant "diet and food frenzy cycles"

Also you mentioned a bit of your shape not being where it was ten years ago, and not being active. I know you have time challenges that are very real but once you figure out how to squeeze something in, it will really help reshape what you have.

While you struggle with finding time to workout, I will share this link with you: http://slowburnfitness.com/ The theory is one good weight lifting session can do more than lots and lots of other exercises (it was alao mentioned and recommended in one of the IP Daily videos.) I have been doing this program for two months and really feel a lot of difference already. (I use this because I just hate exercise in general.) I do really feel that although everyone first thinks of cardio when wanting to lose weight or get healthy, that it is strength training that is the better choice. Muscle mass and how much or little plays a pretty big role in your metabolism on a daily basis. At very least it could be a good option till you find something that better suits your personal needs. Good luck
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:30 PM   #11
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Resistance training, be it in the water, using bands, or weight lifting will increase your muscle mass and increase your metabolism. The cardio part really only works well if you are doing High Intensity Interval Training. Steady state cardio is OK, but not if you want real gains... it will mainly keep you from going downhill, (increasing your endurance and keeping your bone density from dropping too low) lol. Women don't have to worry about bulking up, it's just not possible without added steroids and a lot of hard diet work to drop your body fat to 12%ish. Unless you ARE an athlete already, the BMI is actually a fairly close, reliable guide for most healthy women. There is a lot of talk about it being far off the mark, but as discussed in most of the boards I've seen... it's only off the mark if you are already very muscled. Keep up with whatever exercise interests you because those are the things you will carry on with and that's how you make gains...
It never hurts to try new things, though (giving it enough time to become comfortable with how to perform the sport/exercise).
Liana
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