James McQuarrie

A collection of random links and thoughts curated by James McQuarrie

Hitting 10% body fat: The second six weeks

The end of last week was the end of my second six week stint of experimenting with diet and exercise with the aim of getting my body fat percentage to 10% or under by May next year.

Despite my best efforts it wasn’t a great six weeks. To start with my scales broke which means that all my measurements taken since week three have been different and can’t really be compared with those taken before. So, I’m not entirely sure what my progress is.

Week five of the experiment also saw me start a new contract role at a legal publishing firm in Swiss Cottage. Being in a new office with it’s germ-harbouring-air-conditioning didn’t agree with me and I caught a summer cold that lasted most of week six too. Basically that meant that I couldn’t workout as hard as I would have liked in those last two weeks.

Now I’ve made my excuses, it’s time for the results. At the beginning of this six weeks (my second) my weight was 97.5KG and my body fat percentage was 17.6%.

At the end of the six weeks they were 96.8KG and 21.8%. Frustratingly, despite the lower weight (I’m not aiming to loose weight it’s just a by product of the experiment) my body fat percentage has gone up to higher than it was before I started the whole experiment.

I’m hoping that the jump is mainly down to the different scales, and to be fair to them they do have two settings: one for normal people (which I’m using) and one for athletes which if I use puts my body fat percentage down at around the 15% mark. I’m not entirely sure why there’s such a big difference. The instructions that come with the scales suggest only using the athlete mode if you exercise for more than 2 hours 4 or more times a week. I don’t. So I’m resisting using that mode.

I guess the lesson in all of this is that home scales, however nice looking or well recommended are probably not the best way of measuring your body fat percentage. As I get closer to the May 2012 deadline I may see if I can get a more accurate reading at my GP or at a sports clinic.

For now though, this week is a week off and next week I’ll start round three of a six week plan. The plan is to add running back into the exercise mix and to go back to the slow carb diet proper with a single exception: I’m going to add in a fruit, yoghurt and protein power smoothie every week day. I’m hoping that including some fruits like blueberries or raspberries in the smoothie will help fight off the germs in my new work environment and that the (low fat) yoghurt will give me a good calcium hit five days a week while topping up my protein intake.

I’m hoping that a full six weeks of using the same measuring device will result in the numbers going in the right direction, even if they are slightly higher than on the old scale.

Only time will tell.