Tag Archives: Self-testing

Body Fat Testing: Lessons in Self-Testing Volume 1

In a bid to start being more informed about the changes I make, rather than focusing on arbitrary goals such as weight, my first round of self-testing found me at the Body Composition Center in Redwood City for body fat testing.

I turned up for my appointment and was told that I would first be weighed and my height measured before my scan.  My weight was a little more than my home scales presumed, but no biggie.  The big shock was that I am a whole inch shorter!!  I even asked her to check again… but alas I measured in at 5 feet 6.5 inches, a whole inch shorter than I recalled being.

Still reeling from the blow, I followed the technician in to the scanning room, at which point she explained to me how their testing was some of the most accurate, and having seen a 125-pound person with 30% body fat and a 125-pound person with 15% body fat, these scans are truly a much better means of understanding just how your health is ‘weighing in’.

As I lay on the table for the 4 minutes that the DXA scan takes, I started reading the posters on the wall about osteoporosis.  Some of the key indicators of this condition are stooping forward at the shoulders, loss of height….. suddenly I found myself getting rather nervous and caring rather less about my body fat in light of the fact that with my recent shrinking I must obviously have osteoporosis.

The technician re-entered the room and I somewhat with panic asked if bone density was also included in my scan.  She assured me it was, and then took me through my scans.  Check this out:

Bone Density and Body Scan

So – apparently when you’re 30 your bones are fully developed, and everything from there is downhill.  My bones though are +1 ( See ‘Age-Matched Z Score’ above), which means better than a 30 year old.  Result!!  This is good.

On to the body fat.  So the green zones below are low in fat (phew, my head is in the clear), the yellow medium and the red is the stuff that is really just not necessary.  At a first glance I feel like this is no huge surprise.  The next slide though is much more interesting – and really encouraging:

Scan page 2

What you’re looking at here is the percentage of fat broken down in to each area of my body.   The Region % Fat – Column 2 from the left – is the stuff you’ve potentially got to lose.  The ‘total’ field in this column (below Gynoid) is your total body fat.  The technician told me that at 24% I just slip in to the ‘athletic’ category – the bottom 3% of what they see come through their testing rooms!

This certainly has been a learning experience for me – I’d highly recommend it.

Impressive Fat Loss – And A Note on Healthy Eating

BulletProof Diet Infographic

Infographic on one healthy eating plan, as suggested by the BulletProof Diet.


So, it’s the morning after the 4th day and I feel pretty good.  The weight loss has slowed to half a pound, but that makes it 4 in total this week.  Not bad for a 1st go at the BulletProof Intermittent Fasting!  I’ve continued to do my 2 x the 7 minute workout, and am getting faster and stronger (10 pushups in 30 seconds…. up from 3ish two weeks ago).  Apparently my metabolism should be speeding up rather than slowing down, as it can with fasting, but I’m going to start looking at testing so I can tell you for sure.  God I love America.

Having tried more fad diets than I can even name in my lifetime though, I thought I would dedicate this post to the importance of healthy eating.  Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, works if your goal is to lose weight quickly and not make some life changes in your habits.

Growing up in Victoria B.C., I had  just scraped by in to my teens when the the fat-free epidemic suddenly hit North America.  Canada wouldn’t stock a lot of the products ( !!! Surely that should have been an indicator), so I would ask people to bring back the fat-free butter or the Olestra-laced cookies from their trips across the border to Seattle. The beauty of fat-free?  The Golden Promise that potentially America could continue to overeat, without gaining weight.  Overeat products laden with chemicals, ridiculous amounts of sugar and ingredients that are not even food… and what happened?  The nation got fatter.  And developed eating disorders. You see – some fats are good!  If you don’t know that already, or don’t know the difference between a good fat and a bad one, I’d encourage you to spend a couple hours reading, or even a few minutes signing up for email updates from people like Ben Greenfield, Able James or Dave Asprey.  These guys are all on a mission to live bigger, better lives and have some pretty cutting-edge discoveries, backed up by solid scientific research.

You’ll need to decide for yourself what your body seems happiest with when it comes to what you eat more of and less of.  For me, gluten is a big one and I feels worlds better when I don’t eat it.  There are other foods that I just feel tons better without ( and with! ), but really the point I’m making is that you need to make those decisions for you.

So if you’re looking for a quick-fix way to lose 10 pounds so that you can go back to eating burgers and fried chicken as a lifestyle ( rather than once in a while – I love burgers!!), then honestly don’t bother.  The weight loss and weight gain yo-yoing is terrible for you.  Instead, make a decision to make one positive change.  Maybe it’s even to drink more water. Whatever.  It’s about improving your life so that you can live longer and better, not just for you, but for your family and the world around you that you have a part to play in.