Monday, April 27, 2009

Project 17, A Closer Look at the Numbers and Wrap Up

First, lets look back at Julie's numbers over the last 10 weeks,

Baseline: 21.6%, 136lbs
Week 1: 19.7%, 132.5lbs
Week 2: 19.7%, 131.5lbs
Week 3: 19.0%, 130.5lbs
Week 4: 19.7%, 132lbs
Week 5: 18.3%, 128lbs
Week 6: 18.0%,127.5lbs
Week 7: 17.8%, 125.5lbs
Week 9: 16.7%, 126lbs
Week 10: 17.1%, 125.5lbs

How did her body composition change over the 10 weeks?

Lets see:

Baseline lean weight: 107 lbs
Baseline fat weight: 29 lbs

Final lean weight: 104.5 lbs
Final fat weight: 21.5 lbs

Net change is lean weight: -2.5lbs (25% of body weight)
Net change in fat weight: -7.5 lbs (75% of body weight)

Wrap Up:

Notice how Julie lost 10 pounds of body weight over the weeks, which obviously averages out to one pound per week, but 2.5 lbs were from her lean body mass. This is the sacrifice you make when you strive to lose body fat, even when you do it a moderate pace, strength train, and consume enough protein (however, beginners who are very overweight usually can avoid this, Julie did not fit either description). Now, if Julie didn't change her body the way I recommended, she probably would have lost even more lean body weight (and less fat weight). This is what happens to most people (who start with a fairly low body fat <22%)>

A while back, a very active, fit client came to me and said "I have been training regularly and I haven't seen much change in my body weight." I answered her by say "Well, what is your goal, to lose weight or to build your strength, health, and fitness?" She slowly agreed it was the latter. She was not losing weight because it wasn't her main goal. Her training and diet wasn't geared toward fat or weight loss. Also, her body fat was already slightly below 20%. She also realized that losing body weight was counter-productive to her goal. If she had a higher percent body fat she could have continued to lose fat and still get stronger. Once a female has less than 20% body fat, her training and diet need to be very focused if she wants to continue to lose body fat- but of course there are trade-offs.

So, Julie had a goal and we, okay, mostly she, achieved it. I am happy to see that she made it. I am sure the accountability of the blog helped, but I am glad to see that she (and the blog readers) learned a lot about the process. Bottom line, changing your body requires not only consistent physical changes, but also a shift in your mind-set.

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