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Racing Weight: Lose Weight or Lose Fat?

  • By Matt Fitzgerald
  • Published Jul. 27, 2011
  • Updated Jul. 27, 2011 at 11:27 AM UTC

Track Your Body Composition

Ensuring that fat loss accounts for all of your weight loss begins with consistent monitoring of your weight and body composition. This is easily done with a body fat scale such as a Tanita Ironman. Step on the scale once a week to check your weight and body fat percentage. Multiply your weight by your body fat percentage in decimal form to obtain your body fat mass. If changes in your total body weight equal changes in your body fat mass, then 100 percent of your weight loss is fat loss.

For example, suppose your body weight four weeks ago was 160 lbs, and your body fat percentage was 15. This means your body fat mass was (160 lbs x 0.15 =) 24 lbs. Now suppose your body weight today is 156 lbs and your body fat percentage is 12.9. This means your body fat mass is now (156 x 0.129 =) 20.1 lbs. So your total weight loss is 4 lbs and your body fat mass loss is 3.9 pounds. Congratulations! Almost all of your weight loss has been fat loss.

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Matt Fitzgerald

Matt Fitzgerald

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