## Blog

### Starting a Body Transformation

#### January 14, 2013

So you want to make your body over for 2013 and beyond? Take the first step toward doing that today!

The first step toward any goal is determining where you are and where you want to go. Based upon where you are currently, you can make aggressive, yet achievable plans to get to where you want to go.

For example, if you’re starting a trip from, say, Knoxville, TN to Orlando, FL, you can plug in the starting point and destination address into google maps and see that the trip is roughly 650 miles. Based upon that information, you’ll know that the trip will probably take close to 10 hours of travel time if you average 65 miles per hour. So, you wouldn’t plan to make the drive in 3 hours. That would be unrealistic.

What about with fat loss? A good rule of thumb to use when losing fat is that you can probably lose 1/2 to 1% of your body weight per week in fat. So, in general 1 to 2 pounds per week is a good fat loss rate to shoot for. People with higher levels of body fat may be able to lose fat weight slightly faster than that, but in general 1 to 2 pounds per week is the range to shoot for when going for permanent fat loss.

So, let’s say that you’re a 230 lb male with 30% body fat. If 30% of your body weight is fat, then that means that the remaining 70% of your body weight is lean body weight (LBW). You can calculate the amount of fat you’re carrying by multiplying your body weight by 30%, i.e. .3. So, at 30% body fat, a 230 lb man would be carrying 69 lbs of fat. Also, that man’s 70% LBW would be 230 multiplied by .7, or 161 lbs.

Let’s say that this hypothetical man wants to get down to 15% body fat while keeping his lean body mass the same. We know that his current LBW is 161 lbs. If he loses fat and maintains that LBW, then his ending LBW will also be 161 lbs. If he is carrying 15% body fat at that point, then that means that 85% of his weight is LBW. So, we know that 85% (or .85) of his total body weight is 161 lbs. How can we figure out what his total body weight is? Writing this out in a mathematical equation would give us this:

.85 X Total_Body_Weight = 161

If we divide both sides by .85, that would give us this:

1 X Total_Body_Weight = 189.4 lbs

So, 189.4 lbs would be the man’s weight if while losing fat he kept his lean body mass the same. 189.4 then is the goal weight.

We stated that our hypothetical man currently weighs 230 lbs. We now know that his goal weight is 189 lbs. This means that he will have to lose 41 lbs of fat. If he averages 2 lbs of fat loss per week, then he can expect his fat loss journey to take 21 weeks, and he probably should plan for 22 weeks because the first week of a fat loss effort usually results in mostly water weight loss.

Now that we’ve finished this example, it’s time for you to do your calculation. Where are you starting from, and where do you want to go. To start, you need your starting body weight. Also, for the most accurate calculation, you need your body fat percentage. To weigh yourself, you’ll need a reasonably accurate body weight scale. To measure your body fat percentage, you’ll need either a place to get it measured, or a tool by which you can measure it yourself. Personally, I use a body fat measuring tool called the Accu-measure skin caliper. In my opinion, it can’t be beat because of its combination of convenience, affordability, and accuracy. Tomorrow, I’ll cover one or both of these fat loss tools (scale and calipers). We’ll use both the scale and the skin caliper this weekend in our first official “weigh day”. I hope you’ll join me.

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