...all the methods YOU can use to test you bodyfat are...how to put this..unreliable on a one time basis. They are better used on an ongoing basis.
That said, there are many methods you can use at home to track body fat over time:
---Using the tape measure (circumfrence measurements)...This may not be the best for muscled types
---Skinfold Calipers...I like this method if you use a 3, 4 or 7 point test, but for some (4 and 7) you need someone to help you take measurements from the back. 4 and 7 point tests are my preferred method.
---Bio-Electric Impedance...so far this seems to be an alright method that is easy and one person can do it.
Here is a calculator that allows you to use skinfold calipers or tape measure http://www.pcis.net/gagne/fitness/Entry.htm
Here are links to the best prices I have found for the latter two items from amazon: Skinfold Calipers Bio-Electric Impedance
The key to weight loss is to consume fewer calories than you take in. Always start with the least cardio work possible..then add as you absolutely need to.
To make that loss fat only, your resistance training has to keep the body in adaptation mode, that is to keep the body unaccustomed to the work you make it do. Do not overtrain!
In order to get fat loss and muscle gain right on, you need to track your % bodyfat. Otherwise you are guessing when you lose/gain a pound - what you lost/gained.
Consider determining your metabolic type..that is, what mixture of foods your body responds to best. Then create menus around that with the right mix of Protein, Carbs, and Fat. Use menu planning software to help take the stress off this. You can easily alternate similar food types (i.e. potato/rice/quinoa) for variety.
Determine your daily calorie burn. To lose fat, set your calories at 500 below that.
Go a week following your plan. At the end of the week check your body fat again - always at the same time of day with the same method and tools.
If you are gaining fat then the calories are too high. Drop 500 or add cardio time.
If you are losing fat go another week as is.
If you are losing fat and muscle your calories are too low, go up 500.
If you are gaining muscle go another week as is, muscle burns fat and will speed your loss later.
If you are gaining fat and muscle, you can drop calories a bit or add a bit of cardio...depends on what your level of cardio is to begin.
If meals leave you hungry, adjust them until you find a good mix for you of P-C-F
Hunger means either you need fat or carbs. Yes, dietary fat helps you lose fat!
Losing that fat below 10% requires special consideration.
If your fat losses stop...You must keep your muscle fed. So, you might drop fat and carbohydrate calories but keep the protein near your recommended level. Also, if your fat losses are tough, be sure to: Alternate the type of cardio you do bi-weekly. Add intensity to cardio (faster or more incline/resistance.) slowly add time over the course of months.
post edited by danmirage - 2006/02/03 11:10:22