Well, 2018 is here. In the first health post, I showed how the InsideTracker blood test showed that I really needed to get my fitness in gear. Then I headed into the holidays and did exactly the opposite of anything that would help move the needle. So, here I am standing on the scale this morning…
And my last three Skulpt bodyfat scans had me at 22.4%, 22.1%, and 23.0%. Which gives me a three day average of 22.5%. Time for some math. At 22.5% and a bodyweight of 196.8, I am carrying 44.28 lbs of bodyfat around. And coupled with the InnerAge from InsideTracker… I think it’s time for a change.
So again, I started thinking about this from a programmatic standpoint. How would I approach this problem as a consultant? What tools would I use? What metrics would apply? One of the key things to realize is that the metrics of bodyweight and bodyfat are output metrics. Food eaten, exercise, supplements, sleep, etc, are input metrics. What matters at the end of the day are output metrics. We all know people who have great metabolisms or whatever and can eat whatever they want without a care in the world. It’s about time I accept the fact that I am not one of those people!
As I developed my goals, one of the things that helped me think about this was this post from Barbell Shrugged. They get into goal setting and focusing on the things that can be controlled, which is typically the input metrics. That is, I can control how much I eat, drink, exercise, etc. I cannot really control the output metrics. Which I totally agree with. However, I do think that it’s very important to track all input metrics, and the associated output metrics, to determine the relationship. To assist me in this goal, I have purchased a Fitbit Blaze.
I like it quite a bit, as it does everything that I need, and has a good deal of functionality along the lines of an Apple Watch. Except it costs a lot less. No, it doesn’t have apps, but I can see text messages on it, which is pretty cool. For my fitness goals, I probably could’ve gone with a slightly lower-end FitBit, but I liked the Blaze, and it wasn’t that much more expensive than their lower tier models. It tells me my heart rate, steps, and estimates my calories burned.
To track my food inputs, I use MyFitnessPal. I decided not to link the FitBit account to the MyFitnessPal account. I have linked the two before, and what ends up happening is the MyFitnessPal will add calories burned as listed by the FitBit to the MyFitnessPal daily budget for calories. I don’t need that – I know that my target for calories for the day is roughly 2,000 with about 712 of those coming from protein (178 grams). I use the free version of MyFitnessPal, so it is a little limited, but again, I only need it to track my calories and my macro intake.
None of this is new or a secret. The new element here is my acceptance at a gut level that I really need to make a change. I have had my bodyfat tested before, I have owned that scale for years, but seeing the InnerAge hit me in a way that I didn’t expect.
I established the following input metrics for myself:
- Eat 2,000-2,200 calories per day
- Consume 160-180 grams of protein per day
- Train 5 times a week or more for a total of at least 200 minutes per week, with 100 minutes of elevated heart rate minimum
- Walk at least 5 miles on 6 days per week, as tracked by FitBit.
Also, this isn’t really an input metric, but I will only weigh myself at the beginning of the month. I will use the three day average. Based on losing approximately one pound per week I have the following targets (output metrics):
- 1 Feb – 190 lbs / 20% (I expect to lose a few pounds of water weight when I change my diet)
- 1 Mar – 186 lbs / 18%
- 1 April – 182 lbs / 16%
- 1 May – 178 lbs / 14%
One thing jumped out at me right away: This would mean training and eating well for four straight months. I have often trained for months with enthusiasm, but my diet gets pretty bad quite quickly. The only way I will manage this is to make eating right a habit. Which might require some re-wiring in my brain.
Now, as time goes on, I will be able to check my output metrics against my input metrics. This is where being very honest with myself is key – if I slack off on recording the inputs, I will not know what to change to adjust my outputs. I will post information on the things I do to keep myself on track, and the progress I make.