Skin fold Calipers-Yes. Lose Your Bathroom Scale

Beverly is a 58year-old woman who had gained 20 pounds over the past 10 years of her busy career. She is 155 pounds when I see her. Skin fold calipers taken from 4 locations, triceps, biceps, back and hip, indicated 32% body fat. She made a few dietary changes as described in The Blood Code – she was mildly insulin resistant. The bigger change she had to make was to improve her exercise habits. She did a circuit of resistance exercises that lasted 20-minutes 3-4 times per week. She ate 3 meals per day each with ample healthy fats, her food cravings and need for snacks dramatically reduced. She kept up with her walking, continuing to cover a few miles 3-4 times per week. At the end of 8 weeks, I saw her in the office for our first follow-up—she was discouraged because she lost only 2 pounds.

Her frustration was compounded by her past experience; 20 years prior she lost 15-pounds in a month while on a crash diet. “And I wasn’t even exercising”, Beverly added. But when I checked her skin-fold caliper at our appointment she was at 28% body fat!

The math is simple. Beverly lost 4% body fat, and at 155 pounds, that equals over 6 pounds of fat loss. Since Beverly only lost 2 pounds on the scale, what happened? Well, some was water-weight: less fat means less edema. The rest was muscle and/or bone density gain. Beverly was leaner and stronger then 2-months prior. Even though she acknowledged that she felt fabulous and her belt was at least an inch further in, Beverly was reluctant to accept the trade off. She appreciated the irony that her cheap old bathroom scale had her emotional self hostage.

I have seen Beverly annually for the past couple years and she remains leaner, healthier and stronger going into her sixties. And she admits to using the bathroom scale occasionally to measure the weight of her suitcase before traveling.