Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wiggle: Wrong Numbers

I have approached my weight loss programme as a scientist, looking at numbers to get the desired results. However, I am fully aware of the errors these numbers pose.

For example, BMI- Body Mass Index or in Japanese, Bodiii Massu Indexu, refers to your weight divided by  the square of your height in meter. The BMI proposes a means to measure ideal body weight and to determine whether someone is underweight, overweight or obese.

The problem is, according to BMI, I believe the entire All Blacks rugby team is either overweight or obese. Their huge mass and weight is actually muscle, not fat, though, and you wouldn't want to call Jonah Lomu fat or he'd get you in a Kimora arm lock.

Of course, if you look like this:

You are fat, obese, whatever. No excuses.

In my years of watching Oprah, Dr Oz does not recommend BMI. His gauge is waistline, because he believes that a person's health is connected to the omentum. The omentum is a layer of fat which extends from the chest to the groin area. A thin omentum means someone is less likely to have heart disease, liver failure, kidney problems, etc. A thick one means you'd be dead after you finish reading this article.

Then there's the all-important component to effective exercise - heart rate. I find the conventional scale to reach aerobic heart rate works for me. I'm between 30-40, so my aerobic heart rate is between 150-165 beats per minute. If you are between 20-30, it is one level higher.

I find that the more I exercise, the lower my base heart rate is at the start of the exercise. When I started my exercise regime, as soon as I hit the cardio machine, my heart rate was at 140. Now, it starts at 120.

Taking oats has helped in this.

However, when you look at extremes like professional footballers in EPL, their base heart rate can be as low as 70 or 80. This means their hearts are stronger and can pump blood to the entire body with fewer beats. Some yogis can slow down their heart rates even lower and enter a hibernation state or to combat low temperatures.

When exercising, some people advocate calorie burn or distance. My strategy is to focus on heart rate and time. The idea is to stay for as long as I can at a certain heart rate. As long as I am at that heart rate means  am burning calores, fat, etc.

One thing to remember is that body weight is just meat, fat, bone and water. Mostly water. If I weigh myself before and after workout sessions, there is usually a 2-4 kg difference. This means I lose at least 2kg of water every time I exercise. Yes. 2 fucking kilograms. This is another reason why weight is not the best gauge to being healthy, but it is the easiest to measure. Others, such as breathing quality, agility, blood pressure and general well-being are more difficult to gauge.

Talking about oats to lower cholesterol and heart rate healthily,  found out that in order for oats to work properly, you need to take at least 80gm of the stuff daily. 80gm is roughly 10 scoops. I usually double this number, just to be safe. Bear in mind that oats also have some carbs, though most is dietary fibre.

I am sticking with my methods, because it works for me. Find one that works for your own body.