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Body Fat Percent -Roger Mason

As we age, we not only gain weight but, more importantly, our percent of body fat rises dramatically. Those of us over 40 look enviously at skinny teenagers on junk food diets. It seems no matter what they do, most teens can't get fat. No matter what we older people do, we keep getting fatter. A body builder can be six feet tall, weigh 220 pounds and temporarily have 10% body fat. The problem here is this is done only prior to contests with overtraining and an extreme, un-healthy high protein, no fiber, no carbohydrate, ketogenic diet. Body builders temporarily use these ketogenic diets just prior to competitions. This is extremely unhealthy of course. Very low body fat may look good, but is not healthy, especially for women. Another man can be six feet tall, and weigh only 180 pounds, yet have 30% or more body fat. Therefore, body mass index (BMI) of height to weight ratio is not very meaningful. BMI, per se, has little meaning.  Body fat percent has real meaning. This is the real measurement. How do you test your body fat per cent? 
 
Do yourself a big favor, and go out and buy an electronic body fat scale for under $30. Beautiful, all glass, accurate brands can be found at retail stores, or on the Internet. The results compare very favorably, and consistently, with far more expensive equipment. You might find a clinic to dunk you in a tank of water (the ideal way) and weigh you, but that is costly, impractical, and just isn't necessary. Your body fat will be about 2% higher when you wake up than when you go to bed, due to hydration during the day. You can expect a reading of about 2% less in the evening before bed than in the morning. Go by the evening figure and you’ll feel better.
 
A recent study done by six different clinics and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (v. 85, 2000) studied men aged 17 to 64. These results would basically apply to women as well. Their body fat was measured, as well as seven of their basic hormones. The male teenagers had 14% body fat, but this doubled to an average of 28% in men over 50! The researchers found that generally low testosterone, low DHEA, and high insulin levels were very correlated with this. Both testosterone and DHEA fell about 50% by the age of 50, while insulin went up about 50%. Low androgens (testosterone and DHEA) and high insulin levels are im- portant here. Insulin is vital. High insulin indicates insulin resistance, which is a precursor to actual diabetes. This means the cells no longer respond well to the insulin you make (read Insulin Resistance). My book The Natural Diabetes Cure explains all this in great detail. Insulin resist-ance is central to understanding obesity and high body fat. Only diet and lifestyle will cure in-sulin resistance. Stay away from all sugars and sweets, including honey and fruit juice. Read Sugar is Sugar. Avoid caffeine. Just one cup of coffee or one energy drink daily will completely wreck your insulin levels. Eat whole grains and exercise.
 
Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (v. 78, 2003) showed American men and women dramatically gain body fat from age 20 to 60. After the age of 60 body fat per cent then falls (due to failing health) for the rest of their lives. This is a false drop, since it is due to poor health, and old people literally shrivel up. Men averaged about 23% throughout life, while women averaged about 35%. Women have about 50% higher levels by nature. Women can have excessive as well as deficient levels of both testosterone and DHEA. It is even more important for them to test their levels of these two hormones. Men cannot have excessive testosterone levels by

nature. Our body fat content is simply too high in America. We lead the world in obesity. America is the fattest country in the world by far. People in poor Third World agrarian countries have much lower body fat due to low fat, low sugar diets, and the hard work they do just to survive.

 

You can inexpensively test both your free (not total or bound) levels of testosterone and DHEA at home with saliva test kits for $55. Make sure your fasting blood sugar is 85 or less. If not, see a doctor and get an inexpensive one draw GTT (glucose tolerance test). You go in fasting, drink a measured cup of glucose, wait an hour, and test your blood sugar. This shows how your insulin reacted to the glucose load. Look for a post-test level of at least ten points less than the accepted medical standard. This is a much better test, as it shows insulin effectiveness. Insulin response is infinitely more important than mere blood levels.
 
Your thyroid is really important here.Test your FREE T3 and FREE T4 (not your TSH or T3 uptake).  By 2014 saliva hormone kits should again be available to do this at home. Do not use expensive blood spot kits. Go to www.healthcheckusa.com to test your free T3 and T4 without a doctor (panel 2) for only $85. Make sure you have midrange levels, and not merely "normal" range. You want midrange here. Anything significantly less than midrange is “subclinical hypothyroidism”. Add high and low range and divide by 2. This midrange level is where you want to be. You can get T3 and T4 legally and inexpensively without a prescription (read You Don’t Need a Prescription) from Mexican online pharmacies. Low thyroid is an epidemic in America.

 

High estradiol and estrone will cause weight gain, as well as high disease states, in both men and women. Here you want low normal and not merely normal levels. Why? Because rural Asian wo-men and vegetarians have lower levels and are healthier. Women want high normal estriol levels and not merely normal levels. Men do not have to test estriol. Read Better Estrogen Levels. Use a ZRT kit to do estrogens.

 

 How does one lose weight with natural hormones? Balance all of them as much as possible. Read the Balance Your Hormones article. Read the two hormone chapters in Macrobiotics for Everyone..
 
Hormones and supplements are only one part of the picture. No diet aids work, so don't waste your money. MAKING BETTER FOOD CHOICES IS THE WAY TO STAY SLIM. Fat makes you fat, not food. The "low carb" and "glycemic index" insanity of high fat, high protein, low fiber diets will kill you. You can eat all you want, lose weight, and never be hungry if you eat whole natural foods. Whole grains, beans, green and yellow vegetables, fruit, soups, salads, and seafoods should be your basic foods. Please read my book Macrobiotics for Everyone. Also Terry Shintani, Gary Null, Susan Powter, Michio Kushi, and Robert Pritikin have written good books. Our hunger instinct is literally much stronger than our sexual desire, so you are never going to be able to go hungry. Make better food choices, exercise, and balance your hormones as much as possible to stay slim all your life. Body fat per cent is a foolproof measure.

 


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