Posted by: sandy | 2004/11/09


Hi Doc

I went for an assessment at the gym last night and they gave me the folowing results : I am female 1.69, weighs 69kg. My body fat % is 21.9 and my pulse is .85 (does that meen I am very unfit). Ia m starting a cardio program today, I want to lose about 5 kilos and get fit. Do you think if i watch my diet and go to gym 5 times a week i will be able to lose the weight in a month's time.

Thanks in advance

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Our expert says:
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Hi Sandy

For a female, a body fat percentage of about 21% is very good. Your BMI is equal to 24, which is also in the acceptable range, and so from the body mass and body fat point of view, you are in quite a good classification. I do think that while it will be possible for you to lose 5 kg, it will be difficult considering that you are already close to what might be described as the ideal weight. That's not to say you can't do it, but it does mean that you have to approach this exercise programme with a realistic view, that you are not going to suddenly see 5 kg disappear. It's much easier to lose 5 kg when you weigh 100, compared to when you weight 69, so just be aware of that and then go for it! If it takes more than a month, that's too bad, because you are not overweight and nor is your body fat too high.

FInally, the heart rate is a fairly meaningless measurement - you probably arrive at the gym after a long day, walk around to have all these measurements taken, maybe you even did some light exercise before gym, and then of course your heart rate will be higher than the usual average. Heart rate is the most contextual measurement you can do - in otherwords, you have to realise that there are so many things that affect it, that taking one single reading and then using that to judge fitness is an impossible task. So I wouldn't worry too much about heart rate if I were you.

Good luck with the programme

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