Just over a month ago, I began my journey with the 4 Hour Body Slow Carb diet in an effort to kick off some serious weight loss. A few posts back, I talked about my DEXA scan, which if you don’t remember is the scan that measures your body composition through kind of an x-ray device. The DEXA scan is one of the three approved methods that Tim Ferriss suggests because of its accuracy. My first scan gave me a complete measurement of my body composition, including the percentages of my body that are consisted of bone, muscle, and fat. This morning, I went for my follow-up one-month appointment and got the results of my new DEXA scan, and I’m pretty excited about what I read.
You can see the detailed information of this scan above, but to save you the effort of interpreting these results, I’m proud to report that in one month’s time I’ve reduced my overall body fat percentage by approximately 2%. This means I went from 32.3% to 30.2% body fat, which translates to a loss of 9.4 pounds of fat. However, I also lost approximately 4 pounds of muscle and this is the area I am most surprised about. Admittedly, this month I’ve been a little less active in the gym than usual. However, the technician running the scan had told me that one of the factors for the decrease in muscle could be due to the amount of hydration that I had from one scan to the next, which came as a surprise.
You see, muscle is water-soluble, while fat is not. If in one scan I am very hydrated, it means that my muscles have probably absorbed water, which would make them appear bigger. When they appear bigger to the scanner, they naturally assume that there’s more mass there. Now this morning I could have been less hydrated for this scan than I was for the one a month ago. If that’s the case, that dehydration would result in less water being present in my muscles, making them have less mass. This, of course, would be interpreted as weight loss.
I’m not going to know for sure about the true nature of this muscle loss until I go back for another scan. One month ago I couldn’t tell you what my level of hydration was, but a lot has changed since then. I’ve now started writing down what I’ve done in the last 24 hours with respect to consuming water and exercising, and I’ll aim to replicate that same condition the next time I get a scan to see if that has any impact on my muscle mass results.
Despite the loss of muscle, I’m very pleased with my results. I originally went into this hoping for 3 pounds of weight loss, and I have exceeded that by a long shot. My clothes are fitting better. My general attitude and feeling about myself is great. I am very pleased about how I’ve been able to stick to the requirements of the diet, and have had some real key discoveries about my own eating habits.
If you’re out there considering doing the 4-Hour Body Slow-Carb Diet (or any other diet for that matter), I highly recommend using the DEXA scan as a tool for measurement of body composition. It can really help you remain confident that the work that you’re doing is having the right impact in the right areas.