I wanted to share some information I ran across recently that’s helped me take much better charge of my progress. Most of us know to measure our weight and bodyfat % on a regular basis in order to see our progress. A common recommendation is to do this once a week so that you don’t drive yourself crazy with the daily variations. (Your body can swing up to five pounds plus or minus based on water weight and digestion progress)

I was cruising around the internet and found a diet plan written back in the 80’s by an engineer who adapted some real life engineering and management techniques to his tracking methods. Essentially he proposed using a “10% smoothed exponential moving average” and a “linear regression trendline”, along with daily measurements to show a much clearer picture of what’s going on. Attached is a pic of what this looks like.

This method has proved quite valuable to me as it provides reliable feedback on how I’m doing. In his original system he tracked weight only, I’ve added bodyfat and the derived lean body mass as secondary indicators so that I can see not only if I’m losing/gaining, but whether it’s fat or muscle.

Using the slope of the line, and the fact that there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat you can also calculate your rate of progress.

Here’s the math formulas:

today’s trend weight = yesterday’s trend weight + today’s variance

today’s variance = (today’s weight - yesterdays’ trend weight) / 10

weekly progress = slope * 7

daily calorie deficit/gain = slope * 3500

The brown jagged line that goes all over the place is the actual weight.

The blue line is the trend weight.

The straight green line is the best fit slope.

If you’re trying to lose fat, the weight slope should be down, bodyfat should be down or even, and LBM should be up or even. If any one of them is going the wrong way it tells you what to do in terms of less calories, more exercise, etc.