Sunday, February 5, 2012
FAT are you measuring up?
Now let's talk about FAT. I don't mean saturated or unsaturated oil. Are you measuring up? Are you in a healthy body composition range? Do you know your lean muscle mass to fat ratio?
There's nothing wrong with getting on the scale once in a while to see how much you weigh, but that really doesn't tell you about your healthy body weight. Body fat percentage is a better indicator of health and fitness. If you care, you're aware or will take the time to educate yourself.
Your body has two components: fat and fat-free mass (muscles, bones). The goal is to keep the percentage of body fat in a healthy range. We need a minimum amount of body fat because it performs all kinds of critical roles in our brains, nerves, cells and providing energy. Generally, this minimum range for women is 10%-12% and for men between 6-8% (these are the minimum ranges). Most athletes will fall between 12-20% for women and 6-10% for men. An average body composition is 18-25% for women and 11-15% for men.
When you change your nutrition (more or less foods), and/or activity level, more time or intensity, with the goal of losing weight, to be sure you are losing more fat while preserving muscle, get a baseline measurement of your body fat.
Muscle plays a starring role in your metabolism. It helps burn fat and keep it off! Too many popular, low calorie diets cause you to lose fat and muscle, which actually makes your body lower its metabolism and store fat.
Because muscle weighs more than fat, you may not see weight loss on the scale. As you eat nutrient dense foods and get in better physical condition with exercise you may actually gain muscle mass and therefore weigh more. If you know your baseline body fat to lean muscle ratio and take measurements when you lose or gain weight it is easier to determine if you lost or gained fat mass.
Because a pound of muscle is denser and takes less space than a pound of fat, as you become fitter and change your body composition, your weight may or may not change much, but your measurement will. The best indicator is how your clothes fit.
You can loss fat and gain muscle with simple changes to how you eat and exercise. YES, you can eat more and lose fat. To find out more, set up a consultation with Dr. Cindy Dallow or myself.
Take the LifeTraits Test and attend a Lifetraits class. The next one is January 31th at 5:30pm at the Fort Collins Club. AFter taking the test you will receive a 2 week membership to the Fort Collins Club. When you attend the class, you will receive a FREE session with me. FREE session includes skin fold body composition and fitness test, swim session, TRX session, weight room session, or a consultation.