Weight is Not Created Equally

Posted 02/2015 by Fitness Professor in BLOG

As noted in last month’s blog, weight loss is a very common goal.  Unfortunately, measuring your body and your physical fitness in pounds is a near surefire road to failure.

The human body consists of bones, muscles, blood, etc, all of which have different densities (mass per volume) and is approximately 66% water (depending on various factors).  As water is a fairly dense matter, how is measuring yourself solely by weight a good idea?  It’s not (unless you compete in an event based on weight classes or you plan on shipping yourself somewhere via FedEx).  A better measuring system would take into account the ratio of muscle (and bone) to fat.  Muscle is what allows our bodies to move and function in the real world AND these same muscles are what create the curves and shapes most people desire.  Yes fat is necessary but only up to the point where it becomes a hinderance.

Although there are various high-tech body composition tests available, there are two fairly simple guidelines to follow to know if your efforts in the gym AND in the kitchen are working; 1) the thinner the skin is around your midsection (abdominals and low back), the less excess fat you are carrying and 2) the smaller your waist becomes while maintaining your strength and overall muscle size, the more muscle you are gaining / maintaining.  Stop focusing on what you weight and start focusing on what you are made of.

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