Why Should I Lose Body Fat and Not Necessarily Weight?
How often do we hear about losing weight on infomercials or see pictures of people that say, “I lost 10 pounds over the weekend!” We see weight loss emphasized as the end all in numerous marketing messages for pills, fitness equipment, powders, or other programs.
The question is, should weight loss really be what I should be focused on?
In order to solve that question, you have to understand the difference between body fat and lean body mass.
Body Fat Vs. Lean Body Mass
Body fat fills in the parts of the body around the muscles and bones. It is that fluffy insulation that not only gives what is often considered an unattractive picture, but more importantly it causes numerous health problems. Excess fat can lead to health risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular disease.
Lean body mass is the goal for any person. It not only looks great, but acts as a furnace burning calories and converting carbs into glycogen instead of fat. It gives you endurance and stamina in your physical activities. It helps prevent you from injury and other problems. That doesn’t even get into how much confidence it can give you mentally and emotionally. This is why you should focus on how to lose body fat.
Your body is made up of these two components and it is in your best interest to figure out how to decrease your body fat instead of weight. We talked about this in our previous post: Should You Attempt Fast Weight Loss. Let me give you some specific examples.
A male could be 170 pounds or a women could be 110 pounds, but each could be composed of 30% fat. On the surface their weight looks great according to “weight standards”, but that type of % body fat is extremely unhealthy and could cause huge disease risks.
On the other hand a male like myself could weigh 205 pounds, but have 10% body fat. That is excess weight by some standards like the BMI(Body Mass Index) or Height/Weight tests, but that is actually the same % body fat of a bodybuilder in the offseason and other professional athletes like pro football linebackers or baseball players.
Measure Your Way to Success
Measurements are absolute to lose body fat quickly. If you don’t measure your results, you can go in circles for years and most importantly you won’t learn from your mistakes. We all have heard the quote on the definition of insanity, but here is another similar quote on measurements:
“In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo.
Failure is fine because it is a part of understanding your body. The problem is, if you are not measuring calories, taking an inventory of what you are eating and the fitness you are getting, along with measuring body fat, then how can you even know what you did right or wrong? How will you know what to change?
Without a doubt the fastest way to lose body fat is by learning what nutrition and fitness works best for you.
Each body acts extremely different to certain types of foods and fitness. Your body is very unique from anyone else and you have to figure what works for you. This is similar to how you have a certain shoe size that fits your foot or glasses that fit on your face.
What is amazing and tragic is that often it can take a few tweaks her or there to make all of the difference. You could be working out like Rocky, but eating too many carbs or not enough carbs. You could be exercising inappropriately with not enough aerobic exercise compared to static workouts and the list goes on.
We all want to shed the fat fast, but the only way to truly do it is to figure out how your body reacts to certain foods and exercising. I will paraphrase Stephen Covey, “So often we climb the ladder of success only to find out it is leaning up against the wrong wall.”
The more you learn about your body, the clearer it will be exactly what you have to do and when you have to do it. You can lose body fat fast with limited exercise and eating just the right foods. You can save your money on powders and pills. You can spend more of your time on your busy schedule focusing on other hobbies, work, faith, and family.
Is it any question now why this site is called, “Know My Body”?
In the next post we will talk more about the best way to lose body fat. We will discuss what is an appropriate body fat percentage for you and how can you measure it.