Weigh Loss vs Body Composition

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Our weight has a lot to do with how much fat and muscle mass you have in your body. Rather than getting hung up on a perfect number, let’s make sense of it all.

After having a check up with my midwife for my 18-20 week progress, i was asked how much i weighed. I haven't weighed myself since my first appointment where weighed 63.5kgs. The most I have ever weighed in my whole life. I was shocked, and even more shocked when the midwife told me that I could gain 16kgs with my current body composition and BMI. To me this was outrageous and I automatically freaked out. 

A KG of muscle weighs exactly the same as a KG of fat, however muscle takes up less space in your body compared to fat. Meaning that although you can look small, you may weigh much more than she expected. Body composition is such that you are made up of a lot of lean muscle mass and a relatively low body fat percentage.

I had to ask myself why I suddenly got so sensitive about the number on the scale when asked about it because I have never been like this. Remembering that I am growing a baby inside, so I am trying to change the mindset that the weight gain will happen and be a normal part of pregnancy.  It seems to me that we’re heavily influenced by what others think, including the media. They seem to convince us that weighing less is somehow better for us. This implies that the less you weigh, the healthier you are. But it’s just not true. Health and well-being can’t be measured simply by looking at a number on the scale.

Muscle Mass, Weight Scale and Well-Being

This prompted me to ask some of my our clients about their relationship with the scale. My hunch was correct—women tend to feel happier when the number on the scale is lower. Several women also admitted that even when they are at their “healthy goal weight,” they’re happy to continue losing. Men on the other hand seemed less concerned with their weight and more concerned with how they felt. Many admitted that they used how tight their belt was as a gauge to determine if a weight loss plan was working.

Asking people about their weight and how they felt about it especially women who are trying to lose baby weight,  prompted me to set the record straight. Weight is simply a number and, alone, it doesn’t mean much.

Concentrating on building your muscle mass actually can be incredibly helpful for a number of reasons. Working towards a good muscle mass ratio reduces the power of the scale, helps you build your strength and means you’re likely to be fit rather than simply slim. For many people, realizing their objective is feeling healthy and looking good helps them embrace exercise in their lives. And I always think it’s better for people to have fun with fitness than to deny themselves with a restrictive diet.

Your Healthy, Active Life Goal

Avoid the weight scale blues

Getting discouraged is something we all want avoid on our journey to a healthy, active life. Negative thoughts can be very discouraging. I’ve also learned that when someone constantly checks the number on the scale, it can prompt them to keep changing their approach before their body has even had a chance to respond or adapt to their new healthy habits.

Don’t quit on your health journey

Quitting because you don’t like the number you see on the scale should never be an option. It’s a matter of knowing your body. It’s important to take a positive approach to learning your body. If you monitor your results and don’t solely rely on the weight scale, it’ll boost your motivation to keep going.

Make lifestyle changes, not quick fixes

Maintaining a healthy body composition requires a total lifestyle focus. This includes balanced nutrition, regular physical activity (endurance, strength, flexibility), and stress management. Keep all three in mind as you choose your health goals. It’s important to understand that exercise can’t be used as a substitute for a poor diet. It takes a lot of physical activity to burn enough calories to make a difference with weight loss. And cookies are not a good choice for stress management. Find time to balance your life, as it’s essential to help keep you on track.

The goal of exercising when you’re trying to change your body composition is to decrease the loss of muscle that’s often associated with weight loss. You don’t want to lose healthy muscle mass. Performing muscle-building exercises and consuming a balanced protein-rich diet can help you accomplish this task.

Striving to reduce your body fat, improve your muscle density, trim your waist and improve your overall appearance and sense of well-being is a much better goal than aiming for a number on the scale. Try my fun muscle-building exercise routine that you can do while your kids are at the playground.

If you are interested in tracking your Body Compositon, pop into the club and get a scan done! 

First one for members is FREE and $20 per scan after that. Non members is $30 per scan!