Nutrition:Lifestyle Change: Tape Measure or Scale?

Waist or Weight Measurements?

Ever wonder how one of your friends can weigh more than you but are two sizes smaller? What about the person who works out all the time and eats well but is in the obese category of the BMI index (body mass index)? It is called body composition. When you have an optimal body composition, one that is a favorable ratio between leaner tissues, like muscle, and less fat mass, you are healthier. You are able to eat more because muscle is active tissue that needs fuel,fat does not. Your clothes fit better and your inches will decrease. Muscle weighs more than fat, and it is much more dense. Would you rather have a smaller waist and weigh more, or weigh less and have a thicker waist? I think I know your answer.

Muscle is a biologically active tissue that needs a far greater amount of caloric fuel to maintain itself, compared to body fat. Muscle burns calories. So maintaining your muscle through the foods you eat as well as exercising will promote a more efficient metabolism to burn more calories each day.

Muscle also helps us to heal. It is a major source of protein for important recovery functions such as wound healing, white blood cell production and antibody production. If your body composition is low in lean body muscle your system is already depleted and the body has less to draw on in case of illness.

Muscle mass and strength are the top two indicators of healthy aging. The most powerful way to manage the aging process and restore vitality is to improve your lean tissue –to –fat ratio by adding more muscle to your body.

There are some of us who are considered ‘skinny fat’. This term is related to those people who are not overweight, but may have too little muscle and too much fat. This condition is called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia can raise the risk of chronic diseases and accelerate aging in the same manner that gaining extra visible weight from fat can. Most people with this condition may experience lack of strength, reduced endurance ,achiness and generally reduced quality of life.

The message here may be to ditch the scale and pick up the tape measure. When eating whole foods, in the right combinations and amounts, along with total body exercise you will avoid losing muscle and up your metabolism. If you do not know what your body fat mass vs. lean body mass is, inquire at your local gym or contact me for a BIA.  ( BioImpedance Analysis). It will tell you what is going inside your body regarding your health. Reducing your waist even an inch will help reduce inflammation and improve your path to healthier aging. Your age and gender are important factors in calculating your lean to fat mass numbers.  You are looking to be less than a 35″ waist for women and less than a 40″ waist for men.  Central obesity is considered to be an indicator for many lifestyle diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

If you are looking to make some changes, do it with a plan and a realistic goal.  If you need support along the way, contact me for a complimentary consult.

In good health,

  Mary

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