Striving to slim down and live an active lifestyle is a great goal to set for yourself, but the problem can arise when we look at the way people tend to measure this goal. Yep, we’re talking about the scale. It’s no surprise that the number staring back at you has held a lot of weight through the decades, but what if we told you it might not be the best way to track your health?
Confused? Keep on reading to discover why weight loss shouldn’t be your goal!
WEIGHT LOSS FOCUSES ON GENERALISATIONS
Big-picture thinking has its perks, but when it comes to your body, you want to be as detailed as possible. We’ve all probably heard the word “BMI” tossed around in weight loss conversation or back in our high school health class. In fact, this is probably how you got the magic number in your head that you’ve been trying to hit on the scale for years. But do you know the actual science behind it?
Turns out, the methodology behind BMI isn’t as scientifically complex as you might think. Short for Body Mass Index, this long-practiced method aims to determine a “healthy” body based solely on gender, weight and height. By relying on a general ratio between height and weight, BMI cannot truly capture WHAT is contributing to the number on the scale. And because it doesn’t take into account everything from fat percentage to muscle mass, it can lead to faulty results.
This is because fat mass and muscle mass contribute to weight in very different ways. Fat is essential to survival, but when it is in excess, health issues can arise. In comparison, muscle mass is good for your health, but it also tends to weigh more by volume than the same amount of fat. This means an increase in the number on the scale could be attributed to a gain in muscle mass, even if body fat stays the same or even decreases. And that’s exactly why the limitations of BMI effect the method’s accuracy.
For example, people who are shorter, yet possess high muscle mass, are often classified as “overweight” by BMI standards. This is because their muscle causes them to exceed the recommended weight for their height. Not to mention, everyone’s body is built differently, and BMI can often fail to consider these beautiful differences.
This is why body composition matters.
BODY COMPOSITION FOCUSES ON DETAILS
Body composition is a newer metric that has taken the fitness industry by storm. This in-depth approach takes a more detailed look at the body by examining the key factors that actually compose your weight. The main focus is on fat percentage, but it also breaks down muscle weight, bone mass, and more. Body composition is most accurately measured by your doctor, but it can also be tracked by measuring the circumference of your waist, legs, and arms.
Here is an example of what average body composition may look like:
Body builders are a great group to examine when illustrating the advantages of body composition over BMI. While these athletes may tend to weigh more than the average person in their height/gender class, much of this weight is a result of their impressive muscle mass. From a BMI perspective, they would often be thrown into the “obese” category, whereas their body composition would indicate they actually have a healthy fat percentage.
Because body composition focuses on the details to create a full body picture, it’s a great way to help determine which specific lifestyle habits may be contributing to overall weight and which habits may need adjusting. So, whether your personal goal is to build muscle or lower body fat, gauging your progress according to body composition will help you lay out a clear path that is easy to visualise and follow—without having to constantly check in with the scale.
TIPS FOR A HEALTHY BODY COMPOSITION
Work out 3-4x a Week: Exercise is crucial when it comes to developing a healthy body composition. Cardio workouts are ideal for burning calories and lowering body fat while weight training is a great go-to for building muscle and increasing tone. Feel free to mix and match your workout based on your personal fitness goals!
Prioritise Nutrition: A healthy body isn’t ALL about cardio and weights. In fact, creating a balanced diet that prioritises good nutrition is just as essential to reaching optimal body composition. Eating meals high in fruits, veggies and protein—and avoiding those high in sugar and fat—is an excellent way to ensure your body gets proper fuel.
Get Enough Sleep: You might think “just one more episode” late at night won’t hurt…but science says different. Lack of sleep is a sneaky culprit that can contribute to stored body fat, especially in the stomach area. This is because lack of sleep raises cortisol levels (i.e. the stress hormone) causing the body to cling to excess fat. So, if lowering your body fat percentage is at the top of your New Year’s list, make sure to get those zzzs.
Stay Hydrated: Did you know that at least 60% of your body is made up of water? Not only does water act as a building block for our cells, it also helps transport nutrients to the muscles in order to help increase strength and provide energy…something you definitely need when hitting the gym.
Take Progress Photos: Because body composition focuses more on a healthy fat percentage than the number on a scale, it is much easier to see results by the way your clothes fit or the way you look in the mirror. To get a better idea for your progress, try taking before and after pictures thorough your fitness journey. This will help you visualize both loss in body fat and increase in muscle tone.
MODERE MUST-HAVES TO GET YOU ON TRACK
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Fiber: According to the EFSA¹ people should try to consume 25g of fibre per day. Do you think you’re getting your daily dose of fibre? Hate to break it to you, but probably not. Few of us regularly eat close to that amount, even eating healthy fruits and vegetables, nuts and grains each day. And with fibre directly linked to weight loss and weight maintenance, it’s a definite go-to for anyone wanting to improve their body composition this year. Modere Fiber helps you on your way with 5.8g of fibre per daily serving, that’s almost 25% of your daily requirement from a single serving.
So, step off the scale and into a healthy body composition that fits you and your personal needs—whether that’s losing a few inches or boosting your muscle strength. And remember, no matter what goals you set for yourself, Modere is here to help with clean, scientific formulas that optimize your active lifestyle! Shop now at modere.eu and modere.co.uk