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It’s Not All About Weight Anymore!

Very often I hear from people saying that they need to lose weight. While people who started on regular exercise complaints that their weight remains the same on the weighing machine.

Let’s get a better understanding when it comes to body weight. Our body weight include bone, muscle, water, fat and internal organs. As a fitness professional in general, we always look into what we call Lean Body Mass (LBM) and total body fat.

Lean Body Mass consist of muscle, bones, tendons, ligaments and internal organs. While total body fat consist of essential fat and storage fat. Essential fat are required by our human body for body functions. They are stored in the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, intestines, muscles, bone marrow and lipid-rich tissues throughout the central nervous system and female has a higher percentage of essential fat due to their child-bearing nature. While storage fat is stored in adipose tissue, which includes subcutaneous (under your skin) fat. And it is the subcutaneous fat that we think about when we mention the word: FAT.

When we engage in consistent and regular physical activities combined with proper nutrition intake, knowingly or unknowingly we would naturally increase muscle mass due to muscular stress from our physical activities. And muscles are heavier compared to fat, which explains why there is no decrease in the reading of your weighing machine or there could even be an increase in weight, due to the additional muscle mass being put on despite losing fat. This is why it’s not all about weight anymore, but it’s the overall body composition that we should look into. Never mind the readings on the weighing machine scale, never mind the Body Mass Index (BMI), but take the body composition stats into serious consideration. You should be looking for is decrease in body fat and increase in muscle.
You may want to ask, how do we measure our body composition? 
There are many methods used to measure body composition namely Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA), Underwater Weighing, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Ultrasound, Near Infrared Interactance (NIR). I personally have never tried measuring my body composition using the mentioned methods above due to it’s availability in our country. But two of the most commonly used method would be the Bioelectrical Impedance and Skinfold Thickness method, which I personally use them for my clients’ assessment.

Once again, forget about weight and start to look into body composition instead. Check with your fitness professional about it.

By the way, Did you know that despite being categorized under normal weight in the BMI chart, you could be actually a walking time bomb? While an overweight person could be healthier than a normal weight person. I’ll write about it in my next post.