Some people go through their lives not bothering about their weight but most of us end up being obsessed with our weight. It could be for vanity or health reasons but maintaining a healthy body weight can be more complex than just a number on a weighing scale.
The main reason why just basing your weight measurements with a weighing scale is not enough is because a home weighing scale only reads the overall body weight and does not take into consideration the composition of that weight. The human body is made up of many elements but to make it a bit simpler we can divide it in bones (minerals), muscles (protein), fat, and water. There are very few household scales that are able to measure the weight and divide it in such a manner to give you a more realistic view of your body weight.
Being able to divide your body weight means that one can better understand one’s health situation:
- Your body is made up mostly of water found in muscles, fat, blood, and all bodily fluids
- Protein will make up the body’s muscles, organs and bones
- Minerals found in bones and the blood stream
- Fat is the way your body stores energy
I know that most of us have a problem with fat but actually it is still an important part of one’s body composition. Fat is the body’s way of storing energy, protecting internal organs and also acts as an insulator and regulates body temperature. Too low body fat percentage can be dangerous for one’s wellbeing.
So what would be a healthy body weight composition? The two elements that are commonly considered are the body fat percentage and the muscle mass percentage. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE) ideal ranges would be the following:
Therefore whatever your goals may be, an important thing to keep in mind is that being skinny does not necessarily mean being healthy. Fat can be further divided in different types of fat that can be considered important for healthy bodily function while other types would be damaging to the body. A healthy balance of fat and muscle is a vital component of long-term health. Having sufficient muscle mass helps bolster the immune system to fight off illnesses, support good posture, enhance mobility, and prevent frailty in old age.
Also to take into consideration are factors that cannot be controlled but influence one’s body composition:
Age: As we age muscle mass is lost. With regular training and exercise this loss can be minimised helping health, metabolism, and general wellbeing
Genes: Sometimes nature cannot be beaten. Genes can play a role in whether one is naturally lean of a tendency to retain fat, including where it is stored.
Hormones: Having a good nutrition plan will help maintain regular hormone function which can influence water retention and overall body composition
Sex: Women are naturally built to have more body fat than men for natural reasons of pregnancy and nursing.
Therefore to conclude:
- Find your baseline composition so that you have a better idea of what you need to loose, gain or maintain
- Knowing what you have body fat excess will give you a clearer goal on how to focus on fat loss and not just weight loss
- Find a training and nutrition method that helps you reach your health goals
With a balanced diet and regular exercise anyone can maintain a healthy bod weight with a balanced muscle to fat to water composition leading to an overall body state of wellbeing, also known as homeostasis.
Until next time Stay Strong, Stay Focused and Stay Safe!