Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Weighty Issue

A few of my clients are very, very concerned with their body weight.  Many of them have a goal weight they'd like to get to, and those numbers loom large and heavy on their minds.  We've been led to believe that the numbers on the scale equate to our bodies in a way that they just don't, and this can be problematic.

Weight, as in "scale weight," is important for people who compete in sports in which weight plays a role, such as horse riding, boxing, wrestling, biking, and such.  As a tool for body composition, however, it is of little importance. 

Your weight basically tells you what your body weighs, all components considered.  Denser objects will weigh more than less dense objects, and yet will take up less space.  So a pound of feathers, for instance, will weigh the same as a pound of rocks, but will take up much more space.  Muscle is much more dense than adipose tissue (i.e., body fat) is.  Therefore, two people who weigh the same may be completely different clothes sizes simply because of their body composition (and because of the distribution of that composition). 

See what I mean?
So while your weight may be a decent baseline measurement for you, it should not be what you base your goals on if you are solely on a fat loss path.  And if you are gaining muscle (which, if you're trying to lose body fat, you should be doing, as muscles boost your metabolism significantly), you're likely going to weigh more than you think you should.

Measurements that make much more sense for those looking to get leaner would be:

-body fat measurements
-waist/chest/hip/arm/leg/neck circumference measurements
-how your clothes fit

So, seriously, if you're still obsessing over that scale, it's time to hide that thing in the closet or give it to Goodwill.  Look in the mirror and see the changes happen there.  You'll be much more satisfied with your results. 

Questions?  Comments?  Post 'em here!

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