Home » Health » Weight Loss

Healthy Weight Loss Advice - Understanding Body Composition

Aug 17, 2007
It doesn't matter what you weigh. Height and weight charts are meaningless. What really matters is the composition of your body - how much of your body is muscle and how much is fat. An understanding of body composition is one of the ways you'll escape the gravitational pull of the diet mentality. Body composition is a much more sophisticated way to see your body. Forget the scales and the height and weight charts. Concentrate on body composition.

Body composition testing measures how lean your body is. Remember, getting lean means to enhance your lean body mass - your muscles, your bones, your organs and the fluids of your body. Body composition is the only accurate way to measure how lean you are.

We have a real challenge in this country. We live in the fattest nation on earth. The average American male is 26% body fat. The average American female is 36% body fat. Let's put that in perspective. If this average male with 26% body fat weighs 200 pounds, it means he's carrying around 52 pounds of fat. Fat is dead weight. Every pound of fat adds 7 miles to your circulatory system. Your body stores your toxins in your fat cells. The more fat you have on your body, the more toxic your body is.

Example. A person who is 50 pounds over his or her ideal body weight has a risk of cancer that is 18 times higher than the average. According to cutting edge research performed at Tufts University Medical School, the best single indicator of whether you're aging successfully is your body fat percentage. The leaner you are, the more successfully you age. You can't be too lean.

According to exercise physiology research what should your body composition be? Men should be 15% body fat or less regardless of age. Women should be 22% body fat or less regardless of age.

Fifteen percent body fat for men and 22% body fat for women will put you into good to very good health. What if you want excellent health? What if you want to be as healthy as you could possibly be? For male athletes or men who want excellent health, the range is 6 to 12% - regardless of age. For women it's 12 to 18%.

How do you measure body composition? There are various methods. Hydrostatic weighing is the gold standard of body composition testing. It's the most accurate, but not very practical. Skin fold calipers are nearly as accurate, a lot more practical, and a lot more comfortable for you.

Fat is stored in 3 different areas of our body. Subcutaneously - which is between the skin and the muscle. Intramuscularly - which is within the muscle (otherwise known as marbeling in steak). And, between your organs.

To obtain your body composition, it will be necessary to measure the thickness of your skin fold in 7 different locations on your body using a skin fold caliper. It will very accurately measure the thickness of your skin fold in millimeters. These numbers will be entered into a very complex mathematical formula that has been developed by exercise physiology research.

What will you learn? You'll learn your body fat percentage which is a relationship between the amount of fat you have compared with your lean body mass. You'll learn how many pounds of your total body weight are fat. And how many pounds are lean body mass. And you'll learn your true ideal body weight. How is that calculated? The computer will take your lean body mass (your fat free weight) and add to that the optimal amount of body fat 15% if you're a guy. 22% if you're a gal. Now you have your true ideal body weight based on your body and not some height and weight chart.

Remember, you won't always lose weight every week. But this is where the measurements really help. If you don't lose weight, but your measurements get smaller, you've gotten leaner. Research reported on ABC-TV NEWS showed that adding just 5 pounds of muscle and maintaining it for one year automatically burns 91,250 calories! And burning 91,000 calories translates to losing as much as 26 pounds!

Remember, if you gain one pound of muscle and lose one pound of fat, your weight hasn't changed, but you're leaner.
About the Author
Malton Schexneider is a practicing physical therapist, nationally known speaker, former university professor, author, orthopedic specialist, & personal success coach to people seeking lifestyle transformation.

For more on healthy weight loss programs go to http://www.metamorphicweightloss.com
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 332
Print Email Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources