Imagine your body in layers: you have skin on top, fat in the middle, then muscle on the bottom. The goal is to REMOVE the Middle Layer...........the FAT. When you do this the skin will lay right next to the muscle, & you will be able to see the actual shape of your body. So, get off the scale and get your fat pinched so that you can decrease your middle layer.
In my opinion Body Fat %, pictures, and the tape measure are the best combination to see the current condition your body is in, and to measure your progress. The most important in this combination is Body Fat %.
Weight on the ScaleThe SCALE LIES! Weight can change daily based on the weight of the food and liquid that you have taken in during the day, the last time you went to the bathroom, bloating, etc. With these daily variances it's hard to stay motivated and easy to get disappointed when you are basing your results off of weight alone. In addition to the daily variances a loss on the scale doesn't necessarily indicate positive results nor does a gain indicate negative results. The body will very easily give up muscle mass before it gives up fat mass. One might continue on a plan that is causing them to lose muscle mass if they continue to see the scale dropping which will be slowing their metabolism and getting rid of their tone shape (decreasing the bottom layer..muscle......left with fat and skin.......not sexy). A weight gain can actually be a sign that you are building muscle, increasing your metabolism, and re-shaping your body. If you don't know that it's muscle you might give up or change a program that is working. Weight on the scale is an important tool, just shouldn't be the sole yard stick for progress.
BMIBMI is an old school ineffective tool in my opinion. Body Mass Index puts you into a category of underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese based on your height and weight alone. It's downfall is that it doesn't differentiate between lean muscle mass and fat mass. For example if you have two people who are 5'10" 225, they both fit into the obese category. The difference is that one guy is 6% body fat and the other is 30% body fat. So, imagine a beer drinking non athlete and a running back.......they don't belong in the same category that the old school BMI puts them in. I don't think this tool should be used by someone who is trying to accurately see how in shape they are nor should it be used as an accurate measurement tool for progress. Now, Dr.'s tend to use this on your yearly check-in as a "scientific" "non-personal" way to tell you that you need to lose weight. I guess this could be BMI's one positive is that it acts as a buffer and scientific tool for the Dr. to tell patients who obviously need to shed some pounds to lose weight.
The Ultimate Combination1. Body Fat %
Imagine your body in layers: you have skin, fat, then muscle. The goal is to remove the middle layer...........the FAT. We want to get the skin to lay right next to the muscle so that we can see the shape of your body....... this is decreasing your body fat percentage.
Fat Calipers is my tool of choice as the most inexpense and accurate way to measure body fat %. It combines gender (men genetically have more lean muscle mass), weight, age (we lose muscle as we age), and I prefer a 7-9 site test to determine your body fat %. At the 7-9 sites you literally are pinching all the fat that is covering the muscle in several different areas all over your body. Body fat % determines how much lean muscle mass you have compared to fat mass.
I think someone who is really serious about wanting change in their body should get their body fat % done every week by someone who is very experienced at doing it. My clients who have a set goal get their body fat done every week. I personally get mine done every week by my trainer, and it helps me to keep my workouts effective and my eating healthy.
Body fat % options:
(+)Two well known tools are hydrostatic weighing (water tub) and the bod pod are accurate, but can be expensive and inconvenient.
(-)The other well known, and convenient method is the scales or the handled devices (used at a lot of franchised gyms). These tools utilize Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), the scale sends a current through your limbs, working on the concept that lean tissue and water conduct electricity better than fat does. These two tools don't measure current through the entire body and can be affected by food intake, water, skin temperature, and other factors. These methods are convenient and inexpensive but not very accurate.
2. Tape Measure
This doesn't differentiate between muscle and fat, but it does allow you to visually see the inches/clothes sizes that you are losing....motivation.
Even though we see ourselves in the mirror everyday pictures allow us to actually see our progress.......motivation.
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