Fat loss or weight loss?

This month I would like to know what you think about a number of topics. Last week I asked you what you thought about running?

Now, I want to know do you think about fat loss or weight loss? Do you worry about how much you weigh or your body composition? 

Here is what I think.

Your weight is not the whole story. Having too much body fat is unhealthy, but you can have too much body fat and not weigh very much. We know that being overweight is a health risk, but most people are more concerned with their weight than their body composition. This is a problem. It is a problem and a real concern. I have worked with many people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off. That is the good news. I also know that having more muscle is healthy. It is functional.

Muscle helps your balance. Muscle keeps you independent and while you may not be thinking about that now, by the time you need more muscle it is harder to build. People with more muscle have more energy, better posture, have decreased risk of injury, less disease.

In January the research journal, Frontiers in Public Health argued that we need new terminology, we need to start using the term underfat or overfat, because the problem with measuring weight is that it does not measure fat.

It is estimated that up to 75% of the world’s population is overfat. Regardless of their weight. Researchers describe overfat as “excessive body fat that builds up in certain parts of the body, and it can affect even individuals who are of normal weight. Such a buildup of fat can still pose serious threats to one’s health.”

What kind of health risk? Being overfat is directly related to insulin resistance, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

Researchers are especially concerned because the number of overfat adults and children in developed countries is extremely high. In the U.S. it is estimated that 90% of men and 50% of children are overfat.

How do you know if you are overfat?

You can get a body composition analysis. It measures how many grams of fat, muscle, bone you have. You can have a skinfold test, which can be very good if the person doing it is qualified and uses enough measuring sites.

Or you can do it yourself. Is your waist measurement more than half your height? If it is, you may be overfat. 

The good news is, it is not just about your weight, but what you are made of. What I want to know is, if you have lost weight or want to lose weight, what matters most to you. From a health perspective losing fat and keeping your muscle is important, but is that how you think about losing weight? Or do you have a number in your mind, a weight you would like to reach and that is your primary goal?  Do you want to get leaner and have more muscle definition, more strength, more speed? Or is weight loss your primary goal. 

I am curious, how do you think about your weight? 

Change your mind, change your health,

Shayla

 

 

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