by Kerry Taylor
“I got on the scale today!”
“It says I’m up 2 pounds!”
“That’s no big deal, better yet, let’s take a look at what your weight is made up of.”
Above can be a typical conversation that is had with a client at any point in time. The weight on the scale is important, but it doesn’t tell us the whole story, nor does it tell you if that number on the scale is considered good or bad. As a coach that has worked with clients for over 20 years, I can tell you that most people just care about the number on the scale, unfortunately. But now it’s time to take a harder look at what else is going on with our bodies. A better indicator would be to see what our body fat percentage is, and how much muscle do we carry on our bodies. Even though the scale may tell you you’re losing weight or your BMI may say you’re obese, are they right? They both can be giving you a false sense of security and insecurity. Why? How? Check it out.
What is Body Fat?
Simply put, it is the fat we carry in our bodies, some of it we need and some of it we can all do without for better health. Everyone has an amount of fat that their body requires to perform all essential functions. The fat that we worry about is all the extra which forms and shapes our bodies to look a certain way. A good healthy average of body fat to aim for for a male is between 10% - 25%, and for a female between 18%-30%.
One targeted area that we also would like to look at is the mid section. Why? No, not because we want to see 6 pack abs, but because it tells us a lot about whats going on with the organs inside your body. A higher visceral fat level (fat surrounding your organs), means the higher amount of fat you are carrying around your mid section which will be putting extra pressure on your organs to do the work they have to do. Which, in turn, just like anything else, if it is always working too hard or above the level it can handle something will start to break down. We start to see it in the form of medical issues we deal with now and others that may be on the horizon.
In order to find this information out, we like to use the InBody scale to give us an extremely accurate reading of what is going on inside your body as well as how much you weigh. There is a such thing as “skinny fat”, and the InBody will tell us just that. By knowing this information, you can better guide yourself for a healthier future.
How have things gotten out of control?
You may have read in the history books that having excess body fat wasn’t always the worst thing, and way, way back then it wasn’t. Why? Because we used to hunt for our food. It was a required thing or we didn’t eat. If we had a bad hunt then we would go without food, the excess fat would act as stored energy for our bodies so when that day did come we could survive until we hunted successfully for our next meal. Now a days, there is definitely not a shortage of food anywhere in America, so we pile up fat stores day after day, which in turn has created our problem with obesity over the years.
But some of you may say, “I’ve gotten older and my metabolism sucks now”. That is not necessarily the case. Before you conclude that your metabolism is bad, let’s think about what you had going on when you were younger compared to now. When you were younger, activity was the name of the game, you stayed out until the street lights came on and were the first one outside in the neighborhood doing something while you waited for the other kids to come out and play. That stayed true for the most part until we start to transition into our adult lives. Our activity levels slowly decreased but our food intake stayed the same, or increased, and for some, the intake is made up of the worst foods possible. So with the combination of low activity, there is loss of muscle mass, in turn slowing down your metabolism. The amount of lean muscle you carry on your body is the key contributor to having a high metabolism. So it is not your metabolism that sucks, it is your lifestyle that needs adjusting and your metabolism will follow.
Some common factors that increase our body fat levels are:
-Eating more food than what is required of our bodies
-Lack of sleep
-Increased drinking of alcohol
-Low level of activity
-Increased levels of stress
Think about where your life is at the moment and how it affects you. Do you fall into one of those previous categories? If so, start to put things in place to reverse the effects. Yes, there are some cases where genetics play a role in what’s going on, BUT for most people it is a simple fix and solution. Move more, eat highly nutritious foods, it doesn’t have to just be grilled chicken and broccoli, you’re allowed to be creative.
Need help? Check out our nutrition services:
If you have no idea where your body fat levels are and would like to know, please reach out to us http://www.212healthandperformance.com/contact-us to schedule an InBody Reading and see what’s really going on inside your body. Once you have a starting point, we can help change those numbers and have your body working like a well oiled machine!
Until next time, continue to live life, 1 degree above the rest!