Muscle weighs more than fat and the challenge is to assess correctly whether someone is overweight because they are fat or just very muscular. I heard Dr Barry Sears say at a seminar once, “the best way to find out if you are carrying extra fat on your body is to stand nude in front of a mirror, jump up and then when you land, see if your body continues to shake”. Actually this is a pretty good way to think about lean body mass and body fat and a simple measuring technique.
Since inactivity and improper diet are two ways in which body fat increase, it would make sense to set goals for each of these two areas and work on them a little at a time. As we have talked about in previous blogs, you do not need to kill yourself with high output exercise. Actually, a lower intensity activity, like walking, or any activity you enjoy within the proper zone (60-70% output) will help(s-remove) your body learn how to be more efficient burning fat. Then when you do harder workouts you will burn more fat even at the higher zone because your body has learned to use a better blend of fat and glycogen together. This allows you to go at a higher intensity, longer without bonking.
When you work with your nutrition by eating consistently 3 times a day with some snacks, drinking water throughout the day, chewing your food better, choosing foods that are better for your blood type, bring in more vegetables and blending the protein, carbohydrates and fats will help you body shift its fat storage needs. Also, try to avoid white products, prepackaged items and those items which are high in or have added sugars.
There is more than just the concern of weight as we need to look at where we are storing the body fat. When the fat is stored at the belly it increases the risk of coronary heart problems. It used to be mostly men who were at risk, but more and more women are now having an increase of belly fat due to higher stress exposures. The belly fat is referenced as “apple” shaped while the storage around the hips and thighs is more “pear” shaped. Understand what shape you have is preset and if you lose weight/body fat you become a smaller version of your base shape. You can’t change what you were given at birth, but you can lower your risk of diseases.
To determine your risk for coronary heart disease or other health imbalances, find your waste to hip ratio. Start by taking a tape measure and go around the smallest portion below your rib cage and above your belly button to get your waist measurement. Then take the tape and measure the largest potion around your fanny, two feet together, to get your hip measurement.
Then take your measurements and go to an online calculator like this one from www.SparkPeople.com to see what you waist to hip ratio is. If your numbers are below .85 (women) and below .95 (men) you are doing something right, keep it up!