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Weight vs. muscle mass: What’s more important for weight loss?

Weight vs. muscle mass

How often do you weigh yourself? Does the number on the scale fluctuate so often that you find yourself getting disappointed with your progress? Your actual weight has a lot to do with how much fat and muscle mass you have in your body.

The media often convey that weighing less is somehow better for us, which implies that the less you weigh, the healthier you are, but it’s just not true. Health and wellbeing can’t be measured simply by looking at a number on the scale.

When people who exercise regularly begin to see the number on the scales increase, their go-to response is often ‘muscle mass weighs more than fat.’ However, technically this is incorrect. A pound of muscle weighs exactly the same as a pound of fat; but muscle takes up less space in your body compared to fat. This means that although you may look small, if you exercise and lift weights regularly, you will often weigh more than others would expect, as your body likely contains more lean muscle mass and has a relatively low body fat percentage.

To help you feel better about the number of the scale, remember that weight is simply a number, and alone, it doesn’t mean much.

Avoid the weight scale blues

Getting discouraged is something we all want avoid on our journey to a healthy active life. Negative thoughts can be very discouraging. I’ve learned that when someone constantly checks the number on the scale, it can prompt him or her to give up on their new lifestyle before their body has even had a chance to respond or adapt to their new healthy habits.

Don’t quit on your health journey

Quitting because you don’t like the number you see on the scale should never be an option. It’s a matter of knowing your body. It’s important to take a positive approach to learning your body. If you monitor your results and don’t solely rely on the weight scale, it’ll boost your motivation to keep going.

Make lifestyle changes not quick fixes

Maintaining a healthy body composition requires a total lifestyle focus. This includes balanced nutrition, regular physical activity (endurance, strength, flexibility) and stress management. Keep all three in mind as you choose your health goals. It’s important to understand that exercise can’t be used as a substitute for a poor diet. It takes a lot of physical activity to burn enough calories to make a difference with weight loss. Find time to balance your life, as it’s essential to help keep you on track.

Remember the goals of exercise

When trying to change your body composition, you don’t want to lose healthy muscle mass; you want to try to decrease the loss of muscle that’s often associated with weight loss. Performing muscle-building exercises and consuming a balanced protein-rich diet can help you accomplish this task.

Working towards a good muscle mass ratio helps you build your strength and will help to get you fit; not just slim. For many people, realising their objective is feeling healthy and looking good rather than getting to a lower number on the scales, helps them embrace exercise in their lives and judge their results on how they look and feel. Striving to reduce body fat, improve muscle density, trim your waist and improve your overall appearance and sense of wellbeing is a much better goal than aiming for a number on the scale.

en-GB | 16/11/2018 00:13:12 | NAMP2HLASPX01