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Body Composition: Why It Matters More Than How Much You Weigh

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

You probably know how much you weigh...but do you know your body composition?

I've noticed a disturbing trend lately...

Women trying to lose weight/fat without a proper strength training program.


"I'll just focus on eating less..."


"I like my cardio too much..."


"But I teach/love group fitness classes!"


Hey - I get it. I used to say all of those things when I was first starting out, too.


But here's why it's NOT a good idea to pursue weight loss without lifting weights:


Because eating in a calorie deficit without lifting weights results in muscle loss, making your body look and feel less toned, while also lowering your metabolic rate, so you burn fewer calories.


Sure, you'll weigh less (at least initially), but you won't LOOK like you thought you would, and you'll probably make the same mistake I did many years ago and think:


"I just need to lose more weight."


^^^ This isn't the answer.


The solution is changing HOW you measure progress:


➡️ STOP using only the scale to track your results; and,


➡️ START tracking your body composition.



BODY COMPOSITION EXPLAINED

BODY COMPOSITION refers to the percentage of your body weight that's fat mass, muscle mass, and water weight.


It goes beyond on the number on the scale and gives you valuable insights into your overall health and wellness, so you can make more informed decisions about your nutrition and training.


For example, if your your body composition analysis reveals you've lost weight, but the weight lost came from lean muscle mass, you can adjust your nutrition and training to reverse that trend.



HOW TO MEASURE/TRACK BODY COMPOSITION

The InBody Scan is our preferred method of tracking body composition here at RFT. You can use the Testing Site locator on their website HERE to find the testing location nearest you.


If that's not an option, there are some great "smart scales" like Withings on the market now that include body composition analysis.


With body composition tests, you'll want to ensure consistent and correct testing conditions to get the most accurate readings. You can learn more about how to prep for a body comp test HERE on the InBody USA website. (Follow those guidelines even if you aren't using an InBody device.)


WHAT'S A HEALTHY BODY COMPOSITION FOR WOMEN?

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) acknowledges a range of 10-22 percent in men and 20-32 percent in women to reduce health risks associated with being underfat or overfat. For healthy body fat levels, women should aim for anywhere from 18-28% body fat.


Going much lower than 18% body fat could result in negative physical and pyschological changes such as reproductive/fertility issues, loss of menstruation, and reduced immune system function.


 

Now that you know the scale is NOT the best method for tracking your progress or health, MAKE A PLAN! Use the links above to find an InBody Scan in your area, OR order a Smart Scale with body comp anaylsis features.


Getting better data will help you track what really matters AND set yourself up for long-term success!


REMEMBER: The scale alone CANNOT measure fat loss, and weighing less doesn't automatically equal healthier or fitter! Let us know in the comments if you needed to hear this!

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