Weight loss is one of top health concerns amongst our customers. When most of us embark on a weight loss journey, we tend to rely on the weighing scale to measure the effectiveness of our efforts. When in fact, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Our nutritionists advise that people should look at getting leaner instead of lighter. Not only will you look more toned, you’ll feel a lot more energetic and have lowered health risks too!
Leaner vs Lighter
Our body is made up of fat, water, muscle mass and bones, looking at weight alone doesn’t tell you the composition of your body. When we look at leanness, we’re taking into consideration your body composition, which is an estimated ratio of lean mass, fat mass and water mass.
Two people of the same weight but diverse body fat percentage can look radically different. Fat looks 3x larger than muscle. The one with more lean mass will look more well-toned and feel more energetic than the other.
Lighter = Healthier?
Not necessarily. It’s true that people who are obese and overweight have a higher risk of heart diseases. People with a Body Mass Index (BMI) > 30 kg/m2 have a high percentage of visceral fat, which is the fat that surrounds our internal organs. This metric reflects our risk of coronary disease, hypertension, stroke and diabetes.
However, it is possible for people with a healthy BMI and lead a sedentary lifestyle to have a high percentage of visceral fat and body fat percentage. Hence, having a similar risk of coronary disease as one who is overweight!
So, how do I get lean?
To gain and maintain lean muscle mass, physical activity is a must! Getting lean is a combination of regular exercise and sensible eating. Exercise helps to tone muscles and strengthen bones while a balanced and moderate diet provides your body with the nutrients it needs.
Many weight loss diets focus only on restricting calorie intake to achieve weight loss. Naturally, when you consume less calories than the total energy you expend over a period of time, you will lose weight.
However, if you don’t maintain muscle mass through exercise while restricting calorie intake, a lot of the weight loss will come from muscle as well, which may result in a higher body fat percentage due to muscle and bone density loss!
If the thought of regular exercise makes you weak in the knees, then start with small changes each day and work your way up. Get some inspiration from our fun guide to staying active and incorporate some tips into your routine!