Stop Your Obsession With Body-Weight!
“I think if I lose another 15 pounds I’ll be where I need to be...” Where exactly do you need to be and why?
You may have heard us say that the weight on the scale is an incomplete number and that’s because...it is. The number on the scale could mean anything, from water weight gain to muscle loss to the Chipotle Burrito bowl you regret having ate last night. I could drop you a few pounds no problem (via muscle and water loss) but that’s not really why you’re here. Unless you’re cutting for a competition or clinically obese, diabetic, or have a history of heart conditions in the family directly related to being overweight, the amount of weight you lose is not the final indication of success. Trust me, Cancun really does not care how much you weigh. Joking aside, your weight is still very much related to your body mass and is still an important number to consider in the grand scheme of things. More body fat obviously means more weight... but so does muscle.
One pound of fat is EXACTLY equal to one pound of muscle, contrary to popular belief (myth BUSTED!). Why is that though? Well one pound of ANYTHING equals one pound of, you guessed it, anything. So even though one pound of fat looks different from one pound of muscle, they both equal one pound. Is your mind officially blown? Everything in life is a lie...just kidding. Likewise, it will take a whole lot of feathers to equal a one pound bag of sand but in the end one pound of feathers equals a one pound bag of sand. The quantities of these items are completely different (in shape, size, and volume) but the weight remains the same. So someone who obviously has a lot to lose may lose a lot, and someone who doesn’t have so much to lose may not see a huge difference at all. So how does body shape and genetics play a role in body weight?
If you are losing fat expect to lose weight as well, it’s a pretty simple concept, but here’s where things tend to get confusing. The amount of weight you lose varies between person to person. We all have a set “weight range” that is mainly determined by our individual genetics, metabolism, and environmental factors at any given body fat percentage. You may have very similar features to another person's (height, age, gender) but you both may weigh differently. That is because you both may have different body structures (larger legs, skinny torso, big feet). Things like muscle density (dictated by the amount of muscle fibers you have), bone density and structure to some degree (which can vary based on genetics and weight bearing activities), and other hormonal and metabolic factors that contribute to water weight and energy usage (muscle breakdown, fat oxidation - breakdown of fat) are some of the major contributors to a person’s weight. There isn’t an “ideal” body weight that exists for a certain height, age, or gender because it is mainly dependent on an individual’s body as a whole. Furthermore, if you are putting the hard work into your exercise and nutrition the results may be better than you expected despite your weight. Hard work and consistency shows, it's just that simple. How you choose to do it is what's hard. So if you end up with an amazing body to show off at the beach as a result, why should it matter if you’re 10 pounds shy of your “goal weight” expectation?
To put it simply, if you have a lot to lose in terms of fat you may very much lose some weight but remember that fat is not the only factor responsible for your overall weight. It’s about working towards a better body and not a better weight. Like I said before, I could drop your weight with ease and you can be happy you lost 10 pounds of virtually anything, but the last time I checked we don’t walk around giving each other high fives with our weight written in bold across our chest.