Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Real Weight Loss Science part 1

Real Weight Loss Sciencepart 1

When you think about weight loss, what do you think of first? Which aspects of weight loss are important, which are essential, and which ones can you take or leave? You be the judge.

When most people think of weight loss, what comes to mind is usually basic information that's not particularly interesting or beneficial. But there's a lot more to weight loss than just the basics.

When it comes to fat, most everyone is trying to get rid of it. However, in the struggle to achieve a healthy weight, many of us are working with unrealistic expectations of how much weight we should lose. Every person has a different body, and it’s important to remember that you can’t compare yourself, and your weight loss goals, to someone else. Take for example two women in their 30’s who are both 5’6” and weigh 140 pounds. While they might sound exactly the same, there is a hidden factor that can tell you who’s healthier – and that’s body fat percent. If one woman has 32% body fat and the other has 22%, who’s healthier? The woman with only 22% body fat, of course, because her weight is mostly made up of fat-free, or lean, mass...

What does this mean to you? When you seek out to set weight loss goals for yourself, you need to know how much fat mass you really have, which will in turn tell you exactly how much weight you want to lose, and still be healthy. Keep in mind that there is a certain amount of essential fat that your body needs to function properly – not all fat is bad! In women, about 10-12% of their body weight is essential fat, and in men, it’s about 2-4%. So, when we talk about reducing body fat, we’re talking about the non-essential fat mass we carry around that can actually be harmful to our health.

Healthy Range for Body Fat %
These tables outline healthy body fat ranges for men and women. Keep in mind that after the age of 40, healthy body fat percentage increases by 1-2% for each decade past that age. In other words, at age 50, a healthy body fat percentage for a male would be about 15-18%, while a woman aged 50 should have about 22-28% body fat.

Once you begin to move beyond basic background information, you begin to realize that there's more to weight loss than you may have first thought.

FEMALE - Essential fat ~ 10-12%

Underweight Lean Healthy Overweight Obese
<14% 15-20% 21-27% 28-31% >31%

MALE - Essential fat ~ 2-4%

How can you put a limit on learning more? The next section may contain that one little bit of wisdom that changes everything.

Underweight Lean Healthy Overweight Obese
<6% 7-13% 14-17% 18-25% >25%

Now you can understand why there's a growing interest in weight loss. When people start looking for more information about weight loss, you'll be in a position to meet their needs.

Kevin Newman
Weight Loss

No comments: