For the millions of Americans, shedding excess pounds is a never-ending battle. They spend countless hours at the gym, jogging trail or Pilates studio and many resort to diet pills but often don’t get the results they seek; not for lack of trying but because they’re focusing on the wrong metrics.
Studies show that a majority of people are obsessed with their weight to the point that if they’re not losing several pounds within a few weeks, they may begin to get frustrated. But bodyweight is not the only way to measure physical fitness. In fact, weight should be the last thing you worry about when you’re trying to get in shape.
Why Focus on Size, not weight?
It’s simple. The body’s weight comes from five main sources; muscles (30-35%), fat (10-30%), water (10-25%), bone (15%), and organs plus other tissues (10-15%). A reduction in your weight can come from a reduction in the volume of any of the first three areas.
First, you could lose some muscle mass. Unfortunately, this is not the weight you should be losing. Losing muscle mass comes with severe risks and could impact your metabolism and overall health and fitness.
You can also lose a lot of water in the first few days of a new diet. This is especially true if you cut down on your carbohydrate intake because carbohydrates help the body retain water. And you need carbohydrates to grow new, healthy muscles. So, weight loss through loss of body water is also not recommended.
This leaves us with fat. The only safe way to cut weight is to cut your body fat.
In other words, when tracking your fitness, you should focus on metrics that tell you how much fat you’re losing. The best way to track fat loss is by tracking your size – not your weight.
Focusing on your size
When comes to tracking your overall fitness goals, focusing on inches is a much better way to measure fat loss compared to stepping on the scales because fat takes up more body volume compared to muscles and other body components. The space taken up by one pound of fat can be up to five times the amount of space taken up by muscle. This means that when you lose fat, you lose more volume than weight.
As you work out, focus on your body’s volume and ensure that you’re losing as much of it as possible. You’ll become fitter without exposing your body to a variety of serious, preventable health risks.