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Jackie Oken

By: Jackie Oken on January 2nd, 2018

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Measuring Successful Weight Loss Is More Than A Number On The Scale

Lifestyle & Wellness

When it comes to your overall health, understanding your body composition is far more important than the number of the scale. For starters, weight alone will tell you nothing about the age, gender, or height of the person in question. Furthermore, thin people without muscle could be less healthy than a heavier person with hulking muscles and a healthy amount of fat. Measuring weight loss via body composition analysis is a far more reliable and effective way to evaluate health, wellness, and weight loss.

Stepping on a scale simply tells us the combined weight of all the body’s tissues. Measuring body composition, on the other hand, breaks down the relative proportions of fat and lean mass in the body. For women, the generally accepted range of 20 to 32 percent fat is considered satisfactory for good health. In men, the range is 10 to 22 percent.

Let’s Talk About Fat

Fat is essential for a healthy body to function. Get too much or too little and things can start to go sideways. A body composition with percentage of fat in a higher range than those listed above puts the individual at risk for a wide range of health concerns and obesity-related diseases. And, of course, the converse is true as well. Dropping below the minimal recommended levels of essential fat can result in negative effects on the overall health of the individual.

Now Let’s Talk About Lean Mass

Lean mass makes up just about everything in the body that isn’t fat. This means muscle, but also bones, organs, water, etc. Healthy eating and regular exercise can increase the amount of lean mass in the body (yep, including muscle mass, bone mass, and water!) And, increasing lean mass reduces the chance of injury, improves mobility, and increases metabolism. If lean mass is increased as fat loss take place, the results can positively impact overall health and wellness. 

Measuring Weight Loss

Based on body composition measurements, we know that when we say, “weight loss,” what we really mean is losing excess body fat and gaining lean mass. When focusing on both, the scale may change very little, but … the health benefits increase, clothes may fit looser, and movement maybe be easier and more graceful. Measuring weight loss success is so much more than the number on a scale. In addition to body composition, it’s about how you feel, how you look, and you’re overall wellness.