Fat Loss VS Weight Loss. What should we measure?

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Article by Brian Zammit

Nowadays a lot of emphasis is being made on the importance of reaching the ideal weight, for several reasons. This awareness is positive because people are increasingly becoming more knowledgeable about the hazards of being overweight. However, this insight is also creating misconceptions about what should be one’s ideal weight.

The standard procedure used to find out the ideal weight is the Body Mass Index (BMI). This simple formula divides weight (in kilograms) by height (in metres) squared. The result is then compared to a table. Children and people up to 20 years follow a different table.

As shown in the picture, even though fat and muscle have the same weight, the volume is different. With exercise muscles get stronger and therefore bigger, whilst fat tissue shrinks. Since muscle tissue is denser than fat, lean people who start strength training will gain weight. This is normal and healthy. Someone who trains regularly with heavy weights will most likely fall within the category of overweight and perhaps even obese.

Skinfold testing is an assessment measure which checks how much fat tissue there is under the skin. This test is done by means of a special calliper and various readings are recorded from different body parts. This test gives a more accurate picture about how much body fat a particular person has. Therefore whereas BMI gives a generic depiction of one’s weight, skinfold testing gives a more accurate snapshot of an individual’s fat tissue.

At home one can self-assess physical changes by taking the measurements from different body parts. These will give a better understanding about your improvement or regression, compared to just checking your weight. As already explained relying on just weight may be misleading if not interpreted in the right circumstances.

Strong is the new skinny. One should exercise in order to increase muscle mass, consequently shrinking fat tissue. This will result in a stronger and toned body. Focus should be on fat loss not weight loss.

Yours in Health,

Brian


Brian Zammit is a certified personal trainer, gym instructor and teacher of Physical Education, obtaining all qualifications from the University of Malta. Brian continued to enrich his knowledge by qualifying as a hypertension and exercise instructor and a pre/post-natal exercise instructor, attaining both qualifications from CORE Fitness Education, UK. As a personal trainer, Brian is recognised by the European Register for Fitness Professionals.

Brian believes that doing exercise should become a way of life. Exercising with good technique is important to improve and to reduce the possibility of getting injured. He aims to specialise in different areas of health and fitness so that people with health issues can start exercising with minimal risk.

Contact number: +356 79 063 293

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Email: brianzpersonaltrainer@gmail.com