At any given time, 40 percent of all women are on some sort of diet. However, the question we should be asking ourselves is not “How much weight did I lose?” but “What constitutes healthy weight loss and good body composition?”
Most people believe that scale weight is the primary measure of whether or not you are lean and fit. That myth has survived not only the test of time but also a lot of the true scientific research behind weight loss and weight management. The reason for this is that many health professionals continue to use scale weight as the ultimate standard because they don’t really understand that the true gold standard of healthy weight is body composition.
What Is Body Composition?
Basically, body composition is how much fat per lean muscle you carry on your frame. Another way of thinking about it is: “How much do you weigh per square inch?” A pound of fat is three times the volume of a pound of lean tissue. Fat is like cotton candy in that it takes up a lot of space in the body. On the other hand, muscle tissue is very dense and compact. So, you could actually lose five pounds of body fat and gain five pounds of lean tissue, enabling you to be leaner and fit into your clothes better with no “scale weight” loss at all! If your objective is to take up less room in the room and to fit into your skinny jeans, then your goal should be to weigh as much as you can per square inch. That’s the true meaning of lean.
To give you a clearer picture of healthy body composition, here is a chart that gives approximate figures for healthy and unhealthy ratios of body fat in women.
Body Fat %
Excellent, very lean
If you want to measure your ratio of fat to lean tissue, you can either get an inexpensive skin calipers test done at your local gym or YMCA, or you can take this at-home body fat test:
Step 1: Taking Measurements
Height in inches___________
Hips in inches_____________
Waist in inches____________
Weight in pounds__________
Step 2: Determining Your Percentage of Body Fat
Multiply your hips (inches) _____ X 1.4 = _____ minus 1 = ______ (A)
Multiply your waist (inches) ____ X 0.72 = ____ minus 2 = ______ (B)
Add A plus B = ________ (C)
Multiply your height (inches) ______ X 0.61 = _______ (D)
Subtract D from C, then subtract 10 more: C – D – 10 = _______%
Your answer will be your approximate body fat percentage.
What Constitutes a “Good Diet”
So, what sort of weight loss program should you follow if you want to burn fat and repair and maintain lean muscle tissue? A good diet should enable you to eat enough of the right kind of calories to support your daily activities, raise your metabolic efficiency to burn fat, and to keep your energy levels high. (Exhaustion and crankiness are signs of a bad diet.) A good diet should eliminate sugars, grains ( I recommend most people eliminate all grains. People do better not eating grains- especially those who want to lose and maintain their weight and those who suffer pain and inflammation – see my book, MicroMiracles for more information on why I recommend a grain free diet ) junk foods, and processed foods, and ideally contain a good balance of lean meats and fish; healthy fats; fresh, preferably organic, fruits and vegetables containing a lot of fiber; and healthy complex such as, quinoa, wild rice, yams, and sweet potatoes. Except for sleep time, never go more than four hours without eating. Ideally, you should begin each day with breakfast and eat two – three main meals a day. If you need three meals a day, then I recommend one of those meals being a good green, protein drink. In this way you will keep your blood sugar levels even and your energy levels high. You will not experience that late afternoon slump and your nights will be more restful. I have also found women over 40 years old have better results with weight loss and maintaining a comfortable weight if they eat less fruit. Fruits tend to cause bloating as well. I also recommend eating less. This not only helps with maintaining your weight, it also has been researched to promote vitality and longevity. My books , The Food Allergy Cure and MicroMiracles contain healthy balanced diets in there for your reference. They do work ! And remember most people cannot be perfect all the time, so try to aim for a balanced diet at least 4 days a week.
Starvation diets might burn fat, but they also “eat up” your own lean muscle for fuel, resulting in body that looks saggy and puffy and feels weak. A good food program gives you enough nutrients to repair and maintain your lean tissues so that your body will look tight, strong, and fit.
So, when dieting, don’t obsess about how much the scale says you have lost, focus on how comfortable you feel in your clothes. Remember that the true definition of being lean is organically centered in having a healthy body composition. When you drop a dress size and watch your jeans getting looser because your hips, waist, and thighs are getting smaller, that’s an indication that everything is working for you—even though you may only have dropped a few pounds on the scale. Besides, who really knows how much you weigh? No one is going to ask you. All they can see is how lean and fit you are and how good you look. Once you have achieved a better ratio between fat and lean muscle tissue through healthy eating, you will not only feel more confident in your clothes—but out of them as well.
BioSET has excellent results with helping you lose weight. Oftentimes it may be due to food sensitivities, an inability to detoxify and poor digestion.