As you continue to exercise, you may find that your weighing machine sticks stubbornly to one weight. For example, if you were 70 kg when you began exercising, you will still be 70 kg. Don’t get disheartened. It does not mean that you are not losing fat. What it means is that your muscles are developing, they are getting stronger and becoming more efficient. It is a temporary but a long drawn-out phase. Your muscles are burning fat.
But since they have grown in lean mass, they are now registering their weight on the scales. The good news is that 70 kg now includes healthy muscle weight, in place of fat weight. Take heart. The first indication of fat loss will not come from your weighing machine but your clothes. They won’t be as tight as they were. That is because muscle mass is lean and healthy and takes less space than globules of fat. Your skin will also show signs of toning up – it will be more taut and have a healthy glow to it.
For some inexplicable reason, almost everybody refers to their fitness in terms of kilograms. But two individuals of the same height and build can have different weights. One could have more muscle and one could have more fat. For example two men who are five feet six inches in height could both weigh 65 kg. But while one may look fit, the other may have a paunch. That is because the former has lean healthy muscle while the latter has fat. Obviously, the first man is fitter and healthier.
You may have heard the story about the former U.S. President, Gerald Ford. Ford was a university football player in his youth. He is said to have proudly announced that in his 50’s he weighed the same as he did when he was a fit, youthful football player. No doubt many people were impressed by his observation. But fitness experts scoffed. You see, what Ford didn’t mention was that in his 50s his waist measured 38 inches as against 32 inches in his football-playing days!
The inch-factor is significant. Which is why we have included body dimensions in the How Fit Am I? personal survey. Yes. there is increasing evidence that it is possible to be within the ‘ideal’ weight-range and yet have excess body-fat that is detrimental to health. That is simple to explain. -If you have been leading a sedentary lifestyle, you have been losing lean muscle and gaining fat. Since the weight of fat has replaced the weight of muscle, your weight remains the same. But, your body would not be toned and taut. It would show bulges of fat.
Excess fat, as you already know, can cause heart diseases. Generally, both sexes get big bellies with women also showing their spread on their hips and thighs. But the danger – zone, according to researchers, is the pot-belly-abdominal obesity that you should guard against to avoid major heart problems. So, how do you measure health in inches?
Through the waist-to-hip ratio guide.
Here is how you do it:
Measure your waist.
Measure your hips.
Divide your waist measurement with your hip measurement.
The answer is your waist-to-hip ratio.
For men, the ideal ratio is 1.0 or lower.
For women, the ideal ratio is 0.8 or lower.
Waist = 34 inches.
Hips = 36 inches.
34 + 36 = 0.94
Waist = 34 inches.
Hips = 38 inches.
34 + 38 = 0.89
The man is within his safety zone, but the woman needs to lose inches of fat.