Many people regularly weigh themselves to maintain a healthy body weight. This is beneficial information. However, it is important to dig deeper. The question should be what makes up a healthy body composition? The number on the scale is a single snapshot of many factors that fluctuate day to day. These variables can include activity level, sleep, fluid intake, metabolism, illness, injury, as well as age, sex, and height.
The number on the scale doesn’t give the complete picture. How much of your body weight is muscle versus fat? Some home scales estimate these percentages, but few are accurate. The scale is only one of many tools that can help provide information.
Body composition is a term used in the health and fitness industry. It refers to the percentage of fat, bones, and muscle in the body. Body composition determines the level of health of the body. Two people can be the same height and weight, but one might have more body fat and less muscle. This can lead to a different level of health.
Often, when someone says they want to lose weight or “become more toned,” that means they want to lose body fat and gain lean muscle. When this is the goal, the number on the scale becomes less important. Muscle mass is crucial for mobility, strength, and function, especially as we age. Muscle is also a very metabolic tissue that can increase how many calories you expend as energy each day.
If you are working toward body composition change, measure your muscle vs your weight. Many gyms have special equipment to measure body composition. Other tools include tracking your progress through monthly pictures and taking your waist measurement with a tape measure. The results from the pictures and number on the tape measure will provide valuable information about your journey to improve your body composition.
Increasing muscle tone and mass is one of the main changes toward improving health, especially as one ages. Muscle is the answer to what makes up a healthy body composition. A health coach can help guide your journey to an improved body composition.