The Truth About Overweight & Obesity
Enough pain, shame, frustration, and judgment. You can lose the weight you hate. Here’s the truth.
Losing Weight: The Right Goal And The Right Process, Part 1
Dr. Gary V. Koyen, Ph.D. | March 2021
The right goal is body composition, shape, and fitness, not weight on the scale.
Most people who want to “lose weight,” focus on weight, which means focusing on the bathroom scale. This is especially true of women. The problem is that the scale—which measures our total body weight—is a poor way to measure the results we’re trying to get. The truth is that those of us who want “weight loss” actually want a body that’s leaner, more shapely, more fit, more attractive, and healthier. So the right approach is to measure those variables.
For example, if I lost 5 pounds, and 3 were bodyfat and 2 were muscle mass, I shouldn’t be happy. If I only use the scale I might think “Oh good, I lost 5 pounds.” But my body would be softer, weaker, less shapely, less lean, and less healthy. Similarly, if I lost 10 pounds of bodyfat but gained 10 pounds of muscle, the scale would show that I’d lost no weight. True, but my body would be much leaner, shapelier, stronger, more attractive, and healthier. My waist would be smaller. See the photos attached. The photos of the young woman dramatically show the difference between weight and body composition, especially the photo of her at 140 pounds. Similarly, the woman at 155 pounds and the man at 165 pounds show the difference: Leaner, shapelier, stronger, more attractive, and healthier. The bathroom scale hides these differences.
A great program will result in a safe reduction of 1-2 pounds per week of bodyfat over the course of a year. That’s 4-8 pounds per month, or about 50-100 pounds in a year. Really? Is 100# in a year achievable? Yes, if we take the right approach and do the right things. Most of us will benefit from adding some muscle and bone strength while we take off the bodyfat weight, so our net weight loss may be a little lower than the 50-100# mentioned. That’s a benefit, not a problem.
We want to emphasize the tape measure, not the scale. There is no simple measure that tells the story better than a measuring tape around the waist. Waist-to-height ratio is the best simple measure, followed by waist-to-hip and waist size. This chart shows recommended waist-to-height ratios.
The following charts show waist sizes by height, an excellent measure. The “Ideal” numbers are too aggressive for most of us, but we want to be below the low end of the “Overweight” numbers.
The last simple measure is waist-to-hip ratio, another excellent measure. For men, on average, a ratio below 0.95 is desirable, and for women, on average, a ratio of 0.80 or below is desirable. These ratios correlate with lower health risk.
At Cruxpoint we use the InBody device because it measures total bodyfat, total muscle mass, water, percentage of bodyfat, percentage of muscle mass, and where fat and muscle are distributed throughout the body. It’s easy and simple to use and to understand, and it’s non-invasive, so we can easily measure progress every 2-4 weeks.
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