By: Nikki Nies
A lot of people get stuck on the number on the scale. I am at fault as well. However, learning that health and numbers that represent I have been taking care of myself is much more important than what a scale might say.
The scale doesn’t take into consideration muscle mass, the distribution of the weight, but most of all, what kind of human one is. So much easier said than done, don’t let the weight consume you. Don’t let it defeat you.
Instead of measuring weight by a number on the scale, a good measuring tool is the percentage of body fat, espeically visceral fat. Many might know women often have more essential body fat, defined as “minimum amount of fat necessary for basic physical and physiological health”, but don’t know the exact numbers. One’s body fat is in direct correlation of health. Obviously, an athlete will have more muscle than fat and that will be evidenced by low fat percentage.
One can measure one’s body fat at their local gym or consulting a physician. Also, one can measure using body fat calipers, body fat scale monitors, Bod Pod and water displacement. All of these measuring techniques may not be the most accessible or realistic, but if given the opportunity one should take advantage of knowing where the stand in regards to body fat.
Women’s fat percentage are regularly higher than men’s percentage as our bodies are designed for different purposes. Additional fat from the hormone, estrogen activates fat storing enzymes and causes the percentage of fat to increase. It is common for high endurance athletes to have such a low body fat percentage that amenorrhea–lack of menstrual cycle can occur. On the other end of the spectrum, with high percentages of body fat, it can lead to additional complications–everything from increased risk of breast cancer, infertility to increased risk of birth defects.
Nerd Fitness provides a great visual of what males and females look like at regular intervals of body fat. check it out! How do you stack up?