By DeLano Daniels, EM Fitness Contributor, Pin Fit
Most dieters keep track of pounds to lose and typically have goals made according to their body weight; this is a great place to start, but there’s a better way to track one’s progress.
The thing that most people don’t understand is that the number that shows on the scale is the least important number in the whole weight-loss equation.
By now you’ve got to be asking, “Well what’s the most important number?”
My answer to you is, body fat percentage. There are way more benefits of tracking body fat percentage then there is tracking scale pounds. For example, tracking body fat percentage can give dieters information needed to maintain and build lean muscle mass that is necessary to increase the metabolism all while losing body fat.
Another good reason to use body fat percentage, is that it will stop scale watching. Scale watchers typically watch the number of pounds they lose and base their next crash diet on it; this leads to unhealthy nutritional choices and unusually low calorie diets.
If you are really serious about changing your overall appearance, losing weight, and looking your best, change your focus from what the scale says to what your body fat percentage is.
Right now I’m pretty sure that most of you still aren’t convinced that body fat percentage is the way to go, so I have two examples for you.
Dan decides that he wants to lose 30 pounds and goes on a low-carb, low-calorie diet. Two months later Dan has exceeded his goal of 30 pounds and actually lost a total of 37 pounds. Good job for Dan, right? Wrong. What Dan does not realize is that while he was paying close attention to the scale and the 37 pounds that he lost, 22 pounds of that 37 pounds was lean muscle.
When a person loses lean muscle it takes away the shape, definition, and tone of the body as a whole, not to mention slows down the metabolism. Let’s do some quick math: 37 pounds – 22 pounds of lean muscle = only 15 pounds of body fat lost. When losing weight, the main objective is to lose as much body fat as possible while sustaining the muscle mass that you have.
Next we have John who weighs 212 pounds and a body fat percentage of 21 percent and wants to lose by six points. Since John knows his body fat percentage, he is now able to base his nutritional needs off of the 6 percent body fat he wants to lose. John decides that he’s going to keep his carbohydrates at a moderate level and his calories above 2000, thus giving him the nutrients to sustain his muscle and lose body fat at the same time. After two months of dieting, John has lost 7 percent body fat but also managed to gain a pound of muscle.
Okay, let’s do a little math together. John weighs 212 pounds and is 21 percent body fat, this equals approximately 45 pounds of body fat and 167 pounds of lean muscle; John loses 7 percent body fat, which now equates to a 14 percent body fat reading. If you’re still with me and this little equation, you’ll of gotten that John lost a total of 15 pounds or 7 percent body fat without losing any lean muscle. I’d say that this was a success!
So as you can see from the above, losing a total of 37 pounds or 15 pounds based upon scale weight or body fat percentage, makes a very big difference.
So, ask yourself, which number is most important to you? Both individuals lost 15 pounds of body fat, but one also lost 22 pounds of lean muscle, which would you take?
About DeLano Daniels
After many years in health and fitness and enduring some of life’s hardest trials, DeLano Daniels launched his own fitness company Pin Fit in 2012 to help motivate, inspire, and guide individuals who are wanting to change their lives. Not only is DeLano a certified personal trainer and nutritionist, but also a sponsored athlete, natural bodybuilder, writer, and college graduate. When DeLano isn’t training for shows, he can be found training individuals for special occasions, personal goals, fitness competitions, and most importantly better overall health and wellness. For questions regarding fitness, nutrition, or training, contact DeLano at firstname.lastname@example.org or 832-775-3590.