27 Apr What does fit mean?
Occasionally we face a client who is pretty skinny and still wants to lose weight. Often they just talk about a couple of pounds, not more. So why is it, that I feel the need to write about it?
That is simple: These people, might have a skewed view of what it means to be healthy. Being 27extraordinarily skinny is definitely not healthy, or fit. But years and years of conditioning have created a paranoia and fear of the scale. They fear, that if they weigh a couple of pounds more that they are being overweight.
Instead of losing weight I propose to change body composition, since many are so called “skinny-fat”, meaning they have a relatively high body fat percentage and little lean muscle mass.
Nobody needs to become a heavy duty weight lifter, runners but they should be able to lift more than a 5 lbs dumbbell without breaking a sweat. Everyone should have good basic physical strength and decent cardiovascular abilities since both promote health.
My call to action
Screw skinny. Make healthy and fit your new goal. If you want a six pack that is fine, but it is not a requirement to be healthy. We should not strive to look like a starved, hungry person but like someone who is fit and healthy. If you are close to your ideal body weight and you start a fitness routine don’t freak out if you gain a couple of pounds. Most likely it will be muscle mass.
Use your clothes and body fat
Instead of being obsessed with the scale look how your clothes fit. Check your bodyfat percentage. If the numbers improve, you are doing well. But even here make sure that you don’t drop too low, because it can mess with your hormone household, see below
What is fit and healthy?
A healthy body fat percentage for men is between 6-20% and for women between 16-30% body fat. The closer you get to the lower number the more strict you will have to be with your eating, lifestyle, & training habits. The range below those numbers is usually reserved for elite bodybuilders and fitness models on contest day and during photo shoots. Those numbers are rarely maintained and staying there for a prolonged period of time can have a negative impact on a couple of things:
- Loss of sexdrive
- Low testosterone levels (men)
- Disordered eating
- Social isolation
- An unbalanced life
- Amenorrhea (women)
If you are interested in more detailed please read this article by Precision Nutrition.
I hope I made a case for being fit versus skinny.
Have an awesome day