Few people understand the difference between the muscle weight (lean mass) and the fat weight. In a body, the lean mass includes muscles, connective tissue, bones and organs and the remainder is fat.
A person with high fat ratio appears to be more bulky, whereas a person with high muscle weight ratio looks stocky. The reason behind this is fat takes large space in the body, making it look heavy and clumsy, whereas muscles require small space.
How to measure:
A conventional way of measuring body weight is through scales; however, it doesn’t give the clear idea of body mass composition. Using body mass index can give a better idea but in case of athletes, it may prove wrong.
An athlete might be overweight but his weight mostly comprises of muscles which makes him fit and sturdy. Body fat percentage can be easily obtained by using the skin fold calipers.
In the technique called skin fold measurement, the calipers are placed at different parts of the body, the calipers measures the subcutaneous fat and gives the exact composition of body fat. People appearing extremely thin do not necessarily have low fat percentage, instead they have low percentage of muscle weight.
Ideal Body Fat Percentage
A minimum amount of fat is required for the proper functioning of the body. A fat percentage between 10-20 percent is considered as ideal for men, whereas, for women the range should be between 15-25 percent.
Right Approach to Lose Weight
First of all, before going on for a weight reduction program, it is very important to determine your fat versus muscle ratio. Only dieting is not good enough to reduce weight. Going on excessive dieting will result in weight reduction but the percentage of weight loss will be more in terms of muscle weight.
Making exercises as an integral part of your lifestyle is the best way. With exercises you will not only reduce the amount of fat but will also have a slim and fit body. One way to ensure that you are losing fat is by measuring waist line. If your weight remains the same but your jeans fit lose to your waist than you are moving in the right direction.
From now on, don’t just measure body weight but instead try to keep a right balance between the fat and muscle weight and have a healthy living.