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Losing Weight vs. Healthy Body Composition

Dr. Yogitaa Mandhyaan 93% (503 ratings)
BPTh/BPT, weight management specialist, Diploma in Nutrition and Health Education (DNHE)
Physiotherapist, Kolkata  •  12 years experience
Losing Weight vs. Healthy Body Composition

Ever wondered why another person who has the same height and weight as you looks fitter and thinner? Weight loss is a constant challenge for most of us. However, we tend to measure our progress only by the numbers seen on a weighing scale. While this does give an overall picture of how much weight you may have lost or gained, it does not tell you how much fat you have lost. 

The human body is made up of three main components; lean mass that includes bones muscles and internal organs, fatty tissue and water. This is known as body composition. Women tend to have more fatty tissue than men. The amount of fat in the body also increases with age. During the first phase of a weight loss program, most of the weight lost is due to a loss of water weight. It is in the second or third week of the program that a person will begin to lose fat. The ideal goal of weight loss is to reduce the amount of fat in the body while maintaining a healthy muscle mass. 

To reduce weight while maintaining a healthy body composition you will need to have a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly. Here are a few tips to keep in mind with respect to your diet. 

Eat Plenty of Proteins 

When it comes to maintaining muscle mass, proteins are the most important component of your diet. Ideally, you should consume 1.6-2.6g of proteins per kilo of your goal body weight. Proteins can be eaten in many forms. For non-vegetarians it can take the form of lean white meats and fish. Vegetarians can increase their protein intake by consuming dairy products like cheese and paneer and soya products. 

Eat right before and after working out 

Your body needs energy for a workout. For this reason, it is important to snack on something healthy a little before starting a workout. Consuming small amounts of proteins and carbohydrates 1-2 hours before a workout gives your body the energy it requires and ensures that you do not burn muscle mass instead of fat. Similarly, a protein snack after working out replenishes any muscle mass lost while working out. 

Cycle your calories 

Reducing your calorie deficit drastically may help you lose weight but this will be muscle loss. Hence create a schedule where your calorific intake n days when you workout is higher than on those when you do not. 

Aerobic exercises such as brisk walking and jogging can help you burn calories while strengthening your bone density. Strength training can also help boost metabolism and build muscles. In addition, exercises such as squats, planks, pushups and lunges help prevent a loss of muscle mass due to aging and keep the body lean. 

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