Weight Management – How Body Weight and Body Fat Differ

by | Jun 20, 2011 | Health Habits, Nutrition Support, Uncategorized

In the previous blog post, we talked about the right way and the wrong way to reducing weight. Now, let’s go a bit further down the right path to weight reduction.

If I were to ask any of my clients to explain the term “body weight”, 9 out of 10 would say “it’s whatever the bathroom scale displays” (or some variation of it). And if I were to probe further and ask “what is weight reduction” the answer I get is “reducing my weight”. They couldn’t have been further away from the truth.

First task is to understand body weight and body fat and how they are different.

The human body consists of muscles, tissues, bones, blood, organs, water, skin and fat. The weight of all this put together is body weight. What you need to reduce (if you feel the need to reduce), is body fat and not body weight. As would be apparent from my description of body weight, body fat and body weight are two entirely different things.

Body fat is like cotton – bulky, occupies space but weights very little.

However, just like cotton, it too can be crammed into a tight area (viz. abdomen, buttocks and thighs). By cramming more and more fat into a relatively small area, the weight gradually increases and so does the bulge. Imagine you are cramming cotton into a small 1Lb plastic bag. As you begin you neither feel the weight nor see the bulge but as you continue to cram more cotton into the bag, you begin noticing two things – the weight increases and the bag begins to get round. By this time you’ve probably stuffed 1/2Lb or more of cotton into the bag. Once the bag is full, not only does it feel heavy and look like irregular ball, it is dense enough to take the weight of a human standing on it. Similarly, if a person’s abdomen has begun to bulge then there already is a lot of fat stuffed there. However, if your bulge is just beginning to show, it much easier to get rid of it now than to wait for an “appropriate” moment such as next year’s resolution or next birthday. So when you think of weight reduction, always remember that what you really mean in fat reduction.

How and where to begin the process of body fat reduction?

Simply put, fat beings to accumulate when calories utilized are less than calories released from food consumed. The difference between the two is converted into and stored as fat. So how much calories do we need? The average inactive (active people are rarely obese) person requires just 1600 calories per day. Now do the math. All you have to do now is add up the calories from the food you’ve consumed. There are many websites that will help you keep track of your daily calorie intake.

Along with reaching this equilibrium of 1600 calories per day, add some exercise routine to your daily activity.

Here too the same websites that help keep track of your daily calorie intake will help keep track of calories expanded through exercise. If your daily calorie intake is 1600 and you expand (say) 300 calories through exercise then you have a deficit of 300 calories. These 300 calories will come out of your stock of energy that the body has stored as fat. Am I beginning to make sense?

Read the next blog post – it discusses the steps to be taken for reducing body fat.