Today we will tell you something we learn from the story of a fitness enthusiast, Sara (@bulk_kitty in Instagram). With only four years of difference we have seen her go through several stages:
- Overweight (232 lbs)
- Underweight (101 lbs)
- Fitness (143 lbs)
We do not want these weight measures to be taken as an example, since we are all different, we have different height and metabolisms. But, yes, we want to highlight how you can achieve an ideal state for your body and what signals you have to pay attention to not end up in the first or second stages.
Identifying characteristics of the different weight stages:
Being overweight is usually related to several factors. The first is the intake of more calories than we spend. Then, there are other factors such as anxiety, depression and a variety of hormonal problems that can affect your metabolism. Sara says that at this time she used to “swallow” all her negative thoughts.
In the case of Sara, and many other girls, the underweight is due to eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. It is essential to ask for help and fight against eating disorders because they can cause severe problems in the short and long term. One of the most serious is death.
We decided to call fitness at this stage since it seemed the most correct. We do not mean that it is the best stage, nor the most beautiful, nor the perfect. It is merely an active state, in which the body feels strong and healthy.
Do you only look at your weight when dieting and exercising?
Although numbers are not the most important thing when we start a process of changing habits (improvements at the psychological level, how we see ourselves in front of the mirror or how we feel inside are determining factors) there are other figures that we should also take into account. One of the most important is our percentage of body fat.
To know our percentage of body fat we can use two methods:
- A caliper (a rule spice that measures the skin folds in different parts of the body, and that should be used by a professional) or;
- A bioimpedance scale. The latter is the most practical way, although somewhat less reliable, but accessible to everyone.
Why know our percentage of body fat?
The percentage of body fat is an important figure that we must take into account if we want to lose weight or just to know our state.
It is a more reliable figure than the BMI (body mass index). It helps you to know if you are overweight, underweight, obese or if we are at a healthy weight. Body fat percentage distinguishes the fat that is in our body from other lean material such as our muscle mass, the weight of the viscera or bones. So, as you can see, weight is not everything.
In addition to the percentage of body fat, another critical figure to take into account is our visceral fat index: it is the fat that accumulates in the abdominal area, between the viscera (healthy values are between 1 and 12). In contrast to peripheral fat (which accumulates in the extremities) is the most dangerous type of fat since it is associated with cardiovascular pathologies. The bioimpedance also gives us the data of our visceral fat index.
Tips to obtain a correct weighing
Before weighing ourselves on a bioimpedance scale, we need to take into account some factors:
- We must find ourselves in a fast of at least 3 or 4 hours
- Weighing yourself first thing in the morning is ideal
- It is important not to have previously taken coffee, tea or diuretics
- We should not weigh ourselves during menstruation
You can learn from Sara’s story that weight is not the most important thing. Loving your body, feeling stronger and healthy have to be your main goals. So stop measuring your health in lbs because there are healthier ways to do it.