I often get asked what ideal weight is. The answer is tricky. It depends. The scale often lies. It is a number that may not accurately reflect your health or metabolism. BMI based on height and weight is no different. These numbers lie.

These numbers don’t reflect your health. You could be thin fat or fat thin.

What I mean by that is your weight can remain the same, but your body composition could be different. Body composition determines your health and whether you are aging or anti-aging.

weight measuring app on scale

People often tell me that they are doing the same thing, eating right, and exercising and the weight just doesn’t come off or stays the same, but something is different. They notice their waistline is thicker and the fat beneath the surface of the skin jiggles. The scale reads the same number but physically and metabolically they are very different.

Compare 2 men who each weigh 150 pounds with a BMI of 23

  1. Man 1 has a body fat percentage of 24 with a muscle mass of 114
    1. The calories needed to maintain this weight at rest is 1064
  2. Man 2 has a body fat percentage of 46.5 with a muscle mass of 103.5
    1. The calories needed to maintain this weight at rest is 966

Losing Muscle Mass Decreases Calorie Need and Increases Weight Gain

  • You lose muscle mass as you age.
  • Muscle weighs more than fat.
  • If you replace muscle with fat, you may weigh less.
  • Muscle burns calories.
  • The more muscle you lose, the less calories you need to maintain your metabolism.
  • As you lose muscle, your physique changes, fat has no definition, you lose that sculpted look, your waist may hang over your pants, the arms jiggle and you lose the muscle definition that makes you look good and signifies health.
  • You may be eating the same and exercising the same, but you are NOT the same!

Eating less and less keeps you the same weight, however loss of muscle mass makes it harder and harder to lose weight. You can become frail, lose strength and endurance, lose your physical shape, and set yourself up for metabolic illnesses such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inflammation and accelerated aging.

What is ideal body composition?

chart of male and female body compositions

There are gradations. There is average, good, and ideal.  Ideal body composition is anti-aging and all parameters vary by age.

How to change your body composition

  • Resistance training is best way to change your body composition There are many forms of resistance training such as free weights, Pilates reformer, machines, using bands or your own body weight. Choose the method that works for you. A personal trainer while not essential may help you reach your goals faster and safer. Start low and go slow to avoid injury.
  • Branch chain amino acids are the building blocks of protein that can help build muscle.
  • Reduce inflammation which causes you to gain weight and makes it hard to lose weight. You can do this by :
    • Treating hidden sources of infection such as gingivitis, chronic viral illness, gut infection, and inflammation
    • Eating an anti-inflammatory diet consisting of less sugar, grains, saturated fat, hydrogenated oil and trans fats, and eating more fish, olives, avocado’s, nuts, seeds and any of their oils.
  • Reduce toxins that cause inflammation. Choose personal care products without phthalates, parabens, SLE and other chemicals, filter your water, don’t heat in plastic, and avoid BPA and BPA free containers. Look for and remove sources of chemicals.
  • Do a detoxification and elimination diet for a few weeks to lose fat, decrease inflammation, calm the immune system down, heal the gut and help the liver detoxify.
  • Take detox and gut healing supplements such as glutathione, the master antioxidant and detoxifier, detoxifying herbs such as dandelion root extract, artichoke leaf extract, L methionine, Milk thistle or silymarin, garlic, turmeric and help the gut with probiotics and probiotic foods.
  • Manage stress to decrease cortisol that breaks down muscle and stores fat.
  • Measure hormone levels. You need adequate testosterone and DHEA with appropriate cortisol, insulin and other hormone levels to maintain muscle and release fat.

There may be hormone or other more complex issues that require the assistance of a functional medicine physician. Get the help that you need. Apply for a free no obligation clarity call to see if we are the right fit.