Healthy Body Composition
Questions about body composition: What is body composition? What are fat-free mass, essential, and non-essential fat, and what are their functions in the body? How does body composition affect wellness? How are body composition and body fat distribution measured? What is recommended body weight and how is it determined?
What is body composition? The proportion of fat and fat-free mass (muscle, bone, organs, and water) in the body. Healthy body composition involves a high proportion of fat-free mass and an acceptably low level of body fat, adjusted for age and gender. How to lose fat? Through a lifestyle that includes a sensible diet and exercise. How to add muscle mass? Through resistance training/strength training.
What are fat-free mass, essential fat, and non-essential fat, and what are their functions in the body? Fat Free mass The non-fat component of the human body consisting of skeletal muscle, bone, organs, and water. Essential fat The fat in the body necessary for normal body function Includes lipids incorporated into nerves, brain, heart, lungs, liver and mammary glands. These fat deposits are crucial for normal body functioning 3% for Men, and 12% for women. Non-essential fat (Storage Fat) Extra fat or fat reserves stored in the body. Adipose tissue (fat cells) exists primarily just below the skin (subcutaneous) and around major organs (visceral). The amount of storage fat varies from person to person based on many factors: Gender, age, heredity, metabolism, diet, and activity level
Fat Distribution and Assessment of Fat Distribution Men and women and regional fat distribution: Men often carry their excess fat in the abdominal region (apple shape/android obesity). Women often carry excess fat in the hips, thighs, and buttocks (pear shape/gynoid obesity). Assessment of Fat Distribution Two simplest forms are waist circumference measurement, and waist-to-hip calculation. Waist circumference—simply measure your waist. Right at the umbilicus (belly button) and top of the iliac crest (top of the hip bone). Waist-to-hip calculation—take you waist measurement divided by your hip measurement.
Assessment Results You are at high risk for disease if you fall above these ranges: Men—Waist Circumference: > 40 in Waist-to-Hip Measurement: > 0. 94 Women—Waist Circumference: > 35 in Waist-to-Hip Measurement: > 0. 82 Try this out with your tape measure. Partner up and calculate on your handout.
How does body composition affect wellness? Think about this… Two women who are 5’ 5” and weigh 130 lbs. One woman is a runner and has 15% body fat. The second woman is sedentary who has 33% body fat. Although both women are not overweight by many standards, the second woman is overfat. Measuring body weight is not an accurate way to assess body composition because it does not differentiate between muscle weight and fat weight. Remember that muscle is more dense that fat. A fit person can easily weigh more than an unfit person.
Overweight: characterized by a body weight above a recommended range for good health; ranges are set through large scale population surveys. Obesity: severely overweight, characterized by an excessive accumulation of body fat 25% of body weight or more as fat in men, and 32% or more as fat in women. Obesity may also be defined in terms of some measure of total body weight. Percent Body Fat Standards for men and women At risk Below average Above average At risk Men Women < 5% 6 -14% 15% 16 -24% > 25% < 8% 9 -22% 23% 24 -31% > 32% *These vary on age and gender, please follow the healthy standards emailed to you for your age and gender.
At Risk…What does that mean? Negative Health Consequences of Obesity Early death Death from CVD Hypertension Diabetes and insulin resistance Gallbladder disease Cancer of the colon, prostate, esophogus, gallbladder, ovaries, endometrium, breast, and cervix Arthritis and gout Back Pain Complications during pregnancy Menstrual abnormalities Shortness of breath Sleep apnea Increased LDL and triglycerides Decreased HDL levels Impaired heart function Impaired immune function
A healthy body composition is vital for wellness throughout life. Strong scientific evidence suggests that controlling your weight will increase your life span; reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, insulin resistance, and back pain; increase your energy level, and improve your self-esteem
How are body composition and fat distribution measured? Body Mass Index—also known as height and weight charting. These are of limited value for athletes because they make no distinction between fat and fat-free mass. However the average person, BMI are of value to predict risk in the general population. BMI = (weight x 703)/(height in inches)² Normal: 18 -24. 99; Overweight: 25 -29. 99; Obese: 30 + Using this criteria, 64. 5 % of American adults are considered overweight or obese. Again, BMI should not be used for athletic /highly muscular individuals as it may falsely identify them as being overweight. Waist Circumference—use of tape measure. With a tape measure you can measure anything on your body that you are wanting to lose inches. As seen before, and what we did in our assessments. Skinfold Method—a practical and inexpensive method. Only measure subcutaneous fat. Available at the RWC if you are a member.
Other Forms of Assessments Hydrostatic Weighing-water displacement Bod Pod—Air displacement Bioelectrical Impedance—Our scale is a form of this method Ultrasound—sound waves to measure adipose tissue thickness. Infrared Creatine Excretion Total Body Potassium 3 -Methylhistidine Excretion Measurement of Total Body Water Dual Energy X-ray Absorbiometry (DEXA); also used for bone density
What is recommended body weight and how is it determined? If the assessment test indicate that fat loss would be beneficial to you, your first step is to establish a goal. Choose a target value for percent body fat or BMI. Select a goal that is realistic for you and will ensure good health. Keep heredity in mind when making this decision. Keep body types in mind. Talk to the wellness coordinator for healthy choices. Work on small victories first!
Calculate Desirable Weight from Target BMI Convert your height to meters by multiplying your height in inches by 0. 0254. B. Square your height measurement C. Multiply your target BMI by your height in meters, squared, to get your target weight in kilograms. D. Multiply your target weight kilograms by 2. 2 to get your desirable weight in pounds. Example: 190 lbs. male who is 5’ 7” and has a BMI of 29. 9 and percent body fat of 26. He set a goal of a 26 BMI and 18 for percent body fat. What is his desirable weight? a. 67 in x 0. 0254 m/in = 1. 7 m b. 1. 7 m x 1. 7 m = 2. 89 m² c. 26 kg/m² x 2. 89 m² = 75. 1 kg d. 75. 1 kg x 2. 2 lb/kg = 165 lbs A.
Calculate Desirable Weight from Target Body Fat Percentages To determine the fat weight in your body, multiply your current weight by percent body fat. B. Subtract the fat weight from your current weight to get your current fat-free weight. C. Subtract your target percent body fat from 1 to get target percent fat-free weight. D. To get your desirable body weight, divide your fat-free weight by your target percent fat-free weight. Example: Use the same male. a. 190 lbs x 0. 26 = 49. 4 lbs (fat weight) b. 190 lbs – 49. 4 lbs = 140. 6 lbs (fat-free weight) c. 1 – 0. 18 = 0. 82 (target fat-free %) d. 140. 6 lb ÷ 0. 82 = 171 lbs. A. *Target body weight: 165 -171 lbs (take both the weights you figured for a target range)
Body Types Ectomorphs Tall and thin and have long arms and legs. These individuals have difficulty gaining weight and muscle no matter how much they eat or how hard they weight train. They have the body type you tend to see on ballet dancers, long-distance runners, and some basketball players. A very small proportion of the population has this type of body Mesomorphs Muscular, shorter, and have stocky arms and legs. These people are strong and tend to gain muscle mass when they do strength training. They may find it difficult to lose weight, but they excel in power activities like soccer, softball, and sprinting. Endomorphs Shaped like apples or pears (android or gynoid) and carry more body fat. Their bodies resist losing weight and body fat no matter how restrictive they are with their eating. These body types are resistant to famine and starvation. They excel in activities like weight lifting.
Common Questions Is spot reducing effective? Losing fat in a specific area of the body by doing exercises for those parts. They only contribute to fat loss only to extent that exercises burn calories. The only way you can reduce fat in any specific area is to create an overall negative energy balance. Take in less energy (food) than you use up in through exercise and metabolism. How does exercise affect body composition? Cardiovascular training burns calories, thereby creating a negative energy balance. Weight training increases muscle mass, which maintains a high metabolic rate and helps improve body composition. Muscle mass burn the calories at rest. So combining both elements is a quick way to cut body fat.
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