A lot of people don’t understand what happens to their body with the addition of exercise and nutrition. They think “I am going to eat this way and exercise that way and I will lose weight.”
We don’t want weigh loss, we want fat loss.
However! The body is a complex piece of machinery and will always do what IT feels is the best course of action, not what YOU want it to do.
Case in point – for people that have a body fat percent in the neighborhood of 40-50% their bodies don’t behave the same way as someone whose body fat is under 40%.
We routinely monitor our members body fat percent and have been doing so for over 10 years and one thing always come to the surface – the closer to 50% body fat you are – the more we are concerned with WEIGHT LOSS not necessarily fat loss and that weight loss will happen in the presence of LEAN BODY MASS loss.
Something we never want – unless your over 40% body fat.
Here’s why – when you weigh 300 lbs and have a body fat percent of 50% (or 40%, but 50 is easier for math), i.e. diagnosed as clinically morbidly obese…as in DEATHLY obese, your body is composed of roughly 150 lbs of fat and 150 lbs of bone, skin, muscle, organs, water or what we collectively call LEAN BODY MASS. The majority of which is made up of dry lean mass or muscle.
150 lbs of lean body mass…that’s A LOT of lean body mass for not trying to add LBM. I have 149.9 lbs and I have consistently worked out for the majority of my life. People don’t understand this but at 50% body fat just to walk around – it’s like carrying someone on your back!
It would be like me carrying a 150 lb person on my body. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. That person’s body will build muscle because it needs muscle just to walk up a flight of stairs! All that fat doesn’t do a single thing to help that person out, it’s just tissue that sits there and requires their muscles to work harder.
Here are two of our awesome members that both weight about the same weight. Imagine Beth (holding Tori) walking around with Tori like that for 24 hours a day! Think of how tired you would be, but also how much muscle you would need to build just to do daily activities.
As an obvious observation, at 50% body fat, your body has roughly the same amount of lean body mass as it does fat. Where as at 20% body fat your body has substantial more muscle then fat. You could argue that at 50% body fat your body will build LBM at a rate equal to your fat mass. I would guess that at 30% body fat is probably where it starts to happen. Go from 30 to 35% body fat, add 5% more muscle and 5% more fat equally. But, that’s just a guess.
I digress…at that percent of body fat, our main concern is get weight off of you, with out you actually losing a lot of lean body mass. But! It’s going to happen, because as your weight goes down, you simply don’t need that much lean body mass to move your self around the earth.
As weight goes down, so will:
Potentially bone mass as a smaller house doesn’t need as much of a foundation, however, this is probably a very small change.
The list goes on – all of those factors play into your over all lean body mass number.
So, if you are close to 50% body fat, be happy with any decline in the scale until around 35% body fat, then focus on lean body mass preservation with the addition of fat loss. Relax! Any change in weight is good news.