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Did you know that we are from a society that worships the scale? Have the numbers on the scale ever determined your mood for the day? If you said "yes" to both of these questions, chances are you are in the majority. For so many years we have been concerned with how much we weigh. It hasn't mattered that much what kind of shape our bodies were in; as llong as the numbers were low, we believed ourselves to be thin and healthy. Did you know that the scales are now becoming obsolete? The reason is because your weight doesn't necessarily say how fat you are or the state of your physical condition. The real important issue here is your percentage of body fat. This is the ratio of in your body to everything else you carry. This would include your muscle, bones, water, etc. In all reality, your percentage of body fat compared to lean muscle mass should be 15% for a man and 22% for a woman. The average American male is over 25% fat and the female over 30% fat. Most of us are carrying around much more fat than we even realize. In all reality, very thin looking people can have a lot of fat under their skin or even marbled through muscle tissue. You can be confused by the scale and think you are thin because you don't weigh a lot but actually be overfat.
Another time the scale can fool us is when we start working out aerobically as we follow a low-fat diet and gain a few punds on the scale. This happens because we are building lean muscle mass. Muscle weighs more than fat, so as we replace the fat in our bodies with muscle, our weight might fo up a ffew pounds at first, but don't let this discourage you. It is only temporary and before long you wil start to lose the real fat.
The only way to know for sure how much body fat you actually have in your body is to have it measured. There are a number of ways to have this done. The two most popular are hydrostatic weighing and skin fold calibration. Hydrostatic or underwater weighing follows the idea that fat floats. It is considered to be the most accurate way to measure body fat. Since muscle, bone and other tissue are more dense than body fat, the more lean muscle you carry, the more you will weigh when submerged in water. The most common test to measure body fat is the skin fold caliper test. This tool gently pinches the skin at different sites on the body. The results are then computed to determine your percentage of body fat. Find out if you are overfat by having your body measured for lean tissue and body fat. It is the best indication gor determining the exercise and diet progran you need to follow in the future.
Butter Busters by Pam Mycoskie ISBN 0-446-67040-5 entered by Carolyn Shaw 2-95
Submitted By CAROLYN SHAW On 02-15-95