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Malia Frey

Don't Lose Weight, Improve Your Body Composition

By November 9, 2012

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weightsYou wouldn't expect a weight loss writer to spend an entire article explaining why you shouldn't lose weight.  But I'm going to.  Instead, I'm going to tell you to get off the scale and get into the gym to pack on a few pounds and improve your body composition.

What is body composition?  It's your ratio of fat and fat-free mass, including muscle.  Most people measure their body composition by evaluating their body fat percent.  Of course, a healthy diet will lower fat, but you can also lower body fat and improve your body composition by increasing the amount of muscle on your body.

3 Reasons to Improve Your Body Composition

Body weight matters, but in the long run, body composition may matter more. Here's why

  1. People who lift weights and build muscle improve their metabolism.  Muscle burns more calories than fat even when the body is at rest.
  2. Muscle improves the appearance of your body.  Muscles help to shape your midsection, tighten your arms and give a toned appearance to your legs.
  3. Muscles improve your performance during workouts and everyday activities.  A strong fit body will be able to participate more effectively in the daily activities that help you burn more calories.

So does this mean you should ditch your diet? No, not exactly.  In fact, in order to build and maintain muscle you need to make sure you eat enough lean protein.  But if you shift the focus of your diet and exercise plan to improving body composition instead of simply losing weight, you may see unexpected improvement in your body shape before you see results on the scale.

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