Muscle weighs more than fat.
Because of this, a person with higher muscle mass could weigh more, and yet wear a smaller size.
In addition to using your weight as a measure of attaining your ideal size, take into account your body fat percentage.
Having a higher body fat percentage brings with it significant health risks including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and autoimmune disorders.
When you have your body fat tested at a health club or at a health practitioner’s, you’ll receive a reading of body fat, water, and muscle percentages.
All three add up to 100 percent. Assuming that the amount of water weight remains almost constant for each individual, the variables are body fat and muscle. The more muscle you have, the less body fat you have (and vice versa). Muscle weighs three times more than fat.
Here are ideal body fat percentages:
Up to age 20 14-21 percent
Age 20 to 50 17-27 percent
Age 50+ 20-30 percent
Up to age 20 9-15 percent
Age 20 to 50 14-21 percent
Age 50+ 19-23 percent
In body fat measurements, lower is usually best, but don’t go below the recommended guidelines. A person must have some body fat to be healthy. Fat pads internal organs such as the kidneys, and it also offers protection against cold weather. For women, the minimum recommended fat percentage is 12 percent. If a woman has less, her menstrual cycles could cease. Men must have a minimum of 5 percent to stay healthy.
Keep your body within these ranges and you’ll find it much easier to stay at your ideal size.
By doing strength-training exercises for two to three hours a week, you can reduce your body fat percentage by as much as 10 percentage points within six months.
Having less body fat and more muscle gives you more energy, higher stamina, more muscle definition, and a higher metabolism. This means you’ll burn through calories faster and can eat more food without gaining weight.