Maintaining a healthy weight is more than just the number on the scale. It's also about achieving an appropriate body composition -- or a healthy ratio of body fat to lean mass. Weight loss and inch loss sometimes go together because when you lose a significant amount of weight, you tend to lose inches too. However, it's possible to lose inches without seeing the scale budge. Take both measurements into consideration when you're considering your health and fitness goals.
Weighing yourself is a typical part of trying to lose weight. Your weight isn't just a number but something that can actually change how you feel about yourself. Step on the scale first thing in the morning, and if that number is lower than it was before, you may feel better about yourself. If it's higher, your day may start on a downward slide. But what does your weight really mean and how useful is it when it comes to tracking weight loss progress?
When your body needs more calories than your diet provides, it turns to your fat stores for energy. The more energy your body needs to draw from the fat stores, the more weight you lose. There are two ways to achieve weight loss. First, decrease the number of calories in your diet by avoiding junk foods and eating healthy items instead, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy products. Second, increase your level of physical activity by participating in vigorous exercise, such as jogging, aerobics, swimming or other intense activities.
When you talk about losing weight, what you usually mean is slimming down. It may sound strange, but it's possible to get thinner without actually seeing a change in your weight. This happens when you lose body fat while gaining muscle . Knowing the difference between losing weight and losing body fat can change how you see yourself, your progress, and maybe even how you look at your own body.
The typical scale shows your weight, but it doesn't tell you how much of that weight is muscle, fat, water, bones, or organs. Knowing your body composition is crucial information if you really want to get results and, unfortunately, the typical scale doesn't tell you that.
Focusing on fat loss is much more important than focusing on your weight. When you lose body fat, you're making permanent changes in your body, shifting your body composition so that you have less fat and more muscle. When you lose weight, you could be losing water or even muscle. It's impossible to know if you're seeing real results or just the product of your daily habits, hormonal shifts, and changing hydration levels.
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