Sync Fitness Blog

How to Optimize Body Composition (without Obsessing on the Scale)

If there’s one universal fitness truth, it must be this: shame isn’t going to help you be your best, healthiest self! Unfortunately, for many people seeking a healthier lifestyle, shame can be the end result of fitness programs and weight loss efforts. If the only way your progress is tracked is by a number on a scale, you could end up feeling like you’re constantly falling short. That won’t help you stay with the program. Instead of obsessing about reaching a specific number, shift that focus to your overall well-being and body composition as indicators of your health.

Body composition is essentially your unique ratio of fat and muscle. Your body readily stores fat when you eat excess calories, but it takes more effort to build muscle. For many who start exercising and getting into shape, initial losses trickle to a plateau, at which point your weight hovers in the same zone. Many times, this phenomenon is caused by increased muscle mass and improved body composition. After all, muscle weighs more than fat. Don’t let the scale deter you! Focus on building muscle and the excess fat you’re worried about will be consumed by your increased muscle mass.

Top Tricks to Improve Your Body Composition

1. Focus on strength-building exercises, not just aerobics. The stronger you become, the more muscle you build. That extra muscle, in turn, burns more calories, even when you’re at rest. While you do want to engage in aerobic exercise for heart health, strength-building programs can make a massive difference in your body composition. You may not see the difference that getting stronger makes when you step on the scale, but you will see it when you look in the mirror.

2. Fuel your body for better health. When you want to build muscle, eating enough protein is essential. You should also make sure you have adequate sources of healthy fat in your diet. Combine those two with plenty of veggies and fruits and lots of water, and you have a recipe for easy, clean eating.

3. Determine your healthy ratio of body fat. A personal trainer can help you determine your current body composition. If you wish, you may also track how your shape changes, even if you don’t “lose” any weight.

4. Consider an inclusive, health-focused exercise program. A body-positive fitness program such as a local boot camp can help you feel stronger and happier without pressuring you to drop pounds. You shouldn’t have to feel like a contestant on a weight loss show, being ridiculed and mocked for your body, to lose weight in a gym setting. Your best hope of improving your body composition and physical health will come from working with those who will support you in your endeavors — regardless of what the scale says!

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