Body Composition and Weight


Woman Jokingly Trimming Fat Off with Scissors

When it comes to losing weight, many newcomers to weight loss are obsessed over the numbers. Goals usually start with "I want to lose 20lbs by summer" or "I want to lose two dress sizes." While goals are great, it's important to keep in mind how much weight we can actually lose. To understand this, we need to know what weight we can't lose. What do we mean? Not all of the weight you see on the scale is fat. The body is a complex system composed of several kinds of tissues. Some of these simply cannot be lost, such as bone weight, blood weight, and so on. To make an attainable goal, it helps to know what your body is made of.

Let's rule out some of the essentials. In the average person, skin makes up about 15% of the total body weight. Yes some people going through extreme weight loss will elect to have excess skin surgically removed, it overall doesn't account for a large drop in weight. Our bone weight is about the same as our skin weight, coming in at about 14%. The internal organs make up another 8%. The biggest culprit behind weight is all the liquid in our bodies. Water, lymph, and blood usually account for over half our body weight. When it all comes down to it, there is less than 20% of our body weight we can safely lose without hurting our bodies.

These numbers vary between individuals and we're talking about averages here. Of course someone weighing close to 400 pounds can safely lose half their body weight over time. The important thing is to understand what numbers apply to your situation. Your Metabolic consultant is here to help you with this. Let's take a moment and come back to the water weight. If you've ever tried a diet plan before, you've probably experienced a rapid weight loss in the beginning followed by a slower plateau. Water is usually the culprit here. As we've written about before, water weight is quickly lost as the body burns glycogen, shedding the excess water in the process. Real fat loss comes after this initial drop and takes time.

As you begin your weight loss journey, knowledge truly is power. The more you know about your body the more attainable your goals will be. For expert advice on losing weight, contact the Metabolic Research Center. We've been helping people just like you to lose weight for more than 25 years.

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