Your weight varies constantly
As we anticipated at the beginning of the article, the weight is a very misleading variable, since it can suffer variations, and very large !, throughout the same day, as the experts of KilosOut, who point out many variation factors : time of day, intakes, hormones … And no, we also do not recommend weighing yourself several times throughout and keeping a thorough record but just the opposite, stop weighing yourself so much!
Your level of liquids can also be another cause of the changes that your weight can experience throughout the day, and which, as they point out from Kilos Out, “depends on the water and other drinks you have taken; of the processed foods and the salt you have consumed; that you urinated a lot or a little; whether or not you have constipation or diarrhea; that you have done a lot or a little exercise… “.” When our body starts to lose accumulated fat, we balance our fluids by preventing retention and deflate thanks to healthy food (no more processed, free sugars and junk food).
“In the case of women, the rule can also influence causing fluid retention,” adds the director of Pronaf. “We have had cases of retention of up to 4 kg with respect to their usual weight in the same day!
For the Kilos Out team, the great ally to know whether or not we are losing weight is the measuring tape. “Our advice is to weigh yourself on a regular basis without obsessing to have control, especially if we have had problems with being overweight, but not to lose heart, it is best to measure yourself,” they recommend. “The scale must be interpreted with meaning and used as a record of our general state knowing how our body reacts to weight loss or our hormonal cycle.”
How body fat is measured
As explained by Hilos Out, “your body composition shows how much fat and how much muscle your body is made of and is a very reliable indicator of your overall health.” “That is why the Mass Index (BMI), which is the relationship between weight and height, does not distinguish between lean body mass (muscle) and fat mass. It is a useful tool to quickly evaluate a person. But let’s not forget that there are many factors to consider: age, sex, fitness, general condition, habits and diet.
The KilosOut team explains the two methods with which the percentage of body fat is usually measured:
Electric bioimpedance It measures the resistance of the body to a painless electric current. There are several equipment options that use an electric bioimpedance, ranging from a bathroom scale, to more sophisticated clinical electrode models. Fat-free body mass (lean mass) contains a higher percentage of water than fat mass, and water is a great conductor of electricity. Therefore, a person with low fat mass will prevent the flow from flowing through his body to a lesser extent than a person with a higher level of fat mass. It is fast, nothing invasive and even portable.
However, it is sensitive to the level of hydration and skin temperature. The hotter, less impedance and vice versa. Even when both variables are at normal levels, electrical bioimpedance tends to overestimate the percentage of fat.
Hydrostatic Weighing This technique measures the weight of an individual on land and then when fully immersed in water. The volume and density of matter are calculated based on the Archimedes principle. The density of muscle and bone is greater than that of water while the density of fat is lower. Therefore, a person with more lean mass will weigh more in the water than a person with more fat mass. It is a reliable method but not easy to perform because of the equipment and space and errors in the process.
Subcutaneous folds. This technique is carried out by measuring the thickness of subcutaneous folds at certain points of the body. There are several variations of this technique. In general, the more points evaluated, the more accurate the analysis will be. The sum of these measurements together with other variables such as sex, age, height and weight are used to determine the percentage of body fat of the subject. The problem is that it only measures fat under the skin, not visceral or intra-abdominal. It can be complicated to take measurements in very obese or excessively thin people.
Bone densitometry. Using X-rays that assess lean mass, fat mass and bone mineral content. It is very affordable and reliable but it is also very expensive.
According to the KilosOut team “the ideal is to assess the real nutritional situation of a person; Anthropometric results determine energy and nutritional needs, which will lead to correct nutrition and in the case of athletes, optimal training.
Do you exercise
If so, it is a great factor to consider, especially if you are following a weight loss plan that combines diet and physical training. “The exercise will generate a series of internal processes that in the first weeks are not visible but that are helping to improve our health and to which we must give some time to act on the metabolism and in this case on fat, if it is what we are looking for, ”says Bustos.
“Specifically, strength training increases the basal metabolism and, depending on the intensity, can keep it high for a more or less prolonged time after the end of the exercise.”
So if you are following a strength exercise program, “the scale will not reflect the reality of what is happening inside your body, so you should pay more attention to more objective points such as clothing or waistband. pants, ”says Bustos. That is, the increase in muscle mass to the detriment of fat mass can cause you to weigh the same and yet have fallen in size clothes.
How to know that you are on the right track
We insist again that you should not give so much importance to the scale and much more to what you see in the mirror, how your clothes fit and, above all, how you feel. “How we have clothes, how we feel, the color of the skin, the mentality with which we feel after exercising and taking care to eat better, are the important variables,” says Bustos. And a key fact: “If we are able to maintain a stable weight or body composition parameters for at least three months, that will mean that we are on the right track (it seems a long time, but stop to think if it were the other way around. .. how much can I gain weight in three months if I don’t take care of myself?) ”.
“The scale, along with marketing in the world of weight loss, are our worst companions when it comes to losing weight properly and being able to keep it in time, which is the real challenge,” says the director of Pronaf.