Body Muscle vs Body Fat

A man performing push ups on a wooden floor, demonstrating strength and fitness.

With traditional medicine, We often step on a scale to measure the weight, then we have a number called BMI ( body mass index) calculated. There are a few pitfall with simply relying on one number to manage weight.

1. No body muscle and body fat percentage measured. I have seen young athletic patients with BMI > 30, but the person does not have obesity if the majority of their weight is from muscle mass. I have also seen people with lower BMI, which is around 20, but the body fat content is way higher than recommended. In this case, though we do not treat it as obesity, but lifestyle modification, working on muscle strength training will be recommended.
2. Hard to monitor weight loss process without tracking the body fat content loss
When it comes to assessing how we lose weight, the ideal situation will be losing fat without losing muscle. However, it is not the case in reality. We will be losing muscle and body fat at the same time, usually about 1:2-3 ratio. This is why on the body composition trending, we see decline in both body fat and body muscle. Therefore, it is very important to work on muscle strengthen training during weight loss process.
3. No measurements of visceral fat. Visceral fat surrounding around the organs. Higher visceral fat can lead to fatty liver, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, increased chance of cardiovascular disease, increased risks of having blood clots, etc.

At optimal weight loss MD, we do monthly body composition scan to monitor both fat and muscle loss, and make recommendations accordingly.


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