Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Scales Can Lie: Hidden Fat

Can a person be of normal weight and appearance and still be clinically obese? The answer is yes according to this provocative study.

Mayo clinic researchers have applied a new term to this condition: normal weight obesity. If you're ready to throw up your arms and toss in the towel out of frustration just take a breath, relax, and read on. It makes sense.

Most of us are concerned with total body weight as measured by the traditional bathroom scale. This is not an accurate assessment of your condition since it is only a measure of all that you weigh. A far better gauge is some type of body composition, meaning muscle and fat. Researchers discovered people who had normal weight and appearance for their size and frame but their ratio of muscle to fat was low. These people are at the same risks for heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome ( a pre-diabetic condition) as their apparently obese counterparts.

My advice is to get your body composition measured. You can do this at some doctor's offices, gyms and health clubs, or even in the comfort of your own home. I use a scale from Tanita to check our family body composition.

Once you know your body composition then you can get to work on a diet and fitness program. Get your doctor's OK first and find something you can live with. Even walking can be great if you sit all day. You don't need to join a gym but do so if it helps you be organized and committed. You should be doing something to build muscle and also increase metabolism with aerobic exercise.

Remember that muscle weighs more than fat so if you're doing weight bearing exercises and build muscle you may gain weight. Not to worry since this muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat and is therefore protective. You want to increase your muscle mass! You don't have to look like a bodybuilder!

Be fit, not fat!

My office provides the services mentioned above. For a consult please be in touch via the email on my blog or website.

Dr. Rosenberg

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