Often those who start doing physical activity in order to lose weight end up not seeing the difference they expected on the scale. With the practice of physical exercises, especially those that promote muscle strength, it is possible to observe not only the decrease in body fat, but also the increase in lean mass. This ends up reducing weight loss on the scale, but it does not mean that you are not losing weight.
Body mass is separated in two ways: fat and fat-free. The first is composed of fat from all sources in the body, including the brain, skeleton and adipose tissue, while the second includes water, protein and mineral components. Although free is used to refer to lean body mass, the terminology is not the same. Lean body mass is muscle, explains.
Apparently thin body is not synonymous with healthy body
Is every aesthetically thin body healthy? Not always! There is a difference between appearing to have a slim figure and having a positive lean body mass index. That difference can reveal how up-to-date your health is.
It is common to see apparently thin people, who are sedentary and have high fat and low muscle mass. According to Luna, this profile directly influences long-term health, as adipose tissue secretes pro-inflammatory cytokines and the effects include insulin resistance, increased cholesterol, loss of muscle proteins and oxidative stress. Diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disorders can be caused by this inflammation process.
But there are ways to transform this situation and the combination of physical activity and a balanced diet is the ideal combo. Luna says that in order to gain lean mass it is necessary to adopt strength training. Regarding food, the expert explains that a diet with complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), oats, fruits, tubers is essential, because carbohydrates are important fuels for sports activities . And protein intake is a fundamental stimulus for the preservation and increase of muscle mass.
Ultra-processed foods such as stuffed cookies, snacks, yogurts, sausages, some fruit juices from boxes (because of the large amount of refined sugar), fried foods and white flour pasta are villains for those looking to gain lean mass and reduce retention of liquid. They have large amounts of salt necessary to extend the life of the products and intensify the flavor and, therefore, tend to be very low in fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Were you curious to get body fat rates and thought about using Body Mass Index (BMI) calculations? According to the nutritionist, this will not work very well. BMI measures body fat using a formula using only height and weight, which does not establish where body mass is concentrated. Athletes, for example, have greater body mass due to muscle mass and the rate of these individuals is higher because of that.
There are methods that assess body composition that are most commonly used, such as bioimpedance and skinfold measurement to estimate the percentage of body fat. Our tip: always look for a nutritionist or endocrinologist to guide you in caring for your food, assessing your body mass and fat rates and a physical education professional to set up the right training for your goals.