The Mayo Clinic reports that body weight is not the single defining factor of health. In a study of 6,171 Americans, people with normal body mass index (BMI) but a high body fat percentage were at greater risk for elevated blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, risk of diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The medical term for someone with an acceptable BMI but an elevated body fat percentage is “normal weight obesity” commonly referred to as “skinny-fat”.
Mom was right; you can’t always judge a book by its cover. Thirty million Americans fall into the normal weight obesity category, and they don’t even know about it. From outward appearances they look healthy, unfortunately they are not. The visceral or deep fat that is encircling and imposing on their internal organs puts them at an equal risk of morbidity as their visually apparent obese peers.
But I have a good BMI! BMI or Body Mass Index is a simple ratio of height to weight and it does not tell the complete story. Many fit people fall into the “overweight” BMI category because they are packing so much muscle. Muscle is more dense than fat meaning that a muscular person may weigh more than the average person of the same height. While we’re delving into the subject of fat vs. muscle let me take a minute to strike a blow at one of my favorite myths: Fat does NOT turn into muscle nor vice versa! They are two distinctly different types of tissue. While losing weight, you may shrink or empty fat cells, unfortunately once created they never leave. One of the reasons long term weight loss is so difficult is that all of those empty fat cells are forever waiting there to be filled again.
The difference in fat and muscle tissue density is another reason to look at the number on the bathroom scale in context. A person can start an exercise program and gain lots of muscle, eliminate fat, yet realize only a few pounds lost. Hopefully, as their old clothes fit looser, they feel stronger and more energetic, the power of that number on the scale will be diminished. As trainers we realize that weight fluctuates and when we weigh a client or check their body fat we are looking for trends over time.
What is an acceptable body fat percentage? There is a wide range of accepted body fat percentage values. Similar to the numbers on the bathroom scale, it is important not to fixate on a number that once achieved will magically make us contented, successful, worthy, loved, and problem free. Body fat is measured in a range because healthy levels vary by individual. Factors other than activity level and healthy eating; including gender, age, heredity and ethnicity also affect each person’s healthy range.
Help! I’m skinny-fat, what do I do now? Over and over we’ve heard it all before: eat well, move better and then move more often, lift weights, get enough rest, manage your stress….wha wha wha wha ….and it all begins to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher. That course of action takes time and effort, very possibly blood, sweat and tears. We’re intelligent enough to realize it will be a painful process. Understandably, we are going to look for the short cut. This situation is where a lot of us come to the edge of our intelligence stuck in the cycle of endlessly looking for that short cut like HCG, Atkins, Jenny Craig, pills, and even surgery.
“How’s that working for ya?”,Dr. Phil would ask. There’s no easy answer, no short cut, no magic, and no amount of money that will buy you health and fitness or Phil’s friend, Oprah would have bought it by now! Hard emotional and physical work is required. Walking will only get you so far, literally! Weight training is just as essential as aerobic exercise in maintaining a healthy body fat percentage. If you’ve been struggling with your health and fitness get help! A personal trainer can be your best ally as you change and save your life. What are you made of? Encourage your friends and loved ones to come in for a comprehensive fitness assessment including body fat analysis. If you’re a current client and you haven’t taken advantage of this opportunity make an appointment today!
· January 26, 2010 The Scales Can Lie: Hidden Fat New Study Argues Even Thin People Can Face Health Risks From Fat; It’s ‘Normal Weight Obesity’
Raise your hand if you have an overwhelming number of zucchini or cherry tomatoes from your home garden. There is a solution! Make a frittata! Nothing says gourmet like a good frittata for breakfast. What? You don’t know what a frittata is? Frittata is just a fancy word for eggs with something in them. Actually, in Italian, frittata derives from “fritto” or to fry but don’t worry, this a healthy meal that isn’t truly fried.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1 medium zucchini
- 8 grape tomatoes sliced in half
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup non fat milk
- 2 green onions
- fresh herbs
Directions: I started by adding a little oil into a saucepan. Add in one cup of chopped button mushrooms. Saute these around for about 3 minutes. While they’re cooking, chop up one zucchini. Chop it in half longways, then cut those pieces into half moons. Also chop up some grape or cherry tomatoes. I used about 8, and sliced them in half. After the zucchini have cooked for about 3 minutes, toss in the tomatoes. Saute for another 3-4 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to wilt and warm up. While that’s happening, mix up 4 eggs with 1/2 cup of milk. Pour the eggs over your veggie mix in the frying pan. Let it cook over medium heat for roughly 2 minutes. Chop up 2 green onions and scatter them over top. Then pop it into a 425º oven for exactly 10 minutes. Pull it out after 10 minutes. Warning! Use a hot pad! Many a cook has fried their hand forgetting that the pan is extremely hot!
Add any freshly chopped herb that you might have on hand. I added rosemary but basil would be nice too. Take a rubber spatula, and run it around the edges and underneath the bottom of the frittata. Now, to plate this it just put your platter upside down over the pan. Holding your hand tightly over the plate, flip the pan over. The bottom of your frittata will now be facing up. Put another plate over the top and flip one more time so the pretty side will be up and remove the top plate.
Dr. Rick Weiss
Dr. Rick Weiss, DDS., has been training at BodyBasics for several years. As a dentist, he spends long hours in the his chair leaning over his patients. Chris and Amelia, his trainers, help Rick to develop a strong core to protect his back and withstand the stresses of daily life. Last year, Rick sustained serious knee and shoulder injuries during a skiing accident and a shoulder injury after that. Rick completed physical therapy and has come back strong, putting in some amazing workouts. He has just returned from an adventure vacation in South America reporting that he had a wonderful, pain-free time. Rick, your hard work has paid off!
Chris, Kristine, Mike, Maureen, Nick and Amelia and Amber
Sherry Hansen referred her friend, Mary Jo to BodyBasics and scored herself a free session with her trainer, Chris. She also won the referral reward of a foam rolling and stretching session with Maureen. Refer a co-worker, friend or loved one that might benefit from the services we offer and win yourself a free session plus a trip to the referral reward board. You just might win the ipad that’s hidden behind one of those slots in the board! We appreciate the faith and value you place with us when you refer someone you know. Thank you!
BodyBasics wants to say “thank you” and give back to the wonderful community of educators. We are offering a special group session just for teachers at 4:00 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a greatly reduced rate. Space is limited so call today! 498-0359
You may be familiar with the dead lift. Now try the same action only add some velocity to it with the kettlebell. A kettlebell was first developed in Russia during the 1700’s and has been in use in America since 1960. It is only in the last 10-15 years that the kettlebell has gained in popularity because of the advantages it brings to developing strength, speed, coordination, flexibility and power. Maureen Raine, certified kettle bell instructor, will give you a quick demonstration of the similarities between a dead lift and a kettlebell swing.
Nick, Maureen, Amelia, Mike, Kris & Chris are pleased to announce that Amber Stazenski is coming aboard to join the BodyBasics team. She is a graduate of Pima Community College’s Fitness Professional Program. Amber interned with us a while back and is delighted to be our newest trainer. Look for her picture and formal announcement coming soon.