If you haven’t gotten a bathroom scale such as Tanita that measures your body weight, muscle weight and bone weight – you may be a pear-shaped woman living in fitness denial.
Pear-shaped or naturally chubby women often judge their success by the body mass index chart which recommends an ideal body weight for a person based on his or her height.
While it’s not bad to shoot for a certain weight range – it means very little if 35 to 60 percent of your weight is made up of fat instead of muscle or lean body mass.
Naturally athletic hourglass shaped women may be the same weight as you but fit into clothes two sizes smaller. How is that possible, you may wonder?
Lean body mass usually refers to both muscle and bone mass. Most people carry about four to six pounds of bones.
When calculating how “fat” you are using a Tanita digital scale, add together your bone weight and muscle weight. Subtract that number from your overall weight to figure out how many pounds of fat you currently carry on your frame.
For example, woman A might weigh 140 pounds. Her Tanita body fat scale may read 5 pounds of bones and 100 pounds of muscle. One hundred and forty minus 105 equals 35 pounds of fat. This woman appears fit and slim.
Woman B might also weight 140 pounds but she carries 4 pounds of bones and only 70 pounds of muscle. Subtract 74 from 140. She actually has 66 pounds of fat – quite a bit more than the first example, yet again, they weigh the same.
Woman B (probably a pear-shaped woman) has 31 MORE pounds of fat, which is significant because fat takes up more space than muscle. Muscle is dense tissue. It’s heavier but takes up less space which is why fit people wear smaller sizes.
It also explains why different body shapes can weigh the same, yet have a completely different fitness level and appearance.
Pears – who have smaller upper bodies and carry most of their weight around their hips and thighs — are more likely to have a lower number when it comes to lean body mass (bone and muscles).
They should try to add muscle to their bodies even if the scale temporarily goes up. But a lot of pear-shaped women do the opposite. They lower their caloric intake, avoid exercise that builds muscle just to see the number on the scale go down.
Then they wonder why they become even fatter a few months or a year later when they resume even normal eating patterns. If you drastically decrease calories you lose even more muscle mass which lowers your metabolism.
The main number that should go down on your Tanita body fat scale is the body fat percentage!
While it is more difficult for pear-shaped women to lose body fat – their bodies are extremely efficient at storing fat – it’s possible with proper eating and exercise. Throw out your old scale and focus instead on the body fat percentage number revealed on your Tanita body fat scale.
Then be patient. Pear-shapes should shoot for 25 percent body fat if they are older and 20 to 23 percent if they are 35 or younger or have not had children.