So many of us weigh ourselves on a regular basis, but your regular weighing scale will not be able to assess your body composition. The weighing scale cannot tell how much of your total weight is comprised of water, fat, and muscle. The ACE (American Council on Exercise) has given these range of values based on different population (Refer the above image).
The body composition can be used to assess your fitness level as well as your current health status. It is advisable to have lower percentage of body fat for optimal health. It is recommended to do your body composition analysis before starting your fitness and weight loss program and check it regularly to monitor your progress.
Body composition is composed of body fat and fat-free mass.
Body fat can be found in the subcutaneous tissue (fat under the skin), in muscle tissue, or around our organs (visceral fat). Essential fat is necessary to protect our internal organs and to carry out certain functions in our body.
Fat-free mass is comprised of water, bone, muscle, organs and tissues.
There are certain factors that affects your body composition:
Age: We lose muscle mass as we age, which results in slower metabolism.
Gender: Females have more body fat than men for reproductive purposes.
Hormones: Hormones can affect water retention and body composition.
Genes: Genes play a role in whether you are naturally blessed with high metabolic rate or have a tendency to retain more fat in your body.
If your body retains more fat, then you should aim to increase your muscle mass by doing strength training or weight training. Follow a proper diet by consulting a professional, as it will support your workout regime and induce fat burning.
Remember, your muscle is the fat burning machine. Higher the lean body mass, lower will be your body fat.
Here are certain foods that will help you to burn more fat-
Coconut oil: Coconut oil contains MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides). MCTs are metabolized differently than the long-chain fatty acids which are found in many foods. They go straight to the liver and absorbed quickly by our body.You can start your day with a teaspoon to a tablespoon of filtered coconut oil based on your current health status.It will reduce your hunger pangs, cravings and promote fat burning if you take it in the morning before you eat anything.
Apple cider vinegar: It helps in suppressing your appetite & also controls the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Start with 1 tsp. of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water in the morning or half an hour before a meal.
Full fat Greek yoghurt: Maintaining a proper gut health is imperative when it comes to weight loss. Greek yoghurt is packed with probiotics. Without them the bad bacteria's can build up and can damage our immune system. It also contains vitamin B12, which is necessary to boost your metabolism and for healthy brain function.The calcium in it keep your bones strong. It is also high in proteins which can boost fat loss and help you feel full by promoting satiety. You can have it as an evening snack to prevent overeating at dinner.
Coffee: Good news for all coffee lovers. It's high in caffeine and can help your body burn fat. Have not more than 2-3 cups in a day to prevent it's side-effects. Also, avoid having it post sunset.
Nutmeg: This popular spice has a long list of health benefits- from inducing sleep, relieving pain, protecting liver, improving brain function, reducing depression and burning fat to name a few. You can have a cup (150ml.) of warm milk with a pinch of nutmeg powder before sleeping.
Lentils or dals: They are legumes which are loaded with nutritional benefits. Lentils are packed with proteins and soluble fiber, which promotes satiety and fat burning. They are loaded with iron, calcium, potassium and zinc, which are essential minerals that are required for our optimal health. Lentils are also packed with B- vitamins, which boosts your metabolism and help your body burn more calories. Include a bowl of lentils in your every meal for better results.