Here are four ways that women often make mistakes when it comes to fat loss.
1. Fat Loss And Weight Loss Are Not The Same
Not realizing that fat loss and weight loss are not the same is the number one mistake that women make. Too often, women obsess about the number on the scale rather than on body composition. When a woman tries to lose weight they are often losing not just fat but lean body mass.
There is only one real way to tell whether or not you are losing fat and that is to calculate your total percentage of lean body mass over time.
Military.com shows a great way to calculate how you’re losing fat at home. There are many home devices that measure body fat ratio using bioelectric feedback, measurements, and skinfolds.
Bioelectric feedback devices can calculate at a higher, or lower, presence of fat than is actually there; but bioelectric feedback devices will usually be incorrect in their measurement consistently (if they are off by 5% they usually remain inaccurate by the same percentage the whole time). This will provide a trend over time that helps you track your body fat percentage.
2. No Resistance Training
For some reason, women think that weight training will equal big and bulky muscles. This is not true, for most women. The way a woman’s body builds muscle is entirely dependent on her body type.
The American Council on exercise describes three body types. Each of these body types builds muscle in a different pattern. Most of the women who have extremely low body fat percentages and very large muscles do not achieve these looks without chemical enhancement.
The fear of achieving an undesired luck keeps women from building lean body mass. Don’t be afraid of your muscles.
3. Not Understanding How Muscle Helps Burn Fat
Lean body mass is the only element of body composition that burns fat. Muscle requires more energy per minute to maintain than any other element of lean body mass. To put it simply, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn. The more calories you burn the easier it is to maintain a lower body fat percentage. Without lean body mass and muscle, there is no way to achieve an ideal body fat ratio.
4. Not Knowing An Ideal Body Fat Percentage
Most fitness models that are shown in advertisements and on television have extremely low body fat percentages. Striving to maintain or achieve a low body fat ratio is unrealistic for most women.
The American Council on Exercise has a handy chart (located below) that shows the ideal body fat percentages for women. As you can see ACE notes ideal body fat proportions for women are higher than the body fat ratios for men.
Trying to achieve a body fat percentage that is at or below the essential fat line can lead to serious health risks.