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How to Shrink Your Body and Stay Lean

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Don’t focus on the weigh scale. Start shrinking your body by burning fat. This is the key to transforming your body to lean and fit. How many inches have you lost from your body since you starting training?

If you don’t know, find out. You should check your body fat percentage once a week to check your progress.

There’s another reason you shouldn’t focus on weight loss. It's possible to be normal weight and overfat. This is called normal weight obesity.

From a Mayo Clinic article by Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., “Can you be considered obese if you have a normal body weight?” it states:

“Yes. You can have a normal weight, but if your body fat percentage is high enough, you may be considered obese — a situation known as normal weight obesity. Normal weight obesity means you may have the same serious health risks as does someone who's obese. Obesity is defined as having an excessive amount of body fat — not as weighing too much.”

Katherine explains the dangers of depending on body mass index (BMI) to determine your risks for health related problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol level and metabolic syndrome.

I have found that many people are confused about what body mass index means as it relates to body fat. Keep in mind that it is just one tool to use when you are looking at your health. Scientists use BMI as a research tool to make objective comparisons as to how fat a person is. A person with a BMI of 25 or above is considered overweight and a BMI over 30 is considered obese.

Body mass index uses a person's height and body weight to measure a person's fatness. This method has some limitations because it doesn't consider a person's body type (slim, muscular, etc.).

For example, a fit person with high muscle mass will tend to have a high BMI which suggests that the person is overfat. This person would actually be fit and healthy with low risk for fat-related diseases.

So, even though you might use BMI as a starting point, a person's level of fatness is best measured using a direct method. Two methods used are under-water weighing and skinfold measurements.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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