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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.

Under-water weighing is not readily available to most people. Having a skinfold body fat test with calipers done by a fitness professional is convenient and reasonably accurate.

Burning fat and changing your body’s composition to lean and toned takes longer than quickly losing 25 pounds in two weeks. Don’t spend money on quick weight loss programs that ultimately won’t work. Instead, work on dropping dress and pant sizes.

Advertisers make billions every year selling quick weight loss programs. If quick weight loss is what you want, I guess you get what was advertised. If you want to change your body’s composition, you have to commit to more hard work over a longer period of time.

In the following exerpt from a Mayo Clinic article, “Weight loss: 6 strategies for success,” it stresses that you must change your perspective:

“It's not enough to eat healthy foods and exercise for only a few weeks or even months if you want long-term, successful weight loss. These habits must become a way of life. Lifestyle changes start with taking an honest look at your eating patterns and daily routine.”

When you burn fat and lose inches, you will also get the lasting weight loss you want. Large amounts of weight lost quickly (without regular exercise) will be mainly lost water weight and muscle mass instead of fat mass (this will slow down your metabolism). You also might be very ill after losing that much weight in such a short period of time.

Commit to being the biggest fat loser! Losing large amounts of weight can be gained back quickly if you don't build muscle mass. Build muscle, burn fat, speed up your metabolism and lose weight that will stay off.

Regular weight training, cardio exercise and healthy nutrition are your tickets to success. In time, this will burn fat, give you a lean body and good health!


Mayo Clinic article, “Can you be considered obese if you have a normal body weight? Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

Mayo Clinic article, “Weight loss: 6 strategies for success”

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES, CPT is a Certified Personal Trainer and former NCAA Division I athlete. Mark is the owner of My Fitness Hut, Her Fitness Hut and Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark’s Fat Blaster Athletic Training System has been proven to give his clients the fit, sculpted and athletic-type bodies they want. Visit Mark’s main site:

Your Fitness University http://yourfitnessuniversity.com

Reviewed October 28, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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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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