It’s important to know what you’re made of

While many “diet” plans focus on counting calories, LivingYoung’s program focuses on your body composition measurements. At your first appointment, we establish a baseline of your body composition using our sophisticated Tanita Monitor. (It may look like just a scale to you, but it provides a wealth of information that will guide us in designing your weight loss program.) Every week you will undergo a Body Composition Analysis and every week we expect to see positive changes in your BMR, BMI, Body Fat %, and Muscle Mass measurements. This is the gauge upon which we measure weight loss success.

BMR
BMR stands for basal metabolic rate. It represents the daily minimum level of calories your body requires when at rest (including sleeping) for your respiratory and circulatory organs, neural system, liver, kidneys, and other organs to function effectively.

About 70% of calories consumed every day are used for your basal metabolism. Increasing your muscle mass helps raise your BMR, which increases the number of calories you burn and helps to decrease body fat levels.

our BMR measurement is used as a minimum baseline for our weight loss program. Additional calories can be included depending on your activity level. The more active you are the more calories you burn and the more muscle you build, so you need to ensure you consume enough calories to keep your body fit and healthy. With this BMR data and knowledge about your activity level, we can calculate how much you need to eat to stay at current weight, or even lose your weight. A safe weight loss diet should never have fewer calories than your BMR.

As people age their metabolic rate changes. Basal metabolism rises as a child and matures and peaks at around 16 or 17, after which point it typically starts to decrease. A slow BMR will make it harder to lose body fat and overall weight.

Muscle Mass

Muscle mass is the predicted weight of muscle in your body. It includes the skeletal muscles, smooth muscles such as cardiac and digestive muscles and the water contained in these muscles. Muscles act as an engine in consuming energy.

As your muscle mass increases, the rate at which you burn energy (calories) increases. This accelerates your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and helps you reduce excess body fat levels and lose weight in a healthy way. If you are exercising hard, your muscle mass will increase and may increase your total body weight too. It can be very disheartening when the scale does not budge after a week of exercise.  But if you are exercising, it might be that your body is simply rearranging a bit, and your body composition is changing, even though the scale isn’t. That’s why it’s important to monitor your measurements regularly to see the impact of your training program on your muscle mass.

A high level of muscle mass can reduce the risk developing diabetes in adulthood. More skeletal muscle means more insulin receptor sites, which help with the uptake and regulation of glucose (sugar) deposited in the bloodstream after eating. 80% of glucose uptake occurs in skeletal muscle so the more there is, the easier it is for the body to regulate insulin levels and minimize excess fat.

In the elderly, muscle mass is particularly important for maintaining mobility, supporting the joints and in maintaining good balance, thereby helping to minimize the risk of falls and fractures. A good or high level of muscle mass is also fast becoming recognized as a key indicator for longevity. Muscle tissue naturally declines with age. A person can lose up to 50% of their muscle mass between the ages of 20 and 90 – another reason why it is important to keep muscle mass levels within the healthy range at every life stage.