You are probably wondering how is it possible that a weight loss doctor is telling me that weight doesn’t matter. Simply put, weight does not determine the status of a person’s health. Take two people, same height, same ethnicity, and both weigh 200 pounds. One is a body builder and the other works at a desk all day. The body builder has a body fat percentage of 4%, while our office worker carries about 30% of his weight in fat. Which one is healthier? This is not a trick question, the obvious answer is the body builder. Now let’s say we have two women, same height, same ethnicity, and one weighs 120 pounds and the other weighs 150 pounds. What would you say if I told you that the 120 pound woman has a body fat percentage of 33% and the 150 pound woman carries 20% of her weight in fat?
Both of these examples illustrate that weight doesn’t really matter, but body fat percentage most certainly does. At Physicians for Weight Loss patients are weighed on a Body Composition Analyzer (BCA) which provides measurements of their body fat, muscle mass and water content. This tool doesn’t only measure the fat you can see on your body but it also measures the fat that is on your internal organs such as your heart, liver, and colon which is the most damaging fat. This explains how our 120 pound woman has a higher body fat percentage than our 150 pound woman.
Another way to determine a person’s health risks is to measure their waist circumference. According to the NIH guidelines women with a waist circumference above 35 inches and men above 40 inches have an increased risk of obesity related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
For the general population, that means most of you and me, when we make the necessary lifestyle changes to reduce the unhealthy fat in our body, the by-product is that we also lose weight. At Physicians for Weight Loss we teach our patients what their body needs to be healthy and naturally the weight falls off! Our focus is on long term weight management and we provide you with the tools necessary to make lifelong healthy choices.