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Making Body Composition Changes

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One of the ways we measure progress at the gym is with the Inbody machine that measures body composition.

We’re generally working to increase muscle and decrease fat.

When reviewing the Inbody results, the most common question that comes up is “how do we make these numbers better?”.

This is a tough question to answer because a ton of variables come into play.

Most people tend to put too much thought on what they are doing in the gym and not enough on what they are doing outside of the gym.

Here are some of the big rocks that I look at to ensure an optimal environment to see improvements in both decreasing fat and increasing muscle…

  1. Consistent strength training- I recommend no less than 2x per week and no more than 4x per week.

  2. Lean protein- If building muscle is a priority, protein intake should hover around .75 grams per lb of body weight. This is to create an OPTIMAL environment, not hit the minimum guidelines.

  3. Water- Water is necessary for your muscles to function properly. It helps keep you feeling full which helps with appetite control. 

  4. Sleep- MOST people need at least 7 hours to be at their best. Without adequate sleep, your muscles aren’t getting the rest they need to recover and build. 

  5. Stress- Stress isn’t easy to measure. When we’re stressed we tend to over consume calories. It impacts our sleep and can mess with our hormones, which can lead to storage of body fat.

  6. Caloric intake- For fat loss, you must be in a caloric deficit. It’s the law of thermodynamics. People tend to underestimate their calorie consumption. Keeping a food journal is key. If you find yourself hungry all the time, increase your lean protein, water, and vegetable intake.

  7. Calorie intake- For muscle growth, you cannot increase lean muscle tissue without a calorie surplus. This directly conflicts with fat loss. You can alternate periods of prioritizing fat loss and muscle gain but trying to accomplish both simultaneously can limit your progress.

  8. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)- This is looking at our activity level outside of our workouts. The more movement, the more calories we burn which helps create a caloric deficit. The more we move the more energy we tend to have!

  9. Time- Consistency is key! Progress takes time, and we must be doing some of the list to make change.

So, now what?

Review the list, and think about how you are doing in each area. I have two semi conflicting strategies on what to do from here.

The “Dave Ramsey approach”: Pick the habit you aren’t executing consistently that you believe would be the EASIEST for you to complete and focus on it. This allows you to get small wins and build momentum.

If you’re someone who tends to get overwhelmed quickly or feels like getting in shape is a massive undertaking, then give this a shot.

The second approach: attack the habit that would give you the greatest bang for your buck. This is often going to be the thing most difficult to implement.

If you’re someone that is all in on improving your results this may be the ticket for you.

Remember that there are a ton of variables that factor into making body composition changes. Success takes time. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it!


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