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Monitor Your Diet Progress With a Body Composition Monitor

dieting photoIf you are on a diet, you need to know if you are losing fat (which is good) or if you are losing muscle (which is bad). But, how do you figure what what is causing your weight loss?

Most people want to lose weight. That’s all that matters to them. So, their weight on a scale is the only measurement most people look at when they are dieting.

If you are also losing muscle, your resting metabolism–the number of calories your body uses at rest–is decreasing. When you go off your diet, you will probably gain weight.

Your goal on a diet should be to lose fat, but not muscle.

Losing Muscle on a Diet

Diets typically have you eating fewer calories than your body needs. Often you consume 1200 calories a day, or even less.

Your body will often use both fat and muscle protein to produce the energy your body needs. And, it is muscle loss that will eventually cause you to gain weight when you go off your diet.

Muscle is the body’s fat burning furnace. A pound of muscle burns 30-50 calories a day just because it’s there. A pound of fat, on the other hand, requires only a couple of calories a day to sustain itself.

When you lose muscle on a diet, you are reducing your resting metabolism–the total number of calories your body requires when at rest. So, when you return to more normal eating after your diet, you will be consuming too many calories, and will put on weight. That’s just what you don’t want.

Measure Your Loss and Gains More Accurately

To know if your diet is really helping you, you have to know how much fat and how much muscle you are losing. A regular scale will not tell you this. It measures only weight.

Omron Body Composition Monitor

Body composition Monitor

The scale you need is the “Omron Body Composition Monitor with Scale.” This, of course is a scale. And you can use it simply as a scale to measure your weight.

But, the Omron measures everything you need to know to help ensure that your diet is actually working for you. Here are some fitness indicators it measures:

  • Body Fat Percentage This will tell you if you are actually losing fat.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) This is one measure of your body fat.
  • Skeletal Muscle This is the body’s fat burning furnace that you can control. Lose muscle and your resting metabolism goes down. Gain muscle and your resting metabolism goes up so you burn more calories.
  • Visceral Fat This is the dangerous fat that surrounds your vital organs. Too much visceral fat can lead to heart disease, fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Resting Metabolism Knowing your resting metabolism helps you understand what your diet is doing to your body. If your resting metabolism is going down you need to make changes.
  • Body Age This calculated value combines your height, body fat percentage, and skeletal muscle percentage to give you an indication of your body’s age that you can compare to your calendar age.

In the past, measurements like these could only be made by a physical trainer or a doctor. But, now you can monitor your body composition every day at home.

Omron Body Composition Monitor

Omron Body Composition Monitor

The Omron uses metal contacts to pass a small current through your body to help determine your body’s composition. You stand on the Omron with your bare feet. You hold the measure bar straight out with your hands. After just a few seconds the measurements are complete and you can see your body composition.

Because lean tissue like muscles conduct electricity better than fat, the Omron Body Composition Monitor can determine how much fat and muscle your body contains. By passing current through different metal contacts it can determine where your fat and muscle is located. This gives you very accurate results.

Cautions When Using the Omron Body Composition Monitor

Body composition measurements can vary from day to day, or even from one hour to the next. When you eat a meal or drink some water you will add weight to your body. When you urinate or have a bowel movement you will lose weight. Also, you may be dehydrated right after exercise. Your body may absorb moisture after a bath or shower.

You want to measure your body composition in the same way each day. Certain daily activities affect your weight and body composition. So, to avoid temporary fluctuations you should make measurements under that same conditions.

Since the Omron Body Composition Monitor passes a mild current through your body, pregnant women and people with implanted electrical devices, like a pacemaker, should not use this device.

Omron Body Composition Monitor with Scale – 7 Fitness Indicators & 180-Day Memory

In this video I show you which scanner I use and how it works, how I track your progress, and what the measurements mean. Plus one of the top mistakes in using the scanner. I’ll tell you what NOT to do.

Why the 3 Day Military Diet Works and Can Help You Lose Weight and Keep it Off

diet photo

Photo by Sole Treadmill

Everyone who wants to lose weight has tried a diet. For a short time you eat a calorie restricted diet. The number of calories you consume is much less than the number of calories your burn. This causes weight loss.

You need to understand both what’s good and what’s bad about diets. Learn the secret of making the 3 day military diet work for you.

Without learning from your diet, you will be forced to diet again and again. You will be yo-yo dieting.

Bad Things About Diets

While diets are often effective in reducing weight, there drawback is that you often lose muscle mass.

Muscle mass is your body’s calorie burning furnace. A pound of muscle burns 30-50 calories a day without exercise. With exercise it burns even more. Muscle is a major factor in your body’s metabolism.

Compare that to a pound of fat that burns a couple of calories each day. Fat mainly just jiggles.

You can quickly see that your overall metabolism (the calories your body burns) is going to go down if you lose muscle mass.

When you take in too few calories on a diet, your body does not get all the fuel it needs to do everything you want to do. It then burns some stored fat as wells as muscle protein to make the energy you require.

And, most people on a diet do not feel energetic. They feel tired. So they do not exercise to build and maintain muscle mass. It is inevitable that most people will lose muscle mass while on a diet.

After a diet your metabolism decreases and you need to eat fewer calories. But, when you go off your diet you often consume as many calories as you did before your diet. That is now too many calories for your body. The result is you gain back all the weight you lost and add even more weight.

Good Things About Diets

Diets are often effective in helping you to lose weight. But, that is not the main benefit of diets.

While on a diet you will probably change what you eat. Instead of fast foods and manufactured foods you will probably eat more real, whole foods. Hopefully you will see the difference between real food and what are sometimes called “food like substances” that come in pretty boxes or colorful wrappers.

So, instead of eating white bread with all the fiber and nutrients removed you will eat whole grain bread. Instead of refined sugar with no fiber, you will have an apple with all its fiber intact.

You will avoid certain junk foods and manufactured foods such as potato chips, french fries, soda, white bread, candy bars, fruit juices, donuts, beer, pizza, sugary coffee drinks, and sugary breakfast cereals.

Eating a more healthy menu is the most important part of a diet. It’s something you should continue to do after your diet is over.

Three Day Military Diet

military pushup photo

Photo by Marion Doss

Like most diets, the three day military diet is a calorie restricted diet you follow for three days out of seven. It provides about 1000 calories each day. And, it makes you cut out junk food and instead consume nutritious foods you should have been eating all along.

And, it really works to help people lose weight. Most people lose from 5 to 10 pounds during the course of three days.

On the four days you are “off” the military diet you consume more calories, but only about 1500 calories a day. And, you still consume healthy, nutritious foods.

You continue this diet for several weeks until you’ve lost as much weight as you want.

Check out the Three Day Military Diet for yourself.

3 day Military Diet

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But, remember to learn the lesson of the three day military diet: Eat wholesome, nutritious foods every day. Avoid foods that give your body empty calories.

That is exactly what a diet should teach you.

Now, go and lose weight and keep it off.