Body Composition Equation

Body Composition Equation

As a society, we are beginning to understand the importance of maintaining a healthy body composition for our long-term health and quality of life. However, we have drifted away from the foundational principles that allow us to achieve this. Changing body composition is not complicated, it’s actually quite simple, but in our attempt to get this point across we have complicated it to the point of confusion.

The first component in changing our body composition is gaining (or sustaining) our lean body mass (muscle). The only way we can achieve this is by consistently performing resistance exercise. The problem we encounter when it comes to resistance exercise is that it is hard and thus many people shy away from it or worse yet attempt to incorporate other forms of activity (walking the dog, going for a bike ride, working a demanding job, etc.) and call it exercise when in reality it is merely an activity. The point here is that productive (resistance) exercise is supposed to be hard…in fact, it must be in order for it to be beneficial. There is simply no avoiding or getting around this. Therefore, as a practical application, we should seek ways to make our workouts hard (maintain perfect form, work to failure, use a slow and controlled speed of movement throughout the set, embrace the necessary discomfort at fatigue) not easier. This will provide the necessary stimulus to build as much lean mass as possible.

The second and most influential piece of the body composition equation is regulating our food consumption. Despite what may have been sold to you, what your friend had success with, or what your Chiropractor said, one of the sole reasons you’re not in the shape you desire is because of the amount of food you have consumed. This is not to say that different foods do not have varying effects on our body, of course they do. However, when it is all said and done there is a direct correlation between body composition and caloric intake. As a practical application, this simply means we need to consume less food. We live in a world where food is readily available and in a country where food is a pastime. We eat because we want to not because we need to, and we rarely say no. If our desire is to change our body composition, we must begin regulating our caloric consumption.

We do an amazing job of over-complicating the aforementioned points. We constantly confuse exercise with recreation and sport, we blame the macronutrient content of various foods, and even go as far to blame our bodies by accusing them of being in “starvation mode” despite the 2000+ calories we consumed that day. If we want to change our body composition and live a longer and healthier life, the path is very simple. Train hard and eat less!

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