What are you really made of? An insider’s guide to goal setting

By Ange

How many times have you jumped on traditional bathroom scales and were left feeling deflated by the number looking back at you?

Daily natural fluctuations and slow movement can have a huge impact on your mood and self-belief to achieve your goals. You are led to believe that all of your hard work has been for nothing and this ultimately leads you to stray off your plan, have a blow out and become de-motivated when training. Further, what if you already have a low body fat percentage but are on journey to get strong? How can the bathroom scales measure your progress towards this goal?

Unfortunately, standard bathroom scales only provide scale weight. The human body is much more than that. We are made of muscle, water, minerals and fat, constantly changing throughout the day.

For this reason, we hire an Inbody Composition Analyser for all our 8 week challenges. The data collected from these scans is so powerful in providing ‘the full picture’ of every challenger.  Every girls was able to walk away with a clear goal that was based around fat loss in kilograms, muscle mass gain in kilograms or both.

When counselling people through their goals, a few questions popped up consistently. “How much weight (fat loss) should I expect per week?” And “How much muscle gain is realistic per month?”

Realistic Fat Loss Parameters:

Understanding your basal metabolic rate helps you to set accurate weight loss parameters. My girls were surprised that they needed around 1300-1400 calories just to exist each day and that their 1200 calorie diet will not put them on the best road to long lasting success.  While an aggressive caloric deficit may lead to some short term weight loss initially, the progress will ultimately be short lived as the metabolism slows down, leading you to always feel hungry, depleted and tired.

With the right nutrition and training plan, realistic weight loss or fat loss parameters are dependent on how much weight someone has to lose.

Women with a percentage body fat between 15-24% can expect 0.25-0.5% of body weight loss per week. Whereas a women who is 25-34% percentage body fat can expect 0.5-1.5% per week and women over 35% per week can expect a large decrease of 1.0-1.5%.

For example: A women weighing 70 kilograms at 28% body fat can expect weight loss of 0.5kg per week.

Realistic Muscle Gain Parameters

There are several factors that will affect someone’s natural ability to build muscle, including training age (number of years you have been lifting weights for), hormone profile,  genetics, muscle memory and nutrition.  A female’s body frame, lifting regime, love of squats can all play a big role in their ability to grow muscles.

Using the Macdonald Model estimates that  women can expect to build:

0-1 training years- 0.4-1.0 kg muscle growth per month

1-2 training years- 0.2- 0.4 kg muscle growth per month

2-3 training years – 0.12- 0.2 kg muscle growth per month

It is important to understand that for a girl with muscle to gain and little body fat to loose, they need to be a calorie surplus, ensure consistency in the gym and that this will lead to an increase in overall body mass.

Know what lies beneath

For anyone planning on embarking on a weight loss or body composition overhaul, it is important to first understand what you are truly made of first. Working with a coach or fitness professional can help take the guess work of your journey and ensure that you are not disillusion by how long it may take to get noticeable results.

Be cautious of the bathroom scale

Secondly, do not fall into the trap of weighing yourself more than once per week. The best way for you to measure your progress is to weigh yourself first thing in the morning, at the same time each week, with minimal clothing. And do not underestimate the power of progress pictures, while uncomfortable to take initially, photos do not lie. Taking progress photos every month will enable you to see changes in body fat and muscle mass development.

Inbody scan

Having an Inbody Composition Anayalsis will require an investment of around $40 with most Inbody providers. If you are looking to hire a machine for your own gym, I cannot recommend Melbourne Body Composition Analysis, based in Melbourne, more highly for their slick delivery, training and communication. Further, individuals are able to visit them at a variety of location across Melbourne via their events page. 

For more information on Melbourne Body Composition Analysis, check out https://melbournebca.com.au/

For support in setting the most optimal nutrition protocols, get in touch today.

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Our founder

Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.

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