What is the difference between mass and weight?
Mass and weight
Some people may look muscular but all they have in their body is ‘unnecessary fat’. There is often confusion between muscle mass and fat in our daily conversations. The term ‘muscle mass’ refers to the total weight of the muscles in your body.
Muscles, or more correctly muscle tissue, are composed of protein (called actin and myosin) and water. There is also a small amount of carbohydrate within the muscle cell walls. Whereas, fats are compounds consisting of fatty acids.
The body fat percentage is a measure of the total fat content in your body. Body fat percentage is the amount of total fat divided by total body weight.
While many people think that one pound of muscle may weigh similar to one pound of fat, which can be true but muscle is denser and therefore takes up less space than fat with the same weight.
Excess body fat can contribute to various health ailments like heart attack, strokes, depression, cancer, high blood pressure, etc. But it can be prevented by building muscles because muscle oxidizes fat making it easier to maintain or lose weight.
Obesity is a condition where the body has stored more fat than it needs. Excess weight is not a good sign of good health. If your body weight is 20% or 30% above the ideal body weight, then you are obese.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to measure whether a person is ‘normal’, ‘overweight’, or ‘obese’. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.
When a person’s BMI is 18.5 or below, the person is considered to be underweight.
When a person’s BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9, the person is considered to have a normal weight.
When a person’s BMI is between 25 to 29.9, the person is considered overweight.
Another way of assessing obesity is measuring the amount of fat versus lean tissue (muscle and bone) in the body, especially visceral fat. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines obesity as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a health risk.
What are the Causes of Obesity?
The major causes of obesity are lack of physical activity, improper diet, hypothyroidism, menopause, stress and genetic factors.
Obesity can also be caused by some health conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Cushing’s syndrome, depression and certain types of cancer. People with medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol are at a greater risk for cardiovascular diseases.
Obesity has also been shown to correlate with low education levels and poverty, though some exceptions exist.
What are the Different Types of Obesity
The most common type of obesity: This type of obesity is due to bad habits with the use of sugar and food.
Obesity due to stress: This type of obesity is caused by stress, depression and anxiety.
Gluten obesity: This type of obesity is usually seen in women who go through menopause and men who have hormonal imbalances.
Metabolic obesity: People with swollen stomachs accumulate fats in the middle part of the body. This kind of obesity is dangerous because it can affect other organs and can cause breathing problems.
- Venous obesity: This type of obesity is usually genetically inherited and most commonly seen in people who have swollen legs.
How to increase muscle mass?
Muscle mass tends to decline after a certain age but it's never too late to gain muscles through proper diet and exercise.
Exercise and nutrient-rich foods can help preserve muscle mass even when you get older.
Strength training and weight training are two of the best ways to build muscle mass. These exercises help in strengthening the muscles by forcing them to work against resistance.
Some effective exercises are bodyweight exercises like push-ups, resistance band exercises, lifting exercises like doing dumbbells or soup cans, using weight machines.
It is highly recommended to do 3 strength training or weight lifting sessions every week.
Cardio exercises and aerobic exercises like jogging, dancing can support muscle growth and prevent age-related muscle loss.
Nutrient-rich food is crucial for muscle building. Foods rich in protein can help in building and repairing muscle but the amount of protein you require depends on the level of your daily physical activity. Usually, 10% to 35% of your daily calories should come from protein.
Some of the foods rich in protein are beef, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts.
Carbohydrates can also fuel your muscles. When you are doing strength training carbohydrates can help you in enhancing your performance. Carbohydrates should make up to at least 50% of our daily calorie intake.
Sufficient intake of fat, vitamins and minerals is also vital for building muscle but we need to keep in mind that to aid the muscle-building process, we need to avoid processed and packed foods as much as possible.
One of the most important benefits of having muscle mass is that you will be less likely to get injured or develop any chronic diseases. Good muscle mass indicates that your physical functioning is at par, including mobility and balance.
No wonder we require fats as they are the building blocks of hormones and help in absorbing some vitamins but excess fat accumulation in the body can make you obese and it can invite unwanted health complications. If you are suffering from obesity and looking for weight loss treatments, we have the perfect weight loss management pack for you.
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