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Apr 12, 2018

Healthy Living: Why Your Weight Scale May Be Lying to You

The advancement of science and technology has improved the understanding of our body’s composition.  It also helps define the markers as to what truly makes us fit and healthy. Many of us on weight loss journeys may be obsessing over the pounds on the scale, but as you’ll find out in tonight’s Healthy Living, your scale may be lying to you.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

In Belize, two out of every three persons are either overweight or obese. It is a concern for many and if you look at the early morning and late evening joggers and gym rats, we can assume that more people are trying to do something about it. Ed Williams is a health and fitness coach. He has a message that very few people want to hear. That is that- the pounds on the scale don’t matter.


Ed Williams

Ed Williams, Health & Fitness Coach

“It’s deceptive; it doesn’t tell you anything. It’s just a number.”


Marleni Cuellar

“So weighing two hundred pounds for example?”


Ed Williams

“Well if somebody tells you that your next question should be two hundred pounds of what?”


This is why there was a shift in measuring just pounds to measuring the Body Mass Index or BMI: which is a ratio of your weight based on your height.  For example if you weigh one-forty at five-five, you’re at a healthy weight. But one hundred and forty pounds at five feet you’re certainly not. Even so, the BMI is still not enough of a measure.


Ed Wiliams

“In the past, it was the thing; it was the number. We thought so, but recent research and development shows us that it is a bit primitive now. We need to look more at things like body fat composition, body water composition, muscle mass. The BMI tends to give you an across the bar number and it is not a one size fits all today because we have new players. The first thing that tells us everything we need to know is our metabolic age.  It is an age based on the ratio between your muscle mass and your body fat. These are the two variables that are significant. Muscle mass is your youth—the older you get, the more important it is to do weight training; build muscle because you are losing it…that’s the ageing process. And then body fat is the accumulation; the thing that makes you prone to other health problems.”


Excessive belly fat what is known as visceral fat is linked to a number of health challenges. Like increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even has shown to be linked to a reduction in survival of women with kidney cancer. If measuring pounds and BMI can mislead you, how do you know you’re on the right track? According to Ed, it’s about having the right focus. When we focus on just lowering the total pounds on the scale and not on losing fat or building muscle we’ll still be unhealthy. The term used to describe it called skinny fat.


Ed Williams

“You got low muscle mass and high body fat and it happens a lot when people focus on weight loss by using pills and potions. They end up losing the wrong way. hence the reason why when you state a weight-loss goal, you don’t wanna just say you wanna lose twenty pounds. That is vague. You have to specify twenty pounds of what cause that’s gonna determine what you have to do.  Fat burning is science today. The body needs fat to burn fat; this is the ironic thing because we tend to swing our pendulum from one side to the other. When we were in the no fat low fat era, everybody felt that fat was the bad guy, fat’s the enemy. We need a healthy ratio of Omega six and Omega three; but we need a ratio of six to three, three to one. And we just recently found that we need this more desperately than we used to think because this is at the bottom of a lot of the problems that we have because the thing to understand is that cell membrane consist of fat; brain cells, tissues is mostly fat, but it is the good fat.”


Fitness coaches like Ed offer a proper weight analysis for a fee. But Ed warns, after you’ve gotten your proper fat and muscle readings, don’t get trapped in poor dieting habits.


Ed Williams

“First of all, you need to understand how your body works. You cannot cause your body to go into emergency survival mode because fat burning stops period. It just gets locked down and then the body will try to store more. That means you don’t want to be constantly getting hungry; you don’t want to get dehydrated, you don’t want to be having too much stress hormone going through your blood stream because all these stuff is what puts your body in state of emergency. So radical diets, starvation diets and shortage of certain nutrients in your diet or things like that.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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