“You can be at your weight and be metabolically obese”
The ideal weight does not exist
Both he and the nutritionist Ana Golpe demolish the myth of the ideal weight for each person, if not the healthy one, and the effectiveness of the tape measure against any measurement system that we may have at home. «I do not weigh the person as soon as they enter the consultation. Sitting down, I consult his medical record, what he does for a living, if he leads a sedentary life, how much he weighed at birth, if he was overweight during his childhood, if his parents had it... You don't have to follow the BMI, "says Golpe, who adds that many seek to lose volume, that this does not necessarily translate significantly into weight: "When they want to lose weight, I take anthropomorphic measurements." “It is the great fat meter, they are like a kind of pliers with which they take the fold to measure the percentage of body mass,” adds Viso. DEXA - an indirect technique for analyzing body composition based on X-ray photon absorptiometry - is the gold standard of measurements at the clinical level, but it is usually more expensive. "Then there is anthropometry, which is the records of folds, and bioimpedance, which are very affordable electronic scales that collect data on muscle mass, percentage of fat, etc., but which are more indicative," explains Iglesias.
Once it is clear that the figure on the scale is not as important as what it is made of, it should be noted that fluctuations are the daily bread. «The scale is always exciting, but the key is not there. It is better not to dial a number, be objective and see yourself. Throughout our lives, weight changes, there are also variations at the hormonal level, as occurs in pregnancy or during lactation. We are not like a computer that we can program, there is no accuracy. The body is biochemical and works as it wants”, points out Ana Golpe. Manuel Viso also reflects on these changes, who assures that usually the older you are, the less muscle mass and more fat, which is why he prescribes sport as the main medicine. «Older people, from one day to the next we can vary by about a kilo, depending on factors that affect our metabolic functioning. If it's cold or hot; if you have been drinking or if there is a certain percentage of humidity in the air; if you are stressed, because your heart consumes more...». The nervous system, indicates the doctor, also has something to say in all this: «With anxiety the body consumes more. If you add to that the fact that many people have a closed stomach, you can lose half a kilo in ten days, generating a negative balance. But the opposite also happens and there are people who anxiously devour everything.
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The scale can also throw up another apparent contradiction for those who seek to lose weight and wrongly base it on it. «What it is about is modifying the composition of a body. In this sense, you can lose volume and not much weight. The scale is an indicator, but beware, because there is a lack of information," says Iglesias, who responds to whether it is easier to lose fat or gain muscle: "Losing fat with a hypocaloric diet is relatively simple, but in addition to fat you can also lose muscle mass . However, to build muscle mass, it is easier if you start from a sedentary life. Thus, you can achieve it in the medium term, between six and eight weeks. If, on the other hand, you are more trained, the process slows down. It's never too late to lose when it comes to fat, but it's better to do it without following the numbers on the scale, experts say. “There is a great relationship between the abdominal waist and cardiovascular diseases. The risk of heart attack increases if it measures more than 100 centimeters in men and 86 in women”, warns Dr. Viso.
Three curiosities about the kilos you weigh