Muscle or Fat Gain ?


I am using the P90X work out videos to help me get into shape. I'm a 5'4" 21 year old female that weighs 119lbs.

Before starting the program, I weighed 116lbs and after 7 out of 13 weeks of 1hr+ work outs, 6 days a week, I have gained weight (I'm assuming it's muscle) and have not seen any results.

My diet is healthy; lots of fruits, veggies, fish, meats, grains and rarely any junk food. I have a natural hour-glass figure that I'd like to keep, but I would like to look toned.

I know there is muscle under my fat, but how can I get rid of the fat to show some definition?


Answered By:

Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

Qualifications of Mike Behnken


The first mistake you have made is not getting a body fat percentage estimate. You cannot judge your results by scale weight alone although you don't feel as if you've achieved any results. Part of this reason is body water. Body water can fluctuate quite a bit at certain times. After you consume carbohydrates or salty foods you will retain water.body fat measurement accumeasure

Knowing your body fat percentage is important because it will tell if your current combination of exercise and diet has caused muscle or fat gain. This will allow you to fine tune your exercise and nutrition properly.

All you need to find a good estimate of your body composition is a simple Accu-Measure skinfold Caliper and you can do it yourself in about 20 seconds.

Eating healthy could be all for not if you have been overconsuming calories. Healthy or unhealthy foods still equal calories. Some "healthy foods" are unhealthy foods in disguise.

In order to show more definition you will either need to burn body fat or gain muscle to lower your body fat percentage. If you think you have not improved your muscle tone and gained 3 pounds, it is highly unlikely you have gained muscle.

body fat measurement biabody fat measurement scalesInstead of making assumptions the best idea would be for you to get you body composition measured. You can get a scale with a BIA body fat meter at the store, a handheld body fat meter or the aforementioned Accu-Measure skinfold Caliper.

Without knowing your body composition it is just a guessing game which will go on forever if results are not evident.

Stick with your exercise program, drink a lot of water, eat a balanced fiber rich diet, get enough rest and you should get results. When you take your body composition make sure to take it at consistent times, you can read more about body fat measurement here.

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