Despite what many commercials want you to believe, thin and lean aren’t the same thing. People who are thin have a slim appearance — such as tall legs and a narrow waist — but that doesn’t automatically make them healthy. Some people may be missing out on essential nutrients in order to maintain a thin figure. So, what does being lean mean?
The word lean is closely connected to good health. A lean person is someone who doesn’t have a lot of body fat. Think slender or svelte. Even pro athletes who are lean may still have plenty of bulk because of muscle or bone, but they’re in great shape.
What Does Being Lean Mean for Overall Health?
For many people, losing weight is a smart goal with important benefits. According to the CDC, even losing just 5% to 10% of your body weight can make a big difference in your long-term health:
- Lower risk of heart problems or stroke
- Improved blood pressure levels
- Reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Better sleep quality
For a man who weighs 200 pounds, burning just 10 pounds of fat would hit that 5% mark. Women who average 170 pounds only need to drop 8.5 pounds to reach the same health goal.
What Does Being Lean Mean in Terms of Weight Loss Goals?
Equating lean with skinny can be deceptive and disappointing when you look in the mirror. Part of the problem has to do with common weight loss myths.
Trying To Target Your Waist
You can burn fat by exercising, but you don’t get to decide which areas will lose fat. High-intensity core exercises can be great for making you sweat, but it doesn’t mean that you’re going to specifically lose fat around the belly.
Going by BMI for Everything
Body mass index can provide a rough idea of health risks for the general population, but it’s not always accurate for individuals. Someone who is naturally skinny can have too much body fat, and professional athletes can technically be overweight even though they’re mostly muscle.
Getting Discouraged by the Scale
Some people have a hard time dropping pounds even though they exercise every week and eat a balanced diet. This doesn’t mean they’re not healthy. Muscle really does weigh more than fat, and regular exercise is good for you regardless of what the scale shows. That’s how ZOZOFIT can help you track your progress, by providing you with even more data to help you make good decisions.
What Does Being Lean Mean for Your Fitness Program?
Weight loss should never be your only reason for working out. As you get older, building muscle is just as important. Strong muscles are related to strong bones and an active lifestyle.
To build muscles, you need to include certain types of exercises in your fitness program:
- Exercises with resistance bands
- Squats and lunges
- Free weights
- Pullups and pushups
- Weight training equipment
A good mix of endurance workouts and strength training can exercise a wide range of muscle groups for overall fitness.
What Does Being Lean Mean to You?
Don’t let Hollywood tell you what your ideal body shape should be. You're the only one who can answer the question "What does being lean mean?" for you. Set fitness goals in terms of good health, physical and mental well-being, and long-term benefits. Choose nutritious foods that don’t feel like a punishment. Keep tabs on your progress with ZOZOFIT.