What is lean body mass (LBM)?
Lean body mass is simply the weight of everything in the human body except body fat. This includes:
• Connective tissue
• Skeletal muscle
• Body water
How to calculate your LBM?
Weight (kg) x Body Fat %
• Eg: My weight is currently 76kg and my body fat percentage is 10%. So the formula I would use is 76 x 0.9 = 63kg
• Eg: For females – A female is 65kg and has a body fat percentage of 25%. The formula would be 65 x 0.75 = 48.75kg
This means that my body compromises of 63kg LBM. This is really a vital number for you to have, especially when trying to determine how much protein you need in your diet. The more LBM you have, the higher your protein requirements are.
Why is LBM important?
• Reduces likelihood of obesity: the more LBM you have, the higher your metabolic rate is, which means that you burn more calories at rest
• Reduces inflammation levels in the body
• Reduces risks of falls and fractures
• Helps assists keeping bones strong and healthy
• Assists recovery from illness or disease
• Protection against onset of diabetes and heart disease
LBM measurement in comparison to body mass index (BMI) measurement
Anyone who is actively trying to maintain or improve there health and wellbeing, it can be overwhelming the amount of measurements that you can do. Your weight via a BMI calculation tells you your total mass, however it does not take into consideration the ratio of muscle/fat mass. Calculating your LBM gives you a far more accurate and precise measurement of your current health status. You can then track this over time to monitor your progress to see the impact of your dietary intake and exercise regime.
What is the most optimal exercise method of increasing our lean body mass?
Resistance training! Although cardiovascular activities such as tennis, soccer, yoga, Pilates, running, walking and cycling are fantastic for improving cardiovascular health and fitness; the gold standard is resistance training eg: weight training.
Resistance training combined with high quality nutrition, adequate hydration and optimal sleep is the perfect concoction of increasing your LBM.
As a nutritional medicine practitioner, although my primary role is nutritional intervention; I ensure that my client’s exercise patterns and recovery are being finely attended to; as I believe high lean body mass to be imperative for long term longevity.