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Feed your FFM (and then some), or it'll FEED ITSELF!

Feed your FFM (and then some), or it'll FEED ITSELF! (hint - that's bad!)

Fat Free Mass (FFM), is one metric I find myself talking about a lot in my line of work... it's an important number to measure and to understand - put simply, this is why:

Feed your FFM (and then some), or it'll FEED ITSELF! (hint - that's bad!).

As the name suggests, FFM is the collection of tissues in our body that is not fat. It consists of our internal organs, the muscles and connective tissue such as tendons and ligaments, the skeleton, skin, blood, lymphatic fluids, nerves, etc. I often describe FFM as the metabolically active part of your body that needs to be fed, as opposed to the fat mass (which amongst it's several important functions, is stored energy that is there to feed us when intake is low).

Understanding that FFM needs to be fed is a great way to begin explaining your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and it's significance. People very often assume that your BMR is the number of calories you need to eat if you're trying to 'maintain' your weight; so naturally if you want to loose weight you will need to have a deficit - so they eat less than this number - WRONG!

Think of your BMR as the number of calories that your FFM will consume every day, at ABSOLUTE REST, whether you eat it or not! By absolute rest, I mean this: If you're in a coma, you'd better hope they feed you this much! If you're not adequately nourished in that coma, you'll begin to waste away - Your FFM will consume the difference between what you're fed, and what it needs to function! Sure, you'll access your stored energy in you body's fat mass (this is good if you have excess fat to burn), but you'll also access protein and minerals from your muscles and skeleton, even your internal organs, to provide the fuel to function. You'll loose Muscle Mass, Bone and other minerals that are critical to your health - and eventually your internal organs themselves will waste away (this is BAD!)...

Now think of everything you do from waking to sleeping (and anything 'energetic' you to while you're 'sleeping'
😉). Everything you do, from your 'activities of daily living', what you do at work, how you play (including your training and sporting activities), your sex and social life - the works... all use energy OVER AND ABOVE your BMR.

It's important to accurately measure your BMR (and Fitness Key can help with that - hint hint)... but it's more important to apply that measurement to an educated discussion with the right experts to help you calculate the actual energy requirements to feed your FFM, PLUS your activities and the recovery from them, minus a calculated deficit to allow FAT LOSS (if required) - get this wrong and your 'weight loss' might include the loss of the non-fat components as well (and yes, Fitness Key can help with those calculations too

Starvation is not a healthy way to loose weight! EAT, TRAIN, SLEEP and GROW! 

Thanks for reading!

Go and GROW!

Steve Burden.