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Treat your body as a valuable tool

Blog post   •   Aug 12, 2017 09:53 GMT

Tanita body composition measurement equipment is a path to understanding your body better than ever before says top Dutch Olympic rower Govert Viergever.

I've been measuring my body composition with Tanita for over a year now. What have I learnt? Well, I'm not a great fan of measuring to just measure. I believe you need to analyse your measurements to get useful information. Insider information that allows you to customize your strategy to achieve your goal. I‘ll use my blogs, which will be published regularly by Tanita Europe, to show you how to harness the body information given you by Tanita to achieve your goal, in a practical way, step by step.

For example: Fat burning

My body is my anvil. It's the tool I use to do my job. This is as true for me as an athlete as it is for you. You’ll need to work with your body for the rest of your life. And the quality of your body largely determines the quality of your life. All through my career, I’ve looked at my body – and me as a person – as a company. Govert Viergever Inc... I manage my body like a company director would manage his or her firm. Like a company, I set a goal as an athlete. To win! Or, as a director would say, maximize profit by acquiring a sustainable competitive advantage (I also pursued an educational course in management alongside my training programme).

Losing fat, keeping the muscles

This is management language for "winning." Most people do not have to win. But I can tell you, both companies and individuals need a goal. Otherwise, they do not know where to go. We don’t get into the taxi without saying where we want to go, do we? So, when you step on your Tanita, you need to know what markers you want to achieve. And the beauty is, you can make your goals more specific by using a Tanita. For example, instead of saying 'I want to lose 5 kilos', you instead say 'I want to lose 5 kilos of fat and keep my muscle mass right'. The danger is to focus too much on weight loss and calorie reduction and end up losing what really burns calories: muscle mass. In fact, with Tanita's current product generation, you can even say "I want to win a kilo of muscle mass on my arms". Okay, I wouldn’t say that because it's not key to my goal, but probably it's handy for bodybuilders, perhaps. 

Measure and analyse

Back to measurement and analysis. When you want to lose weight, you should strive to lose fat and at least maintain muscle mass. You cannot measure this with a normal scale. When I reach the competition season, it's time to shed my winter coat and transform myself into a lean, mean rowing machine. I set a goal: I want to decrease from 12% fat to 6-8% fat and keep my muscle mass. I limit the intake of calories, mainly carbohydrates at breakfast and lunch, and I measure my body composition every morning, at the same time, on my Tanita, after peeing and pooping. I see in the graphs that my average weight drops slowly, maybe 100 grams per week. I do not follow it from day to day because the measurements differ too much. Even what you ate the night before, or how stressed you are, affect your weight, mainly because of the moisture content in your body. So, I study if I'm still losing weight on a week by week basis, but I'm also watching to ensure I'm not losing muscle mass. If I lose that, I'm likely deleting too many calories (I usually do not exceed 500 calories) or maybe eating too little protein. As an athlete, I need about 2 times my body weight, so 2x85kg = 170grams of protein per day. For normal people this is about 1.25 times their body weight. This mean I'll keep a daily record of what I eat – and then I know where the problem is.

Does this all sound like very hard work? Yes, of course, otherwise everyone would be slim, but almost all things are hard at first. The information you get from your Tanita is clear, it helps you master your body. And if you don’t get it, read this blog again. Set yourself a goal, analyse your data and create an action plan: do something with the information. This will make your own company profitable!

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