T Nation

Lean Body Weight, Calories, and Percentages

As a “newbie” to the board (but not to the world of bodybuilding)I have literally spent HOURS pouring over past issues, archives, etc… One thing that I’ve noticed about “T-mag” and the staff is a willingness to throw out old ideas and concepts when new light is shed on a subject. Believe me, that’s rare…

Question. About three years ago, an article in “T-mag” suggested that ALL calculations (calories, macronutrient percentages, metabolic rates, etc.) should be based on our LEAN bodyweight, because, while not totally “inert” (it is living tissue), fat is “functionally inert” in it’s contribution to our overall metabolism.(If there are biochemist/physiologist out there, help me out!)

Is this still the current feeling and in three years has there been any significant change in this basic principle?

Muscle aka lean mass is greatly metabolic. Within it there is a vast quantitiy of blood vessels for blood supply as well as the transport of oxygen required for when the muscle tissue is in use. This makes it overall more functionally active than fat. This is why people say that the more muscle one has the greater their metabolic rate is…the body has to work harder to maintain it. Fat on the other hand is quite inert. Essentially it’s not so simply stored in the body as adipose tissue and pretty much just hangs out there providing energy to the body when it is needed. It is not vascularized and the body doesn’t require as much energy to maintain it.