Patient and Clinical Reflections: Reducing Body Fat & Achieving a Healthy BMI | AECC Clinical & Rehabilitation Services

Patient and Clinical Reflections: Reducing Body Fat & Achieving a Healthy BMI

Back Cases of the Week - - 4 minute read.
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For this week’s Clinical Insight, our male patient shares his motivation for improving his body shape, reducing his body fat percentage and improving his overall fitness. Our multidisciplinary team supported him with this goal; undertaking a body composition analysis and inviting him to join exercise classes run from our Integrated Rehabilitation Centre. We reflect on this approach.

Setting Goals

“I was with our grandkids on the beach. I thought that I’m not the right shape any longer. I went on my scales at home which confirmed that I was overweight. However, I needed to check my body composition, too. So, I googled it and found that AECC University College could help me.

“I wanted to work towards a healthy BMI and reduce my body fat to 25% or less.  I’m a keen long-distance walker, but I never seemed to lose weight by walking.

“The Sports Rehabilitation team at AECC UC explained that I wasn’t going to lose fat by just aerobic exercise: she said that I needed to introduce weights and strength training, too.

“So I went to the exercise classes once a week.  I also replicated it at home the best I could for the other two times a week. I was essentially doing three strength training sessions a week. I quite enjoyed it, to be honest.

“I had a personalised programme set up for me.  There were times when I wanted to either add or change an exercise. As I got better at things, I wanted to know whether I should do more reps or increase the weight. During the class, there was nobody standing over you but there was always somebody on hand to ask a question.

“Because it’s a small group class, there was always availability of the machines that you wanted to use. You could circulate around the machines perfectly easily.

“After a few weeks, I was surprised that I was able to start lifting heavier weights.”

The Results

“After three months of doing the exercises, I wanted to know how I was getting on. So I had another body composition test and they were quite impressed.

“I was also quite impressed because there were significant changes, which kept me motivated and kept me going. I continued my programme and by six months, my body fat percentage was now in the green (as opposed to being in the red when I started), so it went from red to orange to green.

“I have maintained my weight through home workouts and continued weight training. Walking daily is easy for me, but weight training can sometimes be challenging, so I reward myself with a game of snooker!”

Feeling Better

“I feel significantly better now than when I first visited AECC UC. I’ve just walked half of the South Downs Way with a friend.  Whereas he and I were equal, I’m now significantly more able than he is.

“I’m also feeling ready to go back on the beach with my grandchildren this year!”

Clinical Reflection

It is well known that losing body fat through a programme of exercise and healthy life-style choices can have a beneficial effect on decreasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and improving mental health.

Modest weight loss (5-10%) is regarded as being clinically important and so 10% would be a good early level to aim for (Tahrani et al 2022).

Our services always look to have those conversations to support those individuals in making good choices for their health and well-being (Puhl 2020).

Our patient was looking for guidance and a strength programme to work towards a healthy BMI and reducing his body fat to 25% or less.

We were mindful of his past medical history, so we started by discussing the baseline measures.  We recommended that he had a body composition test as it gives you some measures to have a comparison later down the line.  

Just stepping on the scales doesn’t always equate to how much muscle you’ve maybe developed or lost, so it would give him a bit more of an incentive and confidence.

The Body Composition Test, combined with the personalised exercise programme, worked really well. We strength tested him on the leg press and recommended the weights he should be pressing. We found some exercises that he enjoyed doing and understood what they were trying to achieve. From there, he used our open gym.

He has done amazingly well.  His adherence, focus and drive to reach his goals have been excellent.

References

Puhl, R.M., 2020. What words should we use to talk about weight? A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies examining preferences for weightrelated terminology. Obesity Reviews, 21(6), p.e13008.

Tahrani, A.A. and Morton, J., 2022. Benefits of weight loss of 10% or more in patients with overweight or obesity: a review. Obesity, 30(4), pp.802-840.

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