FOCUS on FAT LOSS, not WEIGHT LOSS
FOCUS on FAT LOSS, not WEIGHT LOSS
Why not weight loss?
Losing weight is the goal that every overweight person dreams of. We all have a magical figure in our heads. “I will be slim when I am 60 kgs, or 55 kgs”, or a higher or lower number. Whatever our magic number is, it’s the number that drives us. So we’ve gained some pounds, perhaps many pounds, and finally decide to go on that diet we’ve been promising ourselves. It may be our first-ever diet, or just one amongst hundreds. We’re determined (again) to lose that weight, to reach that magic number. But, the focus is on weight loss, not fat loss.
After a few days, we jump on our scales and YES! we’ve lost some pounds. Thus we have the motivation to continue. Maybe two or a few weeks later, after frantically weighing ourselves far too often, we reach the day when the scales say, “no, today you are not the fairest of them all, today you have GAINED a pound or two”. We feel devastated.
After all that hard work, starving ourselves, depriving ourselves of our favorite foods, exercising, sweating… we are not losing weight. However, weight loss is actually not what we are after. We need to shed unwanted and unhealthy FAT! FAT LOSS should be our focus and it is the path to good health. We want a slim, toned, energetic body, as well as reducing anxiety, depression and sabotaging yourself all the time with every different new diet.
Why Fat loss?
It is our percentage of body fat (BMI) that is the cause for alarm bells to ring at the doctor’s. It is the fat that is encasing our organs, clogging up our bloodstream, fogging our brains and generally making us old before our time. So it is the fat we have to get rid of. Don’t even say ‘lose’. If you lose something you generally want to find it again. This is about permanently ridding our bodies of unhealthy fat. We do not want it to come back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what happens when we aim for weight loss and do not turn our bodies into fat-burning machines. We lose weight because we are eating less, but often this weight contains both fat and muscle, and we really need that muscle. Lean fat-burning muscle has the wonderful ability to burn fat. This is why men burn fat easier than women. It is also why we may need an extra fat-burning helper to assist our bodies when they are not used to burning fat. (insert link to Tetrogen)
Everybody says they want to get healthier, but still believe in the mighty power of those numbers on the scale. Even the TV shows that follow the diet and exercise of obese people and have them compete to lose weight, always, always have a weigh-in! Usually, the contestants are following an extremely rigorous exercise program, so the whole reliance on scales is useless.
Throw away your scales!
“No, I couldn’t possibly do that”; you cringe inside at the very thought of not knowing how much you weigh. It would be like parting with your best friend. However, this particular best friend can be a liar, and deceitful! Your scales are not helping you to shed unwanted fat. They simply do not measure that; even the most fancy BMI type scales cannot truly ascertain what’s happening INSIDE your body. That is where all the important changes are taking place.
If you are eating a diet that contains all your essential nutrients, if you are making sure that the calories you consume do not exceed your output ( yes calories do matter), if you are exercising regularly with a combination of cardiovascular aerobic exercise and anaerobic muscle-building sessions (strength training), then you will be burning fat. This is because you will be making your muscles work, creating the mitochondria that enables the body to burn fat, and if you continue on this program you will be increasing your muscle mass, which is the ultimate goal of becoming an efficient fat-burner. These changes can become permanent. You do not need a magic number on the scales.
How to tell if you’ve achieved fat loss?
There are many ways; some are scientific, using specially calibrated instruments and calculations. However, for most of us, after we’ve thrown away the scales, we can breathe a sigh of relief that our lives are no longer driven by that little machine and begin to focus on how we feel. If we are following a very balanced diet, we’ve cut out the sugar and lowered the consumption of carbohydrates that cause insulin production, regularly eating correct proportions of lean protein and good fats, if we’ve been exercising, preferably 3 or 4 times a week, if we’ve reduced our alcohol consumption, then we are definitely burning fat.
So ask yourself…How do my clothes fit? Am I starting to see some belt adjustment? Can I zip up my jeans with ease? Is exercising becoming easier? Do I feel stronger? Do I have more energy? Is my skin glowing? Am I happier? Are people starting to notice that you are smaller and compliment you on your new figure and enjoying your company more because you are feeling energized and positive?
These are ways you can measure your fat-loss progress without relying on the scales. Try to genuinely concentrate on your health. Visit your doctor and allow him or her to give you some tests. It’s a great boost to know that you have got your diabetes under control or your blood sugar levels are healthy, or your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are normal. These are signs that you are burning excess fat and you are on the road to excellent health.
Mike Dorfman is BS in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado. Mike’s has worked as a personal trainer for Gold’s Gym and helped many clients achieve their weight-loss and fitness goals.
To health first, weight-loss second. Mike and Tetrogen are here to help you make the transition to the healthier, happier, and thinner you!