It seems that everybody is trying to lose weight these days. But is it weight loss you are really aiming for? Or is it fatloss? Weight loss ≠ Fat loss.
Weight loss is when you want to lose body weight. Body weight is the sum of your bones, muscles, organs, body fat
Fat loss is reducing the amount of body fat you carry.
When people talk about losing weight they are actually referring to the amount of fat that they are carrying. Unfortunately too many people equate weight on the weighing scales with actual fat-loss. This causes anxiety, frustration and in some cases it leads to obsession.
Using weighing scales as a measure of progress is, although easy, very unreliable. Your body-weight can fluctuate daily as it’s influenced by your stomach/bowel/bladder content, water loss/retention, muscle loss/gain, fat loss/gain.
Irrelevant. 2 people with similar height can weigh the same, but look completely different because one has lower body fat than the other.
What can impact your body weight?
Carbohydrates & Water: water will bind to carbohydrates (carbs). So eating less carbs will make you lose weight: water loss. This is why you might lose a lot of weight in the first two weeks on say a Ketogenic diet (high fat, high protein); it’s mostly water. By increasing your carb intake your weight will increase according because of water retention.
Muscle Gains & Fat Loss: If you decide to use resistance training as your exercise routine your body weight may not reflect what is actually going on. Muscle weighs more than fat and as a result your body fat may be decreasing but your body weight may stay the same. Track progress by using a skinfold measurements.
Ok so you spent your 20s finding yourself and you finally feel comfortable in who you are, what you want in life and what is important to you.
You may be looking to start a family, or maybe your already knee deep in diapers. Maybe you have decided you want to further your education or career.
Then you start to realise your body isn’t cooperating as well as it used to; those hangovers are hanging around way too long, wrinkles are becoming more noticeable and weight around the mid area just won’t budge.
On the one hand you feel like you have a handle on things but on the other you have more demands and more responsibility. This means you have less time to look after yourself.
In your 30s, you realise AHHH I’m an adult now and you may find that you need to:
Adapt your activity levels and calorie intake to counter that slightly slower metabolism. (Remember how you used to be able to demolish a pizza, sides and six cans no bother? WHY! Life’s not fair!)
Be more careful with the quality of your intake. Your body might be a little more sensitive to what you feed it. For example, you may find you can’t tolerate alcohol as well.
Optimize your hormonal (and overall) health if you are planning on starting or growing a family.
Create simple nutrition and fitness routines that means scheduling and prepping! (e.g. quick, effective workouts or fast-prep healthy dinners).
Find activites that help you unwind! Include de-stressing type activities as part of your exercise routine.
Do you feel like its all getting on top of you? Want to learn how to take control? Looking for some coaching and support? Contact :
How to Track Progress Efficiently: You don’t need to track progress daily or weekly, changes wouldn’t be drastic enough. Track progress every 2-4 weeks.
Stop Weighing Yourself Daily. The daily fluctuations will mess with your motivation. Weigh yourself once every 2 weeks, but rely more on how things feel, or girth measurements.
Track Body Fat. Get a personal trainer to take skinfold measurements and track your body fat every 2 weeks.
Take Measurements. Girth measurements of your neck, chest, arms, waist & thighs. Remember ladies the chest shrinks first so don’t get a heart attack if your bust size goes down.
Shoot Pictures. Full body pictures from ankle to neck, front/back/side, every 2 weeks. Compare with your previous pics.
Strength Stats. Log your workouts. Strength going up means muscle gains and strength training prevents muscle breakdown.
Take a compliment Listen to what friends, family and colleagues might say. They’ll notice your body change more than you will. Clothes will start to feel differently too.
Why focusing on fat is a GOOD idea!
To be within the healthy range your body fat percentage should be between;
25-30% for a female
18-25% for a male
Dieting Dos and Don’ts!
Step 1: Don’t diet.
I hate the ‘D’ word, it has lost all meaning to its true definition! A diet in my opinions means the foods you eat on a daily basis. However, this word has been hijacked by companies, celebrities and fast fix enthusiasts to describe a restrictive type of diet with the goal of weight loss for that ‘perfect’ body. Ooh try the Atkins diet, try the Alkaline diet or ketosis diet and you’ll lose weight and look fab! But for how long will you lose weight for? And at what cost?
So how do diets work? In order to understand how diets work we need to understand how weight loss and weight gain works. Weight gain begins occurs when your energy intake (food) is greater than your expenditure (activity levels). Weight loss happens when you burn more calories than you eat. Simple? If I want to lose weight I just eat less right?!
To a degree yes, but what generally happens is after a period of time your body adjusts to the lower calorie intake and your weight loss plateaus. So what do you do then? Cut more calories and more calories, eat less and less? Your brain may see this as the solution but your body does not. If you restrict your energy intake over a long period of time your body goes into ‘starvation mode’. This is your body’s way of protecting itself incase this shortage of energy continues for a long period of time.
So you can’t lose any more weight and your meals consist of very small amounts of food and your body has gotten used to this limited intake that in order to maintain what you have already lost you must eat this way forever! How many people do you know that are on a lifelong ‘diet’. Dieting can also add stress and complicate people’s lives. Worrying if you lost weight from one week to the next is not worth the seesaw of emotions!
Step two: Do make healthy changes to your food.
Eat natural, unprocessed foods. Make sure you have a little of everything in your meal. By that I mean proteins, carbohydrates and fats! Vegetables are amazing, these sweet, crunchy and bitter food types contain magic pills full of vitamins and minerals that keep us healthy. Try your best with every meal, if you fail, try again.