THIS is just a little rant to convince people to forget about the scale and focus on the real enemy - body fat + a little bit of shameless self promotion
The mistake that most people do, when they want to start a exercise program and diet, is to think that the bad shape their body is in is caused by a excess of weight.
With this idea in mind they go on crash diets that produce a lot of weight loss at the begging. The problem with this crash diets is (and if you were on one previously you would know I'm right) that after a period they stop working and that the weight lost is gained back. Some people even end up weighing more at the end of a crash diet that they weighed when they started.
These people failed because they failed to determine that -excess body fat - is the true cause of their problem and not their weight.
Your total weight is the sum of:
- your muscle mass
- body fat amount
- water weight and the weight of the food you ate.
When you go on a crash diet the weight you lose is water weight and the weight of the food you ate. It is logical that when you start eating again you will rapidly gain it back. And, after that period of starving you could be eating way more than before, increasing your body fat. For this reason, stay away from books that promise Weight Loss.
Now Back to body fat.
What you should know about body fat is that it is less dense than muscle: 1 pound of fat has the same volume as 2 pounds of muscle. What this translates into is that if even if you remained at your current weight but replaced all the fat with muscle, you would look completely different.
There are situations where a personâ��s weight stayed the same during the diet but he replaced all of the fat with muscle mass and so, even if he weighed the same, his appearance changed completely â�� he re engineered a blob of fat into a lean, chiseled physic that is turning heads and demanding respect.
So, the clear winner is BODY FAT!
Lower your body fat level and you'll have the body you want, guaranteed.
What do you think? Do you agree?
Another thing I want to shout out is the hub I recently launched:
<snipped link--please don't post for the purpose of self-promotion>
The reason I think it is worth checking out is because, unlike other documents on the subject of fat loss that give you only little bits of information, this hub gives you all the tools you need to fully understand the process of fat loss and create a nutritional plan that helps you achieve your goals.
- food lists
- recipes (coming soon)
Drop me a question on the hub about fat loss and I would be happy to respond. Also receiving suggestion or just saying Hi would be wounder full as well.
I agree, the scales may stay the same but muscle weighs much more than fat:)
Can't disagree with what you have said...but...fats are very important for one's health and must not be perceived in such a negative way. We need some fats for our systems to function in a coordinated way.
It is important to learn the difference between fats and their functions and good fats and bad (bad as in transfats). Especially for people in mid life years. Would you write a hub on these aspects?
Yes, I do agree. Building one's muscles results in a much better appearance, increases how much calories we burn per day, and allows us to have a higher quality of life. The latter is important as we age - the more we have taken care of our muscles throughout our life, the more independence we can retain in our old age.
You are very right about the old age thing. Studies have shown that most peoples brains outlive their muscle. For a long time weight training was considered just a display of vanity but now doctors highly recomend it for those that want to be active at an older age.
I agree with building muscle to burn calories.I have painful joints whenever i do resistance or light weight workouts.
Any alternative suggestions?
I have busted ankles that kill me when I exercise or even when I step out of the car sometimes, so I gave up exercising, doing any impact, and I don't feel bad as I know its my body talkin' to me, I've learned to be cool about what I eat, and I cut down on my beer intake
I think when people say "weight loss" they mean to get in shape, though everybody knows that there is a huge difference between fat loss and muscle loss. When your diet is balanced and you are excersicing regularly, then slowly buy surely fat mass will decrease and weight loss will have positive results.
You make some really important points.
My Mom is one of those who always calls me and says, "Oh honey guess what? I'm doing so good, I lost 3 lbs!" Of course the next call she's talking about how she's napping more often because she feels so tired...gee I wonder why? If you don't eat right and don't exercise, you're going to feel tired and be even less motivated to get moving.
It doesn't matter how many times we have the "Don't freak out about the scale" conversation. You are right when you say the scale doesn't tell you anything.
Thanks for bringing this up and clarifying the issue!
I am obssesed with increasing my weight but cant do so. Any suggestions?
Obsessed with gaining weight?
Well you would have to keep a diary or journal of everything you eat and
what activities you do each day to be able to determine what your plan
of action should be
If you eat mostly proteins or "forget" to eat,etc..
I agree with you all the way lose body fat and all should be fine. well, I mean get it to a level that is appropriate. My body fat used to be 8%, now it is in the teens. Yikes. Although, I know just one weekend of tournament tennis I can lose so much fat and pounds it's incredible.
But yes, people should focus on losing fat versus weight. Prolonged exercise, not always strenuous, is optimal to lose fat versus a quick 30 minute hard workout....Am I right?
Nope, not right.
Prolonged low-to-moderate intensity exercise, while true it burns fat as fuel during the workout, only causes your body to ADAPT by becoming more efficient at storing fat. Since you are asking your body to supply it with energy to sustain a long workout, that fuel source is fat, so your body starts storing more fat.
Your body ALSO adapts by shrinking organs to become more efficient at enduring long bouts of exercise. Ever wonder why marathon runners die of heart attacks? They have conditioned their bodies to endure long periods of sustained exercise causing their internal organs (heart, lungs, pancreas, etc.) to SHRINK in order to become as efficient as possible - like a 4-cylinder car.
So when a sudden high-stress demand is placed on their system, the heart gives out.
Therefore, it has now been shown that long duration exercise is not good for you.
The BEST type of workout for stimulating fat loss is one that burns CARBS and creates an oxygen debt, thereby causing the body to adapt by converting fat into energy (blood sugar) AFTER the workout.
The overall best workout for this is the Tabata Protocol.
Yeah, I know - it flies in the face of everything we've been told over the years, but the research proves that short, high-intensity cardio (the type that cannot be sustained for more than a few minutes) is best for overall health and fitness and burns fat for upto 48 hours after the workout.
Mark makes very accurate points. I have great success with the very kind of regiment he's talking about
Mark's 'point' was a snide, sarcastic remark directed at ME regarding relying on prayer instead of exercise because he thinks all people that believe in G-d are morons and this was his attempt at baiting me to respond to him (as if that's going to happen).
I think you were confused by the different Quote Levels in his response.
He likes to attack people in the forums that don't believe like he does (he's an egomaniac and an atheist, and thinks anyone that believes in G-d is a hypocrite and a moron because he thinks he knows everything and anyone that DOES believe in G-d doesn't have anything to say worth listening to), hence his sarcastic remark.
People need to focus more on their measurements and body fat percentage instead of weight for sure. We all have different bone structures and look good at different weights.
The reason ppl gain the weight back after crash diets or are not able to lose much is because their bodies are literally holding onto the fat to sustain the body. That and when you train your body to lose on a liquid diet and then you start to eat normal again the weight will come back in a flash.
When I lose weight I exercise at least 30 minutes a day (cardio and stregth training) and I eat healthy foods and not large amounts of it. I also stay away from sugar and sodas and drink only water.
So far I have lost 16 pounds in 2 1/2 months and am feeling so much better. I feel energized and happier because I know I can keep it off.
I'm happy for you; it takes such will power to change years of bad eating and unhealthy lifestyles.
If people keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat then they may not freak out as much when shay read the scale.
BTW-why do Doctors office assistants always weigh a patient first thing?It's annoying!
Obsession is not good. One should go with regular diet and work normally. Eating junk food add to problem. Vegetarianism is a good way to keep oneself healthy and slim. (and ofcourse economic!!!)
I totally agree that people should focus on bodyfat loss, not just "weight."
But unfortunately, I really doubt many people are going to give up their scale anytime soon.
People are just way too tied to "weight" with shows like the biggest loser, and programs like "weight watchers" and other marketing that only focuses on the number of pounds lost... not fat.
Weight could be fat... water... muscle... it does not have to be fat.
And that's the problem.
But good luck convincing the general "weight loss" population otherwise.
More protein generally mean more strength and more fat does not mean strength. However fat brings shine in the face, an essential for beauty. Ignoring fat too much, makes a body skinny and without shine.
This does not look so beautiful. If you have accumulated much fat you can try Indian Sweet dishes Rasogolla and Sandesh, enriched with protein and contain no fat.
I weight myself daily, but the number doesn't alarm me when it rises and drops. It's a really rough guage of my day to day health. I also take into account what I eat and drink, my strength levels, and then I pinch areas of my body to see if it's getting thicker or thinner.
I totally agree, weight is not a good indicator. Body fat % is.
I know tiny guys and gals that are so dense with muscle they weigh more than people bigger than them! Muscle weighs more than fat people, if your weight is going up you might just be getting stronger and muscular. Which of course is a good thing !
Just my 2 cents
Well weight loss is a result of fat loss so people do both.
blood type eating will solve your problems with fat and obesity
Hah. Good rant.. So true. I tell my wife all the time that it really isnt about your weight at all .. Even BMI is somewhat misleading.. All about the body fat percentage.
diet and exercise are good at "fat loss".
However, there aere optimal times for more body fat loss. I have been told that exercising upon waking up, using the body's stored energy which is fat(sugar) you will see substantial fat loss. Basically, I drink a glass of water to further drain yourself of foods from the prior night, then do an exercise routine, not necessarily, a strenuous workout, but one that is adequate. Once you're done you should notice a decreased appetite for breakfast.
In the evenings, I do avoid breads and pastas. I have witnessed the difference firsthand. I know some nutritionists, fitness experts and others may say otherwise, but it works for me.
I have written many hubs on bodybuilding, weightlifting, and losing weight as I have done that on my own since my teenage. You are welcome to read those hubs.
For me what has worked, for fat loss and weight loss, is starting to do some vigorous exercises in the gym with also proper use of treadmill.
What I did last summer 2008 was I joined a gym in April when I was 82 kgs. My idea of joining gym was to get back in good shape. I started slowly and steadily with all the exercises for the first 15 days including half an hour spent on the treadmill daily, then on the 16th day, I started pushing in more efforts with doing exercises to failures, then I started counting failures again and again. These exercises included everything bench presses, chest presses, pull ups, etc. etc...
After three months of doing this, my body came back into shape with my beer belly reduced to such a considerable amount that my friends and colleages at work started noticing it and in the first of week of July, my weight got back to 74 kgs. I noted this huge difference and talked to the gym coach that how this happened. He told me that "when we initially start exercises, we tend to lose more fat than the upcoming months and days because after reaching a saturation point like in three months according to what you have been doing, you will not be able to decrease enough weight now and it will be very difficult for you to decrease even 1 kg in one month now. It is because your body is used to the exercises you have done in the gym to your last failure and there are no other failures left for you".
So it is my idea that losing weight by going to gym is really really good but always remember that you will lose more fat and weight in the initial days and in the ensuing days, it would be difficult for you to do that but no problem......at least you will decrease the basic kgs which many people going to the gym for weight loss say is very difficult.
I have even started a blog a few months back which is bodybuilding-india.blogspot.com
I have written around 80 or more articles over here for helping beginners into bodybuilding and also advanced techniques including the Science of Bodybuilding.
Of course fat loss is far more relevant than weight loss but it's also a lot harder to quantify, and people do love to take the easy road - the world might be less screwed up if they didn't. Either that or nothing would ever get done.
I'm not. Could care less. Everyone comes in different sizes and I dont try to be skinny.
When I weighed myself last summer, I found out that I was about 25-30 pounds heavier than I was. I once weighed in the high 130's, and I was appalled to see and let myself get that big. So, I decided to incorporate something called Oxycise! to my workout regimen. While doing so (and slightly altered my diet by cutting fried foods and soda out and drinking plenty of water), I lost just 7 pounds.
But the best part was losing about 12 inches - nearly 6 from my waist, 3 from thighs, and 3 from hips! I was doing it 5-6 times a week, doing the breathing with power and gusto. I do the real cardio and weights 2-3 a week and perhaps go to 3 a week. (If you are a naysayer saying that it doesn't work, you can use my method on how I lost fat.)
What you said taught me a viable lesson and reminded me of how I lost fat but lost less than 10 pounds with Oxycise! I agree with you on focusing more on fat loss (as well as inch loss) as opposed to weight loss. I can do that even without a caliper at home. I have a just a tape measure and how my clothes fit me as the best measurements and assessments. Ditto for how I feel overall.
Really good info. Lifting weights apparently continues to burn fat 1 hour afterwards when done correctly.
Yup, crash diets don't work. It has to be a permanent change. and what gets me is these fools who believe cardio is the only answer.
The reason is, people generally are stupid. The average person doesn't understand about things like muscle/fat/carbs/protein etc. They just eat food and if they get fat go on a crash diet. They have no understanding of what it is doing to their bodies and don't care. It's the same thing with car enthusiasts. Some people love their car, but most just drive a car and don't care. In fact it's the same with any enthusiast in any field. Some are interested, but the majority don't know or care.
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