Is it weight loss or fat loss we want?
1LB is still 1LB or is it? Fat weight vs Muscle weight, what is the difference?
For example 1lb weight is 1lb weight but depending on what that 1lb is made of it will fill more or less space and can look a whole lot smoother and leaner. 1 lb of muscle is like 1lb of pure gold – it still weighs 1lb but its smaller, denser and takes up less space – imagine it fitting on the palm of your hand. 1lb of fat is like imagining 1lb of cotton wool balls. It still weighs a1lb but its less dense, a lot bulkier, and takes a whole lot more space to make the same 1lb. If you imagine filling a room to make up 1lb weight as it is less dense and takes up more space?
Hmm. So what would you rather be made up of?
There is such a thing as good weight.
A lb of muscle works for you! With so many potions and pills out there, it is tempting to go with the “fast fix” for weight loss and lose the one thing that helps you stay lean – muscle!
Praying to the low-fat fairies or taking pills and potions won’t make you lose fat weight, however you do need to do something different and do some form of resistance training to create muscle. It doesn’t have to be much training – just more, or different to what you did before.
Muscle speeds up your metabolism so you burn off body fat even when you are sitting in your chair or asleep in your bed. You burn off fat as a fuel any time you have loads of oxygen just REALLY slowly – unless you have a lot of lean muscle to ramp up your metabolism. Having muscle is like turning up the furnace, you burn off whatever fuel you have in the tank more easily. Fuel is obtained by your food (quality fuel in the right amounts = quality machine!) Food is stored in various locations (tanks if you wish) and if you have quality muscle it will empty those tanks more effectively. Unfortunately if you put too much fuel in the tank or fill up with the wrong fuels (especially if you don’t have much lean muscle to use it up) – your body will store it and then not be so keen to part with it.
Not enough muscle tissue means that your metabolism will slow down. A bit of cardio will lift it a little but not for as long as resistance training, and you won’t be as firm!
Muscle tissue also provides stabilisation for the spine and all the major joints so you are more functionally fit as you grow old disgracefully. A regularly worked muscle at increased loads is a younger muscle! If you don’t work your muscles they simply melt away….your metabolism slows down, so without it your bodyfat levels increase as a result so you get bigger and bulkier and your supporting muscles fade too so you are less stable on your legs when you get older.
Weight loss …
By DIET alone ….
vs DIET +CARDIO ….
vs DIET + STRENGTH work + CARDIO ….
If you just diet, it will be a very slow process and you will not tone up. Of course if you severely restrict calories or live on milkshakes for a couple of weeks or more you will lose weight on the scales – water weight, muscle weight or fat weight is debatable. While you might get smaller, it can be the saggy baggy look. Depending on how you ration your calorie intake, you can reduce the intake too much and your body will respond by freaking out that there is a famine and will shut your metabolism down, you start eating again as it can’t be maintained and BOOM, your 4 asses, 2 backs and 4 boobs are back with a vengeance.
Cardio work is good for heart and lungs and health related fitness and combined with a healthy eating regime, it will speed up weight loss to some degree but to make sure the extra weight stays off it is necessary to speed up your resting metabolism by increasing your lean muscle.
Doing muscle strengthening work will speed up your metabolism so you burn off fuel even at rest and helps your shape improve faster. And, happy days! you are less likely to end up with the saggy, empty baggy look. It also improves your posture…ever lost a visual 7lbs just by standing up straight and zipping up? Resistance exercises are great for training the body to do this without you having to think about it so much.
These exercises can be body resistance such as squats, lunges, press ups… no equipment required (although knowledge and practice on how to do safe technique is required) , Pilates – this is also body resistance and uses every muscle in your body from your ears to your ankles and improves your posture, stability ball exercises encourage core use and can be a full body workout – NOT just for girls! Alternatively there is TRX suspension training – hang from the ceiling in straps (!) to use all core all the time as well as major muscles, also body pump, kettle bells, gym work on machines or free weights…
Everyone at all ages should include some appropriate weights work for many reasons. Lean muscle tissue looks smoother, leaner, makes your clothes fit better, stops the “jiggle”, makes you feel better in your own skin and more in control of your movements either for functional fitness or sports performance. It also improves your posture when its done right and increases the feeling of wellbeing.
Feel younger and have more energy and hell yes look better in your clothes.
No pills or potions required.