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Don’t lose weight in 2016

Yeah you read that right, and while everyone else at this time of year is telling you to lose weight I am telling you not to lose weight.

What is this guy on about – I hear you say.

Let’s think about it for a second. Weight is everything in your body; bone, muscle, fat, water – everything. So ask yourself what are you trying to lose? Is it weight or fat. It is important to make this distinction. You don’t want to lose muscle or bone mass. Well, I would hope you don’t. Time and time again we see people coming in and the most common goal is “lose weight and tone up” – does that sound familiar? I bet it does.

What’s wrong with losing weight?

If what you’re losing is not just fat then there is a lot wrong. Muscle is what gives you strength, takes pressure off the joints, boosts your metabolism and gives you that tight, toned look. Why would you not want that on your body and hey you don’t have to have muscles like the hulk to be in great shape. 

I think you all know what bone is for and is certainly something you don’t want to lose mass of. A drop in bone mass can be a sign of osteoporosis or osteopenia and there are ways to increase bone density as well but that’s for another day.

So What should you be focusing on?

FAT. And losing it. Simple answer but that’s the key. See, when people weigh themselves every week how do you know what you are losing is fat and not muscle mass. I am sure you have heard stories or maybe it’s your story where people lose weight quickly and end up with a lot of excess fat and baggy skin particularly under the arms, Yeah – I am talking about those dreaded bingo wings!yikes…

The reason this happens is the weight loss process was primarily diet change and more than likely some form of cardio like walking and little muscle or strength training so often it can be muscle that is lost in this process. 

The same goes for these weekly weigh in programs (I have a whole other post coming up on that). We have had so many clients come to us who would have been in the middle of these programs looking to boost results and the first thing I say to them is be prepared that your weigh in at your local centre may frustrate you. Everyone needs to be doing some form of resistance training for the benefits of increased muscle mass as mentioned above but when you do this muscle mass can tend to add weight to your scales especially when you start out (again, another post coming on FAT Vs Muscle) as muscle is more dense than fat and can weigh more than fat that takes up more space in the body. I hope I didn’t lose you there but I will devote a whole separate post to that area.

To simplify it, if you want to lose 2 dress or jeans sizes for example it is better to focus on losing fat and getting a better shape than focusing on the weight on the scales. That’s why it is important to get body fat tests and measurements done instead of just weight so you know exactly what your results are.

The scales can be a frightening place to stand on. If you do it daily or even weekly taking into account what I said above then can get very frustrating and you are wondering why you aren’t seeing more results. Now you know why. You may be increasing your muscle but because you haven’t checked that you think your FAT isn’t shifting and you get fed up and fall into the vicious circle again.

Let’s learn from these mistakes and change how you track your progress. Remember it’s all about the shape.

To your success

Mike

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