Losing weight (quickly by dieting) leads to a loss of muscle and fat.This does not change your shape, it just makes you smaller.
Muscle Versus Fat
All weight loss is not considered equal. This is a mantra to live by as you embark on your weight management program. Though we all are conditioned to determine our success solely by the weight loss shown by the scale, it is much more important to judge our achievements based on our changes in body composition.
All weight loss is not good weight loss. All weight gain is not bad weight gain. -R. DeVito
Most people I meet that state they desire Weight Loss actually desire the loss of FAT and maintenance or addition of MUSCLE. It is vital to understand that weight loss and fat loss are not the same thing.
Avoid Scale Watching
The human body is a very smart machine. Your weight naturally fluctuates for reasons that are under your control and reasons that are not under your direct control. If your success is dependent on the drop of a scale on a day to day basis; surely you will end up disappointed regularly. Instead, measure your results over a period of time, say, 2 weeks. That is about how long it will take to truly move out of your “body weight range” which is the natural 2-3 lb. fluctuation in weight.
Body Tissues – What are you made of?
The human body consists of a variety of different types of tissues, lean tissue and fat tissue. The lean tissues include bone, muscle and organs. Muscle and organs are considered metabolically active, whereas fat is metabolically much less active. This means that muscle and organs help to increase your metabolism and burn fat and calories, while fat tissue does almost nothing. Therefore, it is essential to maintain muscle tissue while losing fat, thus the additional movement will increase your metabolism.
It is important to realize that a pound of muscle is denser and more compact than a pound of fat. It is helpful to think of a pound of fat as a pound of feathers, and a pound of muscle as a pound of iron. The pound of feathers would clearly take up a lot more space than that same pound of iron. By gaining lean body mass (water, bone and muscle) while losing body fat, you will look and feel lighter, your clothes will fit better and your overall sense of well being will improve. In summary, body weight is only one of the many determining factors of success. You must create more evolved methods to measure success such as:
- How your clothes are fitting
- Your strength levels
- Your energy levels
- The overall quality and clarity of your thinking
- Your bodyfat levels
Changing your Body Composition
To decrease your percent of body fat, you need to create the right balance between the calories you consume and the calories you expend. The most effective way to do this is to decrease your consumption of calories and increase your activity level.
A few of the key methods to attain these goals are:
- Take part in full body strength training a minimum of 3 days per week
- Create an active lifestyle (move simply for the sake of moving)
- Be mindful of your food choices
- Avoid “End of the World” thinking if you make a mistake. We all slip-up, avoid compounding your mistakes.