Weight Loss Vs Fat Loss Discover Why Your Scale May Be Your Worst Enemy Keeping A Healthy Weight How To Lose Weight By Eating For Energy Three Simple Steps To Fat Loss
In your pursuit of a leaner body, you know doubt utilized a bathroom scale to chronicle your progress. However, you may have been doing yourself a grave disservice. As you know, a scale measures how much weight you have lost, but it will never tell you where this weight was lost from.This is where the problem lies. When dieting, your combined weight loss could potentially come from fat loss, water loss, or muscle loss. Obviously, the former is what we all want to achieve, and the latter two are what we need to try and avoid whenever dieting. Unfortunately, many of the fad diets claiming rapid weight loss are often achieving this at the expense of water loss and/or muscle loss. Generally speaking, if you are losing greater than two pounds per week you are likely losing muscle as well.
The best way to monitor your progress when embarking on a new diet is to measure your body fat percentage and your lean body mass. Lean body mass is your weight excluding fat. Lean body mass includes bone, muscle, and other fat free tissues with the majority of this being muscle. By measuring these two items, you will be able to determine how much fat you are losing and whether or not you are losing any muscle. The simplest way to measure your body fat percentage is through skinfold testing. If you know a personal trainer or other fitness professional in your area, they will likely be able to take these measurements for you. However, self skinfold testing is available with the use of the “Accu-Mesure”, which can by found easily online.
Once you have determined your body fat percentage, you are ready to calculate your fat weight and lean body mass. To calculate your fat weight, multiply your total weight by your body fat percentage. Remember to convert your body fat percentage to decimal form before multiplying. I.e. 11% body fat would be converted to .11 Once you have calculated your pounds of fat, subtract your pounds of fat from your total weight in pounds, which will give you your lean body mass.
Armed with these simple equations, you will be able to track your weight loss much more accurately than by simply using a scale alone. You will know exactly where your weight loss is coming from, so you can quickly make adjustments to your caloric intake to maximize your results. For example, if your lean body mass decreases and your body fat decreases, this should tell you there is to much of a calorie deficit and you should increase your daily calorie intake slightly to prevent the loss in lean body mass. Whenever you’re on a calorie restricted diet, some loss in lean body mass and therefore muscle is hard to avoid. However, this loss in lean body mass should be limited to a few tenths of a pound per week. Initially, when first starting a diet program, you will likely notice a larger drop in lean body mass due to water loss. Don’t get alarmed by this. An obvious downward trend in your lean body mass over time is definitely a concern.
It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss proper nutrition and how to calculate daily caloric needs for weight loss; however, I will mention a simple formula that can be utilized to get you in the ballpark if you have average or better body fat percentages. To calculate your total daily calories needed for fat loss, multiply your total weight by 12-13. This will give you a good starting point. I will also mention that spreading your calories out over 5-6 meals per day with each meal consisting of approximately 55% complex carbohydrate, 30% lean protein, and 15% fat will give you the best chance of permanent fat loss. Obviously, these percentages may not work for everyone, but they are a great place to start. If you want to maintain your hard earned muscle, it is also imperative you maintain a weight lifting routine, while dieting.
I hope this information will help you achieve all your weight loss goals and help you understand exactly how your nutrition and diet program is affecting your body. There is certainly still a place for the bathroom scale, but unless you’re also measuring the items above, you will never fully realize the affect of your diet program and reaching your full potential may be difficult. I wish you the best of luck.
These days, more and more people are placing importance on keeping physically healthy. This can be seen by the amount of people who are joining gyms and sports clubs, going on diets, and spending on private health insurance. One of the biggest areas of concern in this area for women is keeping a healthy weight, this is because it not only effects their overall level of physical health, but is also recognised as playing an important role in mental and emotional well being, and self perception as well.
Most people know that being both over weight and under weight are not good for you, but health is about far more than just body weight. Things such as your family medical history, your genetic predispositions, how much you drink or smoke, what type of food you eat and how much exercise you get all have a major impact on health. There really is no ideal weight therefore that you should be seeking on purely health grounds.
Using your weight as a measure of health therefore is not particularly useful. Obviously there are levels that will definitely be too high or too low, but within these limits, there is a huge range of healthy weights that people will fall into. Much of the worries that people feel regarding their weight are more to do with media images and glamorous advertisements than on what is considered healthy. We are surrounded by images and conceptions of beauty that distort our idea of what a healthy body should look like.
Many media images actually show people who are under weight, sometimes considerable underweight, and do not represent a healthy standard or good example to measure us against.
If you are genuinely concerned about health, then weight loss should not be the ultimate goal of all fitness efforts. You should try to cut down on cigarette and alcohol consumption, eat healthy food, get a reasonable amount of exercise, and generally take care of yourself. You do not need scientific advice and a professionally designed eating and exercise schedule. More likely what you need is common sense simple changes like snacking on fruits sometimes, walking to work, and visiting your doctor when recommended.
Doctor check ups are recommended at varying intervals depending on your age and health circumstances but it is wise to keep up to date with these checkups and not to fall into the trap of constantly procrastinating. If the cost of doctor visits is a serious issue that causes you to skip visits, then maybe you should consider a health insurance plan that will cover such checkups and just charge you an affordable monthly amount.
Are you bewildered when intuitive eating guides tell you to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full? It can be a difficult skill to relearn after years of dieting and/or bingeing. One entirely different way to eat the right amount for your body is to change the goal from “getting full of food” to “eating for energy”.
Food is fuel, but that sounds so sterile. A more exciting and empowering approach is to eat feel great. Eat until you feel light and full of energy. When you use this method, you don’t even have to think about the amount of food in your stomach.
When you sit down to eat; ask your body to let you know when it has had enough. Pay close attention with each bite. You will get a subtle, but clear, message to stop when your body has had enough. You may even think you’re making it up. The message will often come after just a small amount of food.
When you experiment by following your “full” signal and stop eating at that point, you will find yourself feeling light and energized. You may not even feel a difference in your stomach at all.
Make it a practice to give your body just what it needs…not too much…not too little.
As you eat, ask yourself if you need more energy…
*Will you feel better, lighter, more energized if you eat this bite?
*Will you feel comfortable and satisfied?
*Or will you feel heavy, tired, too full?
The body has amazing powers of self-regulation and will communicate its needs to you if you will listen.
At first it may feel strange to eat this way. Over time though, you will find that…
*Your energy levels are soaring.
*You are not getting sleepy after you eat.
*You feel less fuzzy.
*You feel more replenished by food.
*Fresh, unprocessed foods become more and more appealing to you and make you feel better.
*You are more creative.
*You feel happier and more at peace with yourself.
*Extra pounds have dropped away easily and effortlessly.
In the beginning it may seem like paying so much attention to your hunger and energy takes a lot of time and attention. Just remember that the skills you’re learning will set you free from obesity and diet craziness for the rest of your life.
Being overweight has now moved from a social nuisance and domestic embarrassment to an official disease. The American Heart Association has announced obesity a dangerous epidemic and a major risk for heart disease. More than 70% of US adults are overweight and that figure is rapidly increasing.
But by following three simple steps in your everyday life you do not have to become one of the above statistics. They are easy to follow without time constraints and don’t require a complete lifestyle change. These three steps are:
1. Strength Training – Nowadays you do not have to live in a gym to put on functional muscle. Short High Intensity sessions performed once a week is all that is required to elevate the metabolism for total fat burning.
2. A Small Decrease in Daily Calories – Diets don’t work (everybody knows this by now) but by decreasing your daily calories by a small amount, the weight loss is body fat alone and not lean tissue and water that is associated with crash diets. Remember fat accumulates on the body over a long period of time so it must come off slowly.
3. More Incidental Activity – Instead of driving try walking, walk instead of taking elevators or escalators; take the stairs and so on. Just keep moving through out the day.
Lets have a look at the Three Steps in more detail below:
Between the ages of 20 and 70 the average person loses one quarter of their muscle mass. Running, cycling or other aerobic sports will not prevent this loss. This is very disturbing because the muscles are the engines of the body and every pound of muscle burns 100 calories every day.
By adding just 10 pounds of functional muscle to your body, you will burn off 60 pounds of fat over the next year. Providing you take in the same amount of calories it will keep burning those extra pounds year after year! The amount of fat the body
can burn is directly related to the lean muscle your body has.
If you don’t perform weight training to maintain your muscle tissue, you will lose half a pound of the fat burning tissue per year after the age of 20 years. In simpler terms the more functional muscle you have on your body the more fat you will burn up.
Small Decrease in Daily Calories
For years now, we have been told to use dieting to rid the excess fat from our bodies.
The trouble with this concept is that the low calorie restricted diet would throw the body into starvation mode, with the body holding onto the fat and using precious muscle tissue for energy.
This would then lower the metabolism causing greater muscle loss and when the diet is broken the unwanted fat would not only return but actually increase because to the lowered metabolism.
The way around this is to cut your daily calorie intake by a small amount of calories only. This will stop any starvation mechanisms from clicking in. You can do this by making up a seven day eating plan and writing down every thing you eat for the week, and then work out the calories you have eaten with a calorie counter. Divide this figure by seven and you have your daily calorie value.
Decrease daily calorie value by a couple of hundred calories per day and no more. This will generate slow weight loss and the majority will be fat loss only. The daily calories should be consumed during the day with small frequent meals.
The calories should come from a balanced diet (no fad diets please) with the required amount of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals. As well as containing the required amounts of fibre, fat, protein and carbohydrates.
More Incidental Activity
Fat is burned from the body when cells oxidize to release energy in the form of exercise. When the exercise is done slowly to moderately then the majority of energy is taken from the fat stores.
The key to effective aerobic training that burns off maximum fat is long-term consistency not intensity. It doesn’t matter if you run a mile, jog a mile or walk a mile you will burn exactly the same amount of calories.
The best exercise by far for the purpose of fat-loss is fast walking either indoors on the treadmill or outdoors. Other aerobic activities are the treadmill, bike, climber or any other training gear found in or out of the Gym.
Start with 100 minutes of controlled incidental activity per week increasing this to 200 minutes a week or more. In all other activities try to move, move, move. Try parking the car further away from your destination so you can walk the extra distance, hide all your remote controls so you have to get up and change the channels manually. These all help burn those extra calories and body fat from your frame.
By incorporating these three simple fat loss steps into your everyday life you will not have to change your lifestyle or be subject to time constraints..
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