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Mar 20, 2008

Think Fat Loss NOT Weight Loss

It is the fault of our popular media we are all obsessed with weight loss!

Unfortunately, this is to the downfall of our "real" goal of looking great naked!

The media obsession with those figures on the scales sets false hopes and promises, ultimately leading to failure in our goals. Whilst some publications and reports have recently stopped using weight as the primary indicator, it's twin brother of Body Mass Index (BMI) is used instead, in the false assumption that there is an ideal weight for your height!

Yes, BMI is a slightly better indicator than simply weight alone, but it forgets some of us are naturally built like an anorexic marathon runner, or a muscle packed quarterback, throwing the BMI measure completely out the window.

The problem with weight loss is the unhealthy fixation with restricted calorie diets, hundreds of hours of aerobic exercise, and in some cases, surgical methods to cut a few pounds from the scales.

I call it "unhealthy", as these traditional weight loss methods have been shown in many scientific studies to be detrimental to our body's metabolic rate, causing our body to hold on to the body fat we are so desperate to lose. There is more evidence in the gym today, you'll spot many of the members on the treadmills and in aerobic classes day after day, week after week, without any noticeable difference in body shape. Even the aerobics instructors are looking a little "chubby"!

Restricted calorie diets cause our body to go into starvation mode, with the ultimate result of slowing our metabolism and causing us to store more fat rather than losing the stuff.

It is clear that all the old approaches are not working, so what does work then?

If fat loss or body shape and size was our primary focus, I believe we are more likely to attain our goals. The process of "fat loss" would mean you concentrate on actions to boost your normal metabolic rate, and boost it significantly enough to allow fat to simply disappear naturally.

This would include exercises to build more metabolically active tissues, this means resistance type training to increase muscle tissue. You would also look to adopt eating habits that boost your metabolism rather than slow it down, meaning eating smaller meals every 2 to 3 hours, and eating foods that contain good protein sources and not the processed carbs that are so prevalent in the modern diet.

These methods will not only allow you to drop the 1, 2 or more dress/jean sizes, show your flat stomach or 6 pack abs, and make your butt look smaller, but you'll probably lose some weight in the process too ;o)

So today is the day to change your focus from those numbers on the scales, to simply working out how to lose the fat that is covering your body. Losing the fat is not complicated, it simply requires a shift in your perception of what are the most "effective" methods. Start today by quitting the "diet", eating sensibly and regularly instead. Get into the gym and do the more effective resistance workouts and stay away from the cross trainer!

Tim Goodwin is a Luxembourg based fitness professional specializing in help the busiest people achieve more with their amateur sporting interests, and at the same time ridding them of excess body fat. Visit http://www.getfit.lu/success.html to get a free 18 page report "How to lose weight even when you are really busy" containing a full 4 week program which you can start today! Feel free to duplicate this article, I only ask that it remains in full and includes this resource box.

1 comment:

CEDhelp said...

"but it forgets some of us are naturally built like an anorexic marathon runner, or a muscle packed quarterback, throwing the BMI measure completely out the window."

Very true. A lot of people don't realize that health is determined by lifestyle, not a certain number or measurement. You're right, in that, its better throw away the diets and concentrate on making healthy lifestyle changes. To keep the positive message going, check out this blog from the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt: http://eatingdisorder.org/blog/?p=11