Most people you will meet in the gym today if you speak to them and asked the question what’s their reason for joining the gym, 90% of the people will tell you that, the reason they join the gym is to lose weight. But do they really want to lose weight or lose fat. In fact, it’s not hard to lose weight, I mean Anybody can lose weight. You just have to stop eating. You will lose weight, unfortunately, the weight you lose will be both muscle and fat, which is not a good thing.
The goal to successful weight loss is to preserve as much muscle as possible, or possibly even gain some more, while at the same time lose as much body fat as you possible can. Your body fat % is a key indicator of your success, not the scale. Most of my client would give me this weird look when I told we are not going to look at your weight as I don’t think it’s necessary.
Muscle is vital to your success for losing fat. Muscles have these little fat burning powerhouses called mitochondria. Mitochondria are cellular power plants that are responsible for the production of energy. It’s in the mitochondria that fat is metabolized. There is a positive correlation between the amount of muscle you have and the number of mitochondria. And it stands to reason that the more mitochondria you have, the more the potential to burn fat.
Getting More Mitochondria
How do you get more of these little cell powerhouses? You need to be giving your body a reason to create more of them. You do this by performing high intensity exercise. HIIT training is just one of these methods. Weight training is another. By creating a large demand for energy up and above what your body can already produce, your body is forced to create new mitochondria in order to be prepared for the next time your muscles call on that needed extra energy.
The great thing about muscle and mitochondria is that they are active tissue. Unlike fat, they need constant energy to maintain themselves – energy like fatty acids. What does this mean? It means that your body will be burning fat at all times of the day – even while you’re sleeping. Yes, it is possible to burn fat in your sleep, and that is how.
Why would you Worry About Your Weight
Telling people to ignore their weight is a very common theme for us at Tranquillity 360 Fitness, (even though we have products that targets weight loss, because some people do need to lose weight rather than fat) and for good reason. Too many times successful dieting is sabotaged because of a meaningless number on a scale. A scale does nothing other than measure the force of gravity on your body. Why should this matter at all? It can’t tell you if your clothes fit better, it can’t tell you if your body fat percentage has changed, and it definitely won’t tell you that you’re looking any better that’s for sure.
When you start dieting, it is imperative that you track your progress using methods other than the scale. You need progress measuring tools that are going to track fat loss – not weight loss. Body fat callipers, tape measures, pictures, clothes and sizes, are all going to be more useful for you. Don’t worry about your weight – even if it goes up. If you’re looking better, your weight doesn’t matter. The only time it matters is when you tell your weight to someone who doesn’t understand the difference between weight loss and fat loss.
Keep Hold Of Your Muscle While Losing Fat
Ok then, if your goal is fat loss, then your main will be to focus on preserving muscle while we lose fat. People tend to sabotage their diets by eating too little food and too few nutrients resulting in muscle loss. Once you start losing muscle, you are fighting an uphill battle to lose fat and we all know why the lock of those little cell powerhouses (Mitochondria). This is one of the main reasons why diets fail, just behind food addiction.
To prevent muscle loss, make sure you are following these basic guidelines:
• Get in enough calories for your body size and activity level.
• Make sure those calories are nutrient dense by having them come from fruits, vegetables, meats, legumes, tubers, dairy, and whole grains.
• Aim for calories in the 10-14 times your body weight range.
• Try to get in 1.5 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight, and divide that evenly among 3-4 meals.
• Eat enough good carbohydrates to support your activity level. You can start at 135 grams and adjust from there.
• Fill the rest of your calories with fat – healthy fats and EFAs (essential fatty acids) ie. Nuts, avocados ect.
• Make sure you exercise and give your muscles a reason to maintain themselves. If you don’t exercise, your body is going to shed that unneeded muscle. Force your body to preserve it and even grow it by giving it consistent stimulation.
This blog is updated by Tranquillity 360 fitness personal trainers, as well as other guest bloggers.