Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fat loss is better than Weight Loss!

Skinny Fat
Until a couple of years ago I had no concept of weight loss vs fat loss or even had a clue about how I was gonna do that. I was in the gym with a bad back, a bad hip, my ankles were killing me and they were swollen and I was about pushing 210 pounds and did I mention I was totally deconditioned and almost 50 years of age.

I was in the gym twice a day trying to look and feel better. I would do about an hour or more lifting with basically no plan, one day I was a power lifter next day I was doing something else cause I hurt myself the day before being the power lifter. So now I was a body sculptor and when that didn't work I was something else. Then I'd come in the evening I would run, bike and did elliptical for 40-60 mins depending on what would hurt less. And believe me some part of my body was hurting and not in a good way, in a swollen painful can't raise my arm over my head way.

I had met this guy at the gym sort of in a hi hello kinda way. This guy was "Jacked", I probably wanted to be that guy that day, I don't know. You're probably thinking, this guys a doctor? Anyway, I was frustrated wasn't getting anywhere close to body I wanted and did I mention I was working really hard. What I didn't mention was my diet. I was pretty much eating nothing. I would skip breakfast go to the gym. Eat a sandwich no mayonnaise, have some chips or fries very little, no snacks go back to the gym in the evening and then most nights skip dinner or eat very little. I was a miserable sod. I don't know about you but when I  don't eat I am really a bundle of joy to be around, my sarcastic side.

The first thing he said to me is you're working way to hard! He asked me a few more questions about my diet and such and he said something foreign to me something that I didn't believe nor could not until I saw the results first hand. He said, "it's 90% nutrition and 10% what you do in the gym. Think about that...

Most people never go to the gym, the people who do go may go 3 or 4 times a week and how much time do they really spend working on their physical health. The rest of the time we are sleeping or working or in sedentary leisure activities. So we aren't working on our bodies 90% of the time or more.

This statement he made made me want to obtain as much knowledge about Nutrition believe it or not most doctors don't know much; if not anything about metabolism or nutrition unless they have some personal interest in it (or they recently graduated). Patients are routinely sent to a Nutritionist for guidance. I have many classmates from Medical School that may be offended by this comment but, tough you all know its true.

So here's the SKINNY: If you are concerned with changing your shape you will need to trade in fat for more muscle mass. However, as we age due to changes in our hormones, we lose muscle mass and strength. You don't have to look like a body builder to have appropriate amounts of muscle mass, but you do want to keep what you have so the key as they say you have to "thin the skin".

Thinning the skin means, picture a lean, toned body with lower body fat levels. The only way to accomplish this is to lose body fat while maintaining your lean muscle mass. It is the lean muscle mass that is responsible for the toned, sculpted look.

So how do you go about losing fat (Not muscle) as you decrease overall weight? The primary focus should be on your nutrition plan, a high protein low grain, low sugar diet and timing your meals (All explained in my book).

Other helpful measures are weight resisted exercises as the burn calories long after your last rep (after-burn) and you can do cardio but it should be done after weight training as it burns more calories that way. If you have hip or joint problems like I did its not game over for you, the key is heart-rate so it doesn't matter what exercises you do as long as your heart is pushing 80% of your max based on age and ideally you want to fluctuate (interval) between 65% and 80% during the time you are at the gym on strength training in addition to your cardiovascular exercise. If all you ever do is cardio then your body is definitely going to be burning some of its lean muscle mass for energy. The reason for this is because your body can obtain the energy stored in muscle much quicker and more efficiently than it can by burning body fat.

Throw the scale away: your focus should be on achieving a better body composition and not just losing weight, weight is just a number. Another thing you don't need to worry about is the charts. I'm sure you know of them they are the ones that tell  if you are average boned and 5 foot 10 you should weigh 165-175 pounds etc.

In my book I explain to you in a step-wise manner how to achieve this.

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