Losing weight. Taking a few pounds (or kilograms for the rest of the world) off that scale in your bathroom that judges you every time you step on it. It's probably the most common goal people have in first-world countries in relation to health.
The amount of information available today for weight loss is so overwhelming, sometimes it's hard to decipher what's legitimate backed by science, and what's just someone's thoughts and opinions. There's also a lot of misinformation as well like ads that says it'll get you to lose this much weight in a 60 days and not tell you the about the aftermath, like gaining all that weight back because what they don't tell you is that it's not sustainable. We've all been bombarded with ads on different workouts you can do to lose weight, diet plans and pills, sculpting, and the list goes on. With all this wealth of information, why is over half the US population overweight?!
What if I tell you that weight is misleading like a politician. To lose weight, we must first understand what it is.
What is weight?
Weight = mass x acceleration of gravity
Weight is a force. Typically measured in Newton and converted to pound force to what we see on the scale. The mass is the composition of your body which will change based on your lifestyle. The acceleration of gravity is not going to change unless you are on another planet. Aha! When's the next flight to the moon? To change our weight, we need to focus on our mass. Our body mass is the composition of our body in this case we're referring to body fat and muscle mass.
Having more muscle mass leads to a plethora of benefits.
Higher basal metabolic rate.
Better mental energy.
Enhanced romantic life. (Trying to keep it PG.)
These are just a few of many examples. Let's not forget about fats. They are essential to the overall health of our body. However, if it takes up too much of our body composition then it does a lot of harm such as increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and not to mention the psychological harm it does to us such as depression, anxiety, and loss of confidence.
From my experience as a personal trainer, the results most people are looking for whenever their goal is to lose weight is to decrease in size.
Weight may or may not matter when it comes to a decrease in size.
The same weight in muscle in compared to fat is SIGNIFICANTLY smaller in physical size because muscle fibers are dense and tightly packed. Your weight can actually stay the same, and still be smaller if you were to decrease your body fat and increase your muscle mass. If you're body fat percentage is considered unhealthy is relative to your age and gender, then you're focus shouldn't be on weight, but on decreasing your body fat percentage.
How do we actually do that?
#1 Cross training
Combining different principles of training is the best method to have a balanced lifestyle. It's a combination of weight training, cardiovascular exercises, balance, flexibility, and agility. A priority should be placed more on weight/resistance training. Having more muscle mass increases your body metabolic rate results in more calories burned throughout the day just doing normal activities.
Even though cardiovascular exercises like running and biking is important for heart health, it's not the best method to target lowering body fat. Steady-state cardio should be supplementary, like Robin is to Batman. Important no doubt, but we want Batman.
#2 Balance eating habits
Habits are habits for a reason. It's hard to change. With food habits, its best to take it step-by-step. Everyone's body and its needs are different. How do you find balance? First, listen to your body. When you do something and your body is not responding well and/or it's making you uncomfortable, it's probably something you should stop doing or limit the impact it has on your life. Second, you probably already know what's good for your health (good fats, proteins and carbohydrates), then it's about finding the right balance for your body. Lastly, sugar intake. In the US, our sugar intake especially added sugar far exceeds what we intake in terms of unhealthy fats like LDLs. It takes just a quick glance at the nutrition label to see how much sugar your ingesting per serving. Eat as wholesome as you can.
#3 Keep it real!
Realistic expectation. This is the most important and the hardest to maintain. It's more psychological than it is physical. It's not to say your desire to lose 50 lbs. is not realistic, but depending on your genetics, past and current physical activity level, age, ailments, and among other factors can and will affect if you'll lose that specific amount of weight. Also you may decrease in size and still weigh relatively the same. What is a realistic goal that'll help you create a healthy and active lifestyle, and get to a healthy body fat percentage and maintain it? These are just a few of millions of examples.
Vegetables in every meal.
Limit the amount of times you eat out per week.
The number of days you're going to exercise.
Cutting out soda.
Losing body fat and keeping it off permanently takes time, which is why a lifestyle change is essential. By creating realistic goals and expectations, it allows you to stay consistent. Just like habits, once you form new habits, it becomes much easier to stay consistent to reach those goals you've set for yourself.
If you ever need to consult with us about your specific needs, reach out to us via Instagram @vitacors. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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