Losing Weight Makes You Fat!
Losing Weight Makes You Fat!
Consider the wisdom on weightloss and you’ll soon see that the numbers don’t add up. Unless your job is spent in the ring or on the back of a horse, your weight is actually irrelevant. The numbers on your scales mean as much to your goals as the size of your bones. Traditional scales only abound because accurately measuring body fat is tricky. But precision isn’t actually that important. So long as the number’s falling, you know your programme’s working. Even if your weight’s heading up.
You’ve heard personal trainers spout the cliché that muscle outweighs fat. It’s a cliché because it’s true. It’s also true that trying to affect one without impacting the other is like spinning weight plates. Weightloss plans target dense muscle mass over fat because it produces bigger results on the scale. At the end of your five-day cabbage cleanse, you’re lighter, but your fat-to-muscle ratio has shifted the wrong way. When you need energy, your body takes it from wherever it can, even if that means eating up muscle. So don’t boast about that 5kg you shed. Half of it’s probably your muscle. Strictly speaking, you’re fatter.
The skinny truth on the matter is that your weight is merely a measurement of your relationship with gravity; it encompasses everything inside you – fat, bone, muscle, water, last night’s takeaway curry. Any fluctuation in hydration, your hormonal state or how recently you ate shows up on the scales and gives you the wrong impression about your programme’s efficacy. Most of the time, you’re losing a combination of muscle and water. And you don’t need me to tell you that shouldn’t be your goal. What you might not realise, though, is that placing all your focus on weightloss isn’t only a far cry from your body composition plans, but also a rather unhealthy journey on which to embark. Muscle mass is essential for a healthy metabolism and immune system, and having more is proven to extend your lifespan; plus water is water, for crying out loud.
What’s needed is a recalibration of your goals. Shift your attention from the scales to the mirror. Salad leaves and wheatgrass will bring your weight down, but they won’t build the shoulder-to-waist ratio you’re after. That’s only going to come from lifting weights and eating more protein. True, if you’re packing a bit extra, you’ll still need to reduce your calorie intake. But if you want to make sure the bulk you lose is fat, not muscle, adjusting your balance of macronutrients is the smartest move. For a more efficient and altogether healthier journey to fat loss, put aside what you think you know about your body. Bin your scales and buy a tape measure instead: a healthy hip to waist ratio is the modern answer to the out-dated Body Mass Index (your waist should be narrower than your hips FYI). Follow these guides and consider fat loss a weight off your mind.
1 – MEASURE UP
Ditch the scales and swap for a bioelectrical impedance analyser: it measures your fat with small margin for error
2 – SAVE YOUR MASS
Pre-workout BCAAs cut down catabolism, the use of muscle for energy. US research links a high-BCAA diet to lower body fat too. Chug 15mins prior to working out.
3 – DOUBLE DOSE
A study in the FASEB Journal found those eating 1.6g of protein per kg of bodyweight each day cut twice as much body fat as men who stuck to RDAs.
4 – WRAP IT ROUND
Track your thigh size too. Bigger legs boost arterial health and are a pathway to a faster metabolism. Muscley quads melts more kcals.