Weight loss is one of the biggest goals people set no matter what time of year it is. This makes sense considering 70% of the US is either overweight or obese. I know, scary stat, but it is what it is.
The first thing we need to ask is, how did this happen? And more importantly, how do we fix it? There are many factors that have contributed to this, more than can be covered in one blog. But for our purposes, let’s focus on what I consider the main issue.
The first mistake people make when trying to lose weight is strictly focusing on the scale. This is the main reason why diets fail 98% of the time. That means people that lose weight on a diet alone almost always gain it back, and in most cases even more than when they started. That is sad!
The problem with diets is that they focus strictly on the scale. If you are losing weight regardless if it is muscle or fat it doesn’t matter, and that is where they set everyone up for failure. Using round numbers, if you lose 50% fat and 50% muscle the scale will absolutely go down, but in most cases you don’t look any different. You simply become a smaller fatter version of yourself.
The second problem with this approach is that when you lose muscle you burn less calories, which in turn makes it easier for you to store fat on fewer calories. Simply put, you eat less and still get fat. Ummm…that sucks.
Let me also add that when people go on a diet and add cardio (a lot of it) as their only means of exercise, they lose weight and eventually the exact same thing happens. Why? Cardio is catabolic in nature, meaning it “breaks down” as opposed to builds up. Don’t get me wrong there are many benefits to cardio, and it should be part of one’s program, but not the only mode of exercise.
If you have read any of our blogs, newsletters or listened to our podcast you know that we are huge fans of strength training.
If you want lose fat, fit into your bathing suit, or drop a dress or pant size you need to focus on losing fat and maintaining as much muscle as possible. This is accomplished by:
- The right nutrition plan
- Strength training
- Moving Daily
When you do it this way the scale will go down at a much slower rate, but you will look and feel better. In all my years of doing this, my biggest success stories (before/after pictures) are the ones who lost the least weight looked their best, because they maintained or put on the most muscle.
This is where the scale sucks for measuring progress. If you lose 5 pounds of fat but put on 3 pounds of muscle, the scale only goes down 2 pounds. Psychologically this crushes people when their only focus is the scale. I have seen people who look awesome, but are pissed when the scale doesn’t go down.
There are many ways to measure progress, such as how your clothes fit, body fat, before/after pictures, and lastly yes the scale.
I promise you if you took a before picture, put it away for 6 months and committed to being on the plan I have outlined, the changes would be stunning regardless of what the scale says.
Losing weight/fat is not just about a 6-week program, it’s about committing to a new way of life centered on eating right and working out for the long haul. If that bothers you it’s ok, just accept being fat, unhealthy and on medications that make you feel like crap.
OR, you could make the changes and feel great. It’s a simple choice. I won’t lie, in the beginning it IS easier to get that Frappuccino and binge Netflix every night. But once you start to actually feel what it is like to feel great, as opposed to just feeling less crappy, you won’t go back.
P.S. Check out our awesome FREE Abs Guide w/ Nutrition Hacks! Click below: