Ok people, we’re almost half way done with 2010 and I want to know if you’re almost half way to your New Year’s fitness goal. If so, great and keep doing what you’re doing. If not, it’s time to reexamine what’s happening. Better yet, let’s examine what’s not happening.
Some of you are seeing your waist line and other areas of your body feel loser in clothes, but are not seeing much of a change when you step on the scale.
Some of you are experiencing the same phenomena, but are actually seeing the weight on the scale go up!
Don’t worry, those are good signs!
Yes friends, if you are in one of the two categories mentioned above, you are building muscle and losing fat. You’re just doing so at an equal rate. We’ve all heard and argued, for and against (mostly against), the statement that “muscle weighs more than fat”. While we all know that five pounds weighs five pounds; it’s the volume (or space) each of those five pounds takes up that is important.
Below is a picture of five pounds of muscle (red) and five pounds of fat (yellow). Judging by their appearance, it looks like the five pounds of fat takes up more than twice the volume/space that the five pounds of muscle does. Are things starting to click yet?
Muscle and Fat Size Difference
That’s why it’s not always the scale that is an accurate indicator of success. It is how you look in front of the mirror or how your clothes fit. It’s your body fat percentage! A 5’5″ woman who weighs 130 pounds and has 18% body fat will look much “smaller” than a 5’5″ woman who weighs 130 pounds and has 30% body fat.
So if you are not in one of the two groups mentioned at the beginning of this article and you’re also not someone who is seeing the scale go steadily down, what is it that you need to do?
It’s a two-part answer and I’ll give you a hint. It is not “lose weight”.
The complete answer is that you have to lose FAT and build muscle. Then, even if in six months you weight the same, but your body fat percentage drops 10%, you’ll look like a different person!
Too many of you are trying to lose weight by restricting your caloric intake. That doesn’t work for active people! If you are exercising, you need to eat! And you need to eat protein! If your body doesn’t get energy (food) and it continues to exercise, it will slowly begin to stay where it is (weight wise). Remember, that’s called homeostasis. You will ultimately stop your metabolism from working.
Now, I am not saying eat everything in sight. You know that. But, I will gladly calculate your caloric needs (again) and give you a daily allotment of calories that will help get you to your goal. This is not something you can do for a week and see results. It is a lifestyle that needs to be adopted. Think about it…as with anything in life, in order to change what you are, you have to change what you’re doing!