Time for another post.
It’s on a subject that has come to light quite a lot recently and one that needs covering as it can affect many people looking to lose fat and it can get very confusing if not addressed.
There is a massive difference between losing fat and losing weight. Let me explain as one may not happen at the same time as the other and it can be demotivating if the reasons are not known.
First lets take a look at Fat. It’s not the prettiest of things and it certainly does not do us any favours if we have too much. It looks lumpy and ugly. It holds toxins inside it (which can get flushed into the system when we start to lose fat and make us feel somewhat rubbish), it is not supplied by blood flow and so just sits there and is surplus to requirements. We store it as a reserve in the way a bank saves up our cash for a rainy day, the fat is there in times of hardship when food is scarce. Just take a look at Bears that eat as much as they can in the summer to get their body weight and fat reserves up for a winter of hibernation where they live off those stores. Having more of it slows our metabolisms and us down.
So why do we have it? Well it does have some positive functions such as helping protect organs and as a shock absorber to the body and joints. It helps temperature regulation and is vital in reproductive health, as well as helping regulate other nutrients such as fat soluble vitamins and can give our skin and hair a radiant look.
We want to lose it, but not too much of it, or health will suffer and it even hurts to walk (imagine no fat under your feet and you’d be walking on your bones – ouch 😉 For guys keep above 3% and women 9% or health suffers and surely we are all looking to be healthy as well as lean?
Now lets look at Muscle. It’s lean and toned. It looks great. It’s alive as it is has a blood supply and functions to propel us, and to cause force. When we are active we use them a lot, so we build them stronger. They are anabolic. This word gets associated to a lot of things, but basically if your body is in an anabolic state it is good as it is rejuvenating itself, repairing itself, building back and importantly speeding up the metabolism as a result. Using the muscles causes a deficit that needs to be replaced and this takes energy. Muscles are powered by the oxidation (aerobic process with oxygen) of fats and carbohydrates, but also by chemical reactions which occur anaerobically (without oxygen). The opposite of anabolic is catabolic, which is a bad state to be in and is when the body is breaking down and at risk.
Muscle tissue takes up less space for the same weight in comparison to fatty tissue. Think of the weight of lead compared to the weight of aluminium. If you get same size samples or lead and aluminium they both look the same size, but the lead will weigh much more.
This is the same with muscle and fat and if we scale up as seen in the picture below to a whole body weighing considerably more than the 5lbs in the example here, we can deduct that body composition is far more important than actual weight!
Two people may weigh the same weight, but if one has a higher body fat percentage than the other the difference in measurements in the right places will be ‘measurable’!
I hope this makes sense and when you guys sometimes don’t lose as much ‘weight’ as you think you are losing then DO NOT get demotivated! Take the measurements and ignore the scales if it get’s to this and rely on the mirror and what others say.
When muscle starts to replace fat weight may stay the same, but what is happening under your skin is a miracle of nature and your body is getting a whole new lease of life that will make you stronger, faster and eventually much leaner. All of these equal a HAPPIER YOU 🙂
Stick it out and you will get the rewards you desire every time!
Train Hard, Live Easy
Tom @ UCF