Losing Weight Doesn’t Mean Losing Fat
By Jorg Mardian
A lot of people are in the business of losing weight and many of them are pretty good at it. However, they generally lose weight from lean muscle mass as well as fat, and that’s the biggest difference from someone doing it right by losing body fat only. Why? Because when you’re focused on losing weight, you only look at the numbers and not what the number represent. So initially it may seem like you’ve achieved more by losing more weight, but in the long run you’re actually on the yo-yo cycle. Straight up – losing weight is NOT equivalent to losing body fat. So if you’re one of those people who hits the treadmill for endless hours and think you’re losing fat, you couldn’t be more wrong. The treadmill has become synonymous with fat loss, and sadly it’s what most people resort to when they begin their fitness regimen. To add fuel to the speculation that it’s effective, you will actually lose some weight for an initial period of time. However, since you’re not building muscle, this phenomenon is temporary and you’ll hit a wall pretty fast in weight loss. Conversely, when you incorporate strength training into your fitness regimen it’s not uncommon to see temporary weight gain, which causes many females to abandon this regimen as useless. So then it’s back to the cardio machines, because they cause weight loss which equates to fat loss, right? Not a chance. In professional circles, cardio alone is tantamount to lean muscle loss. Now I know many females will say, “So what if I lose some lean muscle mass? I’m a female, I’m not supposed to have that much muscle, and at least I’m losing weight, right?” That may be partially true, especially if you’re in the obese category, and you have a lot of weight to lose. But as you slim down, like most, this way of thinking becomes proportionally wrong.
and increase your body fat, but it also makes you susceptible to serious diseases such as Diabetes type 2, as well as other serious metabolic disorders. Combine this with a diet lacking in whole foods, not getting enough rest and too much stress, and it’s easy to see why the rate of diabetes and obesity has exploded in modern times. Preventing serious metabolic disorders is serious business, which is why effectively losing body fat is a big part of achieving optimal health. Lean muscle gain is achieved by performing compound movements using challenging loads to stimulate your muscles. You don’t want to go too easy, say perhaps heavy enough that you can perform between 6 to 12 reps without compromising your form. You want your body to be under tension for at least 20 seconds to as long as 2 minutes to maximize muscle activation. You also need to perform the exercises with enough intensity to elicit fat burning hormones, so you can build lean muscle and burn fat at the same time. Your body weight may actually not change much at all, but you will dramatically improve your physique. Rather than focus merely on what the scale says (though it is part of the process), shift your focus on losing body fat and gaining lean muscle mass as an accurate measure of your health, fitness and physique.
What’s so good about lean muscle mass? Having lean muscle mass looks great, and it’s also been shown to greatly improve insulin sensitivity. Lack of insulin sensitivity not only causes you to gain weight
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OKANAGAN SUN • APRIL 2012 • 29
Okanagan Sun - April 2012