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Fat Loss Vs. Weight Loss Does the Scale Tell the truth?

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 but more importantly how do we fix it? There are many factors that have contributed to this and 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 gain it back every time and in most cases 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 build up. Don’t get me wrong there are any benefits to cardio and should be part of ones 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, drop a dress or pant size you need to focus on losing fat and maintaining as much muscle as possible. This is accomplished by:

  1. The right nutrition plan
  2. Strength training
  3. Moving Daily
  4. Cardio

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) the ones who lost the least weight looked the 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 see 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 and have nothing to do with the scale.

Losing weight/fat is not 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 its 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 but 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 feeling less crappy you won’t go back.

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