My girlfriend is obsessed with the television show, The Biggest Loser. For those of you who don’t know, this popular reality show is basically a weight loss contest. She loves to see the dramatic weight loss results that the contestants get each week. She loves this show so much, she has convinced me to watch it with her each and every Tuesday night. I have to say, the show is quite entertaining and I do enjoy watching it with her.
But, from a weight loss standpoint, Im not impressed. The goal of the show is to lose weight as fast as possible. In order to do this, the contestants engage in a very extreme weight loss program that is designed to cause rapid reductions in bodyweight. Rapid weight loss is great, right? Not so fast! This is not necessarily the case. Heres why:
First of all, weight loss is not the same as fat loss. More often then not, the weight these people lose is composed of lean muscle tissue, water weight, and some body fat. Unfortunately, it turns out that losing muscle actually causes your metabolism to slow significantly, which makes losing body fat even more difficult than it was before. So losing any muscle at all is really not desirable if you intend to maintain your fat loss results on a permanent basis.
I’ve found that when people lose weight quickly they have a significantly greater chance of the dreaded weight regain. Since weight loss and fat loss are two different things it’s important to realize that rapid weight loss is not always ideal. Of course we all want to lose fat quickly but remember that it must be done correctly, scientifically and carefully or be prepared to gain the weight back.
When you have a weight loss program which is performed properly you will be able to lose fat quickly, not just weight, by keeping your lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass is crucial to long term fat loss because it keeps your metabolic rate high. I want to see you change your body forever and not just for a short term period so don’t think so much “quantity” or weight but quality of weight by losing fat.
In order to be a long term maintainer I suggest taking a look at what people are doing who have truly achieved “real” fat loss. Here is the big difference between long term maintainers and big losers:
First off every long term maintainer has a solid workout program which always includes both cardio and resistance training. The goal for most of these people is at least 30 minutes of exercise almost every day.
As far as diet is concerned a “big loser” and a maintainer’s habits will vary greatly. Big losers usually follow the fad diets and perform limited exercise or simply perform aerobic work with no resistance training. Also, the self-monitoring methods used by big losers and maintainers differ as well such as measuring bodyweight and body fat percentages and also measuring calories.
Self-monitoring is probably the most criticized and avoided weight loss technique especially when it comes to calorie counting and measuring food. Some fitness experts even claim this to be an inconvenient method of weight loss because it seems too restrictive. I believe this to be one of the most beneficial weight loss methods and can make a huge difference between getting fat and losing fat.
4 Strategies To Ensure Fat Loss Success!
1. Become more active everyday! Daily exercise is crucial for weight maintenance and weight loss.
2. Include resistance training as part of your regular exercise program, during your fat loss phase, and even more importantly, during maintenance.
3. Closely monitor your portion sizes and calories. To start off do exact measurements even though that may be a little time consuming then afterwards just eyeball the quantities.
4. Focus on losing fat and not just weight! Measuring your body fat percentage is the best way to ensure that your weight loss is actually coming from fat and not lean muscle.
Follow my 4 fat loss strategies and you too will stop being a big loser and become a long term fat loss maintainer!