What is Weight Loss?
Weight loss means you are losing your overall weight measurement which includes fat, muscle, fluids, and organ size. A common approach to weight loss is calorie restriction, more so than exercise, to lose weight. When you restrict your diet, by reducing your calorie intake, you are by default restricting your macronutrients which reduces your protein intake. When your diet does not have enough protein your body can not rebuild the tissue, thereby forfeiting lean muscle gain which is what eliminates fat. This is how you start to lose muscle, fat, fluids and organ size.
Dehydration & Weight Loss
Often Dehydration is mistaken for weight loss. It is true that the fastest way to lose weight is cutting out carbohydrates because they retain three times the amount of water. When carbs enter your body, your body converts them to glycogen which is stored in the muscles for energy. For every gram of glycogen stored you gain approximately 2.7grams of water. This is one of the biggest frustrations people face when trying to reach weight loss. This means that your weight can fluctuate up to 1kg throughout the day. This weight is known as water weight; not fat. This water retention happens because your kidneys hold on to sodium in response to your carbohydrate consumption.
Nothing wrong with carbs or reducing the number of carbs we eat, but we still need carbs for energy to fuel our bodies. We can’t live without carbs, so don’t cut them out completely, please! Cutting out all carbs is not sustainable because over time your muscle, which is made up of 70% water, starts to dehydrate and shrink. This gives you the false comfort in thinking you have lost fat, but you haven’t, and the weight will come back because it is water weight. It’s important to know that loss of muscle mass will slow down your metabolism.
Slow and Steady Weight loss on the Scale
If you are losing more than 2 pounds or 0.9kg a week then you are losing more than fat! Slow and steady progress is the best because if you are losing kilos at a steady rate then they won’t come back. If you lose weight drastically fast you will gain it equally as fast!
What is Fat Loss?
Fat loss should always be your goal as it improves your health! For men, a regular body fat percentage is 10% and for women 15%. Working out is a key ingredient to the equation of fat loss - but so is your diet. Both diet and exercise are recipes to a healthy lifestyle.
How to Lose Fat
To burn fat you need to gain muscle. Why? Because when you lose weight by purely doing cardio that weight will come right back when you stop the cardio because there is no muscle mass to keep the weight off. Don’t worry it is actually really hard for athletes to gain large amounts of muscle and appear bulky so this won’t happen if you start lifting weights.
Also, remember that as you lose weight and fat your body starts to shrink and the skin will sag if there is no muscle keep it firm. Think of it like this, if your body has a layer of fat around it and you start to shed the fat layer the space between your body and skin becomes empty which causes the skin to sag. If you fill that space in between with a lean thin layer of healthy muscle you will appear fit and firm! Strength training is key to achieve the healthy body you are looking to have!