Many people start on a fitness journey with the sole purpose of losing weight and seeing the number on the scale get smaller. I always love knowing that people are making an honest go of it to improve their overall health, but setting out to solely lose weight can be a misguided journey.
Let’s talk about the difference between fat loss and weight loss. Fat is the substance that your body uses to store excess calories found in all the foods you eat. Typically, when you lose excess fat, you also lose weight. Sometimes, though, you can maintain or even gain weight. The truth is that through strength training, you will build up lean muscle while also helping you shed excess fat through aerobic exercise. The more muscle that you build, the more fat you can burn.
This should be a no-brainer, then, your weight should go down through exercise and strength training, right? –Not necessarily.– Muscle is more dense than fat, so my advice to you is not to get fixated on a number on the scale. It is not an accurate measurement of your overall health. If you’re truly setting out to improve your health and not just lose a few pounds here and there, then you should work on changing your overall body composition. Increasing your lean tissue-to-fat ratio indicates a more positive overall fitness level and optimal general health, which is more important than the number on the scale.
What should you do if you’d like to track your progress? An accurate body composition measurement! This can be done with a simple tape measure or with a high-end professional body displacement system. Either way, it will determine your overall fat weight (bad weight). Keeping up with your inches lost is a better indicator of your success – or fitting into those old pants again!
There are a number of cardio and strength training activities that can be used in tandem to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. But, your best bet would be to have a well thought out plan that no only involves aerobic and strength training, but also a nutritional overhaul.
Contact us if you are ready to take that next step. We are here to help!